Are You in a Narcissistic Relationship?

We 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.

The following list of traits does not represent an exact measurement of narcissistic relationships (since each is unique in its own right), but it can give you a good idea of the potential levels of narcissism in your primary relationships. Think carefully about the difficult people you encounter, then respond to the items listed below. Once you’ve finished, we’ll give you a gauge for what you might expect.

More on Narcissistic Relationships

You’ve heard the word narcissism and you probably know it has something to do with being self-centered and controlling. But you may wonder, exactly what are we talking about? Likewise, as you engage with the difficult people in your life, sensing something wrong in your interactions with them, you may have questioned:  “Am I dealing with a narcissist?” To maneuver through your relationships, especially the difficult ones, it’s crucial to understand this issue.

Narcissism is more than just a single trait.  It’s a pattern on a spectrum. Each person can have some behaviors or attitudes that could be deemed narcissistic.  Among the defining features of narcissism are a high need for control, being self-absorbed, an attitude of entitlement, strong defensiveness, and manipulative or exploitive behaviors. And those features can lead to behavioral trends that can show up in all sorts of circumstances.

Maturing individuals are able to identify their own inclinations toward narcissism, and they adjust in a healthy manner. Some people, however, do not possess the maturity to monitor themselves well, so the pattern of narcissism can take over their relationships.  

To use a numbers analogy, some people may be able to keep their narcissistic leanings to a 20% level. Some may be influenced by their narcissism at the 42% level or maybe the 55% level. Still others may have an 80% inclination toward narcissism, and so on. The higher you are on the spectrum, the more problematic your relationships will likely be.