How to Spot a Narcissist

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How to Spot a Narcissist

When I wrote my book, For Better, For Worse, Forever:  Discover the Path to Lasting Love, it was for the primary purpose of helping people learn once and for all, what ingredients actually go into a healthy long-lasting relationship. I developed a 10-step, fail-safe formula, which has been successfully used by thousands of men and women around the world to help them accurately assess and evaluate who’s right or wrong for them BEFORE committing to any serious relationship. The signs and red flags are always there. We have just not learned what to look for.  This process of assessment is not romantic.  However, if we want to keep ourselves emotionally, psychologically, financially and physically safe, it is essential that we do our homework, take off our blinders and honestly look at the reality, rather than the fantasy of our relationships.

In my private practice in New York City and East Hampton, I treat many very successful and wealthy narcissistic men. The only reason why they have agreed to come into therapy with me is because their wives, lovers or business associates are no longer willing to allow, engage in and enable their exploitative and manipulative behavior.  And maybe for the first time in their lives these men are having to confront themselves in an honest way or loose relationships that they want.

If you have ever dated or lived with a narcissist, your life as you well know, is one big roller coaster ride.  The highs are high and the lows are unbearably low. However, what I am sure you have already learned, is that it is virtually always about their wants and needs. Think back to how often you have said yes when you meant no so as to avoid a fight or argument. Narcissists care little if anything about your feelings.  And when they do it is because it benefits them.  They will wear you down until you discover or rediscover your sense of self and realize that your hopes and dreams will always take a second place position to theirs.  And then you will have to decide whether the gifts and trips and shopping sprees are worth the anguish. The choice is ultimately yours!

What is a Narcissistic Personality Disorder? 

Definitions According to the DSM-5.  Diagnostic Criteria.  American Psychiatric Association

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.  Exaggerates achievements and talents.  Expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements.
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance
  • Believes that he or she is ‘special’ and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions.
  • Requires excessive admiration.
  • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment.
  • Is interpersonally exploitative.  Takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
  • Lacks empathy.  Is unwilling or unable to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

In Summary

  1. Someone who is arrogant, haughty, lacks empathy, has a sense of entitlement, requires excessive admiration, and who is preoccupied with grandiosity can only look at issues and negotiations in terms of how it will affect HIM, how it will make HIM feel and how it will make HIM look. It is always about HIM.
  1. Your trials and tribulations will ALWAYS be secondary, when you are dating or living with or working with a true narcissist.
  1. Win/Win deals are not the goal of a narcissist.  A narcissist is only interested in WINNING. He wins. You loose!

I wish you a healthy relationship journey.







  • Beatty Cohan

    Beatty Cohan, MSW, LCSW, AASECT, is a nationally recognized psychotherapist, sex therapist, author, national speaker, columnist and national radio and television expert guest. Beatty has been an expert guest in national television and radio for over 25 years and continues to offer her unique charismatic brand of positive energy and psychological analysis and commentary -- bypassing the usual trite psycho-babble and often politically correct blandness that dominates the mass media. Beatty is co-author of For Better, For Worse, Forever: Discover the Path to Lasting Love, and host of ASK BEATTY, live every Monday night on the Progressive Radio Network. She has a private practice in New York City, East Hampton and Sarasota, Florida. Visit Beatty at: Or email at:

1 Response

  1. Fredrick Garfield Herman says:

    Please a little less HIM I fully understand that you are a female.. (to be non sexist and not to sound bias may I suggest the word “they”) and I can feel your frustration with men…and I understand we all have our own unique experiences ..
    I have recently been put through Hell by an lady a wonderful lady at that when she isn’t fighting screaming and shouting I don’t see myself as sexist and won’t go propagating how bad woman are. I unfortunately fell head over heels in love and was used..and abused. I Made a wrong decision No one held a GUN to my head it was all my own choice.. no one else but me.. I till now didn’t know there were people like that, I still love and I guess I am looking for answers my self is there hope for us if we got back together can she be helped could she help herself….I don’t know what exactly am trying to understand. I love her and miss her all normal human feelings..however there is good and bad in all walks of life white, black, colored, MALE & FEMALE, Indian, Portuguese, Spanish, Italians, Japanese, English etc we all have to find away to live together sieve through the bad apples in all walks of life when you find one. Just handle THAT ONE with gloves believe me them bad apples should be labeled even if you or I try and warn others human nature takes over and people go and try to find out for themselves.. don’t worry when they burn their fingers they come hunt you down just because you warned them if you keep quiet the same . my wife’s 2nd ex tried to warn me … the thought of a jealous lover passed through my mind now I know better… funny how we make life difficult for ourselves…

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