Close your eyes and imagine a narcissist. Try to imagine what you think a narcissist looks like in your mind. It looks like a man, doesn 't it? While, yes, there are many men in the world with the narcissistic personality disorder, all too often we associate the qualities of narcissism only with men.
We think of relentless ego and a complacent sense of complacency, and whatever the reason, we identify them as masculine traits. It is one of the most common stereotypes about narcissism.
But here's the thing - narcissism knows no gender boundaries. Women can also be narcissists.
Are men more likely to be narcissists than women? There is some research that supports this. However, this does not mean that women are immune to narcissism.
We all know women who do everything about THEM, women who brag about themselves, women who are vain or self-absorbed. Women who absolutely fit the classic definition of narcissism, which is "excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance."
There are many, many female narcissists in the world, and if you want to maintain healthy relationships with the people in your life, stay away from them.
Here are 7 signs that a woman is a narcissist.
1. Every conversation revolves around her.
While it's fine to talk about yourself occasionally in social contexts, a true narcissist will almost exclusively talk about himself OR will constantly try to steer the conversation back to her.
Ask yourself, "When was the last time she asked a question about ME?" If the answer is NEVER, it's a pretty clear sign that she's very full of herself.
2. She constantly cancels plans with you.
Conflicts arise, but one of the great signs that she is a narcissist is when she pathologically refuses to commit to previous engagements. She does not care about the impact on others.
She never thinks about your ruined evening or your disappointment. All she wants is the freedom to do what she wants whenever she wants, no matter how it affects the people around her.
3. She gets crazy when you say "no".
This is one of the easiest ways to spot a narcissist. When they ask you to do something, just say "No". It does not even have to be a hard "no". You can just postpone your answer or say, "I'll get back to you."
Narcissists HATE that kind of response. They do not like that other people exert influence on their self-centered spheres of existence.
If you know a woman who loses her mind when you react negatively, she definitely has some narcissistic qualities.
4. She flirts with people she does not like.
Flirting is fun for adults, but narcissists use flirting as a tool to get what they want.
This is especially evident if you know a woman who is constantly trying to use her charm or sexuality on people she is not romantically interested in.
Narcissists believe they are the hottest things on Earth, and the inflated self-image leads them to believe that no one could EVER resist them.
Thus, they flirt as a form of manipulation because they can not imagine that any man or woman would not be totally seduced by their feminine lists.
5. She does not speak loudly about the people in her life.
Narcissists see themselves standing on top of the social pyramid - with everyone else firmly under their feet. This attitude can become clear if you listen to how they talk about others.
Does the woman in your life always refer to other people as "idiots"? Does she call her friends "girls" or "morons"? Does she always question the intelligence of others, but never question her own?
It's classic narcissistic behavior. We all have the opportunity to tear at our friends from time to time, but if you know a woman who always does and never shows any signs of empathy or self-irony, she's probably a narcissist.
6. She never takes the blame.
If she's late, does she ever apologize, or was it always the traffic / your directions / someone else's fault? Narcissists have a real problem with guilt - they do not like to admit that they are ever to blame for a mistake or a problem.
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Their worldview does not support a reality where they can make mistakes, so they always divert the blame and argue that someone else (or a factor beyond anyone's control) caused the problem. You will rarely, if ever, hear a narcissist say "My bad."
7. Her phone is full of selfies.
Are they all selfies? There is nothing wrong with selfies, but if you know a woman who seems to be exclusively taking selfies, who puts all her attention into framing herself perfectly and never thinks about taking a picture of her family, friends or the world around her, it is a large narcissist red flag.
Women are as skilled as narcissists as men are. If you have a woman in your life who never seems to show any empathy and who will always do things about HER, she probably has narcissistic tendencies and you should consider keeping your distance.
Friendships and relationships are about giving and taking, which is something a true narcissist will never ever understand.
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Elizabeth Ayers-Callahan is a mother, wife and regular writer for YourTango, which is focused on relationships, mental health and news.