9 Ways Narcissists Ruin Every Social Event

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No matter what you celebrate, you can count on your friendly, neighborhood narcissist to ruin it.

People having fun, laughing, and not focusing their attention on the narcissist? Boundless joy and happiness? Not on the Narc’s watch.

With all the narcissists I’ve had in my life, starting with my mother, I can’t count the hours I’ve spent trying to cheer them or get them to slow down on drinking themselves into oblivion.

Finally, I learned the secret to narcissists at a party or gathering — let them act out as much as they want and give up on the idea that somehow you can make them chill out and have a good time.

So, how do narcissists sabotage everyone’s fun?

Here are 9 ways narcissists ruin every social event:

1. Narcissists hijack the conversation

Narcissists make sure that all conversational roads lead back to them. They may not say, "Enough about me, what do you think about me," but they’re ticking off the time in their heads until they can bring the focus back to them.

You can be a conversational narcissist without having Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but most narcissists adore talking about themselves.

To a narcissist, there’s no question, that they’re the most interesting person in the room.

RELATED: The 5 Manipulation Tactics Narcissists Use To Get Inside Your Head

2. The narcissist makes every celebration about them

It’s almost a thing of beauty how a narcissist can take a christening, a wedding, or even a birthday and make it about them.

Narcissists feed off attention because, underneath all that grandstanding and overt displays of over-confidence, they’re insecure. They need to have people reaffirm their supposed greatness.

3. They don’t let anything go

Any perceived slight, indifference, or grudge is going to set the narcissist off and they’ll have to make an issue out of it.

Most people would brush it off or ignore it, but not a narcissist. They thrive off confrontation and conflict, and if there isn’t any, they’re going to whip some up.

It’s useless to ask a narcissist not to make a scene because that’s what they live for — big, messy scenes that cause further tension.

4. They use your vulnerability against you

Letting yourself be vulnerable is usually a good thing, but not when there are narcissists involved.

Tell them you have feelings for another party guest, and they’ll start flirting with them or they’ll transform your feelings into a weapon they can use to get you to do what they want.

Never tell a secret to a narcissist, and never ever share with them your deepest feelings because if you do, it could be used as a funny story for the narcissist.

5. Narcissists create conflict

Why do narcissists enjoy pitting one person against another? Because it makes them feel powerful, and it’s entertaining for them to watch.

Narcissists think nothing of telling lies or manipulating people by using confidential information.

Narcissists will complement one child while finding the flaws of another.

Sometimes narcissists will be in the middle of a conflict and bring someone else in. This is called Narcissistic Triangulation and they do this to avert the focus of the tension onto someone else and bolster their own feelings of self-worth.

RELATED: How To Deal With A Narcissist — 8 Smart & Simple Steps

6. They embrace the victim role

No one does victim better than a narcissist. They can interpret anything as a slight, an attack, or a burn, and they cover themselves in victimhood as if it were a cozy robe.

Victimhood = Attention in the narcissist’s mind.

When a narcissist is at a party and they miss out on the last glass of wine or the appetizers they had their eye on run out — the narcissist will take that as something that occurred to deliberately hurt them.

Narcissists are always the injured party even when whatever happened had nothing to do with them.

7. They self-medicate into oblivion

Not all narcissists are alcoholics or have addiction problems, but one way they cope is by drinking too much or getting wasted.

Narcissists don’t think about the consequences of being intoxicated, besides it’s not their fault that they felt forced to dull their pain with alcohol or whatever else they indulged in.

Remember, they’re the victim here and they refuse to take any responsibility for their behavior.

8. Narcissists manipulate the timetable

If dinner is being served at 7:30, then the narcissist won’t be there until 8:15 or later. They love making people wait for them — it’s another thing that makes them feel powerful.

I had a friend who was notoriously late for everything. Finally, after years of her tardiness, I started telling her the start time was an hour earlier than it actually was. Of course, she came to the earlier time and was hurt that I’d tried to trick her into being prompt.

Any kind of event scheduling, the narcissist is going to tinker with.

No, you can’t have the wedding that day, it’s not convenient.

Drinks at 8 o’clock? No, that doesn’t work for the narcissist.

I’ll be in Cabo that week. Please change the date of the memorial.

Nothing goes according to schedule when a narcissist gets involved.

RELATED: 6 Signs Of A Narcissist That Are Super Easy To Miss

9. They pretend gift-giving is their love language

Narcissists never give a gift without expecting something in return.

At a wedding party, birthday, or shower, the narcissist will often go overboard and give an extravagant gift. They do this so that they appear generous to everyone at the gathering.

Narcissists expect a gift of the same caliber to be given to them and when it’s not, they will get extremely angry

One of the more manipulative things a narcissistic parent can do is give one of their children a fabulous gift and not give anything to another.

The best course of action for any party, gathering, or event, is to not invite the narcissist if you can avoid it.

Narcissists not only don’t care if they ruin the festivities, but they’re hoping they do!

If you think you may be experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of ongoing emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissist, you are not alone.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and is not a reflection of who you are or anything you've done wrong.

If you feel as though you may be in danger, there is support available 24/7/365 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233. If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474, or log onto

RELATED: How To Stop Being A Narcissist

Christine Schoenwald is a writer, performer, and frequent contributor to YourTango. She's had articles featured in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Bustle, Medium, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Woman's Day, among many others.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.