Girl RUN! You're With a Narcissist.
You've met the ONE! He’s ambitious, spends his money on luxe dates with you, and not to mention… He looks pretty good, too. It was so amazing in the beginning. He treated you like a princess! So what the hell is going on with him now? It is like someone flipped a switch. The person you met is playing crazy mind games when you fight. You're left feeling confused and doubtful of yourself after you leave a conversation. What is with the drama? Well, depending on how bad it is, you might be dating a narcissist!
A narcissist, or a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is marked by their incredibly high sense of self-importance. Like, unreasonably high sense of self-importance. They don’t just believe that they’re the boss’s favorite- They believe that the whole company’s success is because of them. Every project is the next big thing. Every win is because they broke their back to make it happen. Everyone should defer to them and cater to their needs.
Narcissists seek out the company of other people they perceive as special because they believe that they are special. However, they also have a sixth sense for vulnerability. Narcissists have an internal scale. It is very important for them to have desirable partners, but they must be controllable. They want the baddies who can easily be exploited. If up for a challenge, they’ll take it upon themselves to find someone’s weak spot and take advantage of it.
Narcissists cannot handle criticism. They react with deep-seated rage, distress, or a humiliation that makes them act out. Narcissists will keep a cool head in social situations or with strangers to keep a good social standing but in private they can be total wall-punchers or plot elaborate revenge for the most minimal reasons. If your partner flies off the handle when you point out his spelling mistake or when you ask him to stop liking pictures of other girls on Instagram… He might be a little narcissistic.
Signs of a Narcissist
We’re getting into the good stuff here, but before we start, you should know that not all narcissists are beyond repair. If you’ve found yourself in a marriage or co-parenting situation with a narcissist, research has shown that talk therapy can be useful-if they are willing to participate. But you need to be ready and aware of any and all games played by narcissists. If these symptoms sound like your man, you might want to seek out a little bit of help from a licensed therapist.
Unrealistic Sense of Entitlement
Let’s say your partner used to work at Foot Locker, where he used to get a discount. You both go shopping one day and when he’s ready to checkout at the Foot Locker, he tells the employee to give him the employee discount. She apologizes; He can’t get the discount since he no longer works there. Your partner bursts into a rage. Doesn’t she know that the only reason this Foot Locker is still open is because he sold more shoes than anyone in the entire region? Why is she being unfair and targeting him by making him pay full price?
This is a classic example of an unrealistic sense of entitlement. A narcissist believes that the rules don’t apply to them and that everyone else should know that without the narcissist needing to remind them.
Needs to Be the Center of Attention
Narcissists have a harsh inner voice that tells them that if they are not the best at all things, they are completely worthless. This feeds into their need to be the center of attention because their brains treat attention like currency. To them, unwavering attention and enthusiastic support is the closest thing they’ll feel to true love. Most narcissists will hijack other people’s spotlights or put on such an extreme show that they are undoubtedly the star.
Believes They Are Special
The “special” belief for narcissists go hand-in-hand with their unrealistic sense of entitlement. Since they’re so special, they should have the best of everything. Many narcissists will outright deny the real world or rewrite history to reinforce their inner story of how special they are.
All narcissists are arrogant. They don’t want to be bothered with people that have no value to them, thereby making them extremely superficial. Everything in the world is a reflection upon them, because they believe they are so super-duper special and important. They also tend to not sugar-coat or kindly distance themselves, which would require empathy, a trait that they lack. If they find you unattractive, for example, they will not hold back in letting both you and everyone around you know that they would never want to date you.
A narcissist is both intensely envious of other people while also believing that other people are envious of them. They keep their eyes peeled for who has the best of the best and then plot to supersede that person. This can be anything from clothing and cars to compliments and affection. In the narcissistic mind, anything of value is finite. Money, attention, followers, even love all run out at some point to them. Hence, they need to accumulate as much as possible to comfort them, while also showing off to others as a threat.
Lack of Empathy
By now, you can tell that the narcissistic need to be the center of attention is their driving force. However, this also causes narcissists to put blinders on to other people’s needs and emotions. How can you be the best if you’re wasting time thinking about other people’s feelings? By extension, narcissists approach the world with a “How does this affect me” attitude. A glaring example is if their baby cries, the narcissist is not worried about the baby’s needs but how they can get the baby to stop being so annoying.
When dealing with a narcissist, the most important thing to remember is that for as loud as they are about their importance and how the whole world needs to bend to them, they are fragile. They probably wouldn’t need to be so loud about how great they are if they weren’t. But, when people are so incredibly fragile, they will do anything to maintain this facade. A crack in their grandiose armor sends them straight into survival mode, where their first instinct is often to fight. These dirty tricks can show up as love bombing, gaslighting, playing the victim, or projecting. Often, these tactics work together to create major drama and headaches for the people in their lives.
Overt/ Covert/ Malignant
When most of us talk about narcissists, especially relationship narcissists, we often talk about the overt type of narcissist. These are the overly cocky, attention-seeking, showy types. We typically associate this type with men, the American Psycho, major movie star kind of guys. However, the research has shown that there are two more types of narcissists that fly under the radar.
The malignant narcissist frequently gets lumped in with the overt narcissist. As humans, we tend to associate brash cockiness with being an evil a-hole, but that’s not always the case. The overt narcissist is obsessed with how they are perceived, but they often draw the line at being sadistic. The malignant narcissist has many antisocial traits such as being intentionally antagonistic, risk-seeking, and deceitful. They are also paranoid and seek to intimidate, inflict pain, and con themselves into wealth and out of trouble.
The covert narcissist is usually associated with women and mothers, but men can also have this type. Covert narcissists keep their narcissism on the DL. They tend to be shy or make themselves small, appearing weak. This is simply a different type of narcissism strategy. Instead of appearing overwhelming and threatening, they take a different approach to build trust and gain affection. They are secretly deeply jealous and need the same amount of praise and adoration as their overt counterparts. They also hold the same beliefs that the world should bend to their will, however are more likely to flