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The Narcissist's Playlist: 77 Songs About Arrogance and Self-Love

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Proud as a peacock, the narcissist struts his stuff. He demands to be center stage in attention, but he'll peck your eyes out if you don't watch out.

Proud as a peacock, the narcissist struts his stuff. He demands to be center stage in attention, but he'll peck your eyes out if you don't watch out.

Narcissists: A Memory Like a Bad Tattoo

If you've ever dated, loved, or worked with a narcissist, his or her memory has been seared upon you like a bad tattoo. Narcissists are all about:

  • Self-aggrandizement
  • Entitlement
  • Ruthlessness

I worked closely with one and actually enjoyed her from a safe distance . . . in the same way that some people enjoy dangerous snakes. They can be fascinating to watch, but you must respect the bite.

Narcissists tend to be male and active self-promoters—online as well as off.

Narcissists tend to be male and active self-promoters—online as well as off.

Puffery, Name-Dropping, and Shameless Self-Promotion

I'll call this colleague Narcissistic Natalie. She was usually the loudest person in the room—a loud talker with sudden bursts of unsettling laughter. She clunked and slammed her way around the office for attention ("Hey, look at me! Ask me about ME!"). There was no mistaking she had arrived. She was quick to share the latest drama in her own life, no questions required.

Inevitably, she steered each conversation to her own talents, and she littered her language with the names of executives and influencers. (Cue eye rolls and barely contained gagging.)

Hypersensitive to criticism, Narcissistic Natalie ruthlessly turned on anyone who gave her less than glowing feedback. Who cared if the criticism was valid?

A manager told her to wear longer skirts so that coworkers and clients couldn't see "up there" when she crossed and uncrossed her legs during meetings or put her feet on the table. Natalie ranted, claimed victimization, and resorted to subversive retaliation. She declared personal war.

Narcissist:  Stuck on who?

Narcissist: Stuck on who?

Narcissistic Natalie also attacked the reputation of a prior supervisor who had given her disagreeable feedback. She continued to do so during the woman's terminal battle with cancer and afterwards for at least two years. Sinister things happen when you cross a narcissist. Natalie's story morphed in unflattering ways as she repeatedly retold it.

The young narcissist also probed co-workers, bosses, and especially naïve new employees about their personal history and opinions. Then she used the information to:

  • Advance her personal agenda
  • Cast herself more favorably while portraying targets in an unflattering light
  • Portray the image that she had special relationships, inside knowledge, or brilliant insight

So what happens to narcissists like Natalie? Often they bounce from one context to another, leaving a path of relationship destruction along the way. At other times they become leaders. (After all, they'll tell you they have a talent for it.) For Natalie, it was both.

Narcissism involves a sense of entitlement and manipulation of others for one's own purposes.  Narcissists often come across as arrogant and self-absorbed.

Narcissism involves a sense of entitlement and manipulation of others for one's own purposes. Narcissists often come across as arrogant and self-absorbed.

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1. "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift

In this 2014 hit, Taylor Swift takes on the persona of a self-involved, crazed woman who breaks hearts for the sport of it. In doing so, the singer mocks her own dating life which has become the target of all the gossip magazines.

She tells a new love interest that "I could show you incredible things ... Magic, madness, heaven, sin" and she alludes to special powers she has at reading people and making "the bad guys good for a weekend." Ever the vixen, she also cautions that "darling, I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream."

Don't underestimate this one, guys. And don't say no one ever warned you.

So sexy it hurts?

So sexy it hurts?

2. "I’m Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred

The fashion model in the 1991 song by English group Right Said Fred has a big problem: He brags that he's too sexy for all of the following:

  • His lover
  • His shirt
  • Milan, New York, Japan
  • Your party
  • His car
  • His cat
  • This song

That's a whole lot of sexiness. No wonder the song ends so abruptly.

3. "Applause" by Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga captures the essence of attention mongers in this 2013 song, and we all recognize the type. They're the ones who elbow others out of the limelight in search of an audience. Always on stage, these approval seekers soak up the accolades and live for "the way that you cheer and scream for me." Impatiently, they demand: "Look at me!"

Narcissists expect to be treated as unique, accomplished, and superior -- even when they haven't done anything of any special significance.

Narcissists expect to be treated as unique, accomplished, and superior -- even when they haven't done anything of any special significance.

4. "Under My Thumb" by The Rolling Stones

The narrator in this classic song by The Rolling Stones (1966) is a flaming narcissist. Today, we'd call him emotionally abusive, or worse.

