Subtle Signs You’re Dealing With A Grandiose Narcissist

Subtle Signs You’re Dealing With A Grandiose Narcissist

Ever encountered someone who seems a bit too full of themselves, someone who constantly needs everyone to fawn all over them?

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It might not just be a big ego; they could be exhibiting signs of grandiose narcissism. According to WebMD, this personality trait goes beyond mere confidence, involving an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy for people. Recognizing these signs can help you navigate relationships and interactions with such individuals.

1. They exaggerate their achievements and talents.

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Grandiose narcissists often embellish their accomplishments, making them seem more impressive than they actually are. They brag about their successes, exaggerate their skills, or claim to be experts in areas where they have little knowledge. This inflated self-image is a way for them to boost their ego and get admiration.

2. They crave constant admiration and attention.

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These people thrive on validation and seek constant reassurance of their superiority. They fish for compliments, seek constant praise, or become visibly upset if they don’t receive the attention they crave. They might also engage in attention-seeking behaviors, like dominating conversations or making dramatic entrances.

3. They lack empathy for other people.

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One of the most striking characteristics of grandiose narcissists is their lack of empathy. They struggle with understanding or relating to other people’s feelings, often dismissing them as unimportant. As a general rule, they’re insensitive to other people’s needs, dismissive of their concerns, or even belittle their struggles. This lack of empathy can make it difficult to form deep and meaningful connections with them.

4. They believe they’re special and unique.

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Grandiose narcissists often believe they’re better than everyone else, and that they have some kind of unique talents or insights. They might think they deserve special treatment or that the usual rules don’t apply to them. This sense of entitlement can lead to arrogant and demanding behavior, making it challenging to interact with them on an equal footing.

5. They’re preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, and beauty.

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These people often daydream about achieving great things, gaining power and influence, or being admired for their beauty or intelligence. These fantasies can fuel their ambition but can also lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment when reality doesn’t match their idealized vision of themselves.

6. They exploit and manipulate people shamelessly.

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Grandiose narcissists are not above using other people to achieve their own goals. They manipulate people, take advantage of their kindness, or use them as stepping stones to further their own ambitions. They might also engage in gaslighting or other forms of emotional manipulation to maintain control and dominance.

7. They react angrily or defensively to criticism.

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These people have a fragile ego and are easily threatened by anything they see as criticism. They might react with anger, defensiveness, or even aggression when their self-image is challenged. They might also try to discredit or belittle the person who criticizes them to maintain their sense of superiority.

8. They have a sense of entitlement.

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Grandiose narcissists believe they deserve special treatment, privileges, or recognition, even without earning it. They always expect people to cater to their needs, prioritize their desires, or bend the rules for them. This sense of entitlement can create friction in relationships and make it difficult for people to feel valued or respected.

9. They can’t handle setbacks or failures.

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Grandiose narcissists often have an unrealistic belief in their abilities and can be devastated by setbacks or failures. They blame other people, make excuses, or even deny that anything went wrong. This difficulty in accepting responsibility can hinder their personal growth and prevent them from learning from their mistakes.

10. They’re preoccupied with status and material possessions.

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These people often place a high value on status symbols and material possessions, using them to reinforce their sense of superiority. They might flaunt their wealth, brag about their expensive purchases, or associate only with people they perceive as being of high status. This preoccupation can be superficial and can alienate those who value deeper connections.

11. They’re often jealous of people.

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Despite their outward confidence, grandiose narcissists can be deeply jealous of other people’s achievements or possessions. They tend to downplay or criticize people’s successes to protect their own fragile ego. This envy can lead to resentment, bitterness, and even sabotage.

12. They have a need for control.

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Grandiose narcissists often crave control over their environment and the people around them, Verywell Mind explains. They might try to manipulate situations, dictate decisions, or impose their will on other people. This need for control can stem from a fear of vulnerability or a desire to maintain their sense of superiority.

13. They struggle to maintain long-term relationships.

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Their lack of empathy, need for admiration, and difficulty handling criticism can make it challenging for grandiose narcissists to maintain healthy, long-term relationships. They might struggle to connect with people on a deeper level, prioritize their own needs over their partners’, or become easily bored or dissatisfied when the initial excitement fades.

14. They often have a superficial charm.

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Despite their negative traits, grandiose narcissists can be initially charming and charismatic. They might be skilled at making a good first impression, using flattery, humor, or their apparent confidence to draw people in. However, this charm is often superficial and can fade as their true nature becomes more apparent.

15. They lack genuine self-awareness.

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One of the biggest challenges in dealing with grandiose narcissists is their lack of self-awareness. They often don’t recognize their own flaws or the impact of their behavior on other people. This can make it difficult to have constructive conversations or resolve conflicts, as they’re unlikely to take responsibility for their actions or make genuine efforts to change.

Harper Stanley graduated from Eugene Lang College at The New School in NYC in 2006 with a degree in Media Studies and Literature and Critical Analysis. After graduating, she worked as an editorial assistant at The Atlantic before moving to the UK to work for the London Review of Books.

When she's not waxing poetic about literature, she's writing articles about dating, relationships, and other women's lifestyle topics to help make their lives better. While shocking, she really has somehow managed to avoid joining any social media apps — a fact she's slightly smug about.