Signs of narcissism in teenagers

Updated November 21, 2016

Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD, is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Teenagers with NPD have a distorted self-image that reflects grandiosity, self-importance, lack of empathy and the need to be the centre of attention. Most teenagers have a healthy level of these traits, but it is important to be aware of the unhealthy signs of narcissism.

Grandiose Image

Look for signs of exaggerated self-confidence and self-esteem. Constant self-praise is common in a narcissistic teen. Continually embellishing personal stories and achievements or behaving in a larger-than-life way are clear signs of narcissism. Narcissistic teens, like their adult counterparts, need constant admiration from others.

Overestimating Talents

A perfect example of someone overestimating his talents is a clearly tone-deaf person who sings horribly during an "American Idol" tryout, and when he's rejected declares that he will become famous someday and that the judges will sorely regret their decision. Narcissistic teenagers are convinced that their talents and capabilities are far superior than they actually are. According to the University of the Basque Country, narcissism "is a frequent trait in all types of violent subjects. Together with paranoid traits, narcissistic style increases the risk of violent behaviours." Parents who are unable to express the truth, offer excessive praise and are emotional abusive contribute to a teenager developing NPD.


Self-centered behaviour, the feeling that the world her something, and lack of kindness and empathy are troublesome signs that a teenager is narcissistic. Teenagers who are narcissistic are unable to cooperate with others and can be manipulative, exploiting others to get what they want. Teenagers with NPD rarely think of others, thinking that the world revolves around them.

Social Networking Media Sites

Teenage narcissism is increasing due to a celebrity-obsessed society in which media-focused images of grandiose, shallow and poor behaviour are prevalent. A lack of face-to-face connections is leaving teenagers dependent on social-networking sites, which may contribute to narcissistic behaviour. Social networking sites allow teenagers the ability to build themselves up and design a grandiose image for others to admire. According to parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba, narcissistic, entitled kids shut down their capacity to understand where other people are coming from.


Narcissistic teenagers think they are more successful, talented and better looking than their peers. Trying to convince a narcissistic teen he is wrong or calling her out on poor behaviour is next to impossible, because most teens will deny the negative accusations. Narcissistic teens simply can't believe that they lack perfection, and they demand special treatment. If ridiculed, a narcissistic teen will become defensive if his self-esteem is threatened, according to Psychology Today. A dangerous lifestyle leading to sensation-seeking and impulsivity can lead to risky decisions.

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