Narcissists don’t care about your thoughts, feelings, emotions, or needs.

They only care about having your full attention so that they can get the narcissistic supply that they need to feel emotionally stable.

This article is going to guide you through 18 signs that a narcissist wants your attention.

18 Signs a Narcissist Wants Your Attention:

  1. They Display Grandiose Behavior
  2. They Interrupt or Talk Over You
  3. They Make Everything About Themselves
  4. They Criticize or Belittle You
  5. They Display Jealousy or Envy
  6. They Are Manipulative
  7. They Do Things to Get Your Validation or Approval
  8. They Are Being Charming
  9. They Interrogate You
  10. They Are Being Controlling
  11. They Are Being Self-Centered
  12. They Are Acting Entitled
  13. They Have Flamboyant Displays of Emotion
  14. They Purposely Interrupt Plans or Events
  15. They Use Social Media to Get Your Attention
  16. They Are Playing the Victim
  17. They Are Exaggerating or Lying
  18. They Are Trying to Make You Feel Guilty

1. They Display Grandiose Behavior

A defining characteristic of narcissism is grandiosity, which refers to a sense of specialness and self-importance.

When we say, “they display grandiose behavior,” what we mean is that the narcissist is displaying behaviors that are exaggerated, boastful, and larger-than-life. 

7 examples of grandiose behavior.

Displaying grandiose behavior is a way for narcissists to draw attention to themselves and feed their ego.

2. They Interrupt or Talk Over You

Interrupting someone means to stop someone from speaking by saying or doing something, or to cause an activity or event to stop briefly.

Talking over someone means continuing to talk even while the other person is talking.

It is common for narcissists to interrupt or talk over you so that they can control the conversation and keep the focus on themselves.

This type of behavior is a manifestation of a narcissist’s insecure need to be the center of attention at all times.

3. They Make Everything About Themselves

Another defining characteristic of narcissism is lack of empathy.

Lack of empathy refers to the inability or unwillingness to understand and share the feelings of others. 

This can manifest in various ways, such as failing to respond to others’ emotions, disregarding their feelings, or being indifferent to their experiences.

In addition to this, having a lack of empathy often causes narcissists to only consider things from their own perspective. 

A narcissist trying to manipulate someone into giving them attention.

Because of this, it is very common for narcissists to try to get your attention by making the interaction that you are having with them about themselves,

4. They Criticize or Belittle You

When a narcissist criticizes or belittles you it means that they are making negative and judgmental comments about your character, behavior, or abilities. 

It often manifests in the form of sarcasm, put-downs, name-calling, and making someone feel inferior.

Criticizing and/or belittling others is a sneaky way that narcissists get attention because by criticizing or belittling others, they can make themselves appear more intelligent, capable, or important in comparison. 

As you can imagine, coming off as the most intelligent, capable, and/or important person in the room draws a lot of attention for a narcissist.

5. They Display Jealousy or Envy

Jealousy refers to feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages.

Suggested Reading: Why Do Narcissists Get So Jealous?

Envy refers to a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.

Jealousy and envy are two emotions that are often used interchangeably, but they are distinct concepts.

A teacher talking about jealous and envy.

Simply put, jealousy is focused on what you have, while envy is focused on what others have. Jealousy is about protecting what you value, while envy is about wanting what someone else has.

These emotions are defining characteristics of narcissism and often lead to attention-seeking behaviors, such as trying to compete with or undermine others to make themselves feel superior.

6. They Are Manipulative

It is no secret that narcissists are some of the most manipulative people on the planet.

Manipulation refers to the act of exerting indirect control or influence over someone or a situation for one’s own benefit. 

It is very common for narcissists to use manipulation to gain control, attention, or advantages for themselves. 

One of the most common manipulation tactics that narcissists use to get your attention is love bombing.

What is love bombing?

It is a manipulation tactic that narcissists use to win over and control another person, often in a romantic context.

To love bomb you, a narcissist will overwhelm you with affection, attention, flattery, and gifts, to make you feel special and important.

Two people hugging.

By using love bombing, narcissists are able to get your attention and establish a strong emotional connection with you.

