Have you ever encountered a self-centered, manipulative woman who seemed to suck all the energy out of any room she entered? Or perhaps you have that female friend you adore, but somehow she always manages to cross your boundaries? You may have interacted with a female narcissist. However, not every manipulative or self-absorbed woman is also narcissistic. This article will explore 15 obvious female narcissist traits to look out for and ways to protect yourself from the damage. Let’s dive in.

About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder belongs to a wider range of personality disorders and affects how one perceives oneself and others. An excessive need for admiration and self-esteem boosts, a sense of entitlement, grandiosity, a lack of empathy, and exploitative and abusive behavior characterizes it.

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder crave attention and often put their needs above those of others. They may act in ways for personal gain that is manipulative or selfish to get what they want. They can be challenging to interact with, and common traits may include a controlling nature and difficulty in understanding the perspectives and feelings of others.

Those with NPD are likelier to have an inflated sense of self-confidence, leading them to believe they are superb and deserve special care and attention.

Narcissism is sometimes also associated with insecurity and low self-esteem, leading the person to become defensive or argumentative when criticism or constructive feedback is received, which can be dangerous and damaging.

It may manifest in feelings of inferiority, worthlessness, or an inability to make decisions without external validation. These feelings can feed into narcissism, creating a vicious cycle of seeking attention and admiration or using others to feed their fragile ego.

Read more: The Narcissist Prayer: How To Dive Into the Narcissistic Soul

narcissistic supply and NPD

Differences Between Male And Female Narcissists

Gender differences between female and male narcissists are expressed differently.

Female narcissists often display more passive-aggressive behavior than their male counterparts and a greater need for attention and validation.

Like covert narcissists, female narcissists are also more likely to be subtle in their manipulation tactics, making it hard to recognize toxicity and red flags in their behaviors.

If they know you, they might appeal to your insecurities, anxiety, or other emotions to subtly control you. Female narcissists may use guilt trips or emotional manipulation.

In contrast, narcissistic men tend to be more prone to outward displays of aggression and dominance. They can use intimidation or bullying tactics to get what they want and act superior.

Female narcissists might also be critical of others, while male narcissists might be inclined to offer excessive praise, special treatment, and compliments -even if insincere- to gain attention and admiration from their narcissistic supply.

In addition, female narcissists tend to be more emotionally volatile than their male counterparts and are quicker with extreme reactions such as rage or contempt. They often react defensively when their ego is challenged or if they feel they have been wronged somehow.

Male narcissists handle criticism by intellectualizing the situation rather than reacting impulsively. They might have a narcissistic rage when criticized, but they are more likely to think twice before they burst.

Regarding relationships, female narcissists may place a very high value on certain personality traits, such as wealth or status, while disregarding other qualities that make up a person’s character—such as loyalty or kindness.

On the other hand, male narcissists may focus primarily on physical appearance and want to feel superior to their partners in their careers and status.

Instead of valuing chemistry or a deep connection, male narcissists are likelier to engage in casual flings rather than meaningful relationships. They are usually intimidated by women with more things to offer than their beauty, like a successful career, a sharp mind, a strong personality, or great confidence.

Read more: How Does a Narcissist React When They Can’t Control You?

male narcissist and narcissist women differences

The 20 Most Common Female Narcissistic Traits:

  • Superficial

Superficiality is the quality of being shallow or superficial, which means lacking depth or substance. Narcissistic women often take this to an extreme by displaying a superficial attitude that puts on a wall and prevents others from penetrating and understanding them.

  • Superiority

Narcissistic women often feel superior. Feeling entitled and worthy of attention and respect is healthy, but thinking that your opinions and ideas should be valued over those of others is not. This self-centeredness is expressed as seeking recognition and validation from others, even if it comes at the expense of someone else’s emotions.

This superiority can lead to many different needs, such as getting preferential treatment and higher social status, expecting others to do things for them while disregarding their feelings, or using their position to take advantage of others.

  • Prideful (Egoistic)

Narcissistic women are egoistic because they have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and entitlement. A narcissistic female believes that her thoughts and opinions are the only ones that truly matter or that she’s right -even if she’s not- and will disregard the feelings of others to get their way.

This often creates different forms of narcissistic abuse, such as controlling or manipulative behavior (playing mind games, taking advantage of people, or disregarding the boundaries of others).

  • Seeking Out Attention

A female narcissist often craves attention from others to boost her self-esteem and validate her sense of superiority. She may seek this attention through material possessions, accomplishments, or the admiration of others.

