Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…30 Traits of a Narcissist.

Via Alex Myles
on Jun 5, 2015
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Mirror, mirror on the wall…the narcissist wants to be fairest of them all.

I often consider the narcissist personality as being similar to the Jekyll and Hyde character, two opposing sides of a scale that never finds an equilibrium. When involved with a narcissist, there never seems to be any balance.

Relationships or dealings with people who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder can have an enormous impact on our well-being due to the toxic amount of energy that these interactions can produce.

The narcissist is skilled at trickery and a master of deception and they will always manage to find the right angle to twist the finger to point the blame away from themselves, so that those around them are held accountable for any wrong doings.

The narcissist personality type is often seen as being associated with vanity and self-absorption, however the full extent of the characteristics that associate with this type of person are far more extreme.

Like with most things, there is a spectrum. Some will have mild symptoms of narcissism, others will align and identify strongly.

I believe that the majority of us carry some traits of the narcissistic personality type. Mainly because we aren’t always able or willing to see the full truth of who we are within. We push ourselves, build ourselves up and often the opinions we have of ourselves are a little unrealistic and don’t fully align with our authentic selves.

Although a narcissist is thought of as being “in love with them selves,” it is more often the case that they are only in love with the idyllic image of themselves they perceive and wish was the truth.

Deep down within a narcissist can live self-destructive and crippling self-doubt coupled with extremely low self-esteem.

A narcissist is often the child of narcissistic parents, who may have built up their esteem by telling the child how special, amazing and gifted they are and how they would go on to do great things—but then offered no solid foundations or stability from where the child could function.

A narcissist’s parents will often have been so wrapped up in themselves they will only have paid attention to the child when it suited their needs. So, the child swings from very little love and attention to the opposite, receiving love and attention in abundance, usually to the parent’s benefit and the child’s detriment.

The narcissist personality type takes on a grandiose opinion of their self, often seeing themselves as superior and far better than others. They often have very big personalities due to their superior belief about themselves and can be very magnetic and charming at times. This is so they are capable of captivating others so that they are capable of manipulating others for their own needs.

The beginning of a relationship with a narcissist can feel like an addictive and intoxicating fairy tale with the narcissist playing the role of the charming prince or princess and their partner being completely swept off their feet. Narcissists will fall into (what appears to be) love and want to commit very quickly, however, as time passes and their partner starts to see the truth of what’s within, problems can quickly arise as the relationship begins to break down.

If the partner of a narcissist tries to address the issues, the narcissists will go into meltdown and complete denial, often attacking their partner with accusations in a poor attempt at defending themselves, or go for the vulnerable sensitive approach. A narcissist will always be correct, so getting into any kind of debate, argument or dialogue where faults are concerned will most often prove futile.

When it comes to right or wrong, a narcissist has an impulsive desire to ensure they are right regardless of the cost. If being right costs them friends, family or relationships, they will most often suffer the consequences of the loss rather than admit to being wrong. However, they will put up a defensive and destructive battle of wills beforehand.

A narcissist will basically role-play and respond in whatever manipulative manner that garners the best response. If they are up against a strong, determined and independent person they will move into the role of a sensitive, loving, caring and vulnerable character. If they interact with a codependent personality type, they will likely move into the role of aggressor.

There can be confusion when identifying a narcissist, as it is very healthy to have self-love, self-worth, to have our own desires, wants and needs and also to value our selves highly.

However, when these things derive from an internally wounded place, one of self-loathing, low self-esteem and deep-rooted insecurities that have not been addressed and when someone needs other people’s admiration and validation to make themselves feel good, this is when the narcissist personality arises.

Everyone likes to feel as though they are important and worthy, but the narcissist has an unrealistic perception of themselves, and they require other people to constantly boost and validate their opinions so that their feelings of worthiness remain at an elevated height.

If they do not meet with regular approval or if they are criticised, they will be sure to speak loudly and make their perceived self-worth known.

A narcissist will drain the other person of their energy. Like a vampire they will suck the life from their partner so that they are weak and far easier to manipulate. All the energy that is taken will boost the narcissist’s ego and their own energy levels. This suits the narcissist as it keeps them firmly where they need to sit, high above looking down.

They will often verbally attack another person using insults and put-downs to make them feel confused and disoriented so that others surrender easily and this keeps the illusion strong in the narcissist’s mind that they are the more powerful and significantly better person.

A narcissist will try to keep their opponent deep within the chaos so that they remain submerged and willing to tend to their needy attention seeking and demanding requests.

Knowledge is power; the more we know about a condition the more likelihood we have of understanding it and dealing with it. That is when we are in a position to take all the steps necessary to protect and prepare ourselves so that the narcissist can no longer keep us tangled and cocooned in their sticky and endlessly spun web of lies.

If closure is something that is sought after it can often be difficult to achieve when dealing with a narcissist as they will beg, plead, persuade, charm and use every trick in the book to place the other person back into the safety of their web.

A relationship with a narcissist can be emotionally distressing, feeling like a roller coaster going from one extreme to the next. When a narcissist is receiving all the attention then things will be great for them and they will be at their happiest, but as soon as this diminishes they will quickly manipulate the situation and may play the role of charmer, or even an aggressor.

If there are any concerns for emotional or physical safety, it is always best to seek help, either together or separately.

A relationship or interaction with a narcissist is an illusion, as nothing with a narcissist is actually as it seems. Their inner truth remains deeply hidden and they will only reveal what they carefully choose to show. The key is to understand why the connection has taken place, recognise why the attraction was so strong and learn as much about a narcissistic personality as possible so that informative decisions can be made about the current relationship and also to be wary of falling into another one again.

Disclaimer: For anyone who feels that they need further information or help for themselves, or for someone they know, there is more information to be found below. This is just a basic outline of the personality type and there is help available for more detailed explanations or support.

For those who have been affected by a relationship with a narcissist, try not to feel responsible for their behaviour or feel foolish for not seeing signs sooner. A narcissist has often developed magnetising qualities and a seductive charm as they need these things in order to ensure the mask they wear is never questioned or removed.

A game of manipulation has been played and the only way to end the game is to regain self-confidence and take back control.

Some key traits to recognising a narcissist are:

Inflated self-perception
Creates drama/over dramatic
Likes to be in the spotlight
Exaggerates their achievements
Requires constant admiration
Takes advantage of others
Compulsive liar
Cannot deal with criticism
Gets hurt easily
Extremely jealous
Appear strong on the surface
Desire for power
Difficulty understanding other people’s emotions
Lack empathy
Need control
Needy Behaviour
Centre of attention
Highly Dominant
Attention seeking

Further Information:

Narcissist Personality Disorder

Narcissist Support Group



A Narcissist & an Empath Walk Into a Bar: Understanding the Dynamic of Abuse.


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Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Photos: Matteo Bagnoli/Flickr


About Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. To purchase Alex’s paperback book or ebook please click here or click here to connect with her on Facebook, or click here to join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people to connect.


61 Responses to “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…30 Traits of a Narcissist.”

  1. metoo says:

    Agree. The more I read about narcissism the more I realise I have some of these traits. I believe it has a lot to do with having an abusive narcissist father and being raised in a way very reminiscent of what is mentioned above – emotional neglect interspersed with brief periods of high praise for my musical and academic achievements. Unsurprisingly, I now crave constant positive attention and validation in order to maintain any sense of self worth. My current partner is incredibly supportive and I hate myself sometimes for draining his energy and it often seems I give him little in return. It would be nice to have more said about how people with these traits are often survivors of abuse and/or neglect and more suggestions for how they can help themselves.

  2. Guest says:

    It sounds like you may also be dealing with verbal/emotional abuse. The book The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans might be of assistance. It really opened up my eyes to what goes on behind the scenes in an abusive man's mind….and explained why so many women feel crazy and misunderstood when they're in such relationships.

  3. Debbie says:

    Be strong, get out as soon as you can. You only have so many precious minutes left on this planet. Don't waste them. You deserve happiness.

