You could check the DSM-5 and see if you can apply 5 of the 9 traits to whoever you believe may be a narcissist. But sometimes that isn't very practical, sometimes it's difficult to make that apply to what you are dealing with in real life. You could have narcissists in your family, a relationship, social circle, or workplace and you may have always known that something
was not right. But through manipulative tactics such as denial, projection, blame-shifting, and gaslighting, the narcissist managed to convince you that you were the problem. So you never looked at them as being at fault and the narcissist never acknowledged that they were ever at fault. There's your first sign. We all have mistakes and faults at some point in our lives, that's what makes us human. But what separates us from the narcissists, is that we can acknowledge and admit to our mistakes and faults.
Narcissists are self-absorbed. They only care about themselves, they don't really care about you. Sometimes they will pretend to care, but notice, that's only when they are trying to get something out of you. When they are trying to use you for something or get you to do something for them. Everything revolves around them and they just pick and choose people to suit their needs. If you have nothing to offer them, you will likely never hear from them again. If you are no longer giving them narcissistic supply, they will have no use for you and you will become a lost cause. In any family, relationship, social circle, or workplace there will always be faults or mistakes. We all do things wrong, we all say things that we don't mean from time to time. This is normal human behaviour and we are willing to acknowledge and accept these faults or mistakes. But when it comes to the narcissist, they will not acknowledge or accept their faults or mistakes. If they have done or said something that hurt you, try asking them to sit down so you can talk about it with them. They can't do that. For one thing, they are afraid of being emotionally vulnerable, they are afraid of the truth because the truth is against them. How can you be real with someone who doesn't even value the truth? How can you ever have an open, honest conversation with someone like that? On the rare occasion that they do decide to sit down and talk to you about whatever it is that they've done. They will not acknowledge or accept their faults or mistakes unless they are in a severe crisis. Instead, they will deny any responsibility or accountability and then shift the blame onto you. They will start an argument about you confronting them or making an accusation about them. It takes the focus off them and puts it on to you. They have to do this because they cannot be seen as being at fault, they have to be seen as being perfect. Of course, the reason why they have to be seen as being perfect is that they are more flawed than most. Accepting one fault opens the gate for them to have to accept all of the other faults and mistakes they have made.
Narcissists are weak, they are not strong enough to accept their faults or mistakes. Just like they are not strong enough to own their own flaws or insecurities, they have to project them on to you. Hopefully, this should be enough for you to identify whether or not you have been dealing with a narcissist. If it's not, I do have one finishing point which should reveal a deeper truth of your situation. We know that narcissists have to isolate their victims. We know that they are pathologically envious and jealous. Narcissists have an inferiority complex, they can't help but plot to destroy every aspect of your life. They will sabotage your career, your finances, hobbies, and interests, friendships, relationships... anything which is significant
to you. Look at your life now and recognize how many career opportunities, how much money, how many hobbies and interests, friendships, and relationships have disappeared in the last few months, years, or however long it has been. Now you may think that maybe you were the cause of that. Maybe it was your fault that you lost that job, money, hobby, friend, or partner. But here is how you know that it wasn't you. In a healthy narcissist-free situation all of those things come naturally to you. At some point you will find a good career opportunity, you will earn money, you will have the time and energy to do well in a hobby, you will develop friendships and relationships. All of this comes naturally to you, just as it did before you met the narcissist.
How many career opportunities did you have back then, how much money did you make How many hobbies and interests did you have? How many friendships and relationships did you have? I'm sure it was far more than what you have now and that is how you know that it's not you. You are not at fault here, you are not the problem. You always had the qualities and the capabilities to develop all of that. The only thing stopping you from achieving all of that again is the narcissist. You didn't notice because the narcissist shifted the blame on to you. They made you believe that you were not good enough for that career, you are not efficient at making money. You are not good at your hobby or interest. You have no friends or you are not good at making friends. You are not good with men or women. Well if that's true, how were you so good at all of that before the narcissist came into your life? The very things that the narcissist is pointing the finger at you for and laughing. Really they should be laughing at themselves. Because while you were able to make things happen and do great things in your life. All the narcissist does is sabotage and destroy everything you ever created. They destroy good opportunities. They divide friendships and relationships. They break up loving families and destroy children's lives. They suck the life and energy out of you. They destroy everything. And that's how you know that they are narcissists because nothing will ever work out when you are with them. In a normal, healthy environment, all of that comes together on its own. Just as it did before in your life.
In the narcissist's world, your choices and decisions do not matter. Your choices and decisions do not affect an end result. You can apply for all of the jobs in the world, it will not go anywhere. You can start new hobbies or interests, but you will not have the time or energy to do them. Your efforts will be criticized and devalued. You can try making friends or having relationships, but it will never work out because the narcissist has already planted seeds in their minds. And you may not even have the qualities which made you the attractive person you once were. So this is how you know that you are dealing with narcissists. When you are around normal, emotionally healthy people, things will work out. Your career will come together, you will be able to start new hobbies or interests.
You will develop friendships and relationships with good people. But this cannot take place when you are in a narcissistic environment. But at least now with these signs that I have given you, you should know whether or not you were dealing with a narcissist. Everything seems to die and fall apart when you around them, including yourself. And that's why when you leave the narcissist, you will need to rebuild all of those attractive qualities you once had. Self-love, self-worth, self-esteem, self-belief, self-respect, self-assurance. Notice how these qualities all have "self" at the beginning because they are all defined by how we feel on the inside. Which means that only we can develop them. I hope that this has helped you to identify whether or not you were dealing with a narcissist in your life. Get them out and move on in your life without them, they will only hold you back from achieving great things. Let's start 2019 without these people in our lives. Sometimes you have to make bigger changes if you want to see bigger results. In some cases, you just have to put it all on the line. Clear the toxicity from your life, disinfect your circle. And then you will start to see all of those things you once had, develop again.