He can't control his narcissistic rage against the girlfriend who supposedly once controlled him. Our narcissist boasts that change has come: "the squirmin' dog who's just had her day" now talks when spoken to, dresses how he requires, and keeps her eyes to herself while he's allowed to ogle other women.

Someone advise Girlfriend to tell him where he can put his thumb. (As my grandfather would say, "Sit on your fist and lean back on your thumb.")

5. "I Want You to Want Me" by Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick (1979) reportedly wrote this song as a joke. The song's narrator is determined to be the center of his lover's world:

I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I'd love you to love me
I'm beggin' you to beg me.

Narcissists lack empathy and do not feel the emotions others that do or take their needs or perspectives into account.  They form relationships with others that are "useful."

Narcissists lack empathy and do not feel the emotions others that do or take their needs or perspectives into account. They form relationships with others that are "useful."

6. "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke

This 2013 song by Robin Thicke has a catchy beat, but if you listen to the lyrics you understand why it's on this list. It's no wonder some people complained that the song was misogynistic.

In flirting with a woman he is attracted to, an over-the-top narrator calls her a "good girl" and says that her man

tried to domesticate you
But you're an animal. Baby, it's in your nature
Just let me liberate you

He then repeatedly taunts, "I know you want it," and says that he knows she "must wanna get nasty."

Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects about one percent of the population and involves a preoccupation with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects about one percent of the population and involves a preoccupation with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.

Signs You're Dealing with a Narcissist

Consult a qualified mental health professional for mental health advice.

Hallmarks of NarcissismHallmarks of Narcissism

A grandiose sense of self-importance

Communicating a sense of entitlement

Expecting recognition for superiority, even without corresponding achievements.

Expecting special treatment without question (i.e., a feeling that the rules don't apply to them)

Exaggerated accomplishments and talents.

Taking advantage of others to get what one wants

Preoccupation or fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

Lack of empathy (recognizing others' perspectives)

Believing a person of your special gifts should only associate with and can only be understood by similarly special people

Envying others and assuming that others envy you

Requiring constant attention

Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

7. "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears

From struggles with the law to mental illness, addiction, and troubled relationships, Britney Spears (2007) has seen her life play out in the media. Remember her hair shaving incident that was a low point?

In this song, she comes back swinging. She calls herself the following and repeatedly challenges, "You wanna piece of me?"

  • Miss American Dream since I was 17
  • Miss Bad Media Karma
  • Mrs. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and
  • Mrs. "Extra! Extra! This Just In!"
"Don't you understand how special I am?"

"Don't you understand how special I am?"

8. "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea (featuring Charli XCX)

Although the beat is great, the lyrics to this 2014 electro-hop hit by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea (featuring Charli XCX) are sheer self-aggrandizing nonsense. Iggy brags about how sexy and fancy she is and how she doesn't listen to the haters.

She becomes overly concerned about being paid appropriately yet also brags about trashing hotel rooms and swinging from chandeliers. That'll get your name remembered, alright.

9. "Can't Be Tamed" by Miley Cyrus

Back in 2010, Miley Cyrus warned us with this song that her puzzle pieces were jagged and she was wired a different way. (I'll say.) She said she was attention-crazy and couldn't be tamed or blamed. Believe her now?

10. "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift

In this 2008 song, Taylor Swift considers herself uniquely qualified to be her best guy-friend's sweetheart. Never mind that he already has a girlfriend. She's the only one understands him, gets his humor, and really cares about his life story.

The narrator sounds a bit obsessed, like she could easily take a pencil to the neck of his present girlfriend to get what she wants.

Facts About Narcissism

  • While people commonly refer to self-involved braggarts as being "narcissistic," Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a serious mental disorder. Only a mental health care professional is qualified to properly diagnose NPD.
  • An estimated 1% of Americans experience NPD.
  • Male narcissists outnumber females at a rate of about 3-to-1.
  • Research has found that narcissistic men react with most hostility towards heterosexual women. This means that their partners could be especially vulnerable targets of their aggression.1
  • One study found that men who post more selfies through social media channels are more narcissistic. Dudes who edit their selfies (e.g., through cropping, a special effects app) are particularly narcissistic .2
  • Want to spot a narcissist on social media? Research indicates here's what to look for: a large number of contacts and shallow relationships (mirroring real life), a larger number of photos, more glamorous photos, and more self-promoting posts.3
  • People who are overconfident about their abilities are more likely to become leaders. (That's not to say they are good leaders, however.)4
Narcissist-in-Chief. He even claps for himself.

Narcissist-in-Chief. He even claps for himself.

Let's You and Him (Or Her) Fight

Trump's Target and What They Did to Allegedly Merit His RageTrump's Attack(s)Target's Clever Comeback

Arianna Huff's Huffington Post ran an article that was unfavorable to Trump's television show, "The Apprentice."

"@ariannahuff is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man -- he made a good decision."

"@realDonaldTrump we've always wondered what's under the bottom of the barrel. Please report. #flameout.

In 2006, Rosie O'Donnell slammed Trump on "The View" for his handling of a drug scandal by Miss USA

"What she is is a bully." / "Rosie's a loser. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie." / "Rosie is crude, rude, obnoxious and dumb -- other than that I like her very much!" / She's not a very smart person, if you look at her IQ I guarantee you it's not up there." / "Rosie always self-destructs."

"You're an a$$ in every way." / "He returns -- like a raging herpes rash." / "He wants me … He needs me -- he is obsessed … like a grandpa stalker."

Cher tweeted negative comments about Mitt Romney during the 2012 election campaign.

"@Cher attacked @MittRomney. She is an average talent who is out of touch with reality. Like @Rosie O'Donnell, a total loser!"

"Donald Trump is a Pompous A**hole. Saw him in Aspen with one D cup chick after another. Everyone up there thought he was a complete idiot."

High profile plaintiff's attorney Gloria Allred represented a disqualified transgender Miss Universe contestant. The pageant is owned by Trump. Allred commented that the contestant shouldn't have to prove gender to the Trump organization, as no one was requesting that information from Trump himself.

Trump called television show TMZ to discuss his genitals: "I think Gloria would be very, very impressed with me." He said he would show his (ahem) package to Ms. Allred if she paid the right price.

“I don’t have a magnifying glass strong enough to see something that small. The world does not revolve around his penis. We have to get off the subject of genitalia and let’s just look at people as individuals and put aside the fears, the prejudices, and stereotypes that he may have.”

Comedian Bill Maher joked that the color of Trump's hair suggested his father was an orange-haired orangutan.

Trump sued the comedian for $5 million.

"Just like we're the gun country, we're the joke country. We love our free speech and we love celebrities getting taken down a peg. So Don, just suck it up like everybody else!" / "Look, I'm not looking for a feud with Donald Trump and I certainly only wish the best for the syphilitic monkey who does his Twitter feed."

11. "When You're Ready Come and Get It" by Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez, known for her on-again/off-again relationship with Justin Bieber must be singing about him in this 2013 song. The song's narrator taunts her lover like a kid on the playground with lots of "Na na na na" refrains.

She knows their love is going to kill her but she'll die happy as she summons her lover, "When you're ready come and get it." Sounds like two egomaniacs headed for a train wreck, if you ask me.

12. "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake

Oh, Justin Timberlake, you so love yourself. Are you perhaps overcompensating for Britney Spears cheating on you? Hmmm.

In this 2006 song, Justin promises to bring sexy back because he says the girl he's attracted to is "burning up" for him and he's going to show the other guys how to be cool.

Have you ever known a narcissist?  Are you one?

Have you ever known a narcissist? Are you one?

13. "I Love Myself" by The Wannadies

Swedish group The Wannadies puts the message right out there in this alternative rock song (2000): When it comes to love, there's nothing better than loving yourself.

The narrator compliments himself on what good company he is. He says he's charming, physically attractive, and never disappoints himself. What more could you want in a mate?

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall, I love myself best of all."

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall, I love myself best of all."

14. "Can’t Tell Me Nothing" by Kanye West

This 2007 Grammy-nominated song is classic Kanye West—bold and in-your-face. In in, he boasts about his money and reckless behavior, including getting arrested. He recalls a dream about buying his way to heaven and has no guilt about the way he treats others. Sounds narcissistic alright.

15. "I Am Superman" by R.E.M.

Rejected by the girl he loves, the narcissistic narrator of this 1986 R.E.M. is scary-obsessed with getting her back, whatever it takes.

Although she's found a new love interest, the narrator "knows what's happening" and "can do anything." He promises to track her down, even if she ventures a million miles away from him. If there's anything narcissists hate, it's rejection.

While this guy is merely having fun dressing up as Superman, actual narcissists see themselves as truly superior and unique.  Narcissists tend to be men by a 3-to-1 margin.

