Narcissist Women: Recognizing the Signs

Narcissist Women: Recognizing the Signs

We tend to think of narcissism as a particular set of characteristics: however, narcissist women often display different traits and behaviors than male narcissists do.

In fact, we often easily apply the label of a narcissist to men.

But, narcissist women are more likely to go under the radar.

Studies estimate that almost 75% of narcissists are men.

However, this could be because of gender biases in diagnoses.

Women are more likely to be diagnosed with borderline or histrionic personality disorders.

As more and more is understood about narcissistic abuse, more and more is understood about these overlooked narcissist women.

In some ways, this could make narcissist women even more dangerous than their male counterparts.

Often, narcissist women use stereotypes about women to shield their narcissistic behavior.

They might cloak themselves in outward roles such as "nurturing mother," "doting grandmother," or, "helpless and naive young woman."

Narcissists are great actors: they play these roles to distract from their malignant behavior. 

No one suspects someone who presents as a nurturing mother to abuse or neglects their children.

Underneath these masks, narcissist women are very aggressive and often exert this aggression through different tactics than those that are more commonly associated with narcissistic men. 

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Narcissist Women: How She Looks

According to Greek mythology chronicled in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Narcissus is a beautiful young man who sees his own reflection in the water and then falls in love with it.

There's a reason that this myth inspired the term narcissism: especially in narcissist women. 

Narcissist women are extremely obsessed with their physical appearance.

Women are objectified in our culture and a narcissistic woman uses that to her advantage. 

Regardless of her actual beauty, a narcissistic woman typically spends a lot of time, energy, and money on their appearance.

Narcissist women use their sexuality as a weapon to gain money, status, narcissistic supply, attention, validation, and social status.

This might manifest itself as competitiveness with other women. Including her own daughter, mother, and other female relatives.

The narcissist woman is unable to see other women as anything other than competition. 

All narcissists are intensely competitive and narcissist women often use other women as their targets of competition.

This is because narcissist women feed off the social dominance of men. They use the men in their life to achieve a higher status.

And, Narcissistic women use their looks and sexuality as a tool to achieve this feeling of interpersonal superiority.

Anyone who threatens these feelings of superiority (or perfection) will be seen by the narcissist woman as a threat.

Often narcissist women will strike for physical perfection in a way that might manifest in disordered eating, conspicuous consumption, and over-sexualization.

Narcissist Women: How She Acts

One of the key traits of a narcissist woman is an obsession with money.

Rampant materialism is often a sign of narcissistic women.

Narcissist women often manipulate their partners and family members into spending money on them: luxury clothes, expensive jewelry, spa treatments, plastic surgery, and expensive shoes all become obsessions used to provide the narcissist woman with validation.

They will often use their sexuality to find wealthy partners to fuel an extravagant lifestyle. 

Or, they might ignore their children's material needs to feed their own desires.

While male narcissists are more likely to earn large amounts of money, narcissist women are more likely to spend a lot of money. 

Narcissist Women: In Relationships

Narcissist women use relationships for their own gain and validation. 

They often collect admirers to provide themselves with a narcissistic supply. They crave attention and being the object of desire.

Narcissist women often have ex-partners that they keep ensnared, may instigate love triangles to feel validation, and are prone to cheating both emotionally and physically.

Narcissist women are often very seductive. 

They flaunt their sexuality to gain attention and admirers. 

They may also do this to manipulate their intimate partners.

They may try to inspire feelings of jealousy in order to gain a sense of power over the partner.

They also frequently inspire an idealization phase: they will make you believe they are too good to be true before moving on to the devaluing phase. 

Narcissist Women: At Work

Narcissist women are very divisive. 

They use passive-aggressive tactics, such as divide and conquer, to gain power within their work and social circles.

They are also duplicitous and backstabbing. 

Think of the high school mean girl. 

Narcissist women often function in a similar way.

If your female boss finds reasons to belittle you or takes credit for your work, then she might be a narcissist.

Narcissist women's obsession with status can also manifest itself at work. 

They might be over accomplished to receive intellectual validation.

They might pursue outward recognition and validation through awards, degrees, or a large social media following.

Narcissist Women: In Friendships

Narcissist women are extremely competitive with other women.

If you have a female friend that is constantly putting you down, she might be a narcissist.

Women who are narcissists are often conniving and manipulative.

For example, does she speak ill of others behind their backs?

This is a huge trait of a narcissistic woman.

She might also act inappropriately with your partner. 

Narcissist women don't like it when other women receive male attention or are in healthy relationships. 

They may try to sabotage your relationship or undermine your confidence with your partner.

Another common trait in narcissist women is a tendency to martyr themselves.

If you have a friend who constantly blames others for their problems: they might be a narcissist.

These narcissist women will play up the idea that everyone is victimizing them in order to avoid blame.

If you see a woman doing this, then she might be a narcissist. 


Narcissist women can be even more dangerous than their male counterparts.

Especially because their abuse often goes unnoticed.

If this article has helped you to recognize that you might have a narcissist woman in your life, then your best option is to seek help. 

Understanding narcissistic behaviors and tactics is a great first step to protecting yourself from them.


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