Narcissist Test – Are You in a Narcissistic Relationship?
Our narcissist test will ask you about 20 narcissistic traits your partner may have. Mark “yes” to all that apply. We will use your answers to determine if you’re just experiencing minor annoyances or if you are in a truly toxic relationship.
Our narcissist test is one we’ve created ourselves here at Surviving Narcissism, and we’re certain it will help those who need some clarity.
While it’s impossible to try and diagnose someone as a non medical professional, taking the narcissist test can help guide you in the right direction. If the results of your narcissist test show that you may in fact be dealing with one, this article outlines some potential solutions for you.
The term “narcissist” is tossed around often these days. We hear people labeling others as narcissists, whether the individuals are world leaders or arrogant ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all selfie-obsessed, charming individuals deserve that characterization. A “true” narcissist is diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, which is a mental health disorder.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) falls on a spectrum, much like autism or Parkinson’s disease. And the farther someone is on the spectrum of NPD, the more likely that person becomes dangerous, manipulative and sinister.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) is the product of over ten years of effort by hundreds of international experts in all aspects of mental health. Their dedication and hard work have yielded an authoritative volume that defines and classifies mental disorders to help with diagnosis, treatment and research. It is in this piece of literature where we find the true definition of a narcissist.
The DSM V lists nine symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. A person must exhibit five of the nine to fall on the spectrum. Narcissism is classified as a cluster B personality disorder, which is the group of mental health disorders that includes antisocial, borderline and histrionic personality disorders.
I learned my previous partner was a narcissist when I discovered the list of narcissistic traits in the DSM V. My partner displayed eight of the nine symptoms. Fortunately, we have a quiz for you to take that is based on the traits of NPD. Make sure to take the narcissist test at the top of this article if you haven’t yet.
After realizing that my partner was a narcissist, I got myself back to therapy immediately. It was a painful realization, but I was relieved to have an answer and the reassurance that the toxic relationship wasn’t entirely my fault.
If you took the narcissist test above and think your partner might be one, check out the online counseling partner that I’ve vetted for helping victims of narcissistic relationships HERE.
The symptoms of narcissism are below. I’ve added some stories from my own experiences as examples.
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (i.e., exaggerates achievements and talents. Expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements.)
For example, the narcissist may believe that he or she is worthy of a significant sales award at a company just because that person is on the sales team. The narcissist may not have the same high productivity as the winner, but the narcissist thinks that an award is deserved because that person simply shows up at work every day.
Another illustration comes from my marriage to a narcissist. I remember how my ex-husband, Shane, would often brag about his conquests with other women, even after being married. The most painful night I recall was when we were at dinner with another couple, Tom and Dana. We were dining at a loud Tex Mex Restaurant, but the room’s volume didn’t matter. Shane spoke as loudly as he needed to for others to hear how much he considered himself a Casanova. Shane bragged and elaborated on “the good run he had with women” before he met me. Shane told us of his sexual conquests, and eventually, Tom joined in. Dana and I rolled our eyes and tried to joke about their antics, but underneath my laughter, there was pain.
After that evening, I politely declined other invitations to dinner with couples, although the offers were diminishing anyway. It grew to the point that it was easier to avoid these situations because if Shane weren’t monopolizing the conversation and attention, he would sulk and shut down, contributing nothing to the evening. Then, on the way home, he would verbally destroy the people we had been around, pointing out their flaws and perceived issues.
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love.
In my experience, the narcissist believes there is a pecking order in society, and he or she is at the top. In 2009, I had just started a new job in biotechnology, my field of work. Shane insisted I invite my new boss, David, to our home, where Shane proceeded to show him his toys. From his motorcycles to his new truck, Shane spent hours regaling David with his wealth and acquisition stories.
Another consistent trait among people with NPD is the narcissist’s preoccupation with weight and beauty. A narcissistic parent may put an enormous amount of pressure on a daughter to be thin and beautiful. One woman that I have worked with recalls her father hugging her, always pinching her waist at the back, looking for her “back fat.”
Shane was often concerned with the clothes and makeup I wore, whether we were out with his friends or colleagues. It was all about how I looked and, therefore, how I made him appear to his associates.
- Believes he or she is special or unique and can only be understood by or associate with other special, high-status people (or institutions).
Often, a narcissist will refuse to accept a position of employment or an invitation to a social gathering because the people involved aren’t good enough. A narcissist believes that he is superior to all others, so he must work or socialize only with people deemed to have “high status” in a particular community.
I remember how Shane felt exceptional and above all others. We would attend social gatherings only for a few minutes to “make a cameo,” as Shane described before leaving to go do what Shane wanted to do. He treated any social event that I encouraged as an opportunity to grace people with his presence for a few minutes, then depart. He typically left a stunned room of party-goers in his wake. It was rude and disrespectful.
- Requires excessive admiration.
No matter the time or place, a narcissist wants to capture the admiration of all around him. For example, I remember a woman finding me soon after my divorce to tell me about Shane and his boisterous conversation about money. Karen told me, “Your ex-husband once told us that for every dollar his stock went up or down, he would gain or lose thousands of dollars. He once an entire section of an airplane that he had made hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last few minutes.”
The narcissist needs admiration as part of their narcissistic supply. It’s how they function in society because praise is their protection against the cold winds of humanity. With adoration, narcissists don’t hear the internal voices that say,” You’re not good enough” or “You’re not important.” Simple recognition doesn’t do it; it must be over the top praise and approval.
- Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
Narcissists believe everyone and everything in this world is there to serve them as they see fit. There’s a phrase you’ve likely heard. It’s when people say, “He thinks the world revolved around him.” In the case of someone with narcissism, this is true.
I saw firsthand how this translated into financial abuse early in my relationship with a narcissist. Shane volunteered to move me out of my apartment while I was at a sales meeting out of town. We were getting married the next week, and my initial thought was, “Oh my goodness! How nice and generous!”
Well, it turns out it was generous to Shane’s wallet. Shane moved me out of my small, one-bedroom apartment and quickly sold my furniture for about $2,000. I never saw a dime of that money.
Other survivors of narcissistic abuse have reported that their toxic partners like to steal from businesses and people, even family members. One survivor told me that his ex-girlfriend would take from his immediate family, whether it was cash, furniture or jewelry. Then, when confronted about the missing item, she would say that she deserved it.
- Is interpersonally exploitative (takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).
A narcissist typically won’t associate with anyone who cannot do something for them. Narcissists don’t care who they hurt or deceive, as long as they get what they want or need.
The narcissist doesn’t look at a relationship as one that is quid pro quo either. A narcissist may ask someone to loan them money or a car, but when the person asks for the return favor, the narcissist looks the other way. It is a one-way highway, with the route leading straight to the narcissist.
- Lacks empathy. Is unwilling to unable to identify with the needs or feelings of others.
As a survivor of forty years of narcissistic abuse and ten years of studying narcissism, lack of empathy is the consistent trait that I see among most narcissists. This is what allows them to seek and destroy so they acquire the supply that they need. The narcissist can hurt others without feeling any pain himself.
An excellent example of the lack of empathy from a narcissist is when a loved one is ill. Many narcissists will tell the sick person to suck it up or quit complaining. However, when the narcissist is under the weather, the world stops spinning on its axis.
In early 2010, I became sick with viral meningitis. The narcissist took me to the ER, where the physician diagnosed me. The doctor on duty wanted to send me home under my husband’s care, with only oral pain meds. I was terrified! I knew that if I went back, I wouldn’t get the attention that I needed to survive this. I begged the doctor to admit me, and fortunately, he did.
I was in the hospital for eight days, and for a few of those, I felt death would be the better option because I was so ill. The narcissist didn’t handle my hospitalization very well because it interfered with what he wanted to do. So, he went on about his days as usual. My father would be the first visitor in the morning and the last person to leave at night. Shane couldn’t be bothered to stay for more than an hour, and it was only at his convenience. He was so busy! Someone had to watch over the house! Someone had to monitor my parents, who were taking care of our kindergartner!
Fast forward a few years, and it’s time for Shane to get his first colonoscopy. You would’ve thought he was the first patient ever to have this procedure done. I heard about it for two weeks before the appointment date arrived. Then after the colonoscopy, Shane didn’t follow any of the directions the doctor gave him. Yet, Shane expected me to be mom, nurse, wife and sympathetic, worried friend.
- Is often envious of others or believe others are envious of him or her.
Narcissists are consumed with maintaining a false sense of self with others. If another person has more in the eyes of the narcissist, the narcissist will try to achieve the same or destroy that person’s image.
My ex was obsessed with people who had more money, larger homes and nicer cars than he had. Shane would consistently and neurotically talk about one male friend who was the CEO of a successful construction company. Shane would discuss endlessly what his friend owned, from a yacht to several homes to multiple luxury cars. My ex felt cheated that he hadn’t earned that kind of money, although we were stable financially. Shane just couldn’t believe that he didn’t have the same possessions! He did not doubt that he deserved them!
As his wife, I grew tired of Shane’s obsession with acquiring more, more, more. I didn’t understand why my son and I and our comfortable home weren’t enough for him. No matter how hard I tried during the marriage, or what we earned as a dual-income couple, it was never enough.
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
Author Chris Jami once said, “The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it.” This certainly applies to most narcissists.
After I was divorced from the narcissist, people I thought adored my ex-husband began coming forward to tell me a different story. One friend said he hated it when I brought Shane to parties. Shane would work the room, telling people how great he was or what new toy he had purchased. It was embarrassing for me and infuriating for my friends.
The arrogant attitude can also translate into body issues. I’ve heard from many survivors that narcissists will become obsessed with their bodies, yet they often do nothing to improve their physical fitness. One survivor said that her narcissistic husband used to stand nude in front of the mirror and point out how perfect his body was, even though he never saw a gym. This narcissist considered himself to symbolize perfection. Then, he would tell this survivor she needed to extend her already strenuous fitness routine to catch up.
Secondly, if the results show that you may be involved with a narcissist, get help. Speak with a therapist who understands narcissistic abuse. Watch videos on our YouTube channel called Surviving Narcissism. Join a support group or visit with supportive family and friends. Dr. Carter and I have vetted an online counseling service that can help. Click HERE
Is there more narcissism in 2020? It is difficult to say because it’s almost impossible to get a narcissist to therapy for a diagnosis. However, if you believe you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you must get the help and support you need. Don’t try to navigate this journey alone.
Our narcissist test at the top of the page should give you more clarity if you are still confused. Additionally, make sure to check out the narcissist checklist.
Lastly, we designed our narcissist test to help give clarity to those who feel stuck in their toxic relationships to get more clarity. If you know anyone who is stuck in a toxic relationship, we would greatly appreciate you send them over this narcissist test.