Questions to weed out narcissists

Is there anything more frustrating than interacting with a narcissist?

I’ve worked with three white male narcissists in the past few years, which has led to a LOT of googling about how to deal with them. (See: the gray rock tactic.)

Turns out, some common narcissist traits are refusal to admit they’re wrong, constantly blaming others, little compassion for others, little respect for boundaries, “nice” deeds done to make them look good, and taking credit for others’ work.

Based on those traits, I came up with some questions I hope to use in the future to reveal if someone has a lot of narcissistic traits:

  • Have you been to therapy? Are you in therapy now? (Note: Some narcissists go to therapy, so this doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it’s very revealing if they say something like “I don’t need therapy” or “it’s never really worked for me”)
  • What’s some criticism you received and how did you grow from it and address your weakness? (What’s an example of you learning from constructive feedback?)
  • What’s a mistake you made and how did you take ownership for it?
  • How do you react when people tell you you’re wrong?
  • When’s the last time you sincerely apologized for something?
  • How do you react when someone is in pain or struggling?
  • Who is someone you’ve helped succeed? How did you do it?
  • What are some needs of others you’ve helped to meet?
  • How often do you admit you’re wrong?
  • Is it important to you to feel special, powerful, and unique?
  • How do you respond to other people’s boundaries?
  • How do you help build others’ confidence and self-esteem?
  • What’s an example of you taking responsibility for something negative?
  • How do you react when someone questions you?
  • What’s something kind you did recently?
  • When did you show compassion recently?

Obviously you can’t just sit someone down and ask them all of these, but I hope to sprinkle them into professional and personal settings. I know the sooner I spot a narcissist, the sooner I can save myself anguish and stay the hell away from them!

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