Truth is, everyone is a bit of a narcissist but when you should a pay attention is when either all these signs are present in one person or the expression of one of these signs in an individual is alarmingly excessive. A narcissist is typically a person with an overwhelming need for admiration, an inflated sense of their own self-importance and lack of basic level of empathy for others.
Narcissists typically enjoy getting away with violating and breaking rules and social norms. The key word here is 'enjoy'. They take pride in being above the law and in being able to persuade people to give them exceptions to their rules.
A narcissist mostly disregards people's thoughts, feelings, possessions and physical space. They overstep and use others without consideration or sensitivity. They hardly respect boundaries. Narcissists also break promises and obligations repeatedly, are hardly dependable, show little remorse and blame those they offend for their lack of respect. They are never the ones to blame.
Likes to Impress Others
For a narcissist, everything is done to impress others and look good externally. Even when they seem generous, they're only generous because of how good it makes them look to others. They have a 'trophy' or 'achievement' complex and use people, objects, status, and/or accomplishments to represent and celebrate self.
A Strong Aversion to Criticism
Even when the criticism is constructive and is communicated in the kindest possible way, a narcissist will take offense. They are hyper-sensitive to criticism in a way that can be excessive, violent and almost ridiculous. For them, criticism is an attack on their magnified sense of self and self-importance.
Everything is Personal
Narcissists tend to take everything personally because they see it as an attack on their person. They are often defensive and have a reactive anger to not being recognized, being disrespected or not being able to have their way.
They Love Flattery
It's mind boggling how much a narcissist loves flattery. Regardless of what you do to them, once you are able to flatter them with the right words, they will totally and completely forgive you. They might even forget altogether that you even offended them in the first place. Flattery is the best way to avoid conflict with them.
They Probably Don't Know They are Narcissists
This isn't too surprising since they are typically very self-involved and nothing is ever their fault. It's usually after a narcissist has developed so many problems that they start to wonder and ask themselves, 'I feel so great. I know I'm awesome, but why does everybody not like me? Why do they all leave me?'. This is one of the major reasons it's initially difficult to help a narcissist; you would mostly have to wait till they get to this stage before you can offer them any help.