The Narcissist quiz…

Since I shot down the idea that taking a selfie is narcissistic let’s look at what a narcissist actually is! Google is a wonderful tool for getting information quickly. So I tapped into my search “what is a narcissist” and one of the top searches was this blog post written by Susan Heitler Are You a Narcissist? 6 Sure Signs of Narcissism.

Because the internet is full of people producing content it is important that we still do our due diligence on making sure the information is reliable. One of the first things I learned as a history student was to check who created the source. Turns out Susan Heitler is a Harvard graduate with a Clinical Psychology doctorate from New York University. She has also authored a clinical book for therapists called From Conflict to Resolution so that’s got to count for something right? I have a masters in history not psychology so I’m going to trust the Ph.D on this one.

What I liked about this article was the examples that she gave for each sign that described narcissistic behavior. It really helped me to understand that yes both my exes were highly narcissistic and that I am not imaging it! Here is the quiz for the six signs of narcissism. I took it for both my exes. Red is ex 1 and blue is ex 2 and purple is them both!

Sign #1:  Unilateral listening. 

What I want and what I have to say are all that matters when we talk together.  When we make decisions what you want, your concerns, your feelings..these are mere whispers, inconveniences and irrelevancies.  So when we discuss issues, my opinions are right.  Yours are wrong or else of minimal importance.  If you expect to have input, you are undermining me.    

Narcissistic listening often dismisses, negates, ignores, minimizes, denigrates or otherwise renders irrelevant other people’s concerns and comments.

One sign of narcissistic non-listening: a tone of contempt instead of interest.

Another: frequent responses that begin with “But….”, which is a backspace-delete key that negates whatever came before, in this case, what someone else has said.

Yet another: because ‘I’m right and you’re wrong,’ I tend to listen for what I don’t like in what you say so that I can respond by telling you how what you have said is wrong.

The bottom line is that what you say has very little impact on what I will think and do after we talk.  I minimize what you say, I disagree with it, or I ignore it.  I don’t hear it in the sense of adding what you say to my internal data base.

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Yup what I thought and felt had no barring on either one of them. My words just flew with the wind never to be seen again…

Sign #2  It’s all about me.

I know more, I know better, I’m more interesting,  When we talk, it’s mostly about me.  In conversations, I take up most of the air time. Almost all of my chatter is about what I have done, what I am thinking about.  

If you begin to talk about yourself, I link back to something in my life so that the focus of the discussion again turns onto me.  Maybe that’s why people say I suck up all the air in a room.

When I want something, I need to have it. Never mind how you feel about it; it’s all about me.  I’m big and important and you are merely also here, mostly to do things for me, like a third arm. 

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

What I needed to do was of no concern of my first ex. He stood in the way of anything I wanted to do. My second ex was notorious for linking all my concerns directly onto himself and made the focus all about his feelings completely ignoring mine.

Sign #3:  The rules don’t apply to me. 

I can have affairs, cut into a line where others are waiting, cheat on my taxes, and ignore rules that get in the way of my doing what I want..  Rules are for other people to follow.

Narcissists suffer from what I call Tall Man Syndrome.  They experience themselves as above others, so the rules don’t apply to them.

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Ex 1: Do not beat up on your girlfriend or go to jail… eh I’ll do it anyway and not go to jail because I am intimidating.

Ex 2: Spin helpless psych patients around in a laundry bin because I think it’s funny even though it is completely wrong… eh what’s the harm in having fun at someone else expense?

Sign #4:  Your concerns are really criticisms of me, and I hate being criticized.

If you insist on my listening and taking your concerns seriously I’m likely to get mad.  Criticism hurts.  I can criticize others, and often do, but if you criticize me you’re hurting my feelings so I’ll hurt you back.  And if you say you are at all unhappy, that’s a way of indirectly criticizing me. Since “it’s all about me” your feelings must be about what I have been doing.

Narcissists paradoxically manifest both an inflated idea of their own importance and quickness to feel deflated by negative feedback.

In addition, because they think everything is about them, they hear others’ attempts to talk about personal feelings as veiled criticisms of themselves. 

The clinical term for taking others’ concerns as personal criticism is personalizing.  E.g., If she says “I’m feeling lonely,”  her narcissistic friend will hear the self-statement as an accusation, “You don’t spend enough time with me.”

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 This one is whole my second ex… anytime I tried to talk about my feelings and concerns he took them as negatives on himself and… see sign 2… made it all about himself.

