Narcissism normally pokes its head up as a joke, a meme, or even a sly comment. When a friend is being a bit too consumed with herself, we poke fun. But what if you suspect a loved one may truly have an issue with self-perception? How do you know if you are dealing with a true narcissist?

If the person in question is a woman, thankfully there are some traits or tell-tale signs you can look for. These signs won’t tell you anything for sure, because a medical professional is needed for that. However, they will help as you navigate what could be a very problematic relationship.

Take a look at these seven signs of narcissism in a female and see if any of them look familiar in a person you may be dealing with. Just knowing that she may have narcissistic tendencies could provide a path forward in how you deal with the relationship.

7 Indicators of Narcissistic Tendencies in Females:

Grandiosity and Self-Importance: Female narcissists may exhibit an inflated sense of self-importance, believing they are exceptional and deserving of special treatment. While this also characterizes narcissism in men, women with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are observed as having more emphasis on vanity and obsession with their looks. This contributes to their emphasis on talking highly of themselves with little interest for others.

Seeking Constant Validation: They might have an insatiable need for admiration and validation, constantly seeking attention and praise to support their self-worth. Again, this is common for anyone with NPD, but it looks different for women. Female narcissists tend to express their shallow tendencies by acquiring luxury items to exert their high social status. They are also more likely to become obsessed and even addicted to social media because of the positive feedback. 

Lack of Empathy: Difficulty in understanding or empathizing with the emotions and needs of others. They may disregard or minimize the feelings of those around them. Additionally, this lack of empathy can lead to them being abusive, despite female narcissists typically being less aggressive than men.

Manipulative Behavior: Using manipulation to achieve their goals or control situations. This might involve emotional manipulation or even seducing others into sexual relationships.

Exploitative Tendencies: Female narcissists may exploit others for their benefit without feeling guilt or remorse. They might use people for personal gain or leverage situations to their advantage.

Difficulty in Maintaining Relationships: Relationships with female narcissists can be challenging due to their self-centered nature, lack of empathy, and a tendency to view others as tools for their gratification rather than as equals. Lacking empathy and/or slight interest in others makes it difficult for the female narcissist to keep genuine relationships. 

High Sensitivity to Criticism: Female narcissists may react strongly to criticism or perceived slights. They might respond with anger, defensiveness, or by belittling others to protect their self-image. Females with NPD are especially sensitive to criticism of their physical appearance.

Narcissism Never Looks the Same

Narcissism varies from person to person with regard to its expression. In addition, just because a woman has some of these seven traits does not mean she is a narcissist. If you suspect you are dealing with a narcissist, the most important thing to remember is that it is not your place to diagnose somebody. Rather, encourage them to see a professional to discuss the issue.