You Might Be a Narcissist If…

Posted on: 07/11/10 9:59 PM | by Jonathan McKee

This week a guest author wrote our Youth Culture Window article. She’s a friend of mine who is a counselor- her name is Lisa Charlebois. Lisa co-wrote an interesting book titled, “You Might Be a Narcissist If…” The book helps you identify Narcissism in ourselves and others. Fascinating stuff.

I have 10 copies of the book I’ll give away. See below. But first check out a glimpse of her article:

Narcissist—[one who displays an] inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.

Kate is becoming more and more concerned about her son, Chris, a high school freshman.

Since 2nd grade Chris has been friends with Zack. Kate has always liked Zack, but some things are beginning to bother her.

She observes Chris giving in constantly to what Zack wants to do and agreeing with Zack on most issues, as well as with what Zack deems as important. She’s starting to wonder if Chris has developed a habit of denying his real feelings and opinions when Zack is around. She also notices Zack frequently belittling Chris in ways that disturb her.

Kate knows she’s had to get used to the fact that bonding is different for boys than girls, and that boys often find it hysterical to call each other names. Still she’s uneasy. In the past she figured Zack was good for Chris because he was more outgoing than her son; she even admired that Zack was viewed as popular—yet chose to spend much of his time with Chris over the years.

Now Kate’s beginning to wonder if that was such a good thing…


I’ll make it simple. The first 10 people to read the full article and comment to this blog… I’ll send you a free copy of her book. (Don’t leave your address in the comment– just your email. I’ll email you for your address if you’re the first 10.)


18 Replies to “You Might Be a Narcissist If…”

  1. Interesting stuff. Something to be on the lookout for in the teens we serve as well as in our own lives.

  2. Interesting thoughts in the article. I see the effects of kids who are drawn to narcissistic people continually and it over and over breaks my heart to watch them drawn into unhealthy relationships. Sounds like an interesting read!

  3. Great article on an issue that really does affect everyone. I know its so easy to be drawn to boasting in ourselves or pushing others down and it must be 10 times harder for teens with the daily pressures they have to face. great ideas in here for starting a conversation with them.

  4. This is so sad and so rampant in my ministry. I just had a student spend 2 hours on the way home from a trip, telling me his sports heroics, all of which where exaggerated a lot.

  5. A couple of weeks ago I led a week of camp for middle school students. I know that middle school students are always difficult, what with all the changes they’re going through. But, like the guest author, I’m realizing more and more how much the parents play a role.

    We have a no cell phone rule at camp. When kids check in at registration, we remind them and their parents about the rule, and ask parents to take their child’s cell phone. We have literally watched a parent take their kid’s phone, then had to take up that exact phone from the camper later in the week because the parent gave it back to them as soon as they were out of sight. The message is that they are more important than the camp’s established rules.

    And that’s just one way we’ve seen parents contribute to this kind of behavior in their kids…

  6. Whoa…very good stuff. The whole time I was reading this I was thinking about my sister and one of her friends in college. Then I began to think of some of the students in our youth ministry and how annoying they are in their sense of accomplishment.

    Then I began to think of their parents and how they have driven their kids to be the best.

    Whatever happened to doing your best, giving your best and taking pride in that as opposed to having to be the best or not even trying?

    I can already see that my 9 year old daughter has a couple of “friends” who are beginning to exihibit these behaviors and I have been wondering what the best way to handle this will be. Thank you for the helps.


  7. Interesting read for sure. I think I have a couple of these kids in my youth group. Just thought they had “big heads” lol. Didn’t realize there was a name for it. Thanks for sharing all that you do. Keeps me up on the latest stuff. Melissa

  8. I’ve always felt there was something wrong with me when a kid was getting on my nerves… It would be good to know how to recognize different behaviors and how to handle them.

  9. “Lonely teens with low self-esteem tend to idealize egomaniacal friends, which can lead to the lonely teens feeling more worthy—after all, they’re now attached to their new friends’ inflated sense of self.” – Ok I needed this as well as does my 13yo daughter.

    When my daughter was in 5th grade we enrolled her in public school for the first time. Just a few months into the year she – a very quiet withdrawn thinker-type person – had become good friends with the most popular girl in the school. I couldn’t quite figure it out but my wife and I chalked it up to the fact that this other girl simply wanted a break from her constantly competing friends and was attracted to my daughter’s more laid back style.

    Fast forward almost four years into the future and we find ourselves pulling our hair out because our daughter does just as the boy Chris in the story does – she gives in. As far as we know she has never compromised her standards but when this girl is around she absolutely loses her own opinion on anything and if the girl goes against my daughter’s standards or our rules my daughter somehow just avoids the situation.

    We have encouraged our daughter at length to begin to avoid this relationship and while she listens to us their is this attraction that just won’t go away. Hopefully, now that I have an idea where this other child is coming from I will be better prepared to give my daughter the information she needs.

  10. Yes there are many Narcissist teens out there today. How frustrating that is when you are trying to get them to see how important they are in God’s direction for their lives. God wants to use them to reach their friends. But it’s practically impossible for them to see themselves as a conduit to God when they have been told, or think, they are a god.

    This doesn’t just come from parents. The social networks they are a part of does a wonderful job of giving every teen this feeling that everything they do or say is important, and if others don’t like it, it does not matter. I had a parent say she does not have a Facebook since her daughter does. She doesn’t want to infringe on her “privacy”. I also challenged a teen last week that had a swear word (One of the big ones) in her status. When confronted, she just said it was a quote, so she shouldn’t have to remove it. Then she un-friended me. This girl does not think she did anything wrong, and her parents do not think so either. The issue I have is that she is a 5th grade small group leader. I let the children’s pastor know about it and now we have to make up a “Facebook policy” for our volunteers.

    Narcissism is rampant because we have become a culture that applauds it. Did anyone watch “The Decision” last week? When you read Romans 12, you see that God’s perfect and pleasing will for all of us is to never consider yourself higher then anyone else. Instead it stresses the continual connection to Him. This will always humble yourself to realize that God loves us and has the Grace and Mercy for all of us the same. No one deserves it more and no one can receive more by being an “Ultra-Christian”. Read Romans 12:9-21 in the Message version and ask yourself how it relates to yourself and any of the teens you serve. We taught on this last night and I have been encouraged and challenged to use it as a backdrop to our ministry and how we will minister.

    Narcissism will always be with us. It started in the garden with Adam and Eve wanting to be like God. I too struggle from time to time with this. When you look beneath the attitude and start to question where it is coming from, you will see a person trying to fill the void that only God can fill.

    My daughter is a “Narcissist magnet”. She is 10. I have started to use some of the principles stated in the Youth Culture Window. I can honestly say they are good principles, but i still worry about her and whether or not she remembers the things I tell her when she is with her narcissist friends. I have found the best way to helping her is to make sure that I do not show any Narcissist tendencies. This also is true in the ministry I serve.

    Sorry for the long post, guess this one hit a nerve for me. Narcissism is bondage and you can never be free to God if you think you are god.


  11. Interesting article, thanks Jonathan! I think this is a definite issue in our society. May God help us impart to our teens a worldview that is more like His.

  12. Appreciated the article! Have seen my 3rd grade son deal with this. ‘I’m glad X is good at football, but do you notice how he makes all the rules and how he talks to you guys?’ Glad to share that my son is learning to separate! He’s realizing the unhealthy tone of that relationship. Good article!

  13. As a parent of three teenagers and a youth worker for 27 years, including therapeutic residential work with troubled kids, I can say narcissism is a rampant problem. I also believe it comes primarily from the parents – whether they themselves are narcissistic or too overly protective of their children. I wonder…when we pull our children out of public (or even private) schools and choose to home school them, how can we possible teach them the skills to deal with people? “Be in the world, not of the world…” Our children will have to deal with the evils of this world at some point. It is our job as parents to train them to do so, and to look beyond their own nose and be wise as serpents, yet innocent as doves. That’s a hard job, but pulling them in and making them the center of their own world can do more harm than good. There are always exceptions, but it is still something to think about.

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