Did you know that narcissists are deeply insecure and self-conscious?
Well, now you know.
We may think we are aware of all the signs of narcissism, but there are some red flags we cannot recognize so easily. Usually, when we think of a narcissist, we associate them with a grandiose sense of self-importance and a frightfully high level of self-centeredness. In our minds, these individuals cannot live without being praised and have no idea what empathy, loyalty, and compassion mean.
However, that’s only one side of the story…
Here are 5 traits of narcissists you probably didn’t know about:
1. Narcissists have extremely low self-esteem.
But how can a narcissist have low self-esteem when they are so self-centered and confident in themselves? Well, the high levels of confidence are nothing but a facade. They may appear as if they have it all figured out, but, in reality, they are often much more confused and insecure than most of us. After all, everything they do is in an attempt to prove themselves and their superiority over everyone else. This is a huge red flag revealing they are struggling with deeper issues regarding their self-esteem.
2. Narcissists don’t respect boundaries.
Usually, a narcissist finds it tremendously difficult to tell when they are crossing a line. As they believe they are superior to everyone around them, they are inconsiderate of others’ feelings and emotions. In other words, they don’t really care about anyone else’s needs but their own. When they think of the people in their circle, they only consider how their presence would benefit them. This explains why they so shamelessly share or demand to know personal, often intimate information, without even thinking about how embarrassing or awkward the situation may become.
3. Narcissists can’t bear criticism.
Every form of criticism, even if it’s constructive and its only purpose is to help them get better, is something narcissists cannot stand. Having someone else telling them they did something wrong or they have room for improvement definitely grinds their gears. And the real reason is not that they don’t think they have flaws to be addressed. It is that they realize that criticism puts them in a vulnerable position and reveals the insecurities they so desperately try to hide from the world.
4. Narcissists can be intimidatingly self-defensive.
Whenever they feel the slightest threat they might get exposed, narcissists immediately turn their self-protective mode on. Anything challenging their proficiency can trigger their sharp self-preservation instincts. It makes them feel as if their life depends on being justified or validated. For someone with narcissistic personality traits, the thought of simply admitting their mistake and apologizing seems beyond unreasonable. And whoever questions their competence quickly finds out that, when dealing with such self-absorbed individuals, it’s always their way or the highway.
5. Narcissists project their own uncertainties onto others.
Whenever narcissists sense a weakness of theirs is about to be exposed, they rush to project it on someone else. This is another, more subtle way they show their self-defensive mechanism. One possible reason for this behavior is that they cannot understand their own emotions, which frustrates them to the point where they decide to blame others for the way they feel. And with their well-developed blame-shifting abilities, they are capable of making you believe it is you who overreacts and makes a mistake after a mistake, not them. It is you who feels insecure and wants to be validated at all costs. Focusing on others’ imperfections makes them feel a little better about themselves and brings them back the sense of superiority they so desperately crave.