How To Tell If Someone Is A Narcissist

Now you know!

Ever worry you’re friends with — or worse, in a relationship with — a complete narcissist? Well, there may be a way to determine whether someone actually is a narcissist, just by looking at them.

“Grandiose” narcissists, though they seem charming and likable at first, often exhibit not-so-ideal traits such as arrogance and aggression once the facade of their charisma and attractiveness wears off. (Another form of narcissism, vulnerable narcissism, is characterized by introversion and defensiveness. Both types share self-centeredness at their core, though.)


A 2018 study by researchers Miranda Giacomin and Nicholas Rule has found one way to possibly identify a “grandiose” narcissist.

Most people intuitively know what previous research has shown: that narcissists often look good, wear nice clothes and are really into maintaining their appearance. That could be the key to this study because the researchers found that narcissists tend to have one facial feature in common: the distinctiveness of their eyebrows.


Giacomin and Rule’s initial finding was that people can spot a grandiose narcissist simply by looking at emotionally neutral faces. The researchers took this a step further and examined which particular facial features allowed them to successfully detect the narcissists.

RELATED: This Is How Psychopaths Take Their Coffee—according To Science

The narcissists had darker, thicker and more distinct brows than others. The researchers ran one more test, using image manipulation to place a narcissistic person’s brows onto a non-narcissist’s face. Study participants identified these non-narcissists as narcissists.


Why were brows the giveaway?

Because narcissists strive for admiration and attention, they may “seek to maintain distinct eyebrows to facilitate others’ ability to notice, recognize, and remember them; thereby increasing their likability and reinforcing their overly positive self-views,” Giacomin and Rule wrote in their results.

RELATED: Do you know the signs of a social media narcissist?

In addition, brows help to express emotions and convey social messages, even without words. Brows are key to facial recognition as well — studies have shown that without eyebrows, even famous celebrities are more difficult to identify.

markle photo
Getty Images | Anthony Devlin

Giacomin and Rule’s research concludes that “these data show that distinctive eyebrows reveal narcissists’ personalities to others, providing a basic understanding of the mechanism through which people can identify narcissistic personality traits with potential application to daily life.”

The eyes may be the window to the soul, but it seems the brows might reveal a potential personality disorder. So next time you start chatting up an attractive potential date, stop to look at his or her eyebrows!


Speaking of sizing up first dates — you may want to meet your next love interest for coffee. His or her order could provide some insight into their personality.


If your date orders black coffee, that could be a red flag. According to a 2016 study conducted at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, people who drink black coffee are more likely to show tendencies of psychopathy than those who add sugar or cream to their cup of joe.


Apparently, people who like bitter-tasting foods, like black coffee, celery or radishes, tend to have heightened sadistic traits, according to researchers. That said, if your date orders something obnoxious like a triple venti half-sweet, non-fat caramel macchiato, that may indicate a whole other set of issues you’d rather not deal with!