What to Give a Narcissist for the Holidays

Placating the Self-Obsessed With Gifts

If you’re in any type of relationship with a narcissist, it’s probably because you have no choice. Relationships with narcissists are generally unhealthy, because overly self-loving people are never satisfied. You can give and give and give, and they will still find fault with you or the relationship. Since many people choose not to be romantically involved with self-absorbed individuals, it’s most likely that the narcissist in your life is a family member, co-worker, or neighbor. In other words, someone you can’t avoid. You might not even like this person, but your situation dictates that you must be civil to him or her.

Nothing Practical

Narcissists like to think that they don’t need anyone or anything. Their only need in life is to be viewed as being important in the eyes of others. So lavish them with impractical gifts. If you give them something that you think is useful, they will criticize you and/or the gift for insulting them. Their ego is far too inflated to realize that you meant well.

Nothing Sentimental

By nature, narcissists are emotionally shallow. If you give them a gift that conjures feelings of nostalgia, intimacy, or self-reflection, they will push you and the gift away. It’s safest for you to stick with gag gifts so that your narcissistic acquaintance won’t be reminded of his or her vulnerability.

Nothing Reciprocal

Don’t bother giving a narcissist any sort of gift that might suggest reciprocity. For example, if you give a narcissist a gift certificate to a restaurant, he or she will assume that means you are fishing for an invitation to go out with him or her. Narcissists can be paranoid, so try not to raise any suspicions — however unfounded they might be — with your gift giving.

Still Stumped?

If you’re still not sure how to handle your relationship with a narcissist during the holiday season, call one of our psychics for advice.

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39 thoughts on “What to Give a Narcissist for the Holidays

  1. allyson

    Hello, I was married to a narcissist, who was very physically, mentally and sexually abusive to me. Long story made very short..I ended up leaving him after 11 years of this awful treatment. The public outburst, screaming, acting like a two year old in a 38 year old body was way too much for me. The control, the fear he put in me..i was always walking on eggshells! I knew, even when I was with him in the very beginning, that something was not right with him, he was crazy in a matter of speaking. Nobody in their right mind could ever act like he does and not have some type of mental issue. I discovered later, after..many years after i had left and divorced him, what was the name of the issue he had..Narcissism! He comes from a family of violent people and even murders, rapist and wife beaters! it runs deep in his family, close relatives of his are in prison right this moment, doing time for murder and rape, and kidnapping!! My ex has been arrested and eventually let go..on a charge of raping a child at a school bathroom! i found out so much! These people are so dangerous, he is anyways. i was threatened with being killed, buried and never found!! i made a way out, i took it and I have had such a wonderful life ever since i took that step toward freedom. I decided that i would never allow myself in a situation like that ever again..and i haven’t. thanks for allowing me to “let it out”..and thanks for this site, it’s informative and helps those who need help, thanks again!!

  2. Theresa Danna

    @Danielle, my guess is that you are not a full-blown narcissist because you are demonstrating a level of self-reflection that true narcissists don’t have. There are articles on reputable psychology and medical websites that explain the symptoms of narcissism and when those symptoms cross over to being a personality disorder.

  3. Theresa Danna

    @Danielle, the fact that you are asking how to know if you are narcissistic probably means that you aren’t. Severe narcissists don’t think there is a problem with their behavior and don’t spend any time reflecting on their behavior. There is an article at the Mayo Clinic webiste that explains how some narcissistic traits are signs of healthy self-esteem; it is only when these traits are extreme and hurt other people that they become problematic. The second page of the article lists the symptoms and tells when one should see a doctor/therapist: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder/DS00652

  4. Danielle

    How can someone tell if they themselves have a narcissistic personality? I can be self-absorbed and selfish at many times. I am sometimes (although unintended) am forgetful of others feelings. I usually do have good intentions and try to please others but lately, in retrospect, I am kinda selfish and self-absorbed. I am a Sagittarius. I do not like to be controlled or bossed around or especially chided like a child. I do like to be in control. I do behave sometimes as if I feel like I am entitled, although when I ponder upon if I actually DO feel like I am entitled, my answer is not anymore than anyone else in similar circumstances. I do find it difficult to be thankful for things. My Husband seems to always be thankful for things that I seem to take for granted. Even if I am thankful for things, I feel that I do not show my gratitude often enough. I don’t know whether this is stress, or if this is normal or not, if this is typical behavior for a Sagittarius, or if I have something emotionally or behaviorally wrong with me. Any ideas on how to know the difference?

  5. Danielle

    How can someone tell if they themselves have a narcissistic personality? I can be self-absorbed and selfish at many times. I am sometimes (although unintended) am forgetful of others feelings. I usually do have good intentions and try to please others but lately, in retrospect, I am kinda selfish and self-absorbed. I am a Sagittarius. I don’t know whether this is stress, or if this is normal or not, if this is typical behavior for a Sagittarius, or if I have something emotionally or behaviorally wrong with me. Any ideas on how to know the difference?

