Narcissist Strange Behavior
Narcissist Strange Behavior

Narcissism, a term we often hear tossed around, but do we truly understand the depths of its strangeness? In this comprehensive article, we delve into the peculiar and unsettling behaviors exhibited by individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). From their grandiose sense of self-importance to their lack of empathy and manipulative tendencies, narcissists can leave a trail of confusion and emotional turmoil in their wake. But what makes these behaviors truly strange and unsettling?

Join us on this journey as we explore 17 peculiar behaviors of narcissists that you should watch out for, shedding light on the enigma of narcissism and offering strategies for dealing with it compassionately.

Understanding Narcissism

Narcissism is a complex psychological phenomenon that can manifest in various ways. To better comprehend the strange behaviors exhibited by narcissists, let’s start by exploring what narcissism is and the common traits and behaviors associated with it.

What is Narcissism?

Narcissism, at its core, is characterized by an excessive focus on oneself, a profound need for admiration and validation, and a lack of empathy for others. Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) often have an inflated sense of self-importance and a belief that they are superior to others. They constantly seek admiration and praise while showing little regard for the feelings and needs of those around them.

Common Traits and Behaviors of Narcissists

Before we dive into the stranger aspects of narcissistic behavior, let’s familiarize ourselves with some of the more common traits and behaviors associated with narcissism. These traits provide a foundation for understanding the more unusual behaviors we will explore later in this article.

  • Self-Absorbed: Narcissists are extremely self-absorbed, often preoccupied with their own thoughts, feelings, and desires.
  • Egotistical: They possess an unwavering belief in their own abilities and superiority over others.
  • Arrogant: Narcissists tend to exhibit a haughty and condescending attitude towards others.
  • Entitled: They believe they are entitled to special treatment and admiration, often demanding preferential treatment from those around them.
  • Lack of Empathy: A hallmark of narcissism is a profound lack of empathy for the emotions and experiences of others.
  • Manipulation: Narcissists are skilled manipulators, using tactics like gaslighting to control and confuse their victims.
  • Rage: When their fragile ego is threatened, narcissists may react with extreme anger and rage.
  • Victimhood: Paradoxically, they often play the victim to gain sympathy and deflect blame.

Understanding these common traits and behaviors is crucial for recognizing and dealing with the stranger, more unsettling behaviors that often accompany narcissism. Now, let’s delve into the heart of our discussion—17 strange behaviors of narcissists that you should be aware of.

Examples of Strange Behaviors of Narcissists

Narcissists possess a repertoire of peculiar behaviors that can baffle and unsettle those who encounter them. These behaviors, though seemingly strange, serve as telltale signs of their underlying narcissistic tendencies. Let’s explore each of these behaviors in more detail:

#1. Pathological Lying

Pathological lying is a hallmark of narcissistic behavior. Narcissists weave elaborate, fantastical tales about themselves, often with no basis in reality. These falsehoods serve the dual purpose of maintaining their grandiose self-image and manipulating others to their advantage. For example, a narcissist might claim to have achieved feats beyond belief, all in an effort to gain admiration and validation. Taken to an extreme this pathological lying becomes compulsive lying.

#2. Identity Shifting

Narcissists are masters of identity shifting, a skill that can leave their victims utterly perplexed. They adapt their personality and interests to mirror whoever they are interacting with at the moment. This chameleon-like behavior makes it exceptionally challenging to discern their authentic self. For instance, a narcissist might suddenly adopt your hobbies, interests, and even your values, making it appear as though you share an extraordinary connection.

#3. Mirroring

Mirroring is a manipulation tactic that narcissists employ with finesse. They skillfully reflect the emotions, interests, and even insecurities of those they interact with. By doing so, they create an illusion of being empathetic and understanding, effectively gaining the trust and control they seek. For example, if they sense you’re passionate about a particular cause, they will feign the same passion, making you feel deeply understood.

#4. Love-Bombing

In the early stages of a relationship, narcissists engage in a behavior known as love-bombing. This involves showering their target with excessive flattery, gifts, and affection. The purpose of this overwhelming display of love is to create a deep emotional dependency and control. Imagine a scenario where a narcissist floods you with affection, making you believe you’ve found your soulmate, only for the intensity to wane once they feel they have you under their influence.

#5. Self-Sabotage

Narcissists sometimes engage in self-sabotage, a behavior that might seem counterintuitive. This self-destructive tendency can range from undermining their own success to putting their well-being at risk. The motive behind this behavior is often to elicit sympathy and attention from others. For instance, a narcissist might deliberately make choices that lead to personal failure or create crises, all while playing the victim and seeking support from those around them.

#6. Extreme Exhibitionism

Narcissists have an insatiable appetite for attention and admiration, which leads to extreme exhibitionism. They constantly seek the spotlight, whether in person or on social media, to showcase their supposed superiority and perfection. Picture a narcissist who floods their social media with meticulously curated images and boasts of their achievements, all in a bid to maintain an image of flawless grandiosity.

#7. Strange Obsessions

Some narcissists develop strange obsessions with specific individuals, topics, or possessions. These obsessions can become all-consuming, bordering on unhealthy fixation. Imagine encountering a narcissist who becomes inexplicably fixated on you, tracking your every move and collecting information about you as though they were conducting an investigation.

#8. Weaponizing Vulnerability

Narcissists are astute at weaponizing vulnerability. They exploit the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of others, using their intimate knowledge to manipulate and maintain control. For example, if they discover a fear or insecurity of yours, they may use it against you, employing emotional blackmail to get what they want.

#9. Engaging in Bizarre Rituals

To maintain their sense of control and superiority, narcissists may establish bizarre rituals or routines that they insist others participate in. These rituals can range from the peculiar to the downright uncomfortable. Picture a narcissist who demands that everyone in their presence adhere to strict daily routines or engage in strange ceremonies meant to reinforce their perceived dominance.

#10. Extreme Vanity

Narcissists are notorious for their extreme vanity, dedicating excessive time and resources to their appearance and self-image. They believe themselves to be perfect and deserving of constant admiration. Imagine encountering someone who spends hours each day perfecting their physical appearance, convinced that they are the epitome of beauty and deserving of unwavering praise.

#11. Extreme Isolation

Some narcissists intentionally isolate themselves from friends and family, creating a sense of dependency and control over those who remain in their inner circle. This extreme isolation serves to reinforce their belief in their own superiority and ensures their victims are more easily manipulated.

#12. Sabotaging Others

Narcissists may engage in sabotaging others, especially if they perceive them as a threat to their own status or superiority. They undermine the success and happiness of those around them, all while maintaining a façade of innocence. Imagine working tirelessly on a project, only for a narcissistic colleague to secretly sabotage your efforts, all while feigning support and concern.

#13. Deliberate Provocation

Narcissists often derive satisfaction from deliberate provocation. They employ inflammatory comments, actions, or behaviors designed to incite anger and elicit reactions from those around them. Picture a narcissist who relishes pushing your buttons, intentionally saying or doing things they know will upset you, all to feed their desire for control and chaos.

#14. Fake Illnesses

Some narcissists go to great lengths to feign illness or exaggerate minor health issues. This faking of illnesses is a ploy to gain attention, sympathy, and control over others. Imagine dealing with someone who constantly claims to be gravely ill, demanding constant care and concern, even when there is no medical basis for their claims.

#15. Compulsive Competitiveness

Narcissists view life as an unending competition in which they must always come out on top. This compulsive competitiveness drives them to strive for perfection in every aspect of their lives. Imagine a colleague who relentlessly competes with you, always striving to outdo your achievements and consistently seeking recognition and praise.

#16. Boundary Testing

Narcissists regularly engage in boundary testing, pushing the limits of what they can get away with in social and emotional contexts. They challenge the boundaries of personal space and emotional comfort, often making others feel uncomfortable and violated. Picture a narcissist who invades your personal space without consent or constantly delves into personal topics that you’d rather keep private.

#17. Recurring Victimhood

Despite often being the instigators of conflicts and confrontations, narcissists are adept at playing the victim. They engage in recurring victimhood, skillfully manipulating situations to garner sympathy and deflect blame onto others. Imagine dealing with someone who consistently portrays themselves as the injured party, seeking support and validation for their supposed suffering.

Dealing with Narcissist Strange Behavior

Navigating the turbulent waters of narcissistic behavior can be challenging, but it is not insurmountable. To effectively deal with the strange behaviors exhibited by narcissists, it’s essential to employ practical steps that prioritize your well-being while fostering understanding and empathy.

The table below outlines each of the 17 strange behaviors of narcissists we’ve seen in the previous section and provides practical steps on how to handle them:

Strange Narcissistic BehaviorHow To Handle It
Pathological Lying– Verify facts independently and maintain your own truth.
– Avoid confrontation, as it may lead to more lies.
Identity Shifting– Establish boundaries and encourage authenticity.
– Avoid enabling their shape-shifting tendencies.
Mirroring– Be cautious and observe consistency in their behavior over time.
– Build relationships slowly.
Love-Bombing– Take things slowly, maintain independence, and watch for signs of manipulation.
Self-Sabotage– Offer support but encourage self-responsibility.
– Don’t enable destructive behavior.
Extreme Exhibitionism– Set boundaries on social media and in real life.
– Limit your exposure to their constant need for attention.
Strange Obsessions– Gently express concern if their obsession becomes harmful.
– Suggest professional help if necessary.
Weaponizing Vulnerability– Guard your vulnerabilities and seek emotional support from trustworthy friends or professionals.
Engaging in Bizarre Rituals– Respect their boundaries if they don’t harm others.
– Encourage flexibility when appropriate.
Extreme Vanity– Avoid feeding their ego excessively. – Compliment sincerely but don’t indulge in constant admiration.
Extreme Isolation– Reach out with empathy, but don’t push.
– Respect their choices, but maintain your own social connections.
Sabotaging Others– Document any wrongdoing and communicate assertively if necessary.
– Seek support from authorities if needed.
Deliberate Provocation– Practice emotional regulation and avoid reacting to provocations.
– Set firm boundaries.
Fake Illnesses– Express concern but encourage professional medical evaluation.
– Don’t enable hypochondria.
Compulsive Competitiveness– Set clear boundaries and focus on your own growth.
– Avoid being drawn into their competitive games.
Boundary Testing– Clearly communicate your boundaries and consequences.
– Enforce boundaries assertively.
Recurring Victimhood– Avoid engaging in their victim narrative.
– Empathize without accepting false blame.

Dealing with narcissistic behavior requires patience, self-awareness, and a commitment to maintaining your own emotional well-being. By applying these practical steps with compassion, you can navigate these challenging interactions more effectively.

Closing Thoughts

Understanding some of the strange and often confounding behaviors of narcissists, is crucial for anyone dealing with one. While it can be challenging to navigate the world of narcissists, it is not impossible. By recognizing the signs, setting boundaries, and responding with empathy, we can protect our well-being while offering a chance for growth and healing to those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Remember that compassion, both for yourself and for those with narcissistic tendencies, can be a powerful tool in breaking the cycle of manipulation and control. Through knowledge and empathy, we can promote healthier connections and a more harmonious society.