Narcissism In Women: 8 Signs You’re Dealing With A Female Narcissist

Last Update on December 5, 2023 : Published on January 27, 2023
Narcissism In Women 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 traits 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?

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 women and men 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.

Also Read: There Are 7 Types Of Narcissists That You Need To Know About (And How To Spot Them)

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

Signs Of Narcissism In Women

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.

Female Narcissist traits

Also Read: 7 Signs You Have Unhealthy 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.

Here are other things you can do when dealing with a narcissistic female;

1. Set Boundaries:

You need to set clear boundaries to protect your emotional health. Be firm and assertive when setting boundaries with a female narcissist. State clearly what behavior is acceptable and what’s not.

2. Have Self-Respect:

You need to keep your own worth in mind when dealing with a female narcissist. Don’t let her undermine your self-respect and self-esteem. You can maintain your self-respect by spending time with people who appreciate you and support you.

3. Don’t be Confrontational:

Narcissists love drama and conflict, so avoid feeding them the same. Instead of being confrontational or direct, choose your course of action wisely. Be calm and keep your interactions with them as calm as possible.

4. Take Care of Yourself:

While dealing with a narcissistic female, don’t forget to care for yourself. Try to spend time doing activities you enjoy or that bring joy to your life. Try to relax and unwind. These practices will help you build resilience against all that negativity of dealing with a narcissistic female.

5. Be Assertive:

Communication truly is key when dealing with a narcissistic woman. If you have to communicate with a narcissistic female, then be calm but assertive with them. Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements to express your emotions without blaming them. This will also help you avoid unnecessary arguments.

6. Don’t Get Personal:

Narcissistic behavior is not about you. Narcissists often project their insecurities onto others, so if they say or do something that slights you, don’t take it personally. Do not internalize their criticism.

7. Seek Help and Support:

If you constantly feel overwhelmed and tired when dealing with a narcissistic female, then consider seeking help from a professional counselor or therapist. With the right help and support, you can find the right tools and strategies to win against a narcissist.

8. Have an Exit Strategy:

If the relationship you have with a narcissistic female is getting toxic, then it might be time to consider distancing yourself from them. Plan an exit strategy to minimize the emotional toll the fallout will have on your health.

9. Be Informed:

Another way to deal with a narcissistic woman is to educate yourself by understanding the narcissistic traits of a female. Understanding the signs will help you navigate how to handle a situation effectively and deal with a narcissistic woman without doing much damage to yourself.

10. Create a Support System:

Lastly, try to have a support system in place that you can reach out to when needed. Connect with your friends and family or other support groups who can help you understand your situation and how to deal with it. Joining support groups can mean sharing your experiences and learning from others, which can feel cathartic.

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.

Male or Female, Dealing With A Narcissist Doesn’t Seem Easy? Counseling May Help

Sign Up With BetterHelp Today

For more, you can always reach out to us at or DM us on our social media. Are you dealing with a narcissistic woman? Let us know your experience in the comments section below!

Until next time, take care, and stay safe.

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About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.


  1. Amellia Hogan
    Amellia Hogan

    Yes I'm married to one

  2. Anita Cook
    Anita Cook

    Your article has been very helpful in learning how to deal with a female narcissist. I've been living in denial for many years and have believed the problems are caused by me. My daughter has broke my heart many times and I won't deal with it. I believe now I understand more about what to do.

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