Narcissists are rude to servicepeople.

An older post about a common narcissistic red flag that is rarely mentioned.

Lucky Otters Haven


I want to talk about a little-mentioned red flag, but one of the easiest ones to spot early in a relationship. Most narcissists are rude to servicepeople and others they see as beneath them. My ex was notoriously rude to servicepeople, always screaming at customer service people, even if the problem wasn’t their fault. He was also rude to wait staff in restaurants, to the point it was embarrassing going out to dinner with him. He was unreasonably demanding, condescending, and treated wait staff as if they were mentally deficient. With attractive female wait staff, his rudeness was of a sexual character–he openly flirted with young waitresses, even though I was watching. I think he did this because he knew it would bother me.  He also did it because he knew his target was a sitting duck and might be fired or reprimanded if she objected to the flirtatious behavior…

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13 thoughts on “Narcissists are rude to servicepeople.

  1. When I read this it made me queasy. My ex wasn’t rude to wait-staff per se, but he definitely did the open leering and flirting, and you’re right it made me and the leering targets very uncomfortable. Another thing he did a few times was make racial slurs loud enough to hear in ethnic restaurants which made me want to crawl under the table. I verbally responded my displeasure each time and he “paid for it” later with a reaming out in the car — but I stayed with him. It makes me ashamed now. Call me paranoid, but it really makes me wonder if he did these things as a test just to see how much I would tolerate from him. He did not do these things out of ignorance — they seemed randomly planned. Maybe when it seemed I was actually relaxed and enjoying the time out?

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    • It’s hard to say what his reasons were. Narcissists will say or do anything to make themselves feel superior to others, and service people are an easy target (and they usually have to smile and take it or get fired).

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  2. My narcissistic ex was very rude to waitresses and store clerks. He would also flirt with the women in front of me. I’ve known other narcissists that did the same thing. Usually, all it takes is one lunch or dinner date with someone to see this trait.

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  3. As the owner of a small restaurant, I sometimes observed tell-tale, narcissistic red flags in my clients.

    A female guest might be extremely critical of everything, including my waitstaff. For example, she might order something fattening, then criticize it for having “too much” butter. The woman I’m remembering in particular was a guest of another female friend who liked my place, but with whom she acted competitive.

    She only came in my place one more time during a private event this friend was hosting in my lodge room. She took it upon herself to duct tape decorations on the hand painted wall mural, ruining it in several spots.

    Most women loved my place, but a narcisstic one who did, might leave a note on my door for orders “call me ASAP” – as if I were her servant girl. They wanted to “own” me.

    I never called right away, nor let anyone insult my staff.

    Narcissistic men would always give themselves away by being as dumb as a rock. When they would flirt with me or my female waitstaff, right in front of their female partner, I would always make sure to just hold eye contact with the female guest, and taught my female staff to do the same.

    I would make sure to say sincere, positive and uplifting things to her, in front of him, the implication being that it was of course his great honor to be sitting next to such a fascinating and interesting woman, and I would do my best to help them find what best pleased her off the menu. Was there anything else I could get her? (Perhaps a cell phone, to call 911?)

    I was always ready, if I overheard anything agregiously abusive said to the woman, or her partner’s flirtative comments to others got sexual in nature, to say to her softly as they were leaving “you need me to testify – I’m there”.

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    • Those are good examples of narcissism used in public situations. I’m flabbergasted about the woman who stuck decorations on the handdpainted mural using duct tape. You can’t get that off without destroying what’s underneath it!
      I hope you took her to small claims court.
      BTW, I haven’t seen you here in awhile. good to see you back. Hope you are well.


  4. My Ex husband was spectacular at road rage, usually getting out of the car to threaten people, it was mortifying. Once a guy drove after him (I wasn’t there) and followed him to his destination (speed awareness course) and went up to my ex and punched him in the face. My ex came home and told me and didn’t report it or anything, it was the only person I know of to shut him up!

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  5. My narcissist dad does the opposite. He flatters and flirts and leaves big tips. His ego is fed by the “NORM!” effect everywhere he goes. (Norm! being like the character on Cheers where they are all so glad to see him they shout his name as soon as he walks in) It feeds the movie star image he has of himself. Secretly he will have no respect for his fans. If you are out to dinner with him you can watch the schmooze while she takes our order, then listen to his commentary as she walks away. This one is stupid, that one has a dumpy ass, the hot one wants him, etc….. uggg

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