Conversational Narcissism Examples
Conversational Narcissism Examples

Welcome to our exploration of conversational narcissism by studying it through the lens of real-life examples. In each example, we’ll show you the objective of the conversational narcissist and give you a tip on how to deal with it.

If you’ve had experience with a conversational narcissist then some or many of these examples should ring a bell.

Let’s begin with a quick overview of conversational narcissism so that we are on the same page and then dive into the conversational narcissism examples one by one.


Conversational Narcissism: A Quick Overview

What is Conversational Narcissism?

Conversational Narcissism, as the name suggests, is a communication pattern characterized by self-centeredness and a strong desire for attention and validation. People exhibiting conversational narcissism often prioritize their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences over those of others during conversations.

Common Traits and Behaviors Associated with Conversational Narcissism

Before we can learn how to deal with conversational narcissism we first need to effectively recognize it. So let’s familiarize ourselves with the common traits and behaviors associated with it.

  • Egocentrism: Individuals displaying conversational narcissism tend to be excessively focused on themselves, often steering conversations towards their own interests and experiences.
  • Self-Importance: They may exhibit an exaggerated sense of self-importance, believing their perspectives and experiences are more significant than others’.
  • Admiration-Seeking: Conversational narcissists often seek admiration and validation from others through their interactions.

When we review the conversational narcissism examples later in the article, you will see each of the above traits manifest itself.

How Conversational Narcissism Affects Communication & Relationships

The impact of conversational narcissism extends beyond the surface of a conversation. It can deeply affect the dynamics of communication and relationships. Here’s how:

  • Communication Barriers: Conversational narcissists often create communication barriers by monopolizing conversations and dismissing others’ contributions. This can hinder the free flow of ideas and emotions.
  • Strained Relationships: In personal relationships, conversational narcissism can lead to strain and frustration. People may feel unheard, undervalued, and unimportant, leading to conflicts and distance.
  • Professional Implications: In professional settings, conversational narcissism can hinder collaboration and teamwork. It may affect productivity and damage workplace relationships.

Now that we have a foundational understanding of conversational narcissism, let’s explore 25 real-life conversational narcissism examples that illustrate this behavior in action.

25 Conversational Narcissism Examples from Everyday Life

In this section, we’ll provide you with concrete examples of conversational narcissism that you might encounter in your daily life. These examples will help you recognize this behavior more clearly and understand its impact on communication and relationships. Let’s dive into these 25 classic examples:

#1. The Me-Centered Monologue

Objective: Dominating the conversation and seeking attention and validation for their experiences. How to counter it: Gently redirect the conversation towards others’ experiences or interests, and actively listen to their contributions.

#2. One-Upmanship

Objective: Demonstrating superiority by sharing achievements and experiences surpassing others.

How to counter it: Acknowledge their accomplishments and then steer the conversation towards a more balanced exchange of stories and experiences.

#3. Interrupting Habitually

Objective: Ensuring their voice is heard above all others, often disregarding others’ contributions.

How to counter it: Politely but assertively ask them to let others finish speaking before responding, and encourage turn-taking in the conversation.

#4. Ignoring Others’ Contributions

Objective: Maintaining control over the discussion and downplaying the importance of others’ thoughts or experiences.

How to counter it: Politely remind them of the importance of diverse perspectives and invite them to consider others’ contributions.

#5. Constant Self-Promotion

Objective: Drawing attention to their accomplishments and receiving admiration and validation. How to counter it: Show genuine interest in their achievements, and then reciprocate by asking about the accomplishments of others.

#6. Conversations That Always Circle Back to Them

Objective: Redirecting discussions towards their own interests and experiences.

How to counter it: Skillfully introduce new topics or ask questions that steer the conversation towards the interests of others.

#7. Unwarranted Advice-Giving

Objective: Positioning themselves as an authority and seeking validation for their knowledge.

How to counter it: Express gratitude for their advice and, if necessary, gently explain that you’re looking for a different type of conversation.

#8. Story Hijacking

Objective: Diverting conversations to their own stories, emphasizing their own experiences.

How to counter it: Acknowledge their story and then encourage them to explore others’ experiences and perspectives.

