If you recognize these behaviors, you’re dealing with a highly narcissistic person (and you need to take care)

A wise woman once said: “I want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world. Like I’m the only one that you’ll ever love. Like I’m the only one who knows your heart.”

And that wise woman was none other than Rihanna.

Yep, the songstress, all-round-diva, and now, make-up mogul, behind Only Girl in the World (this song), Pon De Replay, and of course, Umbrella—my personal fave.

Badgalriri has this magical way of building herself up, of making herself out to be the gem that she 100% is.

In the song Only Girl in the World, you will notice how she paints a vibrant, desirable picture of a man who makes her feel as if she is the star of his life, his only source of love, and the true knower of his heart. 

Basically, she is his everything. But what if I turned the tables on him for a sec?

I would hate to rain on anyone’s parade here (get out your umb-er-ella, ella, ella, eh) but maybe the man who makes you feel like you are his entire world might not be, you know, the greatest of all dudes?

Stick with me on this one.

To me, this all-consuming kind of love does not last. In fact, it is often not love at all, but something entirely different: love-bombing.

Love-bombing is a tactic of manipulation that involves massive displays of affection, which are usually withdrawn later down the line.

That’s right, it is a classic move of narcissists.

If you want to learn more about love-bombing, and six other behaviors that reveal you are dealing with a highly narcissistic person, read on for more.

1) They love bomb you

Love bombing can certainly be an exhilarating experience—at first.

First, it begins with you being showered with affection, compliments, and seemingly genuine interest. It’s as if you’ve stumbled upon a cache of emotional connection!

It’s exactly what you have been looking for. So far, so good.

The catch? It is not at all genuine. Rather, it is tactically designed to spark your interest and attention.

Narcissists employ love bombing to get you emotionally hooked. Then, as quickly as it appeared, all of this love goes away.

And then you are left scrambling, desperate.

They craft the illusion of love only to snatch it away once you’re fully engaged. Through this manipulation of your emotions, they gain power over you and make you addicted to them.

Be very, very careful of this dynamic. Beneath the dazzling display of affection lies a master manipulator ready to throw your life into disarray.

Trust me, they are not seeking genuine connection with you.

What they really desire is control, power, and the satisfaction of watching you fall apart. It is sick!

2) They are obsessed with their own power—or perception of it

Narcissists usually only want one thing. And that very thing might surprise you.

A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that narcissists spend excessive time “thinking about gaining unlimited success” and “power.”

Essentially, narcissists are people who believe the universe revolves around them. 

They incessantly talk about their achievements and status, leaving you feeling like a spectator in a theater.

They have a major fixation with control and gauge their value based on all the power they can accrue.

To them, it is not just about achieving success, rather, it’s about overthrowing everyone else’s. 

They crave the spotlight, badly, and they will of course go to great lengths to ensure it shines exclusively on them.

So, if you notice someone incessantly steering conversations back to their achievements, do not fall for it!

These people will blow right in, disrupt your world, and leave you to pick up the broken pieces.

3) They literally outright call themselves a narcissist

Sometimes, honesty really is a virtue.

On the rare occasion, a narcissist will be honest with you—try and listen to them.

Trust me, the research even backs it up.

“People who are willing to admit they are more narcissistic than others probably actually are more narcissistic,” said Brad Bushman, the lead researcher behind a scientific study on narcissism. 

But not so fast. This blatant admission is not just about self-awareness, it is actually a subtle form of manipulation.

By boldly declaring that they are in fact, a narcissist, they disarm you. 

Next, your guard is down—and that is when they strike. Right when you are vulnerable.

When it comes to dealing with a narcissist, it pays to stay alert and second guess every piece of information they feed you.

4) They react strongly to critique, becoming defensive or enraged

When someone consistently reacts as if they have been brutalized every time you offer them helpful feedback, that is when you need to raise an eyebrow.

Does this person grow defensive, angry, or dismissive rapidly? If so, you might well be facing off with a narcissist.

This is because they usually cannot bear the thought that they might not be absolute perfection, so they go into full-on defense mode.

For real, being fallible is not something they are equipped to handle.

And this can become quickly exhausting for you to deal with.

5) They self-victimize constantly to elicit pity

Narcissists happen to also be experts in another thing: playing the victim card.

“Narcissists have a stunning capacity to shift from being the offender to being the victim,” Dr. Durvasula, a psychologist, said in an interview with CNBC.

Yep, that is right: they make out that the whole world is conspiring against them. 

This way, they are able to skillfully evade taking any kind of responsibility—and this is their favorite thing to do!

They constantly skirt around accountability for their actions, leaving you questioning reality and wondering if you might be the one at fault.

The real danger lies in their ability to elicit pity and sympathy from you. 

But don’t fall for the whole woe is me schtick.

For them, it is all about manipulating your emotions and ultimately gaining more control over you. It is a calculated game plan. 

6) They may be exceedingly jealous of others or believe that others envy them

Often, narcissists will be seething with envy but mask it as admiration. 

Just picture them nodding along to your news of your recent success, perhaps a promotion of yours or a sporting win, but beneath the surface, they are jealous as all hell.

Why do they do this?

Well, because in their world, every little thing revolves around them, and if it doesn’t, they will convince themselves it should.

Narcissists crave attention, by nature. When others steal the show, it is a threat to their entire existence.

They might even believe that others envy them as it validates their self-importance and fuels their constant need for reassurance.

In their minds, everyone around them must be envious of their brilliance, charisma, and good looks.

This perceived envy becomes a justification for questionable, problematic behavior later down the track. 

In a bid to maintain their fragile sense of self, they might trample your accomplishments, downplay your successes, or even sabotage you.

7) They brag and gloat all the time

That one person who turns every chat into being 100% about them is most likely a narcissist.

Yep, they are absolutely not looking for a chat—they are seeking an audience.

And the experts back it up. According to the Mayo Clinic, a narcissist will “brag a lot and come across as conceited.”

The bragging never ends, but remember this: behind all that bragging lies deep-seated insecurity. 

They feed off external validation and compliments, but no matter how much you pour in, it is never enough.

Sure, they may seem harmless at first, but soon, their destructive, all-consuming self-centeredness will threaten to disrupt the peace you used to enjoy.

Narcissists have a gift for causing turmoil with their insatiable need for attention and admiration. 

Final thoughts

Spotting the early signs of a narcissist can be your secret weapon to evade the drama and safeguard your peace.

So keep your eyes and ears open for the warning signs and don’t let their power play take center stage in your precious life.

Try to spot the signs listed above, trust your instincts, and save yourself from the impending upheaval they are sure to bring into your life.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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