9 Classic Signs of Narcissism

Sarah McMahon
6 min readJan 12, 2020
Photo courtesy of Pexels

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus is a book by Dr. John Gray, that “provides a practical and proven way for men and women to improve their communication by acknowledging the differences between their needs, desires, and behaviors.” Obviously, men and women are different. In a past, toxic relationship, I bought this book to help me figure out what was going wrong. Was I simply bad at communicating? It seemed that most of our arguments stemmed from poor communication, and I assumed, as many women do, that our problems were my fault.

I believe now that I was simply dating a narcissist. And in fact, I’m probably drawn to narcissists, like most people are. Men are almost 40% more likely to be narcissists than women, and narcissistic men are more likely than anyone to gain leadership roles or positions of power. Narcissists are often very charismatic, sure of themselves, and are masters at making positive impressions. As an empathetic person, I’m easily seduced by narcissists, drawn to their charm, and easily manipulated by their wants and desires. Or I was, until I figured this out. Below are nine signs of a narcissist. These are all character traits I’ve experienced first-hand. Once you know the signs, they are far easier to spot. *Fair warning.*

1. Controlling the Conversation

Narcissists loves to talk about themselves, and they’ll redirect the conversation back to them any chance they get. If you’re talking for “too long,” they’ll make it known that you’re boring them. One guy I briefly dated actually said, in a joking manner, “how long is this story going to take?” Only, I hadn’t been talking more than a minute, and if I were to rib him back, he’d become immediately defensive. Which brings me to point number two.

2. Huge Ego, and Easily Offended

The narcissist will have no problem making fun of others, but as soon as the teasing gets personal, they’ll become easily offended. For empathetic people like me, this tactic usually works because the last thing we want is to hurt someone’s feelings. Large egos and an inflated sense of self-importance are usually pretty clear signs of narcissism, but to really test someone, see how they respond to light teasing. A normal person won’t take a light-hearted joke personally, but…

Sarah McMahon

Blogger | Poet | Freelancer | Ultra Runner IG: @mcmountain email: sarahrose.writer@gmail.com