Previously we talked to Marianne Vicelich, Psychologist and author of Destruction: Free Yourself From The Narcissist about identifying narcissistic behaviours in relationships.
Test yourself: Are You a Narcissist?
On a scale from 1 to 5, indicate how much you agree or disagree with each item, using the guide below:
1 – Strongly disagree
2 – Disagree
3 – Neutral
4 – Agree
5 – Strongly agree
- Compliments make me uncomfortable.
- It irritates me when someone gets ahead by being the star.
- I have missed out on opportunities because I was uncomfortable nominating myself.
- Sometimes I won’t state my ideas because someone else’s will be better.
- I often refer to other people’s opinions.
- I worry about how other people feel and think about me.
- I am not sure what I want or need in relationships.
- When people ask me my preferences, I am often at a loss.
- I blame myself when things go badly in a relationship.
- I apologise a lot.
- I am self-confident, but caring.
- I press on, even when tasks are challenging.
- I take more pride in my achievements when I have to work hard at them.
- I can recognise my limitations without feeling bad about myself.
- I am happy to acknowledge my faults if it improves a situation.
- I believe all partners contribute to the success or failure of a relationship.
- I can rein myself in when people tell me I am getting a big head.
- I like to dream big but not at the expense of my relationships.
- I’ll take giving over receiving any day.
- Despite setbacks, I believe in myself.
- I find it easy to manipulate people.
- I insist on getting the respect that’s due.
- I expect a great deal from other people.
- I will never be satisfied until I get all I deserve.
- I secretly believe I am better than other people.
- I get extremely angry when criticised.
- I get upset when people don’t notice how I look in public.
- I am apt to show off if I get a chance.
- I have a strong willpower.
- I am great at a lot of things compared to most people.
Narcissism deficits – add items 1-10 and enter your score here _________
Healthy Narcissism – add items 11-20 and enter your score here ________
Extreme Narcissism – add items 21-30 and enter your score here ________
Understanding your score
The first total represents your placement on the left of the spectrum (narcissism deficits), the second reflects your tendency towards the centre (healthy narcissism), and the third gives you a rough sense of how far you are leaning towards extreme narcissism.
Interpreting Your Score
The average score for Narcissism Deficits is 28. If you scored between 28 and 34 or lower you are fine.
People who scored high (35 or above) tend to:
- Suffer from low self-esteem
- Subjugate themselves to their partner’s wishes and needs
- Feel undeserving/under-entitled
- Struggle to receive and give emotional support
- Feel pessimistic
- Are modest
- Feel anxious, depressed and emotionally fragile
The average for healthy narcissism is 39. A lower score here confirms that you don’t necessarily enjoy feeling special (though you might tolerate it).
People who scored higher on this factor tend to:
- Be calm, optimistic and cheery
- Possess high self-esteem
- Excel at giving and receiving emotional support
- Experience a sense of purpose in life
- Are self-disciplined
- Are trusting, enjoy closeness, and emotional intimacy
- Feel deserving, but not over-entitled
People with healthy narcissism are more likely to view not just themselves as special, they also see their partners as better than others too.
The average score is 27, yet if you received higher then this is problematic. If you scored higher than 42 you are entering the territory of pathological narcissism.
High scorers tend to:
- Have fluctuating self-esteem
- Struggle to give and receive emotional support
- Are entitled, manipulative, and approval seeking
- See themselves as better than their partners (and everyone else)
- Seem argumentative, unco-operative, and selfish
- Seem unemotional (apart from anger and thrill seeking)
- Experience significant conflicts at work
- Their ego is brittle and easily shattered, they protect themselves by boasting about their gifts or blaming others when their self-image is threatened. And their relationships clearly suffer from their argumentative, careless approach with other people.
In rare circumstances, people score high on narcissism deficits and high on extreme narcissism. If your score reflects that pattern, it likely means that you vacillate between extremes of feeling worthless and feeling superior.
If anyone has been impacted by emotional or physical abuse to contact a free support counselling service here:
Marianne Vicelich is a psychologist, relationship coach and author of 8 published self-help books including ‘Destruction: Free Yourself From The Narcissist‘.