Suggested Reading: How to Protect Yourself Against Love Bombing (7 Steps)

Unfortunately, once the narcissist senses that they’ve got you hooked, they will stop love bombing you and use the emotional connection that they created with you as a means of control and manipulation.

7. They Do Things to Get Your Validation or Approval

Seeking validation or approval refers to the act of seeking recognition, affirmation, or endorsement from others to feel good about oneself. 

As you know, narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance and a need for constant admiration and attention from others.

Because of this, it is common for them to use attention seeking behaviors to gain validation and approval from others.

8. They Are Being Charming

Being charming refers to the act of being pleasant, attractive, and engaging to others.

A charming person is often seen as charismatic and likable, and they have the ability to make others feel at ease and comfortable in their presence.

To be charming, a narcissist may use tactics such as humor, flattery, or a warm and friendly demeanor to make a positive impression on you, and subsequently, get your attention.

That’s not all…

It is also very common for narcissists to use charm as a tactic to manipulate or control you.

For example, they may use their charm and charisma to gain your trust or admiration and then use that influence to their advantage later on.

9. They Interrogate You

Interrogating refers to the act of questioning or examining someone intensively, often in a formal or hostile manner.

Sadly, it is common for narcissists to use interrogating in a confrontational/aggressive manner as a means to gain attention.

Generally speaking, the goal that narcissists have when they interrogate you is to dominate or control the situation.

For example, they could ask questions in a hostile or demanding manner, or they may use questions as a way to make themselves the center of attention.

A narcissist interrogating someone.

By interrogating in a confrontational or aggressive manner, narcissists are often able to command attention, control the conversation, and make you feel defensive or intimidated. 

Interrogation is an attention-seeking behavior that narcissists use to dominate and control you.

10. They Are Being Controlling

Being controlling refers to the act of seeking to regulate or manipulate the thoughts, behaviors, or actions of others. 

It goes without mentioning but narcissists are incredibly controlling.

Generally speaking, this is because they have an insecure need to dominate and influence others, and to project their own ideas, beliefs, or decisions onto others.

It is very common for a narcissist to use controlling behaviors to manipulate you into behaving in a way that ensures that the narcissist has your full attention.

Here are 7 tactics a narcissist might use to do this:

  1. Telling you what to do, how to act, or what to think.
  2. Limiting your access to friends, family, or resources.
  3. Constantly texting or checking in with you.
  4. Using guilt or shame to manipulate you into doing what they want.
  5. Using threats, intimidation, or violence to control your behavior.
  6. Manipulating you into believing that you can’t survive without them.
  7. Dismissing or disregarding your feelings, opinions, or needs.

Suggested Reading: 8 Ways Narcissists React When They Can’t Control You

11. They Are Being Self-Centered

Being self-centered refers to the act of being primarily focused on oneself, with little regard for the needs, feelings, or opinions of others.

Narcissists are naturally selfish, self-absorbed, and subsequently, self-centered.

Because of this, it is very common for their self-centeredness to cause them to rely on attention seeking behaviors to get their own selfish needs met.

A simple example of this could be the narcissist in your life talking excessively about themselves or being unwilling to listen to others. 

12. They Are Acting Entitled

A sense of entitlement is a defining characteristic of narcissism.

What does it mean if a narcissist acts entitled?

It means that they act in a way that indicates they believe that they are owed certain privileges, benefits, or considerations, simply because of who they are, rather than having to earn them.

This could mean that they (image below).

A narcissist acting entitled.

It is very common for a narcissist’s sense of entitlement to bring attention seeking behaviors out of them.

Why?

Well, because they believe that they deserve to be the center of attention at all times.

For example, the narcissist in your life may expect you to put your own needs aside to accommodate their requests.

Another example of this could be the narcissist in your life getting frustrated or angry when they don’t receive the treatment they believe they are entitled to.

13. They Have Flamboyant Displays of Emotion

Flamboyant displays of emotion refer to excessive or theatrical expressions of emotion, often used as a means to gain attention or to manipulate others.

It is common for narcissists to use flamboyant displays of emotion as a way to get attention.