She may also use charm, sex appeal, and flattery to get people to do things for her to get what she wants.

  • Seeking out Validation

Female narcissists often have a great need for validation from others as a way to maintain their highly inflated self-confidence and superiority.

They seek compliments, attention, and admiration under the guise of wanting to receive acknowledgment or appreciation for something they have done. This approval-seeking behavior can be seen in both personal and professional relationships.

20 female narcissistic traits - narcissist woman

  • Grandiosity

Grandiosity is the quality of being overly grand or pretending to be superior to gain power and commendation. A narcissistic woman often has a superb sense of identity that borders on arrogance and can make her difficult to deal with.

This behavior may feed into the already present ideas that only her opinions matter, disregarding other people’s feelings, taking credit for other people’s work or accomplishments, and using flattery or manipulation to get their way.

  • Lacking Empathy

Narcissist women often lack empathy for the feelings of those around them and are unable to recognize or understand the emotional states of others. This lack can be seen in their interactions, where they do not consider how their actions affect someone else’s feelings or well-being.

A female narcissist may also be dismissive of other people’s concerns through perceived slights and snide remarks or may belittle them and make them feel inferior to make themselves feel constantly superior.

Read more: Empath And Narcissist Bond: 6 Reasons Narcissists Want Empathy

  • Extremely Competitive

Narcissist women often have an extremely competitive streak that can manifest in several ways. This may include a need to surpass others to be the center of attention, being in control or winning at all costs, or constantly needing to come out on top regarding success or accomplishment.

These competitive traits can make narcissistic women challenging to work with or be around long-term, as they have an innate need to be the best.

  • Entitled

A narcissistic woman feels entitled to certain privileges or special treatment that other women or men may not have.

This feeling of entitlement can lead to them believing they are above the rules and laws that apply to everyone else, expecting others to fulfill their needs or wants without any expectation of reciprocation, or disregarding the feelings of those around them.

  • Manipulative (Controlling)

Female narcissists are highly controlling as they have an extreme need to be in charge. They manipulate situations and people to gain control and often use different personality traits to their benefit in emotionally abusive ways.

They may also use intimidation tactics to make others feel powerless in their presence.

Furthermore, they may always need to be correct and will go to extreme levels to prove it, disregarding the boundaries of those around them.

  • Overbearing

Being overbearing is a trait often seen in narcissistic women. It is imposing one’s will on others, disregarding their boundaries and feelings, and taking control of situations.

A narcissistic woman may be overly vocal, demanding, or intrusive to get her way or prove she is right. This may lead to many different actions and behaviors, such as talking over someone else’s opinion or telling someone what to do without considering their feelings.

  • Envious/Jealous

Narcissist women often envy other people’s accomplishments, successes, and relationships. This may be seen in many ways, such as constantly comparing themselves to others or belittling someone else’s success to make their own seem more significant.

They may also be overly competitive with those around them to prove they are better.

  • Aggressive behavior

Aggression is a trait found very commonly in female narcissism, as these women have an innate need to be in the center of their surroundings, emotionally and socially.

They may become aggressive or hostile when challenged or confronted by other females and intimidate others into feeling powerless.

A narcissistic woman may become aggressive or defensive if her desires aren’t fulfilled.

  • Lack of Boundaries

Female narcissists often lack boundaries in their personal and professional relationships.

They may cross the boundaries of those around them without understanding or caring about the consequences, which can lead to hurt feelings or damaged relationships.

  • Lack of Vulnerability

Narcissist women cannot often be vulnerable, as they must always appear strong and in control.

Part of the narcissistic personality disorder often leads to an inability to show their true selves or open up emotionally for fear of losing control or appearing weak, making it difficult for them to connect with those around them on a deeper level.

  • Martyrdom (Playing the Victim)

Narcissist women often use the tactic of martyrdom or playing the victim to garner attention or sympathy from others.

They may exaggerate a situation or their feelings and act as if they have been wronged in some way to get what they want, even though it is not warranted or justified.

  • Lacking Tolerance

A narcissistic female often has difficulty handling criticism, as she must always appear perfect or in control.

She may become defensive when challenged and frequently lashes out. Furthermore, a narcissistic woman may be unable to handle other people’s faults or weaknesses, making her frustrated and unable to tolerate those around her.

  • Never Taking Ownership of Mistakes

Narcissist women often have difficulty admitting mistakes or taking ownership of them, as this would mean they are, in fact, imperfect and portray the opposite image of the one they require of themselves.

