You can recognize a narcissist by the self-importance, the arrogance, the lack of regard for other people, and the way they make you feel used.
The subtle destructive effect that narcissists have on the people around them makes it easy for them to slip under the radar. You may not realize that a loved one is a narcissist, either because they hide it well or because you're so used to dealing with their dysfunctional behavior that you now see it as "normal." However, if you look closer, you'll see past the facade and see them for who they really are, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, fickle, manipulative, controlling, and jealous people who have a toxic influence on your life. Here are a few signs to watch out for in your loved ones that could reveal if they tend to be narcissistic.
Narcissists, deep down on the inside, believe that they are entitled to everything they desire. They believe that everyone else should be concerned about pleasing them and making them happy, and they know how to turn on the charm whenever they want something from others. They use that same charm on you, and you find yourself agreeing to the things they say because they make their requests sound so reasonable. However, they are also playing on your fear that you will seem unkind or cruel to refuse them, especially since they asked you so nicely.
It is hard for narcissists to value you for the person you are, and they find it hard to love you or be there for you in times when you need them and are weak and vulnerable. They feel uncomfortable when they see someone in need because they only care about getting their own needs met, and if you cannot cater to them, then they have no use for you. You can identify a narcissist by the way they desert you when you're in need.
One of the reasons why narcissists often come across as extremely negative and pessimistic people is because they feel deeply inadequate and insecure, so much so that they don't know how to deal with it. Instead of addressing their deeper issues, they try to feel better about themselves by making other people feeling equally inadequate and insecure so that they're not alone in their misery. That's why they never have a kind thing to say or are always finding reasons to make you feel bad about yourself.
Narcissists lack a basic sense of empathy, and they are often unable to understand other people's problems because they believe that their own problems are so much more important. If you ever try to open up about your struggles to a narcissist, hoping for a sympathetic ear to your problems, you'll find yourself receiving quite the opposite in fact. Instead of listening to you, they may make you feel worse by talking about how what they're going through is so much worse and looking to you for sympathy instead.
One of the most powerful weapons in the hands of a narcissist is guilt. They know exactly how to play the victim and make the people around them feel bad to the point where they're willing to do anything to make the narcissist happy. A narcissistic loved one will play with your emotions, taking offense at the littlest things and making you feel like you're a terrible person every time you do something that they don't like. They attempt to pit people against each other or stir up conflict just to spread negativity.
It may sound like a cliché, but narcissists truly do love to make everything about themselves. They love the spotlight and do their best to ensure that wherever they go they are the center of attention. Their world revolves around them, and their lack of empathy makes them think that everyone else's worlds should also revolve around them, so you may often find a narcissist trying to take credit for things you've done or for stealing your thunder in your happiest moments. They may even try to deliberately sabotage you so that they can take center stage.
Narcissists feel entitled to everything they want, so they don't know how to take "No" for an answer. They may invite themselves over at inconvenient times, borrow your stuff and never return it, ask you for money that they never repay, or read your messages over your shoulder and think nothing of it. They may make jokes at your expense or offer unsolicited advice even when you ask them to stop because they don't know how to respect you.