If someone displays these 9 behaviors, they’re probably a somatic narcissist

Ever encountered someone whose charisma seems almost too good to be true?

If you’ve ever wondered about the authenticity behind a person’s charm, you might be dealing with a somatic narcissist. 

But knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to spot their behaviors.

Well, it turns out there are nine specific behaviors that can act as red flags. If someone is displaying these, they’re probably a somatic narcissist.

Let me break it down for you, so the next time you encounter one, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge you need. Here we go!

1) Excessive focus on physical appearance

If you’ve ever encountered someone who always seems to be preoccupied with their looks, you might have met a somatic narcissist.

According to psychotherapist Katherine Schafler, a somatic narcissist channels their narcissism through their body and the physical environment. “Their superiority and sense of entitlement are localized in their perception of their physical self,” she explains. 

From their obsession with physical appearance to an insatiable need for admiration, these individuals reveal their traits through specific behaviors. They spend an inordinate amount of time grooming themselves, working out, or obsessing over their diet.

This isn’t just about normal self-care or wanting to look nice – it’s a full-blown obsession.

But why, you ask? It’s because they believe their worth is tied to their physical attractiveness.

They crave admiration and validation for their looks from others, and they’ll go to great lengths to maintain their image.

2) Constant need for compliments

I once had a colleague who always seemed to fish for compliments. Whether it was about her new dress, her latest gym achievement or even the smallest of tasks at work, she sought constant praise.

At first, I thought she was just insecure and needed a boost in confidence. But as time went on, it seemed like her need for compliments was more of a dependency. She wasn’t just looking for reassurance – she was seeking validation and admiration constantly.

That’s when I realized this behavior was a classic sign of somatic narcissism.

It’s not just about wanting to be appreciated; it’s about needing that validation to maintain their self-worth. If you know someone who constantly seeks out compliments, they might be showing signs of being a somatic narcissist.

3) Obsession with status symbols

Somatic narcissists love to flaunt their status symbols. Expensive cars, designer clothes, luxury vacations – you name it, they have it.

This is because for them, these material possessions are not just about personal enjoyment – they’re tools to assert superiority. They derive their self-worth from these status symbols and use them as a way to gain admiration from others.

It’s interesting to note that research has found that people who are highly materialistic are also more likely to display narcissistic behaviors. This correlation suggests that if you come across an individual who obsesses over status symbols, they could be a somatic narcissist.

4) Lack of empathy

One of the most telling signs of a somatic narcissist is their lack of empathy. Their extreme self-focus often leaves little room for understanding or sharing the feelings of others.

If you’ve ever had a one-sided conversation where the other person seems uninterested in your life, your feelings, or your experiences, you’ve experienced this firsthand. They might brush off your emotions or fail to provide comfort when you’re upset.

This inability to empathize with others is a key characteristic of a somatic narcissist. They’re often too absorbed in maintaining their own image and seeking validation to genuinely care about anyone else’s feelings.

5) Dominating conversations

When you’re talking to a somatic narcissist, you might find it hard to get a word in edgeways. They love to dominate conversations, often turning the discussion back to their favorite topic – themselves.

They’ll talk at length about their accomplishments, their looks, their possessions, basically anything that boosts their ego. And while we all like to share our achievements or exciting news now and then, with a somatic narcissist, it’s a consistent pattern.

This constant need to be the center of attention is a classic behavior of a somatic narcissist. So if you notice someone always steering the conversation towards themselves, it’s a potential red flag.

6) Unable to handle criticism

We all find criticism hard to take sometimes, but for a somatic narcissist, it’s downright unbearable. They take even the mildest critique as a personal attack and respond with defensiveness or outright aggression.

What’s heartbreaking is that this inability to handle criticism often stems from a deep-seated insecurity.

They’ve built their self-worth around their physical appearance and the admiration they receive. So any suggestion that they’re not perfect feels like a threat to their very identity.

Seeing someone react so strongly to criticism can be a clear indication of somatic narcissism. It shows how desperately they cling to their constructed image, unable to accept any perceived flaws.

7) Relationships are often superficial

I remember being in a relationship where I felt more like an accessory than a partner.

My partner would constantly show me off to others, but when it came to understanding me or caring for my feelings, there was a disconnect. This is common with somatic narcissists.

Their relationships are often superficial, focused more on how the person adds to their image rather than a genuine emotional connection.

Deep down, they’re more interested in what the person can offer them – be it status, admiration, or validation – rather than who the person truly is.

8) Uses seduction as a tool

Somatic narcissists are known for their charm and charisma, which they often use to their advantage. They are skilled seducers, using their physical attractiveness and flirtatious behavior to manipulate others.

They use seduction as a tool to gain admiration, charm others into doing what they want, or maintain control in a relationship.

However, this behavior isn’t about genuine attraction or affection. Instead, it’s another way for them to validate their self-worth and maintain their image.

Observing someone frequently using seduction as a manipulation tool? Be cautious. This behavior is a classic trait of a somatic narcissist.

9) They discard people who no longer serve their image

The most painful aspect of interacting with a somatic narcissist is their tendency to discard people who no longer serve their image or needs. Once they’ve extracted all the admiration and validation they can, they often move on without a second thought.

This isn’t because they’re inherently cruel. It’s because their self-worth is so tied to their image that they can’t afford to keep people around who don’t contribute to it. This behavior can be deeply hurtful and damaging to those on the receiving end.

Don’t forget that no one deserves to be treated as a disposable commodity. If you recognize this behavior in someone, it’s a clear sign of somatic narcissism.

Final thoughts: It’s a call for understanding

Dealing with people with tricky personalities, like somatic narcissists, can feel like an uphill battle in our everyday interactions.

But here’s the thing – beneath all that obsession with looks and constant need for praise, there’s usually a deeper insecurity at play. Their actions, as weird as they might seem, are often just ways of coping with their own feelings of not measuring up.

Somatic narcissism, like any personality disorder, isn’t something people choose; it’s a condition that needs understanding and professional support.

Spotting the signs is the initial move, whether it’s to guide them or to look out for ourselves. It’s all about navigating this tricky terrain with a bit of empathy and awareness.

While it’s not our job to diagnose or cure them, our awareness can lead to more empathy and less judgment. Because at the end of the day, everyone is fighting battles we know nothing about.

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