#9. Always Steering Conversations to Their Interests

Objective: Ensuring that discussions align with their interests, reinforcing their self-importance.

How to counter it: Politely introduce topics that align with the interests of others and invite them to share.

#10. Dismissing Others’ Feelings

Objective: Minimizing others’ emotions and redirecting attention to themselves.

How to counter it: Gently express your feelings and ask for empathy, encouraging a more balanced emotional exchange.

#11. Monopolizing Group Discussions

Objective: Dominating group conversations, showcasing their expertise.

How to counter it: Politely encourage others in the group to share their thoughts and expertise, fostering a more inclusive discussion.

#12. Compliment Fishing

Objective: Eliciting compliments and praise from others, boosting self-esteem.

How to counter it: Offer genuine compliments when deserved, but also encourage them to engage in conversations beyond seeking praise.

#13. Competitive Listening

Objective: Showcasing their own experiences as more impressive and exciting.

How to counter it: Acknowledge their experiences and then gently steer the conversation towards shared interests and experiences.

#14. Selective Empathy

Objective: Downplaying others’ challenges and emphasizing their own successes.

How to counter it: Express empathy for their successes, but also encourage them to empathize with others’ challenges.

#15. Name-Dropping

Objective: Associating with high-status individuals and gaining admiration.

How to counter it: Acknowledge their connections, but shift the conversation towards topics that involve everyone equally.

#16. Ignoring Boundaries

Objective: Prioritizing their opinions over conversational boundaries.

How to counter it: Remind them of the agreed-upon boundaries and the importance of respecting them for a productive conversation.

#17. Turning Conversations into Therapy Sessions

Objective: Using conversations for emotional support and validation.

How to counter it: Offer support and empathy, but also gently encourage a balance between sharing and listening.

#18. Pretending to Listen

Objective: Maintaining the appearance of listening while thinking about themselves.

How to counter it: Encourage active listening by asking open-ended questions that invite deeper discussion.

#19. The “I Know Exactly How You Feel” Trap

Objective: Appearing empathetic while making the conversation about their own experiences.

How to counter it: Express gratitude for their empathy and encourage them to explore others’ feelings and experiences.

#20. High-Jacking Tragedies and Victories

Objective: Downplaying others’ experiences by presenting their own as more significant.

How to counter it: Acknowledge their experiences and then invite them to explore the significance of others’ stories.

#21. Complaining About Their Problems Excessively

Objective: Gaining sympathy and attention by emphasizing their own struggles.

How to counter it: Offer empathy and support while also encouraging a balanced exchange of concerns and experiences.

#22. Using Conversations as a Platform for Self-Glorification

Objective: Showcasing achievements and talents, seeking admiration.

How to counter it: Acknowledge their achievements and then invite them to discuss a broader range of topics.

#23. Interrupting with Solutions

Objective: Asserting problem-solving abilities and demonstrating superiority.

How to counter it: Express appreciation for their solutions, but also invite diverse perspectives and solutions from others.

#24. Ignoring Non-Verbal Cues

Objective: Maintaining control, regardless of others’ discomfort.

How to counter it: Gently address non-verbal cues and suggest taking turns speaking to ensure everyone feels heard.

#25. The “But Enough About Me, What Do You Think About Me?” Move

Objective: Humorously acknowledging self-centeredness while still seeking attention and validation.

How to counter it: Acknowledge their self-awareness, and encourage a more balanced conversation by asking about others’ thoughts and experiences.

These strategies can help mitigate the impact of conversational narcissism and foster healthier, more inclusive discussions.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, conversational narcissism, with its self-centeredness and constant need for validation, can pose challenges to effective communication and genuine relationships.

By recognizing the signs and understanding the diverse examples we’ve explored, you are better equipped to navigate conversations with empathy and balance.

Remember, healthy dialogue involves active listening, mutual respect, and an appreciation for the perspectives of others.

As you encounter conversational narcissism examples in your daily life, consider the counterstrategies we’ve discussed and strive to create spaces where every voice can be heard and valued. Together, we can foster more meaningful and fulfilling connections in our interactions with others.