  4. Your little firefly says:

    And I have a narc mother. Once she asked me what I wanted from her' when I said: " why can't younjust be my mother?", she still twosted it about her' pulled a checking book and asked me how much money I wanted from her, when I said none and stopped responding to her rants' she pretended to have a heart attack, called my father and played the whole victim role and blaming me for giving her a heart attack. Obviously when I wanted to call an ambulance or take her to the hospital, she refused, instead, threw me out of the house" to this day, 20 years later' she still hangs up on me whenever we have a comversation on the phone, tries to turn my husband against me, and gives me money after we have a fight. It does not moatter if I do something or nothing' if I say something or nothing' she will make up her own version of what I said' do, or didn't say and fights. I am always the bad daughter and she is always dissapointed with me' my brother is without any flaws. Every time we have family dinner I am belittled and she is the star of the night. I am most happy when we don't communicate' it is horrible to say that, but I do not like my mother and would love to cut all ties' only guilt keeps us together.

  5. SHARLENE cooper says:

    So cool dat you posted, I feel like I’m surrounded by a NARC family, everyone except my late father esp. my ex boyfriend.My father was an angel. I practise vipassana meditation to heal and gonna start iyengar yoga n naturopathy for strength n self confidence. Good luck! M on Facebook in case u wanna be friends. Great article n website.

  6. Helpless says:

    I moved out 6 months ago away from my boyfriend of 10 years. All you said has happened in my case I can not seem to find closure. I have moved on just enough that I'm seeing myself surely becoming my old self again and stronger. But, I can't stop thinking of him. I know he's doing everything that you stated in your comments. The other day he even snarkily threw it in my face how i had for 10 years had been saying he was so mean to me. That I should be happier now that I don't have to go thru anymore of that. Of course all he is saying is not what he means. He's just being mean. He believes he has done nothing wrong. — And I know he slanders me. — My problem now is ..how do I just shut the door and just quit all contact. I.e. texting, calling or social media contact. Which all are started by me. He doesn't contact me. I just want to quit feeling sorry for him and wanting to make sure he's okay. Even still with all those years …then I went into severe depression, he made me feel like i was worthless and didn't even deserve to live. – but, i still want to contact him. It's just wrong. Just wrong how I still care.

  7. Diane says:

    Exhale, finallt.thank you all and especially for this article. I'm not crazy.exhale.finally.

  8. Deborah says:

    It has been almost 14 years now since leaving my narcissistic ex-husband. I continue to have times that I feel humiliated and so fooled by him that I can hardly keep my head up. These charmers are difficult to get out of your head! Fortunately we had no children together, and I can definitely sympathize with those of you who are trying to raise your children within the narcissist’s web. I learned in my own situation that I had to stop all communication, blocking email and Facebook accounts, changing my phone number, and alerting security where I worked. For the first year after I left, my ex-husband moved in to the same apartment complex as I, approximately 300 yards from my apartment, and proceeded to stalk me. Eventually he moved away, but I would get a phone call every few years or so through my work number (State employment, public access) just to see how I was “getting along”. My best suggestion seems to be — don’t ask any questions about him or his family or his children. If he asks about you, tell him you are fine, but don’t ask him about himself. Remain calm, don’t feed him any fuel. Best wishes.

  9. Jack says:

    You know what's funny? These "traits of a narcissist" also match that of a confident and driven man. Is it possible that articles such as these cater to women that were hurt by a confident/driven man and label them as having an actual mental health disorder? If "gas lighting" is never taking personal responsibility and labeling others as "crazy" isn't that exactly what women who read these articles are doing?

  10. Brenda says:

    You are so right. I just got out of a 5 month long relationship with a narcissist and it had me so down and low and even now 4 months later Im still torn over it,,,,they have no real feelings inside them but they sure know how to make you fall in love with them and quickly. He was always saying all he wanted from me was my heart then after he got it and I finally stopped the money flow then he no longer needed me in his life so he starts ignoring me and acting like him and I were never together and like he doesnt even know me. I told him I loved him and all he could say was " I cant help how you feel" very coldly too, and that was the end of that,,,,he wont speak to me or even acknowledge my existance!! Sad people are like that,,,,one side of him is so good and lovable (seemin
    gly) but the other,,,WOW!!

  11. robin says:

    I know that by leaving my husband of almost 4 years was really hard, its hard just leaving his family.. I have grown to love his children and grandchildren…. Hes had an affair with the same women at least the last 3year , glad shes got him, makes it so much easier even though we live close… she more than welcome to all that narcissist controling man, and like his family said, once she wont give him any money, he will be on to his next victim…