If you display these 10 behaviors, you’re being narcissistic without realizing it

Have you ever met someone who can’t stop talking about themselves?

The kind of person who loves being the center of attention?

That’s what a narcissist is like.

But what if you’re acting like one without even knowing it?

Don’t worry, we’re not here to point fingers. We all have room to grow and learn.

So, before you leave, let’s explore 10 behaviors that could mean you’re being a bit narcissistic without realizing it.

It might feel a little uncomfortable, but remember, understanding ourselves is the first step to becoming better.

1. You Always Want to Be the Center of Attention

Do you find yourself feeling a little peeved when you’re not in the spotlight?

If you’re at a gathering, are you the one dominating conversations, making sure all eyes are on you?

Narcissists crave attention and validation from others.

They feel compelled to be the star of the show, and they aren’t exactly thrilled when someone else takes center stage.

It’s perfectly okay to enjoy being noticed and to take pride in your accomplishments.

But if you find that you’re constantly seeking approval, or if you’re unable to let others shine because it makes you feel less important, you might be displaying a bit of narcissism.

Remember, everyone deserves their moment in the sun. Try stepping back sometimes and let others bask in the glow too.

It doesn’t diminish your own worth – in fact, it can make you a more empathetic and well-rounded person!

2. You Don’t Acknowledge Other’s Feelings

Here’s another sign – you brush off other people’s feelings as if they’re not important.

You might find yourself interrupting others when they’re sharing their feelings, or maybe you dismiss their emotions as unimportant, insignificant, or over-dramatic.

This lack of empathy is a common trait in narcissists.

Sure, we all get a bit wrapped up in our own world sometimes.

But if you consistently fail to recognize that other people also have valid feelings and experiences, this could be a sign of narcissistic behavior.

Try to take a step back and really listen when someone else is speaking.

Show that you care by acknowledging their feelings, even if you don’t fully understand them.

You might just discover a whole new level of connection and understanding with the people around you. 

3. You Often Feel Envious of Others

Ever found yourself feeling a twinge of envy when a friend receives praise or achieves something great?

I remember when my best friend landed an amazing job, while I was still stuck in a role I didn’t like.

Instead of feeling purely happy for her, I felt a pang of jealousy.

This isn’t a comfortable thing to admit, but it’s important to recognize.

Narcissists often struggle with feelings of envy. They find it hard to celebrate others’ successes without feeling resentful or less than.

It’s natural to sometimes feel envious, but if it’s a constant pattern and you struggle to feel genuine happiness for others, this could be a sign of narcissistic behavior.

The good news?

Once I recognized this trait in myself, I started consciously working on it.

Now, instead of dwelling on my feelings of jealousy, I use them as motivation to push myself further and celebrate the achievements of others wholeheartedly.

It’s a journey, but acknowledging it is the first step. 

4. You Tend to Hold Grudges

Narcissists are renowned for holding grudges and being unable to forgive and forget.

If someone hurts them or doesn’t meet their high expectations, they might hold onto that resentment for a long time, even over relatively minor issues.

Narcissists are more likely to hold grudges, primarily because they believe they’re more deserving of better treatment and have a harder time forgiving when they feel that’s been violated.

But holding onto anger only harms you in the end.

Being able to forgive, on the other hand, is associated with better physical health, psychological well-being, and stronger relationships.

So next time you feel wronged, try to let go of the grudge and move forward. It’s healthier for you in the long run. 

5. You Struggle to Show Genuine Vulnerability

Opening up and showing our true selves, warts and all, can be incredibly tough. For narcissists, it can be almost impossible.

They often put up a wall, projecting an image of perfection and invulnerability to hide any insecurities or shortcomings.

If you find it hard to admit when you’re wrong, ask for help, or share your fears and insecurities with others, you might be displaying a narcissistic trait.

But remember this: it’s okay to not have it all together all the time. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is not weakness – it’s the birthplace of connection. It’s where friendships deepen, love blossoms, and understanding grows.

So when you feel scared to open up, take a deep breath and remember that showing your true self, imperfections and all, is the bravest thing you can do.

6. You Have a Hard Time Admitting Mistakes

There was a time when I found it incredibly difficult to admit when I was wrong.

Whether it was a minor mistake at work or a misunderstanding with a friend, acknowledging that I had messed up felt like the end of the world.

Narcissists often struggle to admit their mistakes.

It’s a blow to their ego, a crack in their carefully constructed image of perfection.

If you find it hard to say “I was wrong” or “I made a mistake,” you might be showing signs of narcissistic behavior.

But here’s the thing – we all make mistakes. It’s part of being human!

The important part is learning from them and using those experiences to grow.

Once I realized this and started owning my mistakes, it felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders.

It’s not an easy shift to make, but trust me, it’s worth it!

7. You Often Feel Superior to Others

Do you often find yourself looking down on others?

Do you feel a sense of superiority, like you’re just a bit better, a bit smarter, or a bit more deserving than everyone else around you?

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but this is a classic sign of narcissism.

We all have moments of pride, where we feel top of the world.

But if you constantly see yourself as superior and others as inferior, it’s time for some serious self-reflection.

This isn’t about beating yourself up, though. It’s about acknowledging that we’re all human– flawed, complex, and beautiful in our own unique ways.

Nobody is inherently better or worse than anyone else. We all have something valuable to bring to the table.

8. You Manipulate Others to Get What You Want

Do you often find yourself subtly manipulating situations or people to get your way?

Narcissists are known for their masterful manipulation skills.

They’re adept at twisting situations, bending truths, and using others’ emotions to their advantage.

Narcissists are more likely to engage in manipulative behavior to maintain their self-esteem and get what they want.

Manipulation isn’t just unfair; it erodes trust and damages relationships.

If you find yourself manipulating others to get your way, it might be time to take a step back and reassess.

Remember, healthy relationships are built on respect, honesty, and mutual understanding.

Try to communicate openly about your needs and wants instead of resorting to manipulation.

You’ll find that it leads to better, more satisfying connections with others. 

9. You Struggle to Receive Criticism

I used to struggle big time with criticism.

Whether it was constructive feedback at work or a friendly suggestion from a loved one, my defenses would immediately shoot up.

I took every critique as a personal attack, a challenge to my worth.

This is a common trait among narcissists. They see criticism as an attack on their self-image and respond with defensiveness or even aggression.

But here’s what I learned: criticism isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it can be incredibly helpful. It offers us a different perspective and helps us grow and improve.

Once I started viewing criticism as an opportunity for growth, rather than an attack, it became much easier to handle. 

10. You Rarely Show Genuine Gratitude

When was the last time you genuinely said thank you? Not a casual or obligatory thanks, but a heartfelt expression of gratitude?

Narcissists often struggle with this. They believe they are entitled to everything they receive, so they rarely feel the need to express genuine appreciation.

If you find that you’re always on the receiving end but seldom take the time to genuinely thank people for their efforts or kindness, it’s time for a reality check.

No one is an island; we all rely on others in various ways.

Expressing gratitude isn’t just about acknowledging someone else’s kindness; it also helps us stay grounded and appreciate what we have.

Gratitude is a powerful thing. It deepens relationships, fosters positivity, and improves mental health.

So try to make a habit of saying thank you – and really mean it. It can make a world of difference to both you and the person you’re thanking!


We all have some of these traits to varying degrees; it’s part of being human.

The goal isn’t to beat yourself up over them, but rather to acknowledge them and work on them.

After all, recognizing our flaws is the first step towards growing and becoming better versions of ourselves!

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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