A Narcissism Litmus Test

woman's leather gloves“Hey, Sandy!  How are things?  I haven’t seen you in awhile.  Have you met Anne?  She’s our new backup bartender.  You’re going to like her.”

“Hello, Anne.  Nice to meet you.”  Sandy laughed and pointed at Hank.  “I bet you get a real education working with this guy.”

Anne shook Sandy’s hand and said, “You know, I’ve tended other bars, and thought I’d heard it all, but Hank definitely has some new stories.”

Hank laughed, “Who, me?  What can I get ya, Sandy?”

“I’m going to pretend that it’s warm enough for a gin and tonic.”

“That sounds great.  Gin and tonic weather is fishing weather.  I’m good with that.”  Hank reached for a glass and started pouring.  “So what’s new since I saw you last?”


Sandy reached in her bag for her wallet.  “Well?  I dunno.  The usual.  You know.  Still haunting a couple dating sites.”

Anne chimed in, “Hey!  Me, too.  Have you had any luck?”

“Well, I’ve been on a few dates.  I guess you could call ’em dates.  I’ve met a couple nice guys.  I won’t discuss the others.”

Hank laughed, “Ah, come on!  We could use a good laugh.”

Sandy reached for her cocktail.  “Seriously, why would a guy even be on a dating site if he clearly doesn’t like women?”

Anne finished pouring an order.  “How do you know he doesn’t like women?  Certainly he wouldn’t admit to that.”

Sandy said, “It’s pretty obvious.  He’s dismissive.  We met for coffee and he couldn’t be bothered to make eye contact with the waitress.  He’d ask me a question and, when I started to answer, he couldn’t interrupt me quick enough to turn the conversation back on himself.  We walked up to the counter to pay the tab, and he acted as if the woman at the till was an inconvenience.  I didn’t meet with him again, but I’ve seen this more than once.  It’s a vibe I get from the ones who don’t like women.  They not-so-subtly demonstrate that they think women are sub-par.”


Hank reached for a bottle of beer to fill a new order.  “Sounds like your run-of-the-mill narcissist to me.  No wonder they’re on dating sites.  They go through relationships like we go through beer.”

Anne said, “Unless the narcissist has found some soul who believes she’s special enough to change him, then he’ll stick with her until he gets bored or completely wears her down.”

Hank said, “You’re right about that.  It sounds like you have experience with narcissism?”

Anne looked at Sandy.  “It’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve been on dating sites for awhile and haven’t met a guy that I want to spend any length of time with.  But I’ve also had my run-ins with a couple narcissists, so I’m leery.  I’m a smart woman.  I’m independent and competent and capable.  And I was completely duped by these guys.”

Sandy said, “I so know what you mean.”


Hank placed a bowl of peanuts on the bar.  “You know, there are female narcissists out there, too.  Narcissism isn’t just the guys’ domain.”  Hank grabbed another bowl of nuts.  “I would agree that most male narcissists are misogynists.  Come to think of it, I’ve met some female misogynists, too.”

Sandy laughed, “I know, Hank.  I work with a couple female narcissists who are definitely misogynists.  I spend every work day doing my best to avoid dealing with them.”

Anne said, “In my limited experience, I would have to guess that all male narcissists do not like women, but that might be harsh.”  She folded a clean bar rag.  “I gotta tell ya.  I sort of developed my own Narcissism Litmus Test.  If a guy doesn’t like women, there’s a damn good chance that he’s a narcissist.  Ask him how he feels about his mom.  Watch how he treats a waitress.  Listen to him as he describes the women he works with.  If he dismisses the things you think are important, he’s showing his true colors.  If he spends a weekend with extended family and doesn’t mention a single conversation with the female family members, he doesn’t like women.  If he tries to convince you that his marriage ended, not because of anything he may have done wrong, but because his ex-wife was a crack pot, he doesn’t like women.”


“If he doesn’t like women, sooner or later, he’s gonna find a reason to not like you.”

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