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assessing the narcissist

Assessing the Narcissist: A Simple Test

Dr. David B. Hawkins, Director of The Marriage Recovery Center, shares one important and critical assessment for determining if your man is Narcissistic. The video also gives direction as to a critical character trait needed for a healthy relationship.

Assessing the Narcissist: A Simple Test

Narcissism is a complex personality trait that can have significant impacts on relationships. While a proper diagnosis requires a professional assessment, there are simple tests that can help assessing the narcissist. One such test revolves around the ability to listen, receive, and incorporate critical feedback. This article explores the importance of this test and how it can be used as a tool for assessing the narcissist.

The Significance of Listening and Receiving Feedback

Effective communication and the willingness to accept feedback are essential for personal growth and healthy relationships. The ability to listen actively, without becoming defensive, is a key indicator of emotional maturity. Individuals who are open to receiving critical feedback demonstrate a willingness to acknowledge their flaws, make changes, and improve themselves.

The Test for Assessing the Narcissist

The test for assessing the narcissist proposed is straightforward: can your mate or the person you are assessing listen, receive, and incorporate critical feedback effectively? It is important to note that this test is not meant to provide a definitive diagnosis but rather to offer insights into narcissistic tendencies.

The Healthy Individual

A healthy individual possesses the ability to listen to their partner or others and receive feedback, even if it is not communicated in the most effective manner. They have the capacity to set aside their negative reactions, sift through the information, and identify the underlying truths. These individuals embrace critical feedback and apply it to their lives, making the necessary changes for personal growth and relationship improvement.

The Narcissist’s Response

Assessing the narcissist: In contrast, a narcissist responds defensively to critical feedback. They employ a variety of self-protective maneuvers, such as deflection, gaslighting, and blame-shifting, which reveal an unwillingness or inability to handle the feedback. These defensive postures prevent change and hinder the possibility of a healthy relationship. Moreover, the rollercoaster of emotions and manipulative tactics used by narcissists can be emotionally draining and destabilizing for their partners.


The simple test for assessing the narcissist provides valuable insights into the nature of a person’s ability to receive and incorporate critical feedback. If your mate or the person being assessed shows defensiveness and an unwillingness to hear and apply feedback, it may indicate narcissistic traits. In such cases, establishing a healthy relationship becomes challenging.

Sharing the Test

Consider sharing this test with your partner or the person you are assessing. Communicate the importance of being able to share critical information and discuss necessary changes for the betterment of the relationship and personal character. If the individual fails to listen, receive, and incorporate feedback, it may not be safe to pursue a healthy relationship.

Vulnerability and Trust

Building a healthy relationship requires vulnerability, transparency, and trust. If the person being assessed cannot receive feedback, it becomes difficult to establish these foundations. In such circumstances, it may be necessary to reevaluate the relationship and consider alternative courses of action.

Assessing the narcissist is a complex task that requires professional expertise. However, the simple test discussed in this article offers a starting point for evaluating an individual’s ability to listen, receive, and incorporate critical feedback. By considering this test and observing the responses, you can gain valuable insights into the dynamics of your relationship and make informed decisions about its future. Remember, striving for a healthy relationship requires both partners to be open to growth and change.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: Why is it Hard to Talk to a Narcissist?

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


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