Egotistic Personality: How To Spot And Steer Clear Of It

We've all been among a group of people before and noticed one person who can't stop talking about themselves. While this might be great if you like to hang back and let others lead the conversation, listening to it for hours can become exhausting. There's an actual word for people like this — egotistical — and it can be the foundation of one's personality.


Egotists are people who believe their issues are more important than anything else. As a result, you might end up seeing them take control of a conversation in a group setting, such as a party, and make it all about themselves. Egotism, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, is a feature of certain personality types, narcissistic, for one.

There's no question that being around an egotist can be exhausting, but knowing how to spot these types of people can help you avoid getting caught in these situations. Over-the-top confidence, lack of empathy, and a denial of accountability are just some of the many red flags associated with egotists. Let's dive into other traits you might notice in egotists and how to avoid these people in the future.


Egotists love praise, but you don't need to be an admirer

If you've encountered an egotist in a social situation, you likely know they're relatively extroverted. This isn't by mistake; the desire for praise drives those with egotistic personalities. Although they may ooze self-confidence, these people tend to be relatively insecure at heart. They also desperately want to be liked by everyone, so you might feel exhausted after spending time with an egotist.


One way to manage this situation is to leave the conversation or situation. If you can't get away from the egotist, like in the workplace or at home, begin to think of healthy ways to cope — bottling up the frustration of interacting with an egotist is never ideal. Venting to a person you can trust, such as a therapist, can help you work through any negative emotions you might have. Additionally, an expert can provide insight into why the egotist may be exhibiting these behaviors — knowing the motives behind the actions may even evoke a little sympathy for the person.

An egotist always wants to feel heard and valued

One of the reasons egotists can seemingly talk forever is because they feel a constant need to be heard, per BuzzFeed. "If they don't feel heard, they are going to keep talking over you and they'll go on forever," clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Bonior told the publication. If you're conversing with someone who sounds like they've been repeating themselves for no particular reason, there's a chance that it's a symptom of their egotistic personality.


An easy way to work around this person's specific trait is to show them that you're listening and truly care (even if you have to fake it). Dr. Bonior told BuzzFeed that the key is to make sure they know that you've been listening — even if you've been drained in the process — so that you can eventually pivot away from the conversation. Additionally, try to avoid using phrases such as "I just," "I think," and "I feel." Dr. Bonior notes that using these open lines will signal to an egotist that you're unsure of your opinion, giving them a reason to continue the conversation by sharing theirs.

People with egotistic personalities require boundaries

A person with an egotistic personality can be tiring to be around because of how demanding they can be. It's not uncommon for egotists to be controlling and generally inconsiderate. Sometimes, a self-centered person may also be manipulative or show signs of using others for their benefit. "The behaviors that these individuals resort to will become intrusive if the people around them do not have a healthy set of boundaries to help deflect what is perceived as unacceptable behavior," behavioral health therapist Ken Alexander told the Cleveland Clinic. "It is up to us, the non-self-centered individuals, to establish these boundaries for self-care and our well-being."


Establishing boundaries can be tricky, especially if they're needed for someone you care about, but your needs and mental health should be prioritized. You can create boundaries by understanding that they are designed to help you preserve your well-being. "A lot of us have grown up in a family with no boundaries or with blurred boundaries, so we don't always know that we have the right to set our own boundaries," social worker Karen Salerno told the Cleveland Clinic. Boundary setting can be challenging, so we recommend starting small. This will build your confidence and help you make stricter decisions in the future.

Egotists typically don't know when to quit

Although you might know when enough is enough, a key trait of someone with an egotistic personality is an insatiable drive to be right at all times. Those with over-inflated egos tend to view quitting as a sign of weakness. They might not want to give up on anything — even a minor disagreement over a topic you would rather drop.


If you repeatedly spot this in a friend or family member, they might have an egotistic personality. While they often think they're being mentally tough by never quitting, they might be pushing it too hard and unaware of it. If you don't feel that you are in a position to call attention to it, this is where your boundaries can come in handy. Keep in mind that by exercising a boundary, you're also helping the other person by giving them insight into what they can reasonably expect from you in the future.

Don't take what an egotist says too personally

One key trait often seen in those with egotistic personalities is the tendency to deny all accountability. "An egotist will not take ownership for anything they do that is not excellent," clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula explained to Well+Good. Because of their overblown egos, this type of person is often inclined to believe that they can do no wrong — with that line of thinking, what is there to be held responsible for?


Of course, this doesn't mean the person has been perfect and has nothing to own up to, and you may feel scathed. However, it can be helpful to go into situations with the person knowing it's best not to take anything personally. "You cannot internalize these interactions, nor take them personally. Because the minute you begin to personalize these types of behaviors, you're in trouble," behavioral health therapist Ken Alexander told the Cleveland Clinic. This results in manipulation and stress of varied levels. The most logical way out is to set limits so their actions do not impact you in any way, shape, or form.

Egotists are notorious for lacking empathy

Perhaps one of the hardest parts of dealing with a person with an egotistic personality is their lack of empathy. This is a common sign of someone with an oversized ego, and the problem can worsen depending on how you handle the situation. No one wants to feel like they aren't being heard, especially if they put in the extra effort to share something close to their heart. However, you likely won't receive the empathy you desire if you go to an egotist with a sensitive issue — in the end, this can leave you feeling hurt and perhaps unwilling to share with the person in the future.


Boundaries can help you avoid this type of situation, but knowing what to expect can also be helpful. Honest, heartfelt communication doesn't usually resonate with egotists — even though you feel hurt or offended, it's never productive to counter with anger. It's best to remain calm, and if you choose to express your feelings, be mindful of your wording. Because egotists don't take criticism well, try to have a positive angle if you attempt to raise your issue.

In some situations, it's best to walk away

In some cases, people find themselves in situations where they literally can't get away from the egotist in their life. The person may be a roommate, partner, or family member who has to remain in close contact. These situations can be detrimental to one's mental health, and while boundaries can help, there still might be a need for additional outside support.


If you have the option to walk away from an egotist, however, this might end up being the route you have to take. Once you've expressed your feelings to the person and haven't seen any effort on their part to make changes to their behavior, it's time to say goodbye. "Relationships are meant to be mutually connective and staying in a one-sided romantic relationship or friendship with someone who can't meet basic relational needs will ultimately take a toll on your mental health," therapist Emily Simonian told Insider.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support on their website.