Narcissism In Women: 8 Signs You’re Dealing With A Female Narcissist
Narcissism is a personality trait that can be described as having an inflated sense of self-importance, patterns of grandiosity, a need to be admired, or a lack of empathy towards others.
Many people who identify as narcissistic can be described as overly dramatic, manipulative, arrogant, and self-centered. However, like many other unique personality traits, it can be easily assumed that narcissism is also a trait unique to men. However, narcissism is not unique to gender or sex.
According to a survey taken in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association, 50-70% of males were diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), while 25-50% of women accounted for the same. However, many times, women are often underdiagnosed with narcissism as their behaviors and narcissistic patterns are often associated with other personality disorders diagnosis, such as borderline personality disorder.
Narcissism in women is not new and while there seems to be a gender gap in the diagnosis of narcissism, the traits and signs of narcissism in females and males tend to differ slightly.
Is There A Difference Between Male And Female Narcissists?
Well, can you spot the exact difference between a man’s and a woman’s personality? Similarly, you can’t exactly spot the difference between a male and a female narcissist. Yet, narcissistic traits in men and women can manifest differently.
For example, when a male narcissist gets angry, they react more aggressively and violently, however, when a female narcissist gets angry, they tend to “punish” the other by withholding affection.
A female narcissist is more likely to use guilt or neglect to control others whereas a male narcissist may use their power and ranking to exert control.
Another way wherein a male and female narcissist may exert control is through codependency. A narcissistic man may usually look to gain control from their romantic partner, whereas a narcissistic woman may look toward her partner and children. A female narcissist is likely to see their children as an extension of themselves and won’t hesitate to strike there.
Now, let’s take a look at how to spot narcissism in women.
8 Signs of a Narcissistic Woman
1. She Act As A Martyr
A female narcissist believes that her pain is greater than anybody else’s, their suffering is greater than others, and their efforts are more compared to others. They often want you to acknowledge that their pain and suffering is great when really, it’s minimal. If you ignore this, they are likely to feel offended and get angry.
2. She Is Superficial
Female narcissists are insecure and to mask their insecurities, they tend to be more superficial when it comes to their social image, looks, and physical traits (also referred to as somatic narcissism). A narcissistic woman is hardly interested in characteristics and values unless they help validate her self-image.
3. She Tends To Be Competitive
A narcissistic woman is competitive and is more likely to get envious. She wanted to be the best, the smartest, the most successful woman and would try to bring conversations back to them and their experiences. If someone else tries to take away her limelight, she might use shameful remarks to shut them out.
4. She Is Overbearing
Another sign of a narcissistic woman is that she can be overbearing. They tend to dominate their kids’ lives too. For example, a narcissistic female is more likely to come up to her child’s house and rewash their clothes. They believe that they are an expert in things and think that their way is the best.
5. She Often Gives A Cold Shoulder
Female narcissists don’t lash out aggressively when they are angry rather they are more likely to give a cold shoulder. The need for control is always there and while a male narcissist may use his charm and status to exert control, a female narcissist may use neglect and guilt to exert control.
6. She Values Materialistic Goods
To a narcissistic woman, materialistic goods hold a greater value than anything else. Materialistic goods help her get the validation she needs. This doesn’t mean that a narcissistic woman needs to have money to buy materialistic things. She just needs to get her hands on materialistic items. This can include manipulating others as well.
7. She Is Emotionally Unavailable
Narcissistic people lack empathy and the same goes for a narcissistic woman. A female narcissist lacks emotional stability and warmth. She is capable of basic human emotions but anything more than that requires her to be emotionally open and can seem out of her wheelhouse. She is not much interested in nurturing emotional relationships.
8. She Hardly Cares About Boundaries
Another sign of a narcissistic woman is that she doesn’t care about boundaries. Female narcissists seek admiration and validation so they’re more likely to use gaslighting and push boundaries when they feel they’re being ignored. She craves attention and will try to make herself the center of attention even if it means breaking boundaries.
Are You Dealing With A Narcissistic Woman? Here’s What To Do
If the above signs of a narcissistic woman are familiar, then you must be wondering what to do next. The first thing you need to do is stay on guard and try not to lose your focus. If a narcissistic woman engages in inappropriate and manipulative behavior, then you need not engage with them.
Try to stay calm and keep in mind that no matter how much you try, you can’t change their thinking, their insecurities, or their idea of self-importance. If you’re dealing with a female narcissist, then you can try to maintain a healthy emotional distance. Just like other narcissists, try to establish firm boundaries too.
Remember, you can’t change a narcissistic personality no matter how much you wish to. All you can do is keep your mental and emotional health in check.
Dealing With A Narcissist Doesn’t Seem Easy? Counseling May Help
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Until next time, take care, and stay safe.