A new study, published in PLOS ONE, reveals one simple trick to tell if someone is a narcissist — and all you have to do is ask. Apparently, narcissists love to tell people they are narcissistic.
"Somebody who is a narcissist doesn't think it's all that bad and is maybe even a little proud of it," Sara Konrath, lead author of the study, told usatoday.com.
The study tested narcissism in trials involving 2,250 people by asking “To what extent do you agree with this statement, 'I am a narcissist.' (Note: The word ‘narcissist’ means egotistical, self-focused, and vain).” Participants had to rate how much they agreed with the statement, from 1 (Not very true of me) to 7 (Very true of me).
People who rated themselves a 6 or 7 on the scale also scored high on a traditional 40-question narcissism test, the results revealed, with 5 percent of participants choosing 6 or 7.
The most severe form of narcissism is narcissistic personality disorder, a psychological disorder in which people “an have inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration,” mayoclinic.org states.
Symptoms include believing you're better than others, setting unrealistic goals, being easily hurt and rejected, failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings and taking advantage of others.
Even if you know someone who exhibits symptoms of the disorder, you probably shouldn't ask them the question, Konrath told today.com.
“Someone who is saying that (they're a narcissist) is pretty rare and I think that is good news.”