What does the narcissist say when he’s finished speaking? Now it’s your turn to speak … about me. When Narcissus saw his reflection in a stream he was so enamored he fell in and drowned.
Like all personality traits we all have degrees of narcissism. Ever admired yourself in a mirror? Narcissus would have approved, before hogging it for herself. In fact self-love is critical to happiness and success. It’s only a problem when it leaves little room for the love of others. Grade A narcissists are so self obsessed they see others largely as extras for their starring role. They may be selfish, exploitative, think they’re more important than they are and have little empathy but they are fabulous people. How do you know? They’ll tell you.
Narcissism is typically diagnosed with a 40-item questionnaire. Not something easily rolled out on a first date. Fortunately a team at the University of Michigan believe that anyone can diagnose narcissism with just one question. What’s the question? Drum roll please…. Are you a narcissist?
Okay, it’s not quite that simple but not far off. Ideally it would be a written question phrased as follows:
“To what extent do you agree with this statement: ‘I am a narcissist.’ A little definition was added – The word ‘narcissist’ means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.” They were then asked to rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 meaning “Not very true of me” and 7 meaning “very true of me.”
The answer to this single question gave virtually the same result as the result of the 40-item questionnaire. The reason that narcissists tend to be so honest about their narcissism is because well, if you truly believe you’re that great, why should you hide it?
So, the next time you’re wondering if someone is a narcissist, ask them!