My first one did not do this particular scenario as much… see sign 1 for his superpower…but because he put his hands on me well he gets a 10 for that alone…

Now I like to break here and mention that yes that last part of this sign has me all over it. I have be known to take things as being “because of me” or the such. The number one thing I have been working on in therapy is this idea of taking things personally. In the year since I began therapy I have gotten so much better at not thinking I have anything to do with other peoples moods. The reasons for why I used to think like this are obvious… my first ex told me so… EVERYTHING was my fault… including his hitting me… sigh

Sign #5:  When things go wrong between us, it’s always your fault.

I can’t be expected to apologize or to admit blame.  I’m above others and above reproach. You shouldn’t have… . Don’t threaten me with expecting me to say how I’ve contributed to a problem or I’ll get mad at you.  

Unwillingness to take responsibility for mistakes goes hand-in-hand with quickness to blame.  This trait may come from confusing the part with the whole. “If I’ve done one thing that’s not right, then I must be all bad.”  That’s also all-or-nothing thinking.

Whatever the source of the sensitivity to criticism and difficulty admitting mistakes, the upshot is a tendency to blame others when anything has gone wrong.  Blaming and fault-finding in others feel safer to narcissists than looking to discover, learn and grow from their own part in difficulties.

While narcissists are quick to blame, they may be slow to appreciate.  Appreciation and gratitude require listening.

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10           

Ex 1: Like previously stated… everything was my fault including his abusive behaviors

Ex 2: Constant negative attitude and self pity

Sign #6:  If I’m angry, it’s your fault.

You made me mad. You didn’t listen to me.  You criticized me.  You’re trying to control me.  Your view is wrong.   So you need to apologize, not me. 

I’m not responsible either for my anger.  If I’m mad, it’s because I’m frustrated by what you are doing.  My anger is your fault. I’m only made because you … “

Some narcissists show major charm and social agility.  At the same time, these seemingly super-confident folks also can be quick to anger.  When they do become inflamed, they then immediately blame their anger on others.

What are typical anger triggers for people with narcissistic tendencies?

Critical comments will do it.  As I said above, as much as narcissistic folks see themselves as special, they also can be remarkably thin-skinned.  Any feedback that punctures their belief in total specialness can feel quite threatening. The immediate response will be to issue blame.

Telling anyone what to do, or sounding even somewhat like you are telling them what to do, also is likely to provoke irritation.  Pretty much everyone prefers autonomy (unless the two people have an agreed-upon boss-worker or similar relationship).  Narcissists however tend to be hyper-sensitive about feeling controlled.  Any request therefore to a narcissist is at risk for sounding to them like a demand and therefore triggering irritation. 

Asking someone who is narcissistic to do something your way rather than theirs is particularly likely to sound to them like you are telling them what to do.   Their anger in response, of course, is your fault.

Score: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Yeah…. my life was like walking on eggshells

The totals:

Ex 1: 60

Ex 2: 51

Results: “40 to 60 or higher would indicate to me severe problems with narcissism.”

Yup I dated a couple of narcissistic men.

Therefore, in this line of thinking the idea of “self love” and the act of simply taking a picture is not completely narcissistic. A narcissist loves themselves so much so that they see themselves above all others and treat people around them like crap.


Want a perfect example? Watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The character Dennis is over the top!


7 thoughts on “The Narcissist quiz…

  1. This was an interesting post to read. I mean that in the best possible way. I never really gave narcissism much thought until you raised it in your other post. But my God, this totally describes a few people I’ve known in my life. I think I usually just called them self-serving, self-centered a-holes. Pardon my colorful language… and I held back a little. LOL.

    It is amazing, though, how these people, who obviously have a problem, make us feel like we are to blame for everything and we don’t matter… which in turn, gives us a problem! Most people seem to assume that someone who struggles to love him/herself has that struggle because of weakness or negativity or other such things. But in reality, I’m willing to bet that most people who don’t have self-love (or not enough) were not born that way. They were made by external sources. Probably the same ones who now fault us for our struggle to love ourselves.

    Love your posts — they are always thought provoking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colorful language away! And yea one of my pet peeves is when people throw around terms to describe behaviors without actually knowing what they are talking about. That is what got me going in the last post. Plus the more I learn about these different personality types the less I blame myself the faster I heal. Amazing how much we soak up from how others treat us.

      Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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