Here are some examples of flamboyant displays of emotion that the narcissist in your life could be using to get attention.

  • Overreacting to minor incidents, such as becoming upset over a small inconvenience or disagreement.
  • Excessive crying or over-the-top expressions of sadness or grief.
  • Extremely loud or dramatic displays of anger, such as throwing objects or engaging in verbal outbursts.
  • Exaggerated displays of happiness or excitement, such as laughing excessively or jumping up and down in joy.
  • Attention-seeking behavior, such as crying in public or shouting in order to draw attention to oneself.

14. They Purposely Interrupt Plans or Events

When someone interrupts plans or events it means that they disrupt or change established plans or arrangements without regard for the inconvenience or disruption their behavior has caused others.

Similar to flamboyant displays of emotion, it is very common for narcissists to purposely interrupt plans or events to draw attention to themselves in a dramatic fashion.

Here are some ways that a narcissist could do this (image below):

A narcissist interrupting to cause drama and get attention.
  1. Calling or texting you repeatedly to disrupt your plans.
  2. Showing up uninvited to a social gathering or meeting.
  3. Demanding to be the center of attention at a social event or gathering.
  4. Refusing to compromise on plans or activities.
  5. Canceling plans last minute so that you can’t make alternative arrangements.

15. They Use Social Media to Get Your Attention

One of the biggest sources of narcissistic supply that narcissists have access to is social media. 

It is very common for them to use various social media platforms to showcase their life, opinions, and achievements, with the goal of drawing attention from others.

For example, excessive self-promotion, posting provocative or attention-grabbing content, or seeking validation and feedback from others.

Suggested Reading: 7 Reasons Narcissists Love Social Media

16. They Are Playing the Victim

Playing the victim, also known as self-victimization, refers to a behavior in which an individual casts themselves in the role of a victim.

Why would someone do this?

Well, it is almost always done to gain sympathy, attention, or support from others.

Sadly, self-victimization is a very common tactic that narcissists use to manipulate you into giving them more attention.

Here are some ways that a narcissist could do this:

  1. Exaggerating the impact that a negative event or experience had on them.
  2. Presenting themselves as the target of unfair treatment.
  3. Blaming others for their problems.
  4. Presenting themselves as helpless or powerless.
  5. Presenting themselves as the victim of a situation rather than a participant.

17. They Are Exaggerating or Lying

When someone is exaggerating or lying, it means that they are presenting false or distorted information.

It is common for narcissists to exaggerate or lie to make themselves appear more important, successful, or even attractive than they actually are.

Generally speaking, the reason that they do this is to get attention. 

For example, in a work setting a narcissist may lie about their accomplishment or qualifications to manipulate you into being impressed by them, and subsequently, give them your attention.

18. They Are Trying to Make You Feel Guilty

Making someone feel guilty refers to the act of inducing feelings of guilt, remorse, or shame in another person, often as a means of manipulation or control.

Suggested Reading: 10 Tactics Narcissists Use to Make You Feel Guilty

It is common for narcissists to use guilt-tripping tactics to gain power and control over you. 

For example, the narcissist invites you and a bunch of friends over for a dinner party. 

During the party, the narcissist starts complaining about how no one ever helps with the cleaning or cooking by making comments like, “I always have to do everything myself” and “I don’t know why I bother inviting you all over, you never pitch in”. 

A dinner party at a narcissist's house.

Because of this, you and your friends start feeling guilty and offer to help with the clean-up, even though it was not your responsibility. 

Do you see what happened here?

By making you and your friends feel guilty, the narcissist was able to manipulate the situation and get the attention they crave, while simultaneously making everyone feel obligated to comply with their demands.

What Should You Take Away from This Article?

There are many different signs that indicate a narcissist wants your attention that you can be on the lookout for. I hope this article has helped you learn more about narcissism and narcissistic abuse, thank you for reading it!

About the Author

Hey, I’m Elijah.

I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years. 

I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.

Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.

If you’re ready to heal, visit The Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse to get started.
Share this post to help others trust their experiences.

References:

About This Article

We used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create parts of this article to enhance its accuracy and readability. It underwent a strict human editorial process before being published. See additional information.

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