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Ways a Narcissist Might Greet You

I had the idea for this post because of a college friend I had many years ago. Her parents lived in a nice house on a lake. We would drive a few hours from our college campus to get there. But every time we arrived, the parents and a sibling would be in the kitchen and they wouldn’t say a single word to us. I mean, we walked into the room with them and they said nothing. No “hello”, nothing! Another friend we took with us once said, “Wow, it’s cold in there!”

I didn’t know what a narcissist was back then. I just knew I felt unwelcome and something about their behavior didn’t ring right. My poor friend would say, “I know my parents don’t talk much but they talk all day at work – they are really tired of talking.”

Wouldn’t it be good to know when you are dealing with a narcissistic person quicker so you can make better decisions in regard to them? Maybe you won’t tell them much about yourself or maybe limit your time with them.

So how might a narcissist greet you?

  1. They might not greet you at all.
  2. They might lead with a put down. “What are you wearing?” “Oh, your hair looks like you might’ve forgotten to do it today.” “What are you eating?” (in a condescending tone) “What took you so long?”
  3. They might start with a cornering question. “Why didn’t you take road x to get here? That would’ve been much faster.” “So what is your degree in again, one of those things you’ll never make money in?” “What made you pick a black interior in your car? Shows every piece of lint!”
  4. They might love bomb you. “Wow! You look amazing! Where did you get this outfit?!” “You are so funny. You really should be on TV!” “I could never be friends with that person; you are so much better than they are!” Love bombing is a way of gaining control. It might include gift giving, complements, and gestures that are a little over the top.
  5. They might be really bold and assertive with a firm handshake and a louder voice. “I’m important!” they seem to say and they want you to know it!
  6. They might have a consistent victim, forlorn, poor me greeting. “Oh, it’s been better,” sigh. “This happened then this….”
  7. They might just start a monologue about themselves and not ask about you. You start noticing – it’s only about them.
  8. They might make lots of comparisons related to age, status, race, gender, rich versus poor, clean versus dirty, educated versus uneducated. It’s like they are always measuring and usually the people around them aren’t measuring up. (They get to be special this way.)
  9. They might have very intense eye contact or very poor eye contact. Do they always look at the space above your head but not your eyes? Do they look out the window instead of looking at you? Do they stare you down and you want to look away?
  10. They just seem arrogant or even combative. You feel like you are in a sparring match not connecting with another human being. It can be exhausting. Maybe your guts twist.

If you get the sense they aren’t connecting with you, you should take it seriously. Put it in your invisible file cabinet and don’t forget what you learned.

Most importantly, if your gut says something is off like mine did with my college friend, trust it. Don’t listen to the explanations that you or others might make because often people make those excuses because of trauma bonding. Trauma-bonded people find a way to explain away behaviors that lack empathy because they had to do this to survive.

I can’t find a place in me that says not greeting your college-aged daughter who just drove hours to see you is indicative of something other than lack of empathy and true connection. I mean, they didn’t even try!

Trust your gut.

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Free Clear Mind Therapy provides in-person therapy in Fishers & Indianapolis and online therapy across Indiana. Specializing in anxiety therapy for teens, adults, and kids.

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