  6. Mary B.

    I lived with what I precieved as a narcissist for 7 yrs. & believe me, life was all about him. I asked him the first yr. what he would like for Christmas & he suggested we both make a list….My list consisted of a few practical gifts & suggested he use his imagination, also which fit on half a page…..His list consisted of several pages which I never was able to fully afford or complete in the 7 yrs. we were together. Talk about self-absorbed……

  7. Suzi

    I’m a Sag, don’t agree, With the profile but maybe the men fit that bill.However, get in line, I’ve been in/out of a Narcissist relation it’s .with shades of OCD —sure sound like the others listed above.Stopped myself from wanting to give him anything…he’s gorgeous, great in the sack, and waits to be admired, and adored.Gets boring, told him, “I’m done” much younger..better to be alone than accompanied with a guy like that. Abusive in the worst way…we forget , go back, trying not to..so far, so good. Gain is not worth the pain in the long run…..I’m done (God help me)! There is something in me, that attracts guys like that…working it out…

  8. kiki

    i wondered about my sweetie he cares for me or so he says but there is never hugs kisses or cuddles he is gorgeous though and an ex college football star he s so damn ba humbug and theres always an excuse for no touching great in the sack but never anymore than that no hi honey or any of that

  9. Rone

    I was married to such a person. She was an entertainer of look at me too much type. Yes love her and tried to support her and she took good care of her self , however
    I think she feels entitled as usual , zero gratitude and wants an alowence for chores I did before I married her and now after our divorce and out work on acres of land .
    I brought that bad c
    Karma on my self . It taught me to not sign up with a person who knows no team work .
    Is too much into self maintience .
    And usually signs of obsessive compulsive disorder . Overly insecure and in fear of being taken in control of some one . Without any one else around they show these traits. My gift is Tuff love or a mirror. They use it hopefully to improve there viewing options or hang in a closet only to reflect on responses. People don’t change unless they want to. It’s a dead end trying to change or teach a spirit . That is
    Between their god and their results of ” out put meets input!”

  10. Patricia Johnson

    Just compliment them and tell them how gorgeous they are. And, then mine leaves me alone and goes out thinking every woman wants him.

  11. Patricia Johnson

    I just tell mine how HANDSOME he is and I want to see his naked body because he knows how broke we are. It makes his day…He can go out in public thinking every woman is turned on by him and I get to stay at home and read and plot against and enjoy my pets…and everybody is happy!! Merry Christmas ALL.

  12. Karen Atkinson Garrison

    Gina Rose’s idea, even if a joke is a good one.The narcissist might even like it because it maes them look magnaminous. 😉

    To Sebrina, I agree that giving presents alone is no substitute for true affection.
    However, giving gifts is not trying to buy love.It’s a nice way to remember people and it’s a tradition at this time of year is all.
    Some people don’t know how to show feelings–it isn’t fun for the rest of us, but it’s not up to us to judge them when we don’t know how they really feel.

    I remember when I was 14 a bf’s mother thought I was*cold* when I was painfully shy at that time!

  13. Mary

    My stepdaughter is such a person. I have yet to purchase a birthday or Christmas present thatshe even says thank you for, let alone uses. I think this year I will not spend my hard working money on her, let her father buy s/thing for her if he so wishes!

  14. Tina

    I had the worst narcissist on earth! All he cared about was himself. He had no respect, no regard, no appreciation and no compassion for me. He was a Libra and narcissism is usually associated with that sign. Generally, they are very sweet and need partnership. Not this one! He was in his own private hemisphere and very much in love with himself. No one else on earth mattered. He was the biggest user and abuser. I will give him this much though…..he was very well groomed and nice looking. On occasion when he hugged me, he melted right through me….but ya know what? The BAD outweighed the GOOD by a landslide!

  15. Hope

    Lynn you are amazing. Amazing that you can make me laugh about someone who causes so much suffering. Your advice is absolutely brilliant.

    Horray for you.

  16. Lynn Rose


  17. Sebrina Lee Biscardi

    I know that some people constantly give gifts because that’s all they know how to do. I’ve told everyone in my family to please just send me a homemade card because I do not need anything at all – sending “things” instead of being a good relative and showing your love, is ill to me. I think that people who insist you take their gift are wanting a gift themself.. I am not cheap, but I do not believe that “buying” someone’s love is a good thing.

  18. karin

    Leave the narcissist idiot. It will NEVER change. I was married to one for 23 years and stayed in an unhealthy and abusive relationship. I am in counseling now and it is helping. He caused me so much stress that I ended up in the emergency room with atrial fibrillation.

  19. lion

    To ani:

    One word of advice, DIVORCE! I used to be married to a Sag male narcissist and he never appreciated anything I did for him. I left him after 2 yrs. together and I’ve been happily single ever since! If you feel you can’t do it financially, start saving now and get a job, get a secret bank acct that’s all your own and when you’re ready, ESCAPE!

  20. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    here’s an idea….

    how about a small gift donation, in the Narcissist’s name, to a shelter for the homeless, or an animal shelter, or a food bank for the poor, etc, etc… ?

    it would be money well spent, and you are not enabling the narcissistic behavior.

  21. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    LOL….I have another suggestion….

    question : What to give a narcissist for Christmas ????
    answer : Nothing

  22. Reed x 5105Reed x 5105

    Be careful with gag gifts as well. The narcissist can be so suspicious that he/she often believes you are trying to humiliate him/her when you aren’t.

    There is a chance that no gift will be good enough in the eyes of a narcissist. If you must interact with this type of person, do not let them ruin your holiday mood. Remember that the narcissist is ill and you are not responsible for his/her illness or it’s emotional side effects.

    Reed 5105

  23. Leola Cage

    that is so right-I’m dealing with a. “Narcissist at this time and I’m very sorry hat I ever choose this person as a. friend,just as You say “Theresa these are the Most hard to please people ‘that I’ve ever tried to deal with !!they He’s never really please with what I do for Him,but out of habit ,only he just say’s thanks coldly ,’then he starts to slick complaining (example) Its too small ,I cant see it iiiiiiiiii if its a T.V. set or a book “Written with Large Bold Letters,and He’s Always using ‘personal nouns (examples) Mine,My. I, I’M Gonna,I Want to,I, Will, I”M Sure,and I don’t need> and not only all that HE IS VERY CHEAP AND STINGY and self absorbing! my evaluation of Sagittarius “They are All Self indulging/Self pleasing and never put Anyone else First! I will never date another sag-again! for they fits this ‘description well’ fully dressed in the overall make up Of The “Narcissist type”


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