If you notice these 8 signs, you’re dealing with a seasoned narcissist

Navigating the world of relationships can be tricky, especially when you encounter a narcissist. These individuals are masters of deception, with their grandiose self-view often masking a deep-seated insecurity.

Now, as Tina Fey, founder of Love Connection blog and your go-to relationship guru, I’ve been around the block a few times and I know the tell-tale signs of a seasoned narcissist.

Recognizing these signs early on can save you a great deal of emotional distress. So, if you’re noticing these 8 signs, you could very well be dealing with a seasoned narcissist.

Let’s delve into it, shall we?

1) They love the spotlight

In the grand theater of life, a seasoned narcissist always sees themselves as the star. The rest of us? Merely supporting characters.

Narcissists have an insatiable appetite for attention and admiration. They thrive on being the center of everyone’s universe. It’s not just about wanting to be liked or appreciated – it’s about being adored, admired, and constantly in the limelight.

You might notice this behavior in social settings. They’re the ones dominating conversations, constantly turning the focus back onto themselves. It doesn’t matter if it’s your birthday party or a funeral – a narcissist will find a way to steal the show.

It’s important to remember that while everyone likes a bit of attention now and then, with narcissists it’s a constant need. It’s not about sharing in joy or sorrow – it’s about them, always.

So if you find yourself constantly overshadowed, you might be dealing with a seasoned narcissist. This is your first red flag. Keep those eyes peeled for more signs.

2) They lack empathy

As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve met my fair share of narcissists in my lifetime. And one thing they all had in common was a distinct lack of empathy.

Narcissists struggle to put themselves in other people’s shoes. This isn’t because they’re incapable of understanding how others feel. It’s just that they’re so wrapped up in themselves that they simply don’t bother to consider anyone else’s perspective.

It can be extremely hurtful, especially when you’re sharing something personal or vulnerable, only to be met with indifference or, worse, complete disregard.

Remember the wise words of Stephen Covey: “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it.” But with a narcissist, that exchange of positive energy is often one-sided.

So if your feelings are frequently dismissed or overlooked, it’s another sign you could be dealing with a seasoned narcissist.

3) They’re overly critical

In my years of experience, I’ve noticed that narcissists have a knack for finding fault in others. It’s as if they have a sixth sense for honing in on your insecurities, and they aren’t shy about exploiting them.

This isn’t your garden-variety constructive criticism. It’s incessant nitpicking, belittling, and undermining – all designed to make them feel superior.

I’ve seen this pattern time and time again. It’s toxic, and it can be incredibly damaging to your self-esteem.

In my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I delve into how you can protect yourself from this kind of emotional abuse.

Remember, nobody has the right to make you feel less than. If someone is constantly criticising you and reducing your self-worth, it’s a clear sign that you might be dealing with a seasoned narcissist.

4) They’re charming… at first

Here’s a twist you might not expect – narcissists can be incredibly charming. Yes, you read that right.

When you first meet a seasoned narcissist, they’ll often put on the charm offensive. They’re charismatic, engaging, and seem to take a genuine interest in you. It’s all part of their strategy to draw you into their world.

But don’t be fooled. This charm is typically short-lived and serves a purpose – to win you over and make you more susceptible to their manipulative tactics later on.

As the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold.” So if someone seems too good to be true, they probably are. This sudden shift from charm to criticism is another surefire sign of a seasoned narcissist.

5) They never take responsibility

Ah, the blame game. If I had a nickel for every time a narcissist dodged responsibility, well, let’s just say I’d be writing this from a beach in the Bahamas.

Narcissists have a knack for avoiding accountability. They’re masters at shifting blame and twisting narratives to suit their needs. It’s never their fault, it’s always someone else’s.

Whether it’s a failed project at work or a disagreement in a relationship, a seasoned narcissist will always find a way to point the finger at someone else, even if they were clearly in the wrong.

So, if you find yourself constantly being blamed for things you didn’t do or feeling guilty for situations you didn’t cause, you might be dealing with a seasoned narcissist. Trust me, I’ve been there before and it’s not a fun place to be.

6) They’re emotionally abusive

Let’s not mince words here – dealing with a seasoned narcissist can be downright emotionally abusive.

They use a range of tactics, from gaslighting (making you question your own reality) to love bombing (overwhelming you with affection and praise, only to withdraw it later), all designed to control and manipulate you.

This emotional abuse can leave you feeling confused, anxious, and even doubting your own worth. It’s a dark place to be in, and no one deserves to experience such treatment.

Remember, it’s not you. It’s them. Their inability to respect and value you is their failing, not yours. If you’re experiencing this kind of emotional turmoil, it’s a glaring sign that you’re dealing with a seasoned narcissist.

7) They’re excessively envious

There’s a green-eyed monster lurking in every narcissist. Yes, I’m talking about envy.

A seasoned narcissist doesn’t just want to be the best – they want to be the only one at the top. So when someone else is successful or happy, they may become excessively envious, often belittling others’ accomplishments to soothe their own insecurities.

This is something I’ve witnessed firsthand. It’s a toxic trait that not only harms their relationships with others but also prevents them from finding genuine happiness in their own lives.

As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” But for a narcissist, comparison often fuels their desire for superiority. So if you’re dealing with someone who constantly belittles your achievements and seems excessively envious, it’s another sign of a seasoned narcissist.

8) They exploit others without remorse

This is the harsh reality – a seasoned narcissist will exploit others without a shred of remorse.

Narcissists view people as tools to get what they want. Whether it’s for personal gain, power, or control, they won’t hesitate to use others to achieve their goals.

It’s not just about stepping on others to climb the ladder. It’s about not caring who they hurt in the process. This disregard for the feelings and well-being of others is one of the most damaging aspects of narcissism.

If you find yourself being used, manipulated, or treated as an expendable resource, it’s a clear signal that you’re dealing with a seasoned narcissist. Remember, you deserve respect and kindness, not exploitation.


Dealing with a seasoned narcissist can be emotionally draining. But remember, recognizing these signs is your first step towards protecting yourself.

If you’ve identified these traits in someone you know, it’s crucial to set boundaries and seek support, both for your own mental health and your overall well-being.

In my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I provide more insights and practical tips on how to navigate relationships with narcissists.

Remember, you deserve respect, love, and kindness. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise. Stay strong, my friends. You’ve got this.

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