If you recognize these 9 behaviors, you’re dealing with a high-level narcissist

Navigating the world of personalities can be a minefield. Especially when it comes to dealing with a high-level narcissist.

The difference here lies in the depth of their self-absorption. A high-level narcissist isn’t just full of themselves, they’re practically drowning in their own reflection.

Spotting a high-level narcissist isn’t always easy, but there are certain behaviors that give them away. Sharp eyes and a keen sense of observation can help you pinpoint these traits and navigate your interactions more effectively.

Now, let’s dive into the 9 behaviors that scream “high-level narcissist”. 

1) Grandiosity

High-level narcissists are not just confident, they’re grandiose.

They have an inflated sense of self-importance that goes beyond healthy self-esteem. They believe they’re superior, special, and unique, often without the accomplishments to back up such beliefs.

This grandiosity isn’t just evident in how they perceive themselves but also in how they present themselves to the world. They have a knack for making everything about them seem larger than life.

Their stories are always the most interesting, their problems are always the most pressing, and their accomplishments always overshadow everyone else’s.

If you notice this behavior, you’re likely dealing with a high-level narcissist. Recognizing this trait can be key to understanding how to navigate your interactions with them effectively.

2) Lack of Empathy

In my personal experience, one of the most glaring signs of a high-level narcissist is their lack of empathy.

I once knew someone who could turn any conversation into a monologue about their own life. When I tried to share my own experiences or feelings, there was no recognition, no understanding, and certainly no empathy.

For example, once when I was going through a tough breakup, this person didn’t comfort me or offer words of support. Instead, they launched into a long story about their own past heartbreaks, completely disregarding my feelings and my need for comfort at the time.

This clear lack of empathy is often a telling sign that you’re dealing with a high-level narcissist.

3) Constant Need for Admiration

High-level narcissists have a constant need for admiration. They crave attention and praise from others, and often go to great lengths to obtain it.

This is because narcissists have a fragile sense of self-esteem. Despite their grandiose exterior, they require constant validation to bolster their self-image.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a persistent need for excessive admiration is one of the key criteria for diagnosing Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

If you notice this behavior in someone, it’s a strong indicator that you’re dealing with a high-level narcissist.

4) Sense of Entitlement

High-level narcissists often display a strong sense of entitlement. They believe they deserve special treatment and that the world should revolve around their needs and desires.

They expect others to cater to them, and become impatient or angry when they don’t get what they want. They may demand respect without earning it, and believe that rules or social norms don’t apply to them.

This sense of entitlement can make it challenging to deal with them, as they often disregard the feelings and needs of others.

Recognizing this behavior can help you manage your interactions with a high-level narcissist more effectively.

5) Exploitative Behavior

Another key characteristic of high-level narcissists is their tendency to exploit others. They often use people around them to achieve their own goals, without any regard for the feelings or wellbeing of those they exploit.

They may manipulate, deceive, or even bully others to get what they want. Their relationships are typically one-sided, where they receive all the benefits while the other person gives all the effort.

If you notice someone constantly taking advantage of others for their own gain, it’s a significant indicator that you’re dealing with a high-level narcissist.

6) Emotional Neglect

An aspect of high-level narcissism that often goes unnoticed is emotional neglect. Narcissists are so caught up in their own world that they often fail to recognize or care about the emotions and needs of others.

This can be heartbreaking, especially if you’re close to the person. You might find yourself feeling alone, unheard, and unimportant, even when you’re with them. It’s like being invisible in a crowd, a feeling that can leave deep emotional scars.

Eeveryone deserves to be heard and cared for. 

7) Superiority Complex

I’ve encountered individuals who always seem to believe they are superior to everyone else. They would dismiss others’ opinions, skills, or achievements, believing that they knew better.

Once, in a group project, I had a team member who dismissed everyone else’s ideas and insisted on doing things his way. He believed he was always right and could do no wrong. This superiority complex made collaborating virtually impossible and caused a lot of friction within the team.

If you come across someone with this kind of attitude, it’s quite possible that you’re dealing with a high-level narcissist.

8) Excessive Need to Control

High-level narcissists often have an excessive need to control situations and people around them. This is a way for them to maintain their inflated self-image and to ensure things always go the way they want.

Whether it’s in a personal relationship or a professional setting, they impose their ideas, plans, and preferences, often disregarding the feelings or opinions of others. They can become impatient or angry if they feel they’re losing control.

This need to control can be exhausting for those around them and may result in strained relationships.

9) Lack of Accountability

The most crucial behavior to watch out for when dealing with a high-level narcissist is their lack of accountability. They rarely, if ever, accept responsibility for their actions or mistakes.

Instead, they deflect blame onto others and make excuses for their behavior. They see themselves as faultless and believe any problems are because of someone else.

This refusal to accept responsibility can be incredibly damaging, especially in close relationships. Recognizing this behavior is vital when dealing with a high-level narcissist.

Final Thoughts: It’s Not About Blame

As we navigate the complex landscape of human behavior, it’s crucial to remember that identifying high-level narcissism isn’t about placing blame.

Understanding these behaviors is about cultivating awareness. It’s about recognizing patterns that can impact our relationships and emotional health. It’s about setting boundaries and protecting ourselves when necessary.

The American Psychiatric Association classifies Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a mental health disorder. The behaviors associated with high-level narcissism are often deep-rooted, potentially stemming from early life experiences or biological factors.

It’s important to approach this topic with empathy and understanding. Remember, it’s not about demonizing individuals but about fostering healthier interactions.

Recognizing these behaviors is the first step. What you do with this awareness is a personal journey of reflection, growth, and resilience.

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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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