How to spot a Narcissist.
If you do a quick google search of the title of this post, you will get a plethora of responses that help accurately describe who a narcissist is. They always say that a narcissist doesn’t have to have every single trait mentioned, but let me tell you, my SIL has 99% of them.
One article I found had a long checklist of all traits exhibited by “narcissistic vampires” (their words!) I decided to post them here and do a little comparison to see which ones my SIL has.
True or false? Score one point for each true answer.
1. THIS PERSON HAS ACHIEVED MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE HIS OR HER AGE. Okay, not so much with this one. She graduated from a 4 year degree in SIX years, but she complained that it was so hard to do when she had a kid that she intentionally planned. No point on this one.
2. THIS PERSON IS FIRMLY CONVINCED THAT HE OR SHE IS BETTER, SMARTER, OR MORE TALENTED THAN OTHER PEOPLE.Holy cow! This is so true. She left a job because she viewed herself as smarter than her bosses, even though she’d just graduated from college and they had several years under her belt. One point.
3. THIS PERSON LOVES COMPETITION, BUT IS A POOR LOSER. If you had a story, she could always “one-up” you. You get headaches? She gets migraines. You got a bonus? She got a raise. She is, in her own mind, better at everything, and she’ll do anything to prove it. That makes two total points.
4. THIS PERSON HAS FANTASIES OF DOING SOMETHING GREAT OR BEING FAMOUS, AND OFTEN EXPECTS TO BE TREATED AS IF THESE FANTASIES HAD ALREADY COME TRUE. I’m not sure exactly sure what her fantasies are, nor do I care, but let me put it to you this way: SIL is a glorified daycare provider, but she thinks her position and job are better than everyone else’s. That’s three points.
5. THIS PERSON HAS VERY LITTLE INTEREST IN WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE THINKING OR FEELING, UNLESS HE OR SHE WANTS SOMETHING FROM THEM.I would wager that she has very little interest even WHEN she wants something from you. If you’re playing along at home, that’s four points.
6. THIS PERSON IS A NAME DROPPER. MAJORLY. Five points.
7. TO THIS PERSON IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO LIVE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND ASSOCIATE WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE. I honestly don’t know on this one, so I won’t count it. Still on five points.
8. THIS PERSON TAKES ADVANTAGE OF OTHER PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE HIS OR HER OWN GOALS. To SIL, every single person she knows is merely a walking doormat. This is especially true of my husband’s parents. Six points.
9. THIS PERSON USUALLY MANAGES TO BE IN A CATEGORY BY HIM OR HERSELF. Oh yeah, she’s the exception to every rule, as are her kids. Seven points.
10. THIS PERSON OFTEN FEELS PUT UPON WHEN ASKED TO TAKE CARE OF HIS OR HER RESPONSIBILITIES TO FAMILY, FRIENDS, OR WORK GROUP. She straight up flips out and starts to make excuses, and then usually it’s my in-laws who end up doing the work for her. Eight points.
11. THIS PERSON REGULARLY DISREGARDS RULES OR EXPECTS THEM TO BE CHANGED BECAUSE HE OR SHE IS IN SOME WAY SPECIAL. SIL just recently criticized someone else’s integrity, when she has no problem lying to the government to avoid paying a penalty fee on her house. Need I say more? Nine points.
12. THIS PERSON BECOMES IRRITATED WHEN OTHER PEOPLE DON’T AUTOMATICALLY DO WHAT HE OR SHE WANTS THEM TO DO, EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE A GOOD REASON FOR NOT COMPLYING. Remember my story about the baby shower? One reason SIL hates me so much is because I don’t give in and drop everything to pay attention to her or her kids. Ten points.
13. THIS PERSON REVIEWS SPORTS, ART, AND LITERATURE BY TELLING YOU WHAT HE OR SHE WOULD HAVE DONE INSTEAD. Not sure on this one, I normally tune her out. I won’t count it.
14. THIS PERSON THINKS MOST CRITICISMS OF HIM OR HER ARE MOTIVATED BY JEALOUSY. OH YEAH. Did they write this list about my SIL personally? Eleven points.
15. THIS PERSON REGARDS ANYTHING SHORT OF WORSHIP TO BE REJECTION. I have only ever seen my in-laws stand up to one stupid decision by her. One, in a long line of many. Her response? “THEY HATE ME”. Twelve points.
16. THIS PERSON SUFFERS FROM A CONGENITAL INABILITY TO RECOGNIZE HIS OR HER OWN MISTAKES. ON THE RARE OCCASIONS THAT THIS PERSON DOES RECOGNIZE A MISTAKE, EVEN THE SLIGHTEST ERROR CAN PRECIPITATE A MAJOR DEPRESSION. Mistakes? SIL never makes mistakes. Oh, on the off chance that she does, she’ll write some sappy facebook status on how awful of a person she is, just for the hopes others will tell her differently (and of course, they always do!) Thirteen.
17. THIS PERSON OFTEN EXPLAINS WHY PEOPLE WHO ARE BETTER KNOWN THAN HE OR SHE IS NOT REALLY ALL THAT GREAT. Typical response of someone who does better than SIL in something? “Oh please, I could do better if I wanted!” Fourteen.
18. THIS PERSON OFTEN COMPLAINS OF BEING MISTREATED OR MISUNDERSTOOD. YES. She thinks only a few people in this world really “get” her. That’s fifteen.
19. PEOPLE EITHER LOVE OR HATE THIS PERSON. There’s no in-between with her. Sixteen.
20. DESPITE THIS PERSON’S OVERLY HIGH OPINION OF HIM OR HERSELF, HE OR SHE IS REALLY QUITE INTELLIGENT AND TALENTED. Meh, she’s really average, and since I’m feeling generous today, I won’t award a point for this one.
Our grand total: 16
Scoring: Five or more true answers qualifies the person as a Narcissistic Emotional Vampire, though not necessarily for a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality. If the person scores higher than ten, and is not a member of the royal family, be careful that you aren’t mistaken for one of the servants.
By ALBERT J. BERNSTEIN, Ph.D.