Is There A Magic Question You Can Ask To Spot A Narcissist?

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Have you ever met someone and begun to wonder if they’re a narcissist? It’s a particularly important question if the person in question is a potential romantic partner. But identifying a narcissist is not quite as simple as it sounds. Yes, there are signs — here are some to look out for — but they are generally subtle.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a clinical psychologist who has specialized in narcissism and written several books on the subject, says that she is frequently asked if there are questions that a person can ask that will help them identify a narcissist. She says, “Everyone wants the magic questions I can ask. But look, if those questions existed therapists would be using them all the time.” Unfortunately, those questions don’t exist.

However, not all is lost. There are signs that you’re dealing with a narcissist. For example, Dr. Ramani says, instead of saying to someone, Tell me about yourself (which is something a narcissist will love to do), rephrase the statement to something like, Tell me about your story. If a person reacts, even with body language, with a bit of contempt (subtly indicating, give me a break — my story) then you can take that as a serious red flag.

Watch a deep dive into an interview with Dr. Ramani here: