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Are You a Narcissist (NARC)?

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Expanding on this core definition of narcissistic functioing as a difficulty in listening, here’s six signs for sizing up narcissism.  Score each dimension from 0 to 10.  Zero is not at all. Ten is all the time. 

First assess yourself.  Then circle back to score someone in your life who is difficult to deal with.

The goal: See your and others' patterns clearly.  Clarity is a strong first step toward being able to make changes for the better.

Sign #1:  Unilateral listening. 

What  what I want and what I have to say are all that matters when we talk together.  When we make decisions, what you want, your concerns, your feelings..these are mere whispers, inconveniences and irrelevancies.  When we discuss issues, my opinions are right.  Yours are wrong or else of minimal importance.  If you expect to have input, you are undermining me.                                                  

Narcissistic listening focuses on how to dismiss, negate, ignore, minimize, denigrate or otherwise render irrelevant other people’s concerns.  

One sign of narcissistic non-listening: a tone of contempt instead of interest. Another: frequent responses that begin with "But....", which is linguistically a backspace-delete key.

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


SIgn #2  It’s all about me. 

I know more, I know better, I’m more interesting,  When we talk, it’s mostly about me.  In conversations, I take up most of the air time. Almost all of my chatter is about what I have done, what I am thinking about.  

If you begin to talk about yourself, I link back to something in my life so that the focus of the discussion again turns onto me.  Maybe that's why people say I suck up all the air in a room.

When I want something, I need to have it. Never mind how you feel about it; it’s all about me.  I’m big and important and you are merely also here, mostly to do things for me, like a third arm. 

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Sign #3:  The rules don’t apply to me. 

I can have affairs, cut into a line where others are waiting, cheat on my taxes, and ignore rules that get in the way of my doing what I want..  Rules are for other people to follow.

Narcissists suffer from what I call Tall Man Syndrome.  They experience themselves as above others, so the rules don't apply to them.

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Sign #4:  Your concerns are really criticisms of me, and I hate being criticized.

If you insist on my listening and taking your concerns seriously I’m likely to get mad.  Criticism hurts.  I can criticize others, and often do, but if you criticize me you’re hurting my feelings so I’ll hurt you back.  And if you say you are at all unhappy, that's a way of indirectly criticizing me. Since "it's all about me" your feelings must be about what I have been doing.

Narcissists paradoxically manifest both an inflated idea of their own importance and quickness to feel deflated by negative feedback. 

In addition, because they think everything is about them, they hear others’ attempts to talk about personal feelings as veiled criticisms of themselves. 

The clinical term for taking others' concerns as personal criticism is personalizing.  E.g., If she says "I'm feeling lonely,"  her narcissistic friend will hear the self-statement as an acusation, "You don't spend enough time with me."

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Sign #5:  When things go wrong between us, it’s always your fault. 

I can’t be expected to apologize or to admit blame.  I’m above others and above reproach. You shouldn’t have… . Don’t threaten me with expecting me to say how I’ve contributed to a problem or I’ll get mad at you.

Unwillingness to take responsibility for mistakes goes hand-in-hand with quickness to blame.  This trait may come from confusing the part with the whole. "If I've done one thing that's not right, then I must be all bad."  That's also all-or-nothing thinking.    

Whatever the source of the sensitivity to criticism and difficulty admitting mistakes, the upshot is a tendency to blame others when anything has gone wrong.  Blaming and fault-finding in others feel safer to narcissists than looking to discover, learn and grow from their own part in difficulties.       

While narcissists are quick to blame, they may be slow to appreciate.  Appreciation and gratitude require listening.                     

Score:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10                                                    


Sign #6:  If I’m angry, it’s your fault. 

You made me mad. You didn’t listen to me.  You criticized me.  You’re trying to control me.  Your view is wrong.   So you need to apologize, not me. 

I’m not responsible either for my anger.  If I’m mad, it's because I'm frustrated by what you are doing.  My anger is your fault. I'm only made because you ... "

Some narcissists show major charm and social agility.  At the same time, these seemintly super-confident folks also can be quick to anger.  When they do become inflamed, they then immediately blame their anger on others.  

What are typical anger triggers for people with narcissistic tendencies? 

Critical comments will do it.  As I said above, as much as narcissisitc folks see themselves as special, they also can be remarkably thin-skinned.  Any feedback that punctures their belief in total specialness can feel quite threatening. The immediate response will be to issue blame.

Telling anyone what to do, or sounding even somewhat like you are telling them what to do, also is likely to provoke irritation.  Pretty much everyone prefers autonomy (unless the two people have an agreed-upon boss-worker or similar relationship).  Narcissists however tend to be hyper-sensitive about feeling controlled.  Any request therefore to a narcissist is at risk for sounding to them like a demand and therefore triggering irritation. 

Asking someone who is narcissistic to do something your way rather than theirs is particularly likely to sound to them like you are telling them what to do.   Their anger in response, of course, is your fault.

Score: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


TOTAL SCORE: ___   What does this score indicate?

The interpretations below are based on my clinical hunches, not any scientific testing.  They're meant just to give you a general indicate of what your quiz suggests.

