Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

7 things about narcissists that you need to know

Little known facts about narcissists


Unfortunately, I have had far too much time with narcissists in my life and I have noticed very interesting commonalities amongst this group of people.

Narcissists are highly insecure people and to cope with their fears of being a failure, they overcompensate by telling themselves they are entirely fabulous.

Narcissists act superior and believe that they are better than others. Along with this erroneous belief comes a sense of entitlement. They don’t believe they should follow the rules like others have to. Why? Because they are special.

A narcissists strapline is, “What’s in it for me?” They can appear kind and caring but there will usually be a pay-off for being nice to someone else. If they do something that makes them look good, they will be motivated to act in a way that fundamentally goes against their natural disposition. If a narcissist gives to charity, for example, they will make sure that everyone sees how lovely they are. It’s rare that a narcissist will perform an act of kindness anonymously. This is because they need validation like the rest of us need air to breathe.

They want to surround themselves with beautiful, rich people. Associating with successful people shows that they too are a success by association.


Narcissists lack empathy but they can feign it…for a while at least. Their true disposition will begin to show itself between 3-6 months after you have met them.

The above attributes of narcissists are well known. Here are some lesser-known tendencies that I have noticed:

  • Narcissists tend to dislike pets. They aren’t natural animal lovers. A pet requires love and loyalty, needing time and energy. Narcissists can’t feel validated by a pet, so they don’t see much use for them. Of course, they may agree to one if they can tell people how they sacrificed for someone else.
  • They tend to talk about themselves a lot. Many narcissists are self-absorbed. Whatever is going on in your life is inconsequential to them. They may ask out of politeness, but they won’t really care unless it benefits them in some way.
  • Narcissism needs to be fed with attention from others. They will often choose careers that put them in a role of authority. Here are a few examples of jobs that attract a high number of narcissists:



IT positions/computers


Managerial roles


Some medical professions such as doctors/surgeons/nursing


Media related positions that provide adoration


  • When a narcissist is a parent, their love for their children is tainted. It isn’t unconditional, it is based on how good their children make them look. If their child is good looking and intelligent they will easily show off their child. If however, their children aren’t successful and good looking they will be ashamed and will rarely talk about them. Children are seen as objects to narcissists – to be brought out to show off and then they need to go away and be quiet.
  • Narcissists have little patience for a spouse who is unhealthy or who doesn’t do their fair share in the relationship. As they have no empathy, they can be rather perfunctory when it comes to ‘being there’ for their spouse. If you are with a narcissist, it can feel incredibly lonely as there is very little support.
  • They struggle to know how to soothe a partner or help them to feel comforted. It’s doubtful that they would want to even if they knew how. It’s more likely that they will feel resentful that they are not getting the usual attention and adoration. Narcissists don’t seek an equal partner; they really want an adoring fan as a partner.
  • The façade they present is rarely who they truly are. It is common for narcissists to have affairs due their craving adoration and attention. They are skilled at living double lives and have no problem lying to cover their tracts. It is very confusing because when you initially meet them, they seem too good to be true. They spoil you, act very interested and idealise you. As time goes on and they realise you aren’t perfect, they begin to devalue you and the criticism and gaslighting commences.

Living with a narcissist or dating a narcissist can feel like hell on earth. If you don’t provide constant compliments and whatever else they want, you will soon be discarded, or they will keep you and fool around on the side. They are at the centre of everything they do and find it almost impossible to stop and think how their actions might affect someone else. Anyone else’s needs take a back seat.

We all have narcissistic traits but the above descriptions relate more closely to someone who has Narcissistic  personality disorder (NPD).

Diagnosing Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In order to diagnose NPD, In the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR), [1] NPD is defined as comprising a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by the presence of at least 5 of the following 9 criteria:


A grandiose sense of self-importance


A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love


A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions


  • A need for excessive admiration
  • A sense of entitlement
  • Interpersonally exploitive behaviour
  • A lack of empathy
  • Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her
  • A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

I have studied narcissism for many years and can recognise a narcissist far quicker than I used to be able to. If you are worried that your partner is a narcissist, I am offering free feedback for the next 2 weeks. All you need to do is send me an email explaining their behaviours and what you are concerned about. Leave me your phone number and I will call you for a brief chat once I have received your email.


Re: Narcissistic partner/parent  etc

Treating narcissism is fraught with difficulty as it is difficult to get narcissists to change their ways. Their behaviour becomes so entrenched that self-insight and motivation to change is low. If you wish to stay with a narcissistic partner, it will involve accommodating them and making changes rather than expecting them to change.










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