How To Recognize A Narcissist And Avoid Falling Under His Spell

Everyone you interact with is going to fall somewhere on the continuum of egotistical, but as some of us know more painfully than others, there are those guys who go above and beyond the norm. Here’s how to recognize if you’ve got a true cluster-b narcissistic personality type on your hands and if so, how to keep your guard up against his superficial charm.

  1. He might be lying but you just can’t tell. So, let’s be clear. He definitely lies, but it’s so hard to pin it down. He will always have a quick response if you try to check him, an excuse or alibi, or simply laugh it off. He may flat out say something didn’t happen when you’re pretty sure or even completely confident it did. Gaslighting is a big red flag and I suggest you keep receipts and cut him off if he can’t own up to his stories.
  2. He doesn’t respect boundaries. He may seem super uninhibited and spontaneous at first, but don’t confuse being laid-back with a complete lack of regard for authority and morals. He’s not carefree because he’s unencumbered by the status quo, he just doesn’t care. And he won’t care about you either so save yourself the heartache and walk away.
  3. He seems to get along with everyone but doesn’t. Superficial charm is just that: shallow and surface-level only. He may engage in quick banter and be able to get away with some of his lies, but if you look closer, he doesn’t seem to actually like anyone and may challenge peers and authority in his life. If he does get along with someone, it’s only because of what they can do for him, how they make him look, or someone seemingly harmless to his fake façade and gullible enough to believe him continually. Just know that if he appears to be at odds with a lot of people in his life (or express an issue with them while acting differently in their face), the kindness he extends to you is likely temporary and you’ll make it to the other side of his good graces along with the others soon enough.
  4. He never admits fault. All his exes are crazy. His former bosses were jerks and he was always wrongfully terminated. The police targeted and had it out for him. It’s never actually him, though. He does no wrong. And if you ever disagree with him, he won’t be wrong then either. This extreme lack of accountability is something you don’t want in your life so leave him to be “perfect” for someone else.
  5. He doesn’t take care of his responsibilities. I already mentioned he doesn’t care about anything (other than himself), right? Yeah, so he doesn’t care about what he “should” be doing in life, either. This is a guy who may have unclaimed children floating around and debts that are just racking up late fees and going into collections. He’s basically above the law and these are all somebody else’s problems. Just know that he, also, should be somebody else’s problem and not your responsibility to fix.
  6. He uses people. Everything he does has an agenda. It’s all a means to an end for him. If you don’t serve his interests, you’re useless to him and he will kick you to the curb fast. If it doesn’t gain him importance, reputation, or money, it’s a waste of his attention and efforts. He will ruthlessly bombard people to get what he wants and family, so-called friends, even his own children are not off-limits. If you don’t want to be taken advantage of only to possibly be left in the dust without an explanation whenever he’s done with you, I suggest you beat him to the chase and go missing (from his life) without a trace.
  7. He plays the victim. He’s going to try to reel you in with some sob story, which is also going to be his longstanding excuse for why he is how he is. What you need to know is everyone has a past and it’s not a valid reason for not evolving as a human being. It’s also a little inappropriate and weird to lead a relationship with someone by revealing extremely personal details. If he tells too much too soon, I’d keep your guard up.
  8. He may have an alcohol/drug problem. As inflated of an ego he may appear to have on the outside, he’s actually miserable within. Substance use will help him mask his internal struggle with self-esteem. Getting close to someone with unhealthy coping mechanisms who also doesn’t want to change can only lead to codependency on your end. Don’t drown yourself trying to save him.
  9. He flat out says he’s one. On the outside, he appears confident and in control. He will act like he’s is proud of being a narcissist and may readily advertise this. Don’t laugh it off and act like it’s a joke because to him it’s not. Believe him and leave the door behind you closed when you see yourself out.
I’m Cara, not to be confused with Carrie, although you could say I’m a Millennial Bradshaw of sorts. Pop culture connoisseur. Lover of all things creative and passionate about health and personal well-being. Follow me on IG @cara_vale_writer