Do Narcissists Know They Are Narcissists? Are They Aware?

Last updated by Katie M.

When it comes to people with narcissistic personality disorder, it is often difficult to distinguish the truth from the common misconceptions. In this precise case, I thought it was about time we took a closer look at their psyche and inner workings of their consciousness, by addressing whether they are privy to their condition. After all, people with such an intense sense of entitlement and serious lack of empathy must realize that they are narcissistic; right? Well, in fact, the answer to that is not exactly black and white, so let’s take a look at why.

Do Narcissists Know They Are Narcissists? Are They Aware?

Their awareness depends on the extent of their disorder

There are different degrees of narcissism, and precisely where people place on the spectrum determines how aware, or in certain cases oblivious they are, of their actions. If, for example, someone displays worryingly selfish tendencies couples with a grandiose sense of entitlement and a thirst for success, power, and brilliance, it seems legitimate that they may be completely blind to their unacceptable behavior, because they are so used to it. However, if the disorder is less pronounced and seemingly less dangerous for people’s mental health, then red flags may go unnoticed, and these folks may remain covert. Indeed, it’s the severity of the disorder that influences the sufferer’s self-awareness and capacity for introspection.

Beware of giving narcissists the benefit of the doubt

Now, as I’ve said above, most experts agree that the seriousness of this disorder impacts its acknowledgment, but we must not forget that narcissists are excellent manipulators. Lying, inventing stories, and getting their own way are all second nature to these deeply devious personalities, meaning that they are capable of absolutely anything. Yes, that’s right, many of these folks would indeed be accomplished in the art of fooling their entourage into believing that they are blissfully unaware of their toxic actions. After all; how can we realistically blame or confront someone who we suspect to be a narcissist about their behavior when they deny recognizing it as toxic?

The bottom line is, these cunning personalities never want to be ousted and exposed for what they are deep down, and will go to the ends of the earth in order to maintain their power and deny their abusive tendencies. Plus, they are experts in pulling the wool over people’s eyes and making others feel sorry for them, which explains why they should never be accorded any special treatment or excessive sympathy because it will only blur the lines in your relationship and could put you in a vulnerable position.

>>> Discover the 10 signs that you are a narcissist

Denial is their favorite weapon

People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) pretend to be ignorant to their harmful actions in order to keep their victims where they want them. If anyone ever dares to call them out on things they have done or said, their master plotters will use their charm to worm their way out of the conflict and keep the peace. They’ll want to appear rational and therefore may even apologize for coming across in such a toxic way, however, they evidently won’t mean a word of what they say. When they apologize, they may even make outlandish claims about feeling awful for the way they’ve come across and promises about wanting to change in the future. Whatever they concoct as an excuse for their toxicity, you need to keep in mind that words are just words and in this case, their so-called apology is a cleverly constructed plan which they believe will get you on their side.

Do narcissists know exactly what they are doing?

Narcissists often have a grandiose view of themselves, and seek to maintain this image by avoiding any questioning of their own superiority. They may be resistant to criticism, blame others for their actions, minimize the negative consequences of their behavior or seek to rationalize them.

It's important to note that narcissism exists on a continuum, ranging from milder narcissism to more severe narcissistic personality disorders. In the most severe cases, people with narcissistic personality disorders may have a limited understanding of their behavior and may be less inclined to recognize or question their actions.

It should also be stressed that each individual is unique, and some narcissistic people may develop some awareness of their behavior and seek to improve. However, this usually requires in-depth therapeutic work and a sincere willingness to question and change. Ultimately, awareness of narcissistic behavior varies from person to person, but it's common for narcissistic people to have a limited view of their actions and their impact on others due to their own distorted perception of reality.

Even if many of them are aware of their behavior, they just don’t care enough to change

If you have ever dated or even been friends with someone with this personality type, you’ll have no doubt wondered; can a narcissist change? Well, to put it quite bluntly and perhaps brutally for some, the answer to that is; no. No, they can’t change because their inherent traits are simply too dark and furthermore, they don’t have the willpower or determination to do so. They love being in control, and the only solution they see to keeping their power is by manipulating their victims in order to keep them under the thumb. Plus, they need to feel important, and the power rush they get from taking charge helps to validate their superiority and status.

💡FAQ💡 Do narcissists get worse with age?

Narcissists age badly, and they become even more bitter and twisted as time goes on. In fact, as they age, they become more afraid. The fear of losing control, seduction, and power affects them to the core. They become more and more vindictive with the years and are eaten away by the anguish of time passing. With the passing of time, the hatred and contempt towards everything that used to irritate them become more pronounced. Confident, internally rich, or financially rich people scare them too. They are dependent on their superiority over others, and this is an unchangeable pattern. However, getting older implies a considerable loss of social or physical speed, and this is an unbearable idea for the manipulative pervert.

💡FAQ💡 Do narcissists actually care about you?

Narcissistic people may form bonds with others, but these relationships are often colored by their own needs and concerns. Narcissists tend to seek out relationships that bring them personal gratification, admiration and ego validation. However, it's important to note that relationships for narcissistic people are often marked by an imbalance of power and a lack of empathy towards others. They may exploit the people around them, treating them as extensions of themselves or manipulating them to satisfy their own needs and desires.

Narcissists may be able to form superficial, temporary bonds with others, but they often have difficulty maintaining deep, lasting relationships. Their central preoccupation is usually their own satisfaction and their constant need for attention and admiration, which can lead them to neglect the needs and emotions of others.

💡FAQ💡 Can a narcissist be a good person?

Narcissists, both men and women, are masters in the art of hiding who they really are, of concealing their true personality. They are clever, they are cunning, they generally display a lack of empathy and have a constant need to be loved and admired. He or she would use narcissistic behaviors, motivated by a persistent feeling of insecurity and not by high self-esteem. However, they also present them as very good person if they have something to gain from them. Likewise, they also present themselves as being "vulnerable" to their victims. In fact, they actually have low self-esteem, extreme sensitivity and an overall feeling of insecurity. In short, their behavior is definitely terrible, but their bad experiences are certainly responsible for making them act in such ways.

Editor’s opinion - Tread very carefully

When dealing with disorders such as this one, you need to be very careful not to get sucked into the drama and thrown into a state of confusion regarding what you first believed was true. If you suspect that someone is toxic, then the sad truth is, your first instincts were probably right, so don’t let anything they say convince you otherwise. The idea is for you to preserve your mental health, and the only way to do this is to create distance between yourself and a potential abuser.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

#BornToBeMe

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Article presented by Katie M.

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