narcissistic guide

I once had a boyfriend who took whatever he wanted – he didn’t wait for others to be seated before he started eating; he ate however much food he wanted at a potluck without worrying if others had enough food; and he would constantly walk ahead of me wherever we went. Do you think he was narcissistic or just self-centered?

Today I’m going to be answering the question that many of you have written in to ask me about: How can you tell the difference between being self-centered and being a narcissist?  Some of you are asking for yourselves and others are asking about people in their life who they think could be a narcissist.
In this Real Love Revolution video, I cover:

  • Four major qualities of both narcissists and self-centered people
  • Where narcissists and self-centered people differ
  • How empathy can mean the difference between a narcissist and a self-centered person
  • Tips for how to be less self-centered


There are a few major qualities that both groups may have, the first one being a focus on the self. A narcissist will have an obsession with the self, but so will a self-centered person. The second quality is empathy – this is where the road splits in two different directions because someone who is self-centered still has the capability of showing empathy. Like the boyfriend I talked about at the beginning, when I pointed out that he just finished our shared plate of food without asking if I wanted any more, he was apologetic, he cared. There was a sense of remorse. If he had been a narcissist, not only would he notfeel bad, he would be angry that I had criticized him. The lack of real empathy and the inability to care about how someone else feels is the mark of a narcissist.
If after watching the video and reading this blog, you are starting to feel like you may be a self-centered person, here are some tips to help you change that behavior. The first thing is to become a better listener – if you notice that in conversations you usually look for a way to bring it back to yourself, this is something you can actually change. To be a good listener, you have to let go of everything that’s on your mind, just for that moment in time, to focus on what the other person is saying. Another tip is to put your needs last – if you’re used to dominating relationships with your needs, prioritizing the other person’s desires will create a more generous dynamic. Your internal experience will change if you put others before yourself because true reciprocity creates a feeling of satisfaction and deepens intimacy.
To learn about the other major qualities of narcissists and self-centered people (and where they differ), plus more tips on how to be less self-centered, download the Checklist: Narcissist or Self-Centered: A User’s Guide below.
Drop me a comment here on the blog and let me know what resonated with you after watching the video above.
And ladies, if you haven’t yet joined the Real Love Revolution waiting list to gain immediate access to our private FB group and receive a bundle of FREE gifts from me, please click here to join us!

Thanks for watching, reading, and sharing!
And as always, take care of YOU.

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  1. this was so helpful, my whole family is narcissist, 2 adult kids, Mom and a Sisternlaw. I have a small family and everyone is narcisstic. They think they are wonderful and I am not. Yes this is it! They don’t care how you feel ever. It is all about them and their accomplishments. They have no empathy.

    One plus, I have a good husband of 27 years but so hard with my family being crappy. Finally accepted them and so I have to get with friends and hobbies for happiness. I wish I had a good family but I don’t. Never have a family to lean on, especially hard when I went thru a divorce with a narcissist.

  2. I am just getting out of a four year long relationship with a Narcissist, it has been the most confusing, numbing, painful thing I think I have ever experienced and I pray and meditate daily for strength to stay strong and work on myself and healing. For me, the biggest sign was the lack of empathy. There wasn’t any regard to how someone else felt or their needs. Shocking when I look back now on everything I tolerated and the boundaries that I allowed to be crushed. Luckily I have great friends and wonderful supportive children and a very good therapist that I am gonna need now for the aftermath so this never happens again! Thank you for your articles, I love them and they give motivation and inspiration.

    1. Terri,
      Congratulations for getting out of that hell. You are on the road to recovery my friend. I am sending you so much healing energy right now. Stay strong, mama.

    2. I too had a 4 year marriage where it got so bad I was bruised
      I waited 3 years and healed, I thought. I did therapy, learned about all of this. Got my life back on track.
      I decided to date again, and he presented as a victim, his ex’s were cluster B . He was very good at the seduction, and there was no love bombing but I realized red flags as he was rushing me. I put up boundaries and he tried mowing them down but didn’t, then I twigged . But I loved the facade soooo much. I met his parents, his children. We saw each other everyday for almost 6 months. Had great fun on road trips. I knew him before, my Rabbi knew him, we had friends in common. When I broke it off, just to cool it and get my head around it, I still thought we had a great love at this point, until people came out of the woodwork to tell me I dodged a bullet that because I was with him he seemed different ( identity theft) the devaluation had only got as far as one or two comments but the discard was hell as he flagrantly flaunted new supply after only 10 days no contact! The mask dropped, the rage presented itself, the devaluation was about to commence. My friends have been great but 4 months later no contact, I still have to see him at my synagogue every week and I still feel grief and relief. I ignore him. I’ve done everything right. Self love, vacation, new hobby. I don’t want him of course but I am triggered still. So be careful they are mutating as they realize we are onto them. I am an empath so I am vulnerable. I’m just trying to forgive myself for getting hooked in again but I’m grateful I have an opportunity to heal a bit of left over hurt. And I didn’t spend too much time in the relationship but a lot more since on self reflection. They cause damage , deep psychic damage.

      1. I hear you and I am witnessing you with compassion. Continue to be kind with yourself. Self love is a daily commitment. All the love you poured into the relationship can now go to yourself as you continue to heal.

    1. Hello Terri!
      Tx for your blog and video…
      My exgirlfriend always turned things /situations around so that in her view she never did anything wrong even when I trapped her lying to me she accused me…it was always her way or no way
      We have a baby together she gave the name she got him baptized catholic without asking me just informing me about it and many things more…I had to cut contact…still in healing process…not easy when there is a baby…
      Reading articles like yours help to get through it by understanding it…I pray that she will recognize one day

  3. This is a really great read. I’ve been with my now fiance for almost 3 years. After the first year, I started to see a pattern of a narcissist. I myself had started on a spiritual journey to better myself. I have been meditating and journaling and trying to find my center. I finally had a serious conversation with him surrounding his need to have everything about himself. He was very receptive and hung on my every word. It was then that I realized that he wasn’t a narcissist, maybe self-centered, but not a narcissist. He has joined me on my spiritual journey and our relationship has never been better. Thank you for a great article

    1. Connie,
      Thank you so much for sharing your hopeful story here with us. I am so happy to hear that your bf responded in a caring manner! Now you know he is capable of growth and change and indeed NOT a narc!

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