Scores that total 5-10 probably indicate normal human fallibilities with room for improvement. No one is perfect.  If you think you are perfect, and scored therefore below 5, you might check again. Be sure your scores do not indicate a narcissism of excessive belief that you are perfect, another potential sign of narcissism

Too much narcissism in your habits would be indicated by a total score of 10 to 30.  Pay attention to your "narcissism lite" and you may fairly easily be able to lower that score considerably.

A total score of 30 or higher spells significant narcissistic habits that probably do not serve you well. Time to make some serious habit changes!

40 to 60 would indicate to me severe problems with narcissism.  With thisunderstanding of why your relationships become distressed, hopefully you will commit yourself to some serious personal growth.

Again, note that these score interpretations are based on hunches, not an experimentally validated scoring system.  They are meant as a personal heads-up, not a clinical diagnosis.

What are your options if you are uncomfortable with the score?

The bottom line is that "narcissism" is basically habit-patterns, and habits can be changed. Awareness of your narcissistic tendencies is a strong first step that can empower you to notice and fix slippages.

You also might want to check out my blogpost on overcoming narcissism and borderline personality habits.

What if you are using this checklist to score how narcissistic someone you know may be?

If someone you interact with regularly shows narcissistic patterns, it's not up to you to change them.  Better for you to focus on how you yourself can change the dance you do with that person. 

For instance, you can choose that you will no longer let yourself be intimidated or controlled by fear of anger.  Just gracefully leave the situation for a cool down period (“I need to get a drink of water.”), and then return for a calmer second-go at the conversation. 

When you have something important to communicate with a narcissistic loved one, what can help?  Be sure to follow the rule of talking about yourself, not about the other person.  See my post on 6 sentence starters for sensitive discussions for illustrations of how to follow this rule to more effectively be past the deafness wall.

Having trouble getting your views heard?  You can choose to speak up a second or third time about your concerns to increase the odds that your concerns or viewpoint will eventually get heard. 

You can ask, after sharing a concern, “So what made sense to you in what I said?” 

You can digest aloud what makes sense in what your partner said, and then make a second attempt to say your viewpoint.  Once your partner feels heard, the odds go up that he or she will mirror your good hearing habits.

And becoming a master at win-win problem-solving can put you in aleadership role for situations in which you need to make a decision together so that your eventual plan of action heeds both of your concerns.  This earlier post on win-win decision-making may help so that your partner feels that s/he has gotten what s/he wants even though your concerns also have been responded to in your plan of action.

Almost everyone tends to behave less narcissistically when they are happy.  Most of us tend to become increasingly narcissistic as anxieties prime the pump of anger. 

Anger promotes the sense that “What I want is holy, and what you want is irrelevant.”  That's why it's so vital that in important conversations you stay calm.  Talking about sensitive issues in calm good-humored wayswithout arguing has the highest odds of leading to mutual understandings instead of the narcissism trap.

The bottom line?  For a happier life and more gratifing relationships, especially if your scores indicated some narcissistic tendencies, tame these trends with better skills. Narcissim is not like height or eye color.  It's a behavior problem.  Upgrading your listening and shared-decision-making skills can make a huge difference!


Susan Heitler, PhD, is a Denver clinical psychologist specializes in treatment of relationship difficulties, anger, narcissism and bpd.  Her bookThe Power of Two and interactive website, (which is for singles also) teach the skills for relationship success.

Click here: 10 Personality Disorders

Prayer for Healing from Emotional Pain and Trauma

So much of what we carry with us on a daily basis is retained in painful memories and the trauma of past events. Those wounds become open doors to the enemy which grant him access. These things take up residence in the very cells of our bodies, creating room for illness, disease, infirmity and a whole host of other physical, emotional and spiritual problems. God wants to heal us so deep it touches the very core of our being and regenerates healing from a cellular level. Do you believe it?

Psalm 91 gives us a blessing and a promise to those that seek their refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ. In verse 10, the word 'plague' is from the Hebrew word 'nega.' It is translated as: 1) a stroke or a blow, figuratively or inflicted {inflicted by man on man}; 2) also a second meaning, {stroke, metaphor, especially of a disease, regarded as sent by a divine chastisement}; 3) plague or a mark {regarded as the heavy touch or stroke of a disease}. The NASB translates it like this: affliction, assault, infection, mark {regarded as the heavy touch or stroke of a disease, such as leprosy}, plague, plagues, stripes, stroke, strokes, wounds.

What an amazing promise! Isn't God good?! Regardless of where the wound originated, God has made a provision to be free and healed from it! What ever you are struggling with, place it into one of the stripes Jesus took for you. Matthew 8:17 tells us that "He himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses." Therefore, we can declare "By His stripes we are healed." Agreeing with God's word is key; we must believe that God can, He wants to, and has already made the provision for our healing. Faith is active participation with God so that we can receive what we are believing to receive!

God made a promise to the Israelites that is good for us today, too. If they would worship only Him and serve Him, He would put none of the diseases upon them that were upon their enemies. This is because God is the one that heals us. In Exodus 15: 26 He said, "If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."

