Narcissistic Men: 27 Traits & Signs of a Guy Who Knows to Use, Not Love

Narcissistic men should be avoided. The problem is, they don’t tend to show their true selves until you’re hooked. Know the signs and run a mile!

narcissistic men

There are some men out there who are more complicated than you know. They think they’re all that, but they make you fall for their “poor me” act. He might also act like Prince Charming, until he’s got you right where he wants you. If this happens, sorry, but you need to get out. This sums up narcissistic men perfectly.

They act one way, but then do something different. They manipulate and twist everything around until you start to feel like you can’t trust yourself.

Put simply, you’re in deep and you have to get out for your own sake. This is one of those situations where you need to know the signs to be able to know for sure that you have to run.

Run as fast as you can. You might even love him by the time you realize he’s a narcissist, but if you want to be happy, know that it can’t be with him.

Narcissistic men care for nobody but themselves. [Read: How to tell if someone is a narcissist and recognize them instantly]

What is narcissism?

Narcissism is a personality disorder that affects the way a person behaves and feels. While true narcissism is rare, there are countless people who have traits pertaining to the condition.

A narcissistic man is not someone you want a relationship with. How do I know this? Because I did it, and it’s not something I’m in a rush to repeat.

Yes, a narcissistic man has a condition, but that does not mean you can save him. Countless people make this assumption and stay in relationships that make them miserable, but the bottom line is that you cannot cure his problem, only he can.

And even then, he’s extremely unlikely to go through the therapy treatment required to rewire his brain. [Read: The 20 right reasons to walk away from someone you love]

The main traits of a narcissistic man *or woman* are:

1. Inflated sense of self-importance

2. Low self-esteem, although they will never admit it

3. The common use of manipulation techniques, including gaslighting [Read: Psychological manipulation – 16 signs and tactics real manipulators use]

4. Always wanting the very best of everything

5. Assuming their opinion is right and everyone else is wrong

6. A tendency to put others down to make themselves look and feel better

7. Extreme difficulties in maintaining friendships and relationships longterm

8. An inability to show love in a regular way, e.g. through genuine affection

9. You could describe him as a control freak

These are just a few of the most common traits you’ll see a narcissistic man showing. There are some who show worse traits, and there are different types of narcissists to know about too.

The very worst type, the malignant narcissist, is someone you never want to meet even once in your life. This type of man is spiteful and petty, someone who will cause you extreme emotional damage. [Read: How to read the signs you’re dealing with a malignant narcissist]

Warning aside however, it is entirely possible to break free from a narcissistic relationship, but it takes time, effort, and support. Again, I can say this confidently because I speak from experience.

Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

A truly narcissistic person actually has a personality disorder, called Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD, for short. This type of person is rare but only because true narcissists don’t tend to seek treatment. Why? Because they don’t think they need help, they think everyone else does.

That means a frightening fact is true. There are many true narcissists walking around this planet, causing emotional havoc, and not understanding why.

Of course, there is treatment for NPD, in the form of therapy, but again, very few narcissists actually go through it. The future is not very bright relationship-wise for a narcissist, but this man is not going to understand or realize it because they actually don’t really care. [Read: How to deal with a narcissistic boyfriend and protect your heart]

Of course, there are a lot of narcissistic women walking around too, but we’re going to focus on men in this chat. The reason being we hear so much about this rather common species, and it’s important to be on the lookout for them.

Remember, the traits we’re going to mention work just as much for narcissistic women too.

Most people don’t meet the criteria for NPD, as narcissism ranges on a spectrum, but  75% of people who are diagnosed with NPD *narcissistic personality disorder* are men. Now, maybe the guy you’re interested in shows some signs of narcissism, but it’s hard to say if he’s someone who could be diagnosed with NPD or not.

Remember, it’s on a spectrum, and we all have some narcissistic traits. But, some are worse than others, and if you can avoid being with overly narcissistic men as a partner, then do it. [Read: How do narcissists control you so subtly and how do you allow them?

What is a narcissistic man like in reality?

You might wonder why anyone would stay with a man showing these types of traits. It’s an easy assumption to make, and probably a right one from the outside. The thing is, they’re not like that at the start. They’re like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

A narcissistic man will be the epitome of charming at the beginning. He will lasso you in with his charm, wit, kindness, and sense of humor. It’s only when he’s pretty sure you’re totally emotionally hooked, that he will let the act drop and become his true self. [Read: Narcissists and empaths, and why they’re a match made in dating hell]

Again, you’re probably reading that and thinking that a narcissistic man is truly evil, but that’s an unfair description. Remember, a narcissistic man *or woman* has a true condition, and they do not choose to act in this way consciously. They simply don’t know any other way. Of course, that doesn’t excuse the way they act and the pain and upset they cause people, but it’s not fair to label them evil.

Once you are emotionally hooked, his true colors will show, but he will not do this immediately or all at once. There will be small signs that all is not well.

For instance, he might tell you that the outfit you’re wearing doesn’t suit you, destroying your self-confidence in that moment and causing you to cancel your night out with friends.