Narcissistic women tend to blame others for their mistakes or try to shift the focus away from themselves, never to take any responsibility.

  • Materialistic

Narcissists, in general, tend to be very materialistic and place value on external objects such as clothing or jewelry.

A narcissistic female may also be overly concerned with her physical appearance, spending a lot of time and money trying to perfect it.

This extreme focus on the material can lead to issues forming meaningful relationships with others as they prioritize things over people.

  • Toys With Emotions

A female narcissist may also often use other people’s emotions and feelings to her advantage, playing mind games to get what they want or prove to herself that she is right.

Female narcissists are often emotionally manipulative and use guilt-tripping to gain control over a situation or person, disregarding the feelings of those around them.

Read more: 35 Best Karma Narcissist Quotes that Will Shake Your World

What Triggers a Female Narcissist?

what upsets a narcissist woman

  • Criticism

Criticism is one of the hardest things for narcissistic women to accept because they need to uphold an image of control and perfection.

Any criticism of a female narcissist’s decision-making, deeds, behavior, or appearance may be incredibly distressing to them and frequently leads to them acting aggressively and defensively.

  • Other’s Independence

Because narcissists thrive on controlling their environment and the people in it, any indication of another person’s independence or autonomy may be an enormous challenge for them.

Female narcissists may become frustrated or demanding when they believe they are no longer in a position of authority and that others are not taking their wants or mandates seriously.

  • Not Giving Her Attention

A female narcissist requires attention to fuel her ego, so it can be pretty upsetting when someone does not offer her this attention.

When she believes someone is not paying enough attention to her, a narcissistic woman may become irritable or demanding and act out to get her way.

  • Making Decisions for Her

Decisions made for narcissists without their knowledge or agreement can lead to highly upsetting situations since they need to be in charge.

A narcissistic woman may become hostile or aggressive if she feels that her control has been taken away.

  • Refusing Her Demands

Female narcissists often need to be obeyed and respected, so they may become frustrated or angry when someone refuses their demands.

Lashing out and defensive behavior are common tactics a narcissistic woman used when a situation spiraled out of control to regain her position of power when she’s not getting what she wants.

Read more: Why Do I Attract Narcissists?  7 Main Reasons & How to Stop it

How to Handle A Narcissistic Woman

how to handle a narcissistic woman

  • Learn About NPD

NPD is a complicated personality disorder that requires extensive understanding. To navigate the relationship and finally forgive your narcissistic partner, you must first understand what NPD is.

  • Set Clear Boundaries

Setting clear boundaries with narcissistic women is essential, as they cannot often respect someone else’s risk or autonomy.

Establishing healthy boundaries and sticking to them will help ensure that your rights are respected, and that you are not feeling overwhelmed or facing severe mental health deterioration.

  • Don’t Criticize Her (And Avoid Reacting)

For women with narcissistic personality disorder, criticism is often tough to handle as it disrupts the perfect image they have created in their heads and because they may be overly sensitive about many different aspects of themselves.

It can be beneficial to avoid criticizing her altogether to prevent unnecessary arguments or outbursts.

  • Speak Up When Needed

The most important thing to remember when dealing with a female narcissist is that they might make you feel unworthy, which doesn’t mean you are. Gaslighting is familiar as a tactic for both female and male narcissists, and they are prone to manipulating/distorting reality to make the victim question their thoughts, experiences, and feelings.

It can be highly damaging and cause the victim to doubt and blame themselves for things out of their control. Always remember to speak up when necessary to protect your self-worth and sanity.

Read more: Am I Being Gaslighted Quiz: The Best Free Quiz To Find Out

  • Seek Professional Help

It is crucial to get professional assistance if you are in a relationship with a female narcissist. You can learn more about supporting your partner while also caring for yourself and establishing appropriate boundaries with the help of a mental health professional.

They can also provide strategies for navigating the complexities of narcissistic relationships so that both parties can get the most out of the relationship.

Related: Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse: The 5 Best Affordable Alternatives


narcissistic abuse by female friends

Narcissism can be difficult to manage and understand, so it is important to take time to maintain your mental well-being.

By learning more about narcissism and its associated traits, you can better deal with the complexities of narcissistic relationships.

It may not always be easy, but by opening up, speaking to a professional, and considering different approaches and strategies, both parties might gain from the relationship. Remember, the most important step is to care for yourself and ask for help when needed.