Do You Know a Narcissist? 5

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be frustrating, overwhelming and challenging.  What are some additional signs of destructive narcissism? Hunger for Admiration

  • Becomes overly disappointed when his/her efforts aren't openly recognized or acknowledged
  • Brags or boasts
  • Buys things to get others to notice or pay compliments
  • Seeks awards, plaques, certificates, trophies, etc.
  • Wants others to envy him/her
  • Makes sure that others are aware of his/her accomplishments
  • Inflates his/her accomplishments
  • Engages in self-promotion
  • Can't ever seem to be "filled up" with compliments-- no amount of admiration seems to be "enough" (excessive need for admiration)
  • Overly sensitive to criticism-- as though any hint of criticism is telling them you don't admire them
  • Oblivious to this need for excessive admiration and attention
  • Takes credit for unearned accomplishments
  • Talks about him or herself at every opportunity


Envy is wanting what someone else has and feeling that they are not deserving of it as you are.  It carries the assumption that the other person is inferior in some what and that, because of your superiority, you should be favored.  Many people will have moments of envy, but people who have a destructive narcissistic pattern are envious most of the time.  These people will also devalue or put others down who receive the things that they consider to be rightfully theirs.  The most common characteristics are:

  • They think they are deserving and superior
  • They consider others as undeserving and inferior and
  • They are consumed with a desire to be envied by others for being more deserving and superior
  • Boasting about possessions
  • Going into debt to get unnecessary things to impress others
  • Takes unearned credit
  • Promoting him/herself at every opportunity
  • Pointing out where others are inferior or undeserving
  • Feels that he/she has to work harder for what he/she gets while others have it given to them
  • Feels that he/she is treated unfairly in comparison to others
  • Expresses that others have it easier than they do

Expects Favors

  • Have an expectation that others will do them favors, but these people should not expect any favors in return
  • The destructive narcissist feels that they are making you a special person by getting you to do them a favor, and this should be reward enough for anyone (there is more than a hint of arrogance in this attitude)
  • Tells a child to get or do something for him/her, so that he/she doesn't have to move or stop what he/she is doing
  • Asks you to pick up something on your way home, when they could just as easily go and get it.
  • Expects that others will do favors for them
  • Feels disappointed or rejected when someone refuses them a favor
  • Expects children to run personal errands for him/her
  • Expects you to use your leisure time to do things for him/her
  • Calls your family or friends for favors
  • Gets others to do things for him/her that he/she could do on their own
  • Becomes upset when someone fails to follow through on a request for a favor
  • Has unrealistic expectations when asking for favors

Do you recognize any signs of narcissism from this blog series?  Remember that these are only guidelines and a general overview of the many behaviors and attitudes of narcissism.  You might find your spouse, partner, family member or friend has some of the troubling behaviors, but not all of them.  Also, these descriptors may serve as a personal review for some of the undeveloped narcissism that you have-- or unconscious behaviors and attitudes you may have, but might not be as intense as those of a true narcissist, even though they might be affecting your own relationships in negative ways. If so, we encourage you to acknowledge these traits and work on them!  For more information on being in a relationship with a narcissist, contact a professional counselor.

Information in this blog is adapted from:  "Loving the Self-Absorbed" by Nina W. Brown

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.