As a result, he’s making you reliant on him and alienating you from your circle. He might do something and then when you question him on it, he’ll deny all knowledge. He will tell you that you’re imagining again. And you begin to question your own sanity.

This is classic gas-lighting, one of the most commonly used manipulation tactics by narcissists in general. [Read: Gaslighting – What it is, how it works and 22 signs to see it ASAP]

Just as you reach the point where you think that there’s something a little wrong and question why he’s treating you this way when he claims to love you, he will notice your doubt. Then, he will switch back to his original, charming self.

You see, at his very core, a narcissistic man has self-esteem issues and relies on your neediness of him to validate his worth. Despite that, he has an inflated sense of self-importance in terms of his views, his ability, and his appearance.

It’s a total contradiction, and that’s what makes narcissism so difficult to understand unless you’ve seen it firsthand. [Read: The 3 stages to explain why someone blows hot and cold]

What are narcissistic men like? Red flags to look for

It’s time you knew the signs of narcissistic men.

1. He’s a perfectionist

This doesn’t mean all perfectionists are narcissistic men. A narcissist is obviously going to exhibit many of these signs, not just one or two of them.

True narcissists believe everything must be perfect, whether it’s themselves, you, or an event. Of course, because nothing is perfect, they’re usually unsatisfied with everything.

But the thing that sets a narcissistic man apart is his tendency to project perfection even if he is far from it. To a narcissist, displaying perfection is all that matters. Whether he is truly one or not, that’s just a by-product of projecting perfection. [Read: Dating a perfectionist – 12 things you must know before you date one]

2. He needs to be in control

Because narcissists are always striving for perfection, they need to be in control. They have the perfect idea of how things should be and how things should play out.

They need to know what comes next; if not, they’re left unprepared with what to say or how to act. And that’s not a good look for them. They need to look cool, calm, and collected at all times. [Read: Controlling vs caring – A thin line controlling people love to cross]

3. He never takes responsibility

A narcissist, they’ll never recognize their actions as wrong. Instead, they shift the blame and point the finger at someone who’s close to them. Most likely, that’ll be you. 

4. His needs always come first

There are always going to be times in life when you should prioritize yourself. But there are times when you’ll need to compromise. It’s normal.

But with narcissists, they don’t compromise. It has to be their way, or it’s the highway. They’re not able to put anyone else first, as that would mean they’re not a priority anymore. 

5. Narcissistic men lack empathy

When you’re a narcissist, you don’t care about the feelings of other people. How could you? If you did, then you wouldn’t act so selfishly, right?

So, if you’re sitting across from a guy who is unable to empathize with you, that’s a sign something isn’t right. It doesn’t mean he’s a narcissist, but it shows he’s unable to read how you’re feeling. [Read: Characteristics of people who lack empathy and suck your energy out]

6. He holds a lot of shame

Narcissistic men are deeply insecure and fearful. Most narcissists have experienced trauma and rejection; however, they repressed it.

With shame, they feel something is wrong with them as a person. So, they fight those feelings back by hiding them. 

7. He hasn’t had any long-term relationships

He doesn’t have to have a lot of friends; many people only have a couple of good friends around them. But, these friends are usually long-term relationships. Narcissists are typically unable to maintain long-term relationships, including friendships. [Read: How to set boundaries with a narcissist and weaken their hold over you]

8. He’s a bad team player

Maybe you work with a man who you feel is a narcissist. Well, how does he handle himself in group situations?

Working as a team requires certain skills, and these are skills narcissists don’t have. They’re not able to read feelings and give up their needs and opinions for someone else. 

9. He’s extremely charming

Most men are charming, so don’t freak out and assume someone’s a narcissist. But charm is one trait narcissistic men have mastered with time.

Narcissists want to be seen as special, someone that you will admire. This also means by them being special, you’re seen as less. Basically, he’s far too good to be true. [Read: 27 secret signs of narcissism people overlook until it’s too late]

10. The conversation is only about him

Okay, we all love to talk about ourselves, but when it comes to a narcissist, that’s the only thing they can talk about.

Not only are they conversation hogs, but they need to talk about how amazing and great they are. When you’re full of shame and insecurities, you boost yourself up constantly.  

11. He must be complimented

All the time. But really, all the time. A compliment here or there isn’t going to do the trick. A narcissistic man needs to be showered with compliments, as that’s what he feeds off.

He might seem very confident, but if he needs your praise to feel good about himself, he lacks self-esteem. 

12. He doesn’t want to define the relationship

There are plenty of men who don’t want to define the relationship, and that’s not because they’re narcissists.

Some aren’t that into enough to commit, while others aren’t looking for anything serious. But if he’s showing most of these signs, then the odds are he’s a narcissist who likes having you around while looking for someone better. [Read: How to know if a narcissist is finished with you and wants to discard you]

13. He’s right, you’re wrong – always

On everything. You’re never right, and even when you are, you’re not. Narcissistic men can’t have someone they see as less being right. They need to teach you what’s right and wrong, even though you already know. It’s as annoying as it sounds. 

