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Recent articles have been published proclaiming that researchers could identify narcissists (as defined by the DSM-V) by asking just one question: “Are you a narcissist?” Simple enough, I suppose; kind of like asking someone who is impatient, “Are you impatient?” Chances are he or she will say, “Yes, and are we done yet?” But what if we could ask narcissists more than one question?
Here is what their answers would sound like*:
- I love myself and I know you do too; in fact everyone does – and if they don’t, that is their loss.
- I have no need to apologize; you, however, must understand, accept, and tolerate me no matter what I do.
- I have few equals in this world, and so far I have yet to meet one.
- I am surrounded by people who don’t measure up; without me, they would just flounder.
- I appreciate that there are rules and obligations, but those apply mostly to you because I don’t have the time or the inclination to abide by them.
- I hope you appreciate all that I am and everything that I have achieved for you.
- I do wish we could be equals but we are not and never will be, and I will regularly remind you that I am the smartest person in the room.
- I may seem arrogant and haughty and that’s OK with me – I just don’t want to be seen as being like you.
- I expect you to be loyal to me at all times, no matter what I do; however, don’t expect the same from me.
- I will criticize you and I expect you to accept it, but if you criticize me, especially in public, I will come at you with rage. One more thing: I will never forget or forgive.
- I expect you to be interested in the things that I have achieved and in what I have to say; I, on the other hand, am not at all interested in you and what you have achieved so don’t expect a lot of curiosity from me.
- I am not manipulative – I just like to have things done my way, no matter how much it inconveniences others or how it makes them feel.
Author: Joe Navarro, former FBI Counterintelligence Agent and is the author of What Every Body is Saying