Am I a narcissist

Am I a Narcissist? These 4 Signs Reveal All!

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Am I a narcissist?  This question keeps too many people awake at night.
You’ve read the articles saying “we all have narcissistic traits” and have taken a gazillion quizzes, but you still can’t tell for sure (and if we’re honest with ourselves, most of the stuff out there is just clickbait and completely ungrounded).

Fret no more! After watching this video, you will know FOR SURE whether or not you’re a narcissist. No fluff, no bait and switch…just cold, hard facts.  


Video Transcript

Today, I’m going to help you determine exactly, Am I a narcissist? I see so many abuse victims being devastated by the idea that they might be the narcissist who’s causing all the problems in their relationships. In this video, you will learn four indisputable signs that you are not a narcissist (and why).

I do want to preface this discussion by saying that many of us who’ve been targets of narcissistic abuse often act uncharacteristically when we’ve been pushed to the limit. I did that, back in the day, in my own relationships with narcissists. But that’s not what I’ll be discussing. Today, I’m going to share four signs that prove you’re not a narcissist.

Sound good?

Let’s get started…

Are You a Narcissist?  Four Ways to Tell

1 – Narcissists Don’t Worry If They’re Narcissists

Narcissists don’t sit around wondering, Am I a narcissist?

They don’t wonder if they’ve hurt people. They’re not self-reflecting on ways to be better partners, better parents, better sons or daughters, better friends, or better siblings. They are not concerned with any of those things. This is the primary determinant of whether or not you’re a narcissist.

I feel compelled to briefly discuss the concept of the self-aware narcissist, which is a label that’s been floating around, and I don’t agree with it. I think a lot of the confusion comes from narcissists using cognitive empathy on people.

Related Article:  How the Narcissist Hurts You Using Cognitive Empathy

The idea of “self-aware” narcissists doesn’t mean they’re aware of the fact (or even care) that they’re hurting people.

What defines a self-aware narcissist is that they’ve become aware that their behaviors and their abuse are not accepted by society. They’ve been through certain incidents in their lives that have caused them some trouble. And so, they’ve become aware that they need to present themselves differently to be able to deceive people better.

Granted, there are some therapists and PhDs who insist that their narcissistic clients are self-aware. I’ve read the same articles you have. But what I haven’t seen is any of that manifest in real life.  I’ve never seen therapy help narcissists, and I’ve not seen these so-called self-aware narcissists making any lasting improvements to their relationships.

2 – You’ve Developed a Trauma Bond

The second sign that you’re not the narcissist is that you are experiencing a trauma bond.

Narcissists do not experience or develop trauma bonds. Only we do as their victims and targets.   

Narcissists don’t form any kind of real bond with those they are in relationships with. They don’t attach to people emotionally.  Their ‘attachments’ look completely different than ours.

It might seem that the narcissist you’re in love with or are involved with in some way, is attached to you, but again, a lot of that’s just the use of cognitive empathy; the use of psychological manipulation.

This is how they get away with all the horrible relationship crimes they’re committing.

When it comes to narcissists, you can tell they’re not trauma bonded because they’re diving nose-first into the next relationship. And honestly, when you see the narcissist entering a new relationship, most of the time, the relationship is not new. They were grooming that person long before your relationship ended.

Targets of narcissistic abuse, on the other hand, don’t typically jump right into another relationship. Now it does happen that oftentimes we do start dating again too soon. And that’s because we fear being alone. We fear not having someone outside of ourselves to validate and approve of us.

This is part of our healing journey after narcissistic abuse …learning to be alone, learning to feel comfortable with it, and learning to work through those abandonment wounds so that we don’t depend on another person for our sense of wholeness.

Trauma bonding is the reason we feel we can’t leave, even though we know the relationship is extremely toxic, even though we know that they are going to hurt us again. So, if you are experiencing a trauma bond, then you are not a narcissist.

3 – You are Experiencing Symptoms of PTSD or C- PTSD.

If you don’t know what those acronyms stand for, PTSD is post-traumatic stress disorder and C-PTSD is complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD typically happens after a one-time event like an earthquake, a car accident, or a mugging.  Complex PTSD happens when you are subjected to traumatic events over a long period of time. This is exactly what happens when we’re in relationships with narcissists because we’re constantly being bombarded with all kinds of traumatic events.