14. He doesn’t lift you up

Okay, not physically speaking. Not everyone is pumping iron. But when you’re talking to a guy about your dreams and goals, regardless of his personal opinion, he’s supportive of you. That’s what partners and friends are for; they’re supposed to lift you up.

However, narcissists aren’t interested in having anyone do better than them. And if you’re succeeding, they’ll try to push you down. [Read: 25 signs to tell if someone is jealous of you and doesn’t wish you well]

15. He lies a lot

A white lie every now and then isn’t a big deal. Most of us will throw a white lie out there if we don’t want to offend someone or get in trouble. We’re only human.

But narcissistic men must lie. They usually need to exaggerate their stories and create situations to make themselves more impressive to other people. In other words, they like to lie. [Read: 15 ways a pathological liar hurts and confuses you with their lies]

16. He adores the spotlight

When you talk together or with a group of friends, he loves the spotlight. The conversation cannot be on anyone else but him.

You may have had a bad day at work, but he wouldn’t know because he doesn’t give you the chance to speak. [Read: Subtle signs you’re being manipulated by your lover]

17. He’s all about success

His goal in life is to be admired by others. Even if he’s in debt up to his neck, that doesn’t matter just as long as other people see him with a fancy car and expensive clothes.

He’s all about the image and will do whatever he must to achieve it.

18. He’s extremely shallow

If you thought he was considerate and kind, well, think again. One of the clearest signs of a narcissistic man is that he is as shallow as a kiddy pool.

Narcissists usually lack empathy because they’re unable to understand the concept of feelings. Crazy, right? They can try to show empathy, but because it’s not in them, it looks unnatural. [Read: How to tell if someone doesn’t have empathy and what to do next] 

19. The charm wears off after a while

When you first met him, he charmed your pants off. The guy was so smooth; he blew your mind. But that was only in the beginning. Narcissists are highly skilled in charming people around them, but only for a short period of time. Once the conversation gets to a deeper level, they’re unable to hold it.

20. Have you tried breaking up with him?

And how did that go? Did he panic and beg for you to not break up with him? Narcissistic men will feed you everything you need to hear to keep you around.

But when you get back together with him, he’ll go back to his old ways. He was never planning on changing, but he knew that’s what you wanted to hear. [Read: How to leave a narcissist and free yourself from their web of control]

21. Validation is like oxygen to him

If you didn’t notice, everything they do is based on validation. If he does something nice, it’s because he wants to be seen as kind-hearted; not because he actually is.

He loves getting compliments and will constantly fish for praise. This is because a narcissistic man has low self-esteem.

22. He has no boundaries

Usually, you have your own set of boundaries that help you measure the boundaries of other people. But with him, he has no boundaries.

Everything belongs to him, and everyone thinks and feels the same way as him. This sounds a lot like a toddler, to be honest. And this is why they freak out when you show them boundaries that are different from their own. [Read: How to set boundaries with a narcissist and weaken their hold over you]

23. He loves to gaslight, or any other kind of manipulation

A narcissistic man will never take responsibility for something wrong they said. So, instead, they gaslight you. It’s a form of manipulation and emotional abuse.

They’ll feed you a couple of lies and then spin it against you, distorting your reality. That way, you become dependent on them and decrease trust in yourself.

24. He’s a Debbie Downer

Though at first, he came off as charming and charismatic, he’s actually a negative person. Narcissistic men love to spread negativity around to gain attention from others. They will throw tantrums, tell sad stories, and become “emotional” when they need the spotlight.

25. He may become aggressive

Some narcissistic men become so annoyed they lash out. Others give you the cold shoulder, others start with passive-aggressive behavior.

These are classic signs of a narcissistic man and huge warning flags of a potential future full of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse.

26. He has a split personality

A narcissistic man has a dual personality that splits into good and bad. All their negative feelings are placed on other people, and when something good happens, they take the credit for everything. You can see how that can be an issue in any relationship. [Read: How to deal with a narcissistic boyfriend and protect your heart]

27. He can’t be vulnerable

Because he lacks empathy, he’ll never be able to open up and be vulnerable with you. Therefore, you can never be emotionally close to a narcissistic man. And with a guy like that, would you even want to be?

[Read: Why narcissists ignore texts and do the hurtful things they do]

How to break free from a narcissistic man

If you’re suffering at the hands of a narcissistic man, we urge you to leave. It’s easier said than done, we know, but surround yourself with friends and family and find it within yourself to realize you deserve better.

After that, go, ride out the storm, and don’t look back. [Read: 23 secret signs of narcissism people overlook until it’s too late]

What is a narcissistic man like? Someone who will never change, that’s what. You might think he will, you might think you can help him change, but the truth is that it’s impossible. Unless he opens his eyes, understands his problem, admits he is wrong *never going to happen*, and gets help, you’re staring at the way your relationship is always going to be.

Don’t you deserve better?

[Read: How to deal with a narcissist in the best way you possibly can – The full guide on narcissism]

Narcissism is completely different than confidence and self-centeredness; this is something you should differentiate. Once you remember these key traits of narcissistic men, you’ll be able to avoid them far more easily.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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