One thing I discovered the hard way is to search deep within and examine yourself to see if you could have any open doors to spirits such as anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, or unloving spirits. Sometimes we encounter problems due to no fault of our own, but at other times, we struggle in our health because we really have left a door open somewhere, we just don't realize we have. When we repent and come back into submission to God, we can then resist the enemy and command him to leave. And take every sickness, symptom, assault and affliction that he has put on us and send them all back to hell!

One thing you can do is to pray and ask Holy Spirit to show you what happened in your life right before you got sick or started noticing symptoms of health or emotional issues. Ask Him to dislodge stuck memories. Pay close attention to the next thought that comes to mind. and ask Holy Spirit to help you fully embrace what your conscious mind has either forgotten or blocked out. Ask the Lord to highlight any traumatic memories AND to give you the understanding of what was going on in yourself and others at the time those events occurred. Ask Holy Spirit to give you grace and compassion for anyone that wounded you. Stand on God's promise until the healing manifests. Sometimes you may have to walk through it until you get to the other side; other times the healing is immediate, but don't waiver at God's promises. He is faithful to watch over His word and bring it to pass!

Here is a prayer specifically written to be healed so deeply and completely it renews us from the inside out. Be blessed in knowing that God hears your prayers and knows exactly what each one of us need! Each prayer is a step closer to your breakthrough, healing and restoration! This prayer can also be used to pray over others.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I lift up myself to You right now. I pray that You would help me embrace whatever traumatic or negative memories that I have either blocked out or forgotten, if recalling those memories can be used to release healing. I ask You, Holy Spirit, to show me what happened in my life right before I started feeling ill, or experienced fear, anxiety, or other symptoms manifested. I give You permission to dislodge memories that are stuck. I pray that You highlight any specific memories or situations that are related to my symptoms, illness or other physical and emotional issues. Help me pay attention to what You show me. Please give me understanding of what was going on in myself and others connected to those events, and grant me grace and compassion to be able to forgive myself and others. Help me to see from Your perspective.

I pray that You would supernaturally remove the hurtful memories and the trauma of past events out of my minds, emotions, memories and out of my physical bodies. I ask that You would lift all remnants of painful events and the trauma that was created as a result of that pain. Lift it all out of the very cells of my body. Let me remember only the good about those the enemy used to cause pain. I pray that my heart and mind would agree that I am in an entirely new day and I am able to graciously forgive those that treated me wrong. I forgive anyone that caused injury to my soul, spirit and even physically.

Let my ears not remember hurtful words spoken to me, about me, by me, or by others. Let my heart release all unforgiveness, anger, fear, rejection, pain and shame. I speak now and declare complete healing and freedom from every painful event in my life. I declare that painful memories and hurtful words will not circulate in my mind and emotions any longer in the name and authority of Jesus Christ. I pray that no cell in my body would retain unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, hatred, fear, condemnation, regret, rejection or self hatred. I pray that my physical body would no longer be in agreement with any negative emotions in Jesus name.

I release myself and others from the pain of their past, and the poor decisions they made as a result of their brokenness. I release them from guilt, shame, regret and bitterness now, in Jesus name. I forgive and release those who willfully and spitefully inflicted pain and suffering on me. I forgive and release those who had wicked intentions and gave themselves over to evil, in order to afflict, torment, and delight themselves in causing me pain. I give them over to You, Father, to do with as You choose; knowing that You are a just God and vengeance belongs to You. I choose to trust You in matters concerning justice and judgement towards others, knowing that as a matter of my will, I choose to forgive and am therefore free in Christ.

I ask Your forgiveness for any doors that I have accidentally opened to the enemy through trying to comfort myself with artificial means. I renounce and break every unintentional agreement that I may have made with spirits of fear, lust, anger, greed, gluttony, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, unloving spirits, idolatry or a perverse spirit that also inflicts wounds on others. I submit to You, Holy Spirit, and command all ungodly spirits to leave me now, in the name and authority of Jesus Christ. I command all unclean spirits to go back to where you came from and appropriate the blood of Christ over every part of my life, and others for whom I pray.

I speak now to my physical body and command all illness, disease, infirmity and weakness to be uprooted and removed now in Jesus name. I command complete release in every cell of my body of any and all residual effects of trauma. By the name and authority of Jesus Christ, I lift the remnant of trauma out of my body and ask that Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Life, release healing into every cell of my body. I speak to the hormones, organs and systems of my body and command them to come into balance and normal function. I command my body to be healed at the cellular level. Everything that has been retained that does not exist in the kingdom of heaven, be released out of my cells now in Jesus name. Let every weight be released. Let every hindrance be released. Let all that does not originate from the kingdom of heaven be released out of my mind, body, emotions and memories. Every weakness be filled now with wholeness and perfect soundness in the name and authority of Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, fill me now with Your fullness, strength and power in Jesus name. Fill me with joy, peace, and a release of supernatural healing that radiates from the inside out. I declare that by Your stripes I have been healed, according to Is. 53:5. Thank you for the blood You shed, Lord Jesus, that makes healing a reality. I thank You for revival, restoration, healing and complete regeneration in Jesus name. Amein

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There is a battle between the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error. Truth will prevail! Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach. Humanity, it's time to get right.



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