Do you know someone that loves to talk about themselves? This person tends to have superior beliefs and holds themselves in high regard. You don’t have to look far to find someone like this, as social media is full of people who boost their self-esteem by being a conversational narcissist.
Undoubtedly, you have heard of narcissistic personalities, and you may have encountered a few in your day. Perhaps, you even struggle with narcissistic personality disorder yourself. According to the DSM-5, NPD is a greedy and status-driven person who often engages in destructive behavior.
Consequently, a newer subcategory of this personality has formed, which is known as conversational narcissists. These people are a bit different than the traditional type, as they know how to use their conversation to manipulate and control relationships by using their voice.
Ten Signs of a Conversational Narcissist
It’s essential to recognize the difference between someone with poor communication skills and a genuine personality disorder. The difference between the two is that once a person is made aware that they’re disregarding, invalidating, and using others, the narcissist will continue the toxic behavior.
The person who has poor skills will alter their speech to be more accommodating. Here are the signs to watch for when it comes to a conversational narcissist.
1. Control and Direct Conversation Topics
One-sided conversations are challenging. If you’re constantly the person listening while someone else is talking, then it’s a red flag. For a conversation to be healthy, there needs to be both give and take.
Each person should have a turn at speaking, and the other person needs to listen. Anyone who dominates or hoards a conversation might be self-absorbed. The conversational narcissist only cares about what they have to say and nobody else.
2. Know-It-All and Unwelcome Advice
Do you ever get unwelcomed advice from people that make you see red? New mothers often talk about all the unwarranted parenting advice they get, yet they take it in strides. However, the conversational narcissist takes on the attitude that they know everything about everything.
Their self-imagined importance allows them to have an answer to any problem you have, and they believe that they are a “know-it-all.” Well, they think it on the outside, but inside they’re trying to make up for their insecurities. Their boorish and unsolicited advice may make you flaming mad, but it’s coming from a dark and lonely place that exists inside them.
3.Frequently Interrupts Others
There’s nothing worse than being interrupted when you’re trying to speak. You expect this behavior from children or young kids, but the conversational narcissist will do it too. They believe that what they have to say is so important that they won’t wait until you’re finished.
They will cut you off in mid-sentence to hurry and interject their thoughts. Interrupting you when you’re speaking only shows their false sense of arrogance and entitlement.
4. Overbearing During Conversation Time
A conversation with a narcissistic might looks something like this: “Oh, I am so sorry that you have a headache, but do you mind taking me to the store for some groceries?” The key is that the focus always comes back to them.
These people have incredible skills that make them capable of monopolizing the discussion, and they’re not afraid to rudely interrupt you either. Conversation narcissists have an astonishing lack of recognition for what others say, even if the information is critical, private, and vulnerable in nature. They genuinely don’t care about anyone but themselves, which is why having a close and loving relationship with this person is impossible.
5. Unwarranted Superiority Complex
Another common trait of the conversation narcissist is that they have a superiority complex for no good reason. They can come across as arrogant or smug, but this is all an attempt to cover up the inadequacies they feel inside. This person feels the need to demote, judge, demean, reduce, make fun of, and discriminate against others.
Just remember this behavior has more to do with them than you, and someone who is in a healthy place inside doesn’t go around trying to destroy others. They need to put you down to make themselves feel better, and it just shows how messed up things are inside their mind. They don’t love themselves, so they need to come across a superior to cover up this inner loathing.
6. Unempathetic Listening Skills
Not only does the person want to spend all the time talking about themselves, but they will also dictate any other topics discussed. If you’re not talking about subjects that they like, then they’re not interested. Even if you manage to interject a few words, they will listen briefly, ignore the conversation, and move back to their topic of choice.
7. Scheming or Using Others as Extension of Self
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is hard, especially since they have a good rapport with others. According to Lisa Thomson Wells, a renowned writer and motivational speaker, narcissists often try to manipulate and exploit others for selfish gain. Once a person notices their patterns, they move on.
Being manipulated by a narcissist isn’t always easy to spot. They’re very crafty with their false promises and insincere flattery. However, if you don’t take the bait with the first tactics, they will use guilt, lying, making excuses, and hostility to get what they want. Remember, these people can’t relate to you, but they sure know how to use you.
8. Use a Lot of Filler Phrases
Another interesting thing you will notice about conversational narcissists is that they like to use filler words. Now, many people have bywords because they lose their train of thought or use them out of habit, but this person is doing it because they’re not listening to you at all.
When someone isn’t engaging in your conversation, they may say things like “hmm” or “interesting.” Watch out for these filler words, as the person might be a bit selfish and just not engaged in the discussion.
9. Extreme Exaggeration & Self-Praise
Do you have that one friend that never ceases to amaze you during a conversation? You may be talking about the weather, and they find some way to interject that they’re a lawyer or have tons of money saved. These people need validation and a way to boost their self-worth, and they find any conversation is an excellent time to do so.
Social media has given these narcissists a platform to use with ease. Here, you can easily brag, flaunt, and dramatize your life, and you always have a captive audience. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back for praise-worthy achievements, but it shouldn’t be an everyday thing.
The real issue is the person is compensating for the emptiness they feel on the inside, so they boost themselves on a superficial level on the outside. The problem is they’re not fooling anyone but themselves.
10. The Listeners’ Eyes Are Glazing Over
The narcissist knows how to dominate the conversation, and they care so much about what they’re talking about that they assume you do too. How do you know if you’re talking to a selfish person? Well, if you’re eyes start glazing over, your body language is stiff and uncomfortable, and you’re not paying attention, it’s clear they’ve bored you to tears.
Final Thoughts on the Conversational Narcissist
When dealing with a narcissist of any kind, you must remember that what you see and hear coming from them is all fake. They’re creating this superiority complex to distract themselves from the inadequacies they feel inside. In many instances, these people have been abused, neglected, or had traumatic experiences in life that have left them forever altered.
Additionally, a narcissistic personality disorder is a true mental illness, and it’s not something that will go away on its own. It takes years of therapy, rewiring the brain, and admitting there’s an issue even to attempt to get over it. Sadly, according to the American Addiction Centers, the recovery rate for this condition is anywhere from zero to six percent.
The main issue why so many don’t recover is because they’re too proud to seek help. When it comes to conversation narcissists, they’re just a bit more vocal than others, and they tend to use their voice to stroke their bruised self-esteem. It’s best to steer clear of this person or urge them to get help.
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