4 Ways to Spot a Narcissist

Recognize these behavioral patterns and communicate your needs and wants in an assertive, not passive or aggressive manner.

Open Facebook, Twitter, or surf the net and you are bound to found hundreds of articles about narcissists — how to recognize them, how you have been a victim of one, or how to rid them from your life. The information abounds because this particular character trait is among the most toxic.

Freud was the first to discuss them in his essay On Narcissism (1914). You may be familiar with the origin of the term. It comes from Greek mythology where Narcissus was a hunter who was known for his beauty. Ironically, he disdained those who loved him. An arch revival, Nemesis (now you know from where that term arose!), lured Narcissus to a pool, where he could view his own reflection in the water. As the story goes, Narcissus fell in love with the reflection not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, some versions have Narcissus falling into the water attempting to embrace it, while others have him paralyzed by its beauty and staring at it until he died.

Jack Nicholson, as the Joker in the 1989 version of Batman, wickedly exemplifies this character trait. When his love interest says to him, “You look fine.” He snidely retorts, “I didn’t ask.”

The truth is that all of us possess particular character traits that typically arise from childhood programming and household culture.

But as we grow, what defines us and our ability to live happily and peacefully with others is how our character manifests itself in our behavior.

For those narcissists out there, unfortunately, they have not shed the negative programming that helped to create them.

This is sad; however, it becomes sadder if you are the victim of one, or even sadder if you feel emboldened to try to change them. You see, no one can be responsible for reshaping another’s character unless they initiate it. And a narcissist, most often will not.

So, it is important to recognize certain behavioral patterns that will help you identify if you are within the web of a narcissist. As it stands, there are only four rather sneaky patterns.

1. Manipulation

Manipulation is the Narcissist’s way of bringing you around to his/her way of seeing the world or get what they want. It often means knocking you down, causing you to doubt yourself, making you feel bad. A man might make a comment to his significant other as, “I love you so much and would do anything for you. That’s why I planned a trip to Vegas with my buddies, so you can get a break from my high maintenance!” A mother may say to their older child, “The doctor told me the reason your sister is giving us such a tough time is that she needs to spend time with her older sister.” Illness is a rather useful tool of manipulation. You might here a narcissist say, “Really, you’re going to leave me alone while I’m in so much pain?” 

2. Seduction

The lure of a narcissist is so great that often the victim feels lucky to be in their midst. The “if/then” technique is used to perfection. I first realized this after the attacks on 9/11. The terrorists and their supporters used the reasoning that if the West was more righteous, then they would not have to do what they did. That’s like a narcissistic husband saying to his wife, “If you only brought me my slippers and pipe when I came home instead of nagging me, then I wouldn’t yell at you so much.” The art of seduction is blaming or shaming the victim so that he or she understands love is only around the corner if certain conditions are met.

3. Lies

When manipulation and seduction don’t work, there’s always lies. Nothing works better than fudging the truth in order to get someone to do or believe in what you want them to. You might hear a narcissist tell you that ““I tried every restaurant and none had availability.” Or one might sometimes lie by leaving out an important detail (a so-called lie of omission). Like the mother in the manipulation example above. What she was leaving out is that the doctor explained the child was acting out for the love, attention, and affection of her parents. Spending time with her sister might also be helpful, but only if the sister is okay with it.

4. Drama

This is a way that a narcissist can redirect the focus back to them. Everything becomes a major catastrophe. When the narcissist creates drama, he or she is really saying, “Hello…aren’t you forgetting someone around here…me?” You leave your socks on the floor and your girlfriend may lean down to pick them up, and then grasp her back exclaiming, “Ugh! My back!!” Drama replaces communication, reason, and practicality. That’s because, if one implements any of these it will blow the narcissist’s cover. You might hear a narcissist pace around the home crying out, “Why me? Why do these things always have to happen to me?”

Final note

The only way for a narcissist to improve his or her ways is by introspection and self-honesty. However, this is very difficult without the help of a trained professional. So, if you think you are going to rehabilitate your friendly neighborhood narcissist, think again. I suggest you be careful when forging a long-term relationship with one, and if you are already involved with one, don’t be a doormat. Recognize these behavioral patterns and communicate your needs and wants in an assertive, not passive or aggressive manner.

For more info on how to do this download my FREE eBook.


Charles F. Glassman

Dr. Charles F. Glassman, aka Coach MD, is a medical doctor, thought leader, & author who has learned that true holistic care arises when we balance mind, body, & spirit.

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Debra PerryArthurStaceyPRABHAKAR RAJARAPULaurie Lankins Farley Recent comment authors
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Debra Perry
Debra Perry

Where are you broadcasting from today?


I believe I’am dealing with one. I can save one sole out of the two from her manipulating behaviour.


Thank you for the reminders xxx



Laurie Lankins Farley

Good tips for sure! gives awareness.

D conn
D conn

I have a question
Someone please answer me
Known this man for about 10 yrs. He comes across humble gentle tender quiet.women fall all over him
We got married 3 years ago
Since married.there’s a whole different side to this man. Anger manipulates Womenizer
Roaming eyes
Lies stole money from me
I thought at one time I knew who I was
I become self doubt not good enough.he wants me to wait on him all the time.I feel like he sucks the
Life out if me.when in public he roamshis eyes at a particular type of women no where similar to me.its hurts.when I confront him he denied it and says I’m mental
What way is truth? In teaching out is it me or him.I use to be very confident womem


Your article opened my eyes…I was recently tagged as narcissistic and toxic by my best friend….I just couldn’t stop crying but after reading your article I feel he was correct….I am toxic and narcissistic….all the traits mentioned are correct except lies which I dont fit on it….omg how much damage I have done to our relationship …

It’s rightly said stay away from toxic people….I am also one….I am disgusting…..just figuring out how to move out of my friendship so that my friend can stay positive….I just cannot think living widout our friendship but alas I have to do now….I am so bad….just cant face myself now

I am just so bad….


my ex was this over all it was always about him getting what he wanted kicking off for it control freak by nature it was always his way if he didnt get what he wanted hed tell people all shorts of things get his mates to hound me when had fallen out my heart had enough o that carry on i do think its cause i was soft heated, not just my ex come across people of all walks of life who are not what they seem at first always charming outgoing lovely guess thats how sometimes get sucked in i trust in my gut well enough now im wiser than ive been before…

Robina fazal

Nice article❤💐Sir Charles ..Narcissist persons if we faced such persons in life..we should know how to avoid them…as much them with patience…dont try to fix them as its not at possible,They will go along how they wanna go..they think they are always right..they cant make a mistake.They are their boss…So if you supposed to live near by not try to become their prey..dont become their pleasue.perform your day to around them.Give them respect and encourage them to carry on their routines..if they cause panic or disturbance for you…dont be under presser..React peacefuly and avoid them ..They are not so powerful as they seem to be…They are mostly from inner weak…and moves around themselves…if you deal them patience and carry on your own rouitnes they are helpless to make any trouble for you..if you are confident and not sensitive..take them normaly and with a happy easy note ..You can focus on your life.
Your own self..and desires…You can acheive wht you wanna achevie..These people are every where.Love yourself in God Trust on your instincts and capabilities…your paths will be cleared and strenghten and you can lead a happy healthy life with purpose and more positive oppurtunities to do more good in life….Amen