Sketches of a Narcissist: Part 1

How to spot an unchecked, predatory narcissist in the wild.

As Voltaire said, “better is the enemy of good.”

In that spirit, I have decided to publish some short word sketches, in rough draft form, to encapsulate thoughts I have been meaning to write about for a while.

An attempt to get to the heart of a thought quickly, and get something published. Otherwise, so many thoughts escape into the mists of time, never written about because there is never time to “do them justice.”


Note: narcissistic behaviour is a spectrum, and people can have narcissistic tendencies without matching the description below. These sketches describe the behaviour of “the narcissist” towards the extreme end of the scale, where they become active and destructive social predators, pulling other people into their games by design. It also describes a narcissist who indulges in destructive behaviour knowingly, does not recognise their behaviour as a problem, and has no intention to correct it. The same goes for manipulation — something most of us do, perhaps without fully realising it, and there is a distinction to be made between harmless or trivial manipulation, and psychological abuse. The below describes an abusive, malicious, and destructive form.


Below are a few snapshot impressions of how to spot a narcissist in the wild.


James Lanternman writes movie reviews, short fiction, essays, and moonlit thoughts. Reach him at [email protected], or follow on Twitter.