How Do You Impress Without Looking Like a Narcissist?

Last Updated 04.11.2022
3 min read

Narcissism. It’s a condition of extreme self-centeredness, characterized by an interest in only what can be of self-benefit, no matter who else may be injured. Narcissists must continually pump themselves up by touting all of their great qualities and accomplishments and seeking the adulation of others. With narcissists, it’s really all about “me” and no one else. In dating relationships, it’s natural to want to impress your date with your achievements, your education, your job success, your athletic prowess, and such. But if this is all you do, if all of the conversations are about you, you can count on that dating relationship not going forward. So how do you impress without being narcissistic? Here are a few tips.

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Make a List of Questions to Ask Your Date

Memorize these questions and force yourself to ask them, no matter how much you may want to talk about yourself. Here are just a few for your list:

  • What do you do in your spare time?

  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?

  • What’s your favorite movie? Why?

  • Where have you traveled?

  • What would you do if you had enough money not to have to work?

Note: Avoid questions on religion or politics – those are not for a first date (maybe not for a second, either)

When You Talk About Yourself…

Your date will probably ask you questions (unless, of course, they are a narcissist). As you answer these, make your comments short and only go into a small amount of detail. The rest of your achievements, qualities, and such can be dribbled out over time. You appear to be much less self-absorbed when you do this.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Other People

When you talk about your achievements in terms of how they are better than others, such as co-workers or friends, you come across as putting other people down. And it’s easy for your date to conclude that maybe you think you are better than them too.

The impression you want to leave is that you are really good at what you do or are really a cool person, but so are many others. “I have accomplished a lot but so have a lot of my teammates.”

Point Out Some of Your Failures or Faults

Giving your date the balance is always a good thing. This puts your date at ease to do the same and shows that you do have some modesty. 

Give Credit to Others

You have not become a success all on your own. You had teachers, professors, mentors, and your parents – all of the people who helped you learn, who supported you in your achievements. When you credit other people with helping you, you come across as a far humbler person. Others like some humility.

That’s a Wrap

The goal is to find balance. You obviously want to impress your date and show that you are a good “catch.” But you won’t be a good “catch” if that date sees you as nothing more than a braggart who has little interest in anyone but yourself. Take these tips and use the strategies laid out here to get that right balance. Dribbling out your accolades and achievements over time, pointing out your faults, not comparing yourself as better than others, and giving credit to others who have helped and supported you gives the balance you need. And, let’s face it – it’s much more honest.

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