You may believe that you are not a conversational narcissist, the type of person who monopolizes discussions and redirects every conversation to themselves, but it is possible that you are. Check to see if you exhibit any of the following 13 indications.
1. You Relate Too Hard
In response to someone telling you about their hurt wrist, competition victory, or terrible traffic, you quickly respond with, "I know how you feel!" before launching into your own story about the same topic. Although you may believe that this helps others feel better, it can actually backfire. By interjecting with your anecdotes, you are depriving them of the opportunity to express their emotions.
2. You're A Spotlight Grabber
Even if you believe you do not desire to be the center of attention, if you're continually attempting to share your own experiences and be heard rather than listening to others, you're preoccupied with seeking attention. And unless there is an emergency, saying "Sorry to interrupt, but this is crucial!" isn't acceptable.
3. You're A Conversational One-Upper
You might even take your desire for the limelight to the next level by trying to one-up others. For example, if your friend has bronchitis, and you respond with, "Well, I once had pneumonia, and it was ten times worse!" It's as if your stories are the only ones that are interesting and essential in the room. Yikes!
4. You're Competitive
Conversations are not a competition, so don't feel bad when someone else makes a great joke or offers support to a friend. It's natural to want to be witty and eloquent, but don't let it consume you. Remember, conversations are about connection, not competition.
5. You're A Fast Talker
Do you find yourself talking a mile a minute during conversations without pausing to listen to others? Slow down! You're not in a race. Conversations are meant to be a relaxed exchange of ideas. When you talk too fast, you make it difficult for others to keep up and share in your enthusiasm. Take a breath and listen.
6. You're Bringing Drama To The Table
When you join a conversation, do you find yourself immediately wanting to talk about your own dramas? It's okay to share, but be mindful of how often you turn conversations into a negative, self-centered discussion. Remember, conversations are about give-and-take, not just take.
7. You Think You're Listening, But You're Not
It can be tempting to jump into a conversation and share your own thoughts, but don't be too eager. If you're impatiently waiting for your turn to speak, you're not truly listening to what others have to say. Being a good conversationalist means being present and engaged, not just waiting for your turn to talk.
8. You Give Shift Responses Instead Of Support Responses
To determine if you exhibit narcissistic tendencies, ask a close friend if you tend to respond with a shift or support response during conversations. A shift response involves diverting the attention back to yourself. For instance, if your friend mentions wanting to purchase a new dress, you might respond by discussing a dress you recently purchased or are looking to buy. This reaction exemplifies a typical narcissistic response. Conversely, a support response involves actively listening and asking follow-up questions, such as, "What kind of dress are you interested in buying?" This approach shifts the focus to the other person, rather than on yourself.
9. People Breathe Heavily Around You
It is possible to be an unaware conversational narcissist. To determine if this applies to you, observe how others react when you speak. Do they breathe more heavily, perhaps sighing in frustration or taking deep breaths? If so, it is possible that you have made the conversation solely about yourself or interrupted the other person repeatedly, causing them annoyance and fatigue. Therefore, it is crucial to remain mindful of your conversational tendencies and how they impact those around you.
10. People Tend To Fall Silent
If you notice that people remain silent when you talk about yourself, it may be a sign that you are dominating the conversation. They may not be contributing to the discussion because it feels more like a monologue, and it seems like they are just waiting for you to finish. This could be a red flag, so ensure that you are not at fault for not giving others an opportunity to speak.
11. You Enjoy Talking About Yourself
It is a common desire for people to talk about themselves, as it increases activity in the reward center of the brain, according to a Harvard study. This is the same region of the brain that responds to pleasure-inducing stimuli such as sex and food. While it feels great, you must regulate how much you talk about yourself. Just as you can't consume all the pink champagne at a bachelorette party, even if it's delicious, it's necessary to make the information you give to others valuable rather than overwhelming them with too much information (TMI).
12. You're All About Pleasing People
It may seem odd, but sometimes the people who desire to please others the most are actually the most significant conversational narcissists. They're so preoccupied with attempting to be appreciated for what they say that they're unaware they're coming across as self-centered. Do you desire attention and affection when conversing with friends or colleagues? If you approach a conversation with that objective, it's simple to become a conversational narcissist. You're so preoccupied with attempting to express what you believe people want to hear or gain their endorsement that you're not genuinely interacting with them.
13. You Have Restless Voice Syndrome
You frequently interrupt others before they finish speaking. It's not because you're impolite; it's just that you know what your friend is about to say, so you can jump in! It seems harmless, right? Wrong! If you're always attempting to be heard, people who wish you would listen more will ignore you. It's a fact.