We find out they’ve cheated. Again. We find out they’ve lied again. We find out they never left their ex that we kept asking about. We find out they got a loan in our name; we find out they are tracking us.

This doesn’t even touch on the verbal abuse, the verbal assaults, the verbal Holocaust that we have to endure in these relationships.

These repeated traumas have a very real effect on our psyches and on our physical bodies. So, if you are experiencing PTSD or C-PTSD, you are not a narcissist. Narcissists are not traumatized by relationships, only their targets are…the people they’re abusing.

4 – You Have Symptoms of Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome

 If you are experiencing symptoms of narcissistic abuse syndrome, then you are not a narcissist.

NAS is not something that is recognized in the DSM, but it is becoming widely accepted by counselors and therapists. There are some academics out there who will say that such a thing does not exist. And I say, they just don’t have the experience. Maybe they’re just going by the old school psychology classes that they took. They don’t want to open their minds to new concepts, or even scarier is they could be a narcissist themselves.

Sadly, there are masses of narcissists who are counselors and therapists, but there are some really great ones out there, too.  They’re just hard to find.  These are professionals who have typically gone through narcissistic relationships themselves.

Here are some signs that you’re experiencing Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome:

You always feel alone incredibly alone

While the narcissist may be living with you, eating meals at your table, and sleeping beside you in bed, you’ve never felt such stark loneliness. You often find yourself curled in the fetal position, envisioning someone coming to put their arms around you to help relieve your feelings of isolation.

The reason you feel this way is because you’re living with a mirage of the person you love. That person doesn’t exist and, meanwhile, you are being abandoned in every way possible.

You feel that you’re never good enough

We all struggle with self-esteem at different points in our lives. But when you are with a narcissist (after the love-bombing phase, of course) you’ll feel like nothing you do or say is ever good enough; that you are not good enough.

Whereas you were once the apple of this person’s eye, and you guys had all this fun together, there came a point in the relationship where suddenly you felt like the dregs of society. 

In a healthy relationship, after the honeymoon phase is over, even though it may not feel as exciting as it did in the beginning, you will start to feel more comfortable with someone, not the other way around.

You have begun to compromise your own integrity and personal values

The way I see this manifest most commonly is parents siding with narcissists and catering to narcissists over their own children.

And if you are watching this video, I’m begging you…If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist and you have kids, especially older kids, in regards to what I’m about to say, do not let the narcissist convince you to kick your own children out of the house.  Please do not do that.

If your children are younger, I would still advise you to leave the relationship. Because living in a toxic environment where children see their parent, their main caregiver being abused is traumatic for them. Children can develop (and often do develop) PTSD from watching a parent being abused, whether emotionally or physically.

This can lead to a decline in their performance in school. So if you are with a narcissist and your child suddenly starts underperforming in school, don’t blame your child. You can only blame the toxic environment they’re living in.

You are completely and utterly exhausted from the cycles of hurt and rescue

This is a major factor in what forms the trauma bond.

The narcissist will traumatize you either through verbal assaults, lying to you about their infidelities, lying to you about their addiction to certain websites, and they will hurt you intentionally to bring you to your knees.

Then a little bit later, they’ll rescue you by making false promises or by hoovering.

Are You a Narcissist? When the Narcissist Accuses YOU of Being the Narcissist

There are millions of people writing and talking about narcissism. This includes narcissistic people. Many of them are sitting around just like you and me, watching these videos so they can learn better ways to be deceptive. So if the narcissist in your life is accusing you of being the narcissist and they’re throwing out different things that you’re doing that “prove” you’re a narcissist, this isn’t possible if you are experiencing the symptoms I’ve discussed today.

Get Started On The Stages of Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

One of my greatest passions is helping previously victimized people become empowered. If you are ready for this astounding upleveling, the best thing you can do is join the Break Free community. 

My best recommendation is to find an online program to keep you on track and to offer support.  The Break Free Program has been vetted by therapists and neuropsychologists as an effective step toward getting over narcissistic abuse. Aside from keeping you safe from narcissists, it also empowers you to go out into the world with confidence.

Join Break Free and learn to:

  1. ✅ Dramatically overpower your addiction to the narcissist so you can stop being their victim
  2. ✅ Get to a place of acceptance so you can stop doubting yourself over your decision to heal your life
  3. ✅ Set limits and create stronger boundaries against emotional manipulation that has caused you to act out of character
    + so much more!

Just click the link to join:

👉 Join now with a sliding scale and lifetime access.

I created Break Free for people who sincerely want to take action and begin healing so they can finally stop the crippling pain, heal, and live the lives they deserve. 

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Leave a Comment:

Nigel says September 26, 2022

Thanks! This helped a lot. Intuitively, after my last relationship, I had a very deeply buried sense that perhaps I wasn’t a narcissist. But the main part of my brain kept reassuring me that I was and that it was narcissistic of me to even assume that my partner (who checked off 19/20 of the boxes on the narcissist test while I checked off two mild ones that were behaviors I’d already recognized in myself and have been working on improving) was one.

But there’s something here that I see in a lot of narcissism articles that I sort of have an issue with or at least wonder if I’m misinterpreting. You (and many others) often say that narcissists are ‘deceiving,’ in the active tense, as if they know what they’re doing, know that it’s wrong or unacceptable. Maybe on some subconscious level this is true for all but the one I was with for five years was as unaware as I was that her behaviors were deceitful. Granted, the difference lies in the fact that when I realized it, her full-blown narcissism came out – but only in an attempt to deny it and place the blame on me. Furthermore she was utterly (and bluntly) honest with me throughout the entire relationship; there were moments of lucidity when she would use cognitive empathy to acknowledge her faults but through some amnesic episode would forget that

For the most part I truly believe she had only the very slightest inkling that she was doing anything deceitful, albeit that inkling was strong enough to destroy our relationship entirely as to avoid being faced with it.

And on the other hand, the first narcissist I ever knew was a self-proclaimed narcissist and it’s often said that narcissists don’t know they’re narcissistic. He is beyond and above narcissistic. I dunno if he said that out loud to the women he dated, but I seem to recall he did. And then people would laugh it off.

But the deceit one is what gets me (and no I’m not trying to justify my partner’s behavior, believe me). Maybe I was the exception or maybe her denial is so complete and impressive but either way I don’t thinks he ever intentionally deceived me.

Karen says June 15, 2021

First of all thank you kim for your work and secondly to others who are reading this you are getting better mentally. You are aware that you are in an abusive relationship or know of people you love who are unhappy. . Narcs want revenge they never move on they twist things. If you are still thinking this is you then you need a lot more time away from the narc to see from afar. When you are stressed and having contact with them you may have past troubles within you own life or maybe an illness that prevents you from thinking straight and think you are the problem or you may think you can make the narc a better person feel sorry for them. Once you ask yourself how many times in your life have you behaved in a paranoid manner before the narc come along why have I changed always crying and angry and feel depressed. Maybe you have a medical condition you ask what is it? Either way you will probably find that you didn’t like yourself or have got help for you and family .. A narc cannot change they have a built in paranoia that cannot be fixed. The world is expected to feel sorry for them and to give them every thing they need and they always demand to come first. There is help I got help get the help for you and your loved ones.

Sara Elizabeth Coley says March 31, 2021

Thank you so much, this is very reassuring! I love what you do!

Sebastián says March 31, 2021

In terms of self-aware narcissists, the great Dr. George Simon (worth reading his stuff if you haven’t) likes to say, “They may be aware, they just don’t care.” He has a few articles that touch on this on his site,, but a couple of his books are also worth a look.

Julia Torres says March 31, 2021

Thank you for the easy explanation of how I’m not the abused. I’ve been married to a narcissist for about two years, it’s been very stressful and difficult- we each have a child, his son my daughter. They are both 9 years old. I protect my daughter but I can’t protect her in every situation. So I educate her on how to handle tough feelings and emotions when it comes to her step-brother and my husband.

Judy says December 31, 2020

Thank you so much. You have addressed so much that I went through in a 20 year marriage!!! Mostly the being alone, and never good enough–my problem now is I don’t trust anyone and am physically alone—this will help me look up more info and find a person that will be as comfortable with as I am with him —– thank you thank you

Bonnie Zemke says December 4, 2020

Unfortunately I did not leave the relationship soon enough. he kicked my son out of the house twice I was always taught to stand by your husband before your kids. Now my son is 33 and he suffers severe anxiety. We’ve 6divorced for 6 yrs now and I’ve tried to remain friends cuz I learned if I was nice to him he would be nice to my son. Talk about toxic relationships! Trying to heal. Thankyou for your words of wisdom!!

Pamela says November 23, 2020

THIS is how I felt for most of my 10 year marriage, which fell off the rails about 5 years ago when I started healing from PTSD due to a sexual assault. After I did my own work, the stark loneliness was so apparent I felt like I was dying inside. “While the narcissist may be living with you, eating meals at your table, and sleeping beside you in bed, you’ve never felt such stark loneliness. You often find yourself curled in the fetal position, envisioning someone coming to put their arms around you to help relieve your feelings of isolation.”

So glad I got out… so glad I left. It’s been a hard time, but better than staying in it trying to make something “work” with someone who just doesn’t care.

Shelli says November 22, 2020

I recently began reading about trauma bonding. It was eye-opening. I used to literally cry to my abuser, expecting him to console me once I explained how much he hurt me. I thought if I was honest he would get it, have empathy, and make changes for the better. Of course his behavior continued and only became worse over time. At one point I wondered if I was the narcissist. But my requests from him were centered around basic civil behavior. Once I realized my children wouldn’t even do what he does (leave the house unannounced and be gone for 12 hours, leave the house before anyone is awake on the weekends and be gone all day, mutter curses under his breath, give the silent treatment for weeks on end, lie constantly, gossip behind my and the children’s backs, and refuse to participate in family functions) I realized I wasn’t the narcissist but a co-dependent person who thought I could change a damage person. I began working on myself.

    Pamela says November 23, 2020

    Shelli – I used to do the same thing. He would even counter with things like, “I love you” and “I’m sorry” but it was only to get me quiet, then he’d continue the behavior. I’ve often wondered if I am really the narcissist in our dynamic, but when I do my codependency work I am astonished at how things shift. (Am in the process of getting divorced from him now.)

Nancy Adamez Vasquez says November 1, 2020

I lived with a narcissist who pretty much had me brainwashed. As I look at the 9 & a half years , we were married 9 months before he passed. He wanted to make sure I’d stay in to take care of him. When we found out anything was wrong he was already 4th stage prostate cancer and he decides he wanted to marry me. The day we married he never said I love you in our vows. I said it. That day I was feeling nauseous and I just had to deal with it even though I knew it was not right. He eventually gets put in the hospital one last time. There was a point where his father passed & his family members are in & out. Mind you I never met any of them till about a year or so before we got married. He’d already been diagnosed. One of his sisters who I had met before in several bad visits, shows up & I tell her like I told everyone else, the Dr wants to keep his visits limited to 10 to 15 minutes. I’ll be back then. She looks at him & says you’re not going to let her get away with that are you & I heard him say no. I left after that exchange & I knew what I was coming back to. Well as I walked back in I told her you can say bye now. She gets the nurse call & says help there’s a crazy lady in here. I was like what? She says their going to get you. The nurses head up the hallway & stop when she starts says just awful things about me that they knew were not true. I’d been there since he got there everyday. So finally I stood up for myself. It was as if came out of a fog. He hadn’t been around me in the evening and I felt the grip coming loose. I told him if you are going to let your sister influence your decisions about who should stick around & why you’ve always protected her when she’s been abusive to me, then I need you on your own make that decision. If you want her to stay, that’s fine I don’t care. But if that’s your honest truth I’m leaving now & I swear I will let you die alone you will no longer see me as of when you say what you want to say. I will leave you I swear! I waited a minute he told his sister to leave, she was mad. To make things worse, on the day he died, we’d seen the Dr, I asked him if there was anything he wanted to tell me before he can’t. He stops a minute & says no. I said well I wanted to tell you I love you. He just smiled. For petes sake he couldn’t say thank you or even I love you. I was in shock. It was then that I realized there was more to his behavior and I began my research & even looked into his background, he’d robbed 3 banks, countless thefts, assults, drug possession countless times, different names & it goes on. I just couldn’t believe it. It eventually led me into 2 nervous breakdowns. But I’m still learning & working past it as much as I can. The thing is I’m learning.

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