you're worried that "they're right", that you are the Narc., then don't
wait, do some actual scientific observation. It's good for your head,
it's important to know what's really going on in our own lives.
Literally, time them when they start talking about themselves, their
escapades, and their friends. Then, time how long they can tolerate
listening to you talk about yourself or your friends (in a positive
way). What's the time difference? It helps to do it several times.
Sometimes we can be very "chatty" because we're anxious, excited, worried, angry, sad, enthusiastic, or very happy. Are they chatty because of one of these things? Or do they seem to think that they are the only one who should have "the floor" at all times? Do they speak to you as if they are much wiser, much more knowledgeable, and much more experienced than you on a pretty regular basis? Do they often explain things to you that they should know you are quite aware of ? Do they seem to have no recognition of "who you are" and what your experiences are, and keep talking down to you about things you're well-versed in? Do you ever do any of these things?
Listen for their language, do they want to hear about your life, your
adventures, your opinions, or your problems? Or do they deftly switch
the conversation AWAY from the subject of YOU, more often than not?
(Every time?) Do you ever do this?
Do they insult you, put you down, or imply that you're weaker, less capable, or less experienced, either when you're alone or in front of others? Do you do these things to them?
Ask them direct
questions, politely, about random topics (not personal ones), how do
they answer? With direct answers? Or do they side-skirt the question
with distraction, or give a long, elaborate lecture that doesn't
actually answer the question? Do they turn it back on you without
answering at all? Do you find yourself evading direct questions
when you don't know the answer, or trying to re-direct the subject so
it's about something you know more about?
When you make a
statement of observation, like about the weather, or how people were
behaving in the store you were just in, how do they respond? Are they
interested in your point of view, or do they immediately counter you? Do
they just wait for you to finish talking so they can talk about
themselves again? How do you respond when they make a statement of observation?
How do they act around others? Do they give certain KINDS of people
huge amounts of respect, but treat other KINDS of people with much less
respect? Do you find that you do this?
Do they (or you)
accept others the way they are, or do they/you judge anyone who's not
enough like themselves as "losers", "weird", "stupid", "evil", or
Do they feel genuinely happy for others when they get
recognition, when they have something to celebrate, or when they gain or
accomplish something? Or do they tend to usually put them down? What is your usual reaction about these things?
How do they handle plans and scheduling? Do they let you know what's going on, or do they spring things on you and expect you to comply? Do they invite you to do things, or do they demand? Do they stand you up, and expect you to just "deal with it"? Do they separate you from their other friends? Do you decide on plans together, or do they always get the last word? Do you always go to them? Do you always pay? Do you do these things; are you the one who needs to always be"in control", and don't really think about their schedule, their money, or what they really want to do?
Do they seem to get a bigger charge out of correcting you, countering
you, "assisting" you when you didn't ask for it, or criticizing you,
than out of giving you credit, respect, positive attention, help when
you ask for it, or recognition? Is there a possibility that you've been doing that too?
Do they react with annoyance or even anger when you're upset about something? Are they annoyed with you when you're sick, when you're dealing with an obstacle, when you've had a mishap, or when you're helping someone else? How do you respond to them when they're sick, upset, or dealing with something difficult?
If you have children, how do they seem to view them? As a mentor would, or as a caring "Auntie", "Uncle", or grandparent-type? Or do they seem to look down on them, judge them, resent them, or envy them, like an immature peer or hostile Authoritarian? Do they keep judging you as a bad parent? Do they try to help at all, or are they trying to take over? Or do they just put you or the child down, but have no positive influence? Have they tried to influence your child to see you as a "loser", or "unstable"? Do you do any of these things to them?
How do they deal with money? Do they borrow money from you and pay it back, or do they try to get out of paying back personal loans? Do they resent you for having more money than they do? Do they treat you like you're a "loser" for having less money than they do? Do they try to get out of bills, or blame the company they owe money to as if they were "forced" to do business with them or purchase something? Do you do any of these things?
Do they group people into categories based on things like wealth or poverty, being employed or not, age, ancestry, gender, religion, occupation, residential area, education? Do they seem to think that stereotypes about others are real? Do they talk in a demeaning, trashy way, or with exaggerated admiration, (either one) about certain "kinds" of people (such as local women or famous men)? Do you do any of these?
How do they treat animals, and how do they speak of animals? How do they treat and talk about children? How about you?
Do they frequently use a "stern", "authoritative", sarcastic, mean, or condescending voice to you, or to other adults? Do you ever speak in that manner?
Do they seem to think they're always right, no matter what? Do you feel like you're always right, no matter what? Do you see yourself as above reproach, as always righteous, as never doing anything wrong?
Do they seem to use any illness or infirmity they can to get out of uncomfortable discussions, or to control others, or to make others serve them? Do you do that?
Would they rather talk about "dirt" that they've heard about other people than anything positive or neutral? Do they spread rumors about others? Do you believe what people say about others, or feel excited when someone is talking trash about someone else, even when you have no way to know for yourself if any of it is true? Do you believe that you are immune to getting your reputation ruined by slander?
Usually a person who would take the time and effort to actually observe
"who's the Narcissist" is not one. We can, however, have Narc. traits
that we didn't realize we had. We all pick them up from those around us
sometimes, and we can develop some of them in reaction and defense to
other people's Narc. behavior. The definitive difference between a
"Narcissist" and a Non-Narcissist is having the ability to self-examine,
admit and see "faults", feel remorse, make amends, see others as "real
people", and act on changing.