While this guy is merely having fun dressing up as Superman, actual narcissists see themselves as truly superior and unique. Narcissists tend to be men by a 3-to-1 margin.

16. "This Is How We Do It" by Katy Perry

Katy Perry captures the narcissism of what it's like to be young, rich, and carefree in this 2013 song. She pays homage to karaoke, day drinking, and spending money with reckless abandon. In defense she sings, "It's no big deal. It's no big deal."

17. "My Prerogative" by Britney Spears

This was Bobby Brown's song (1988) until Britney Spears (2009) remixed it and made it hers. She defended her right to make her own decisions and live her life life as she wanted. Sounds reasonable, right?

They say I'm crazy
I really don't care
That's my prerogative
They say I'm nasty
But I don't give a damn
Getting boys is how I live ... .

18. "If I Wanted To" by Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge's surging vocals give credence to this powerful 1993 song in which the narrator certainly seems full of herself. She narcissistically boasts that she could dance with the devil, not grow old, influence political leaders and even exercise supernatural powers. That is, if she wanted to.

19. "Warriors" by Kesha

Kesha—yes, the artist who once had a $ as a part of her name—represents a generation of self-styled warriors in this 2012 song.

But rather than warriors, they sound like a bunch of narcissists. She calls her people the "misfits," "the bad people," "the degenerates." Then she really gets nasty and tells us what they'll do to us.

Put your big girl panties on, Kesha, and play nice with the rest of us. Being a mean girl will only get you so far.

Kid Rock's real name is Robert "Bob" James Ritchie.

Kid Rock's real name is Robert "Bob" James Ritchie.

20. "You Never Met a Motherf#@$er Quite Like Me" by Kid Rock

If someone makes this claim, you sure better believe that they reek of vanity. Then, I'd suggest you run the other way.

Kid Rock is a talented musician, having delved into genres that include hip hop, Southern rock, R&B, and country. And while I'm sure this over-the-top song (2002) is somewhat satirical, it captures the sheer essence of narcissism.

Who brags about meeting the President of the United States while half-stoned? Have some freaking respect, dude. And that black hat makes him look like a magician.

Narcissists can blow you a kiss with one hand and reach for a dagger with the other.

Narcissists can blow you a kiss with one hand and reach for a dagger with the other.

21. "Hard to Handle" by The Black Crowes

This 1990 version of the song by The Black Crowes oozes with the dangerous overconfidence of a man who won't take "no" for an answer. He sees a woman he is instantly attracted to and boldly propositions her, even though she's already taken.

22. "I’m Every Woman" by Whitney Houston

In this song, Whitney Houston (1993) proclaims to her lover that she the epitome of womanhood. And he doesn't need to bother to make comparisons because whatever he wants, she's got it. She can cast a spell, forecast his needs, and give him all the love he needs. She is every woman, all in one.

23. "So What" by P!nk

You know what a narcissist does when life hands them lemons? They'll demand that you make them lemonade.

Self-engrossed, the narrator in this 2008 song by P!nk repeatedly reminds herself that she is a rock star, baby. Having just experienced an ugly break-up with her husband, she makes plans to go drinking, start a fight, and not pay his rent. Narcissists tend to overreact when rejected.

24. "We All Sleep Alone" by Cher

Cher warns narcissists in this 1988 hit not to make promises that cannot be kept or become captive to someone else's needs. In the end, she says, all we have is ourselves:

Nobody nowhere holds the key to your heart
When love's a possession it'll tear you apart
You may have lovers wherever you roam
But sooner or later we all sleep alone.

25. "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake

Imagine loving someone because they remind you so much of yourself. That's what Justin Timberlake claims in this song: "'Cause it's like you're my mirror—my mirror staring back at me." He's so convincing that he'll have you wondering whether he's singing to a girl or himself.

Narcissistic people can be very successful and are charismatic when they want to be.  However, their self-absorption poisons personal and professional relationships.

Narcissistic people can be very successful and are charismatic when they want to be. However, their self-absorption poisons personal and professional relationships.

26. "Blame" by Calvin Harris

Don't blame narcissists if they cheat. In this 2014 Calvin Harris song, he suggests that his lover blame it on the night. "Can't you see it? I was manipulated by it. ... I had no choice in this," he justifies and defends.

In reality, sexual narcissists do tend to cheat more often. These are the brand of narcissists who fancy themselves very skillful lovers. They also have a lack of sexual empathy, believe they are sexually entitled and can exploit others sexually.5

So what should you do if you're the partner who has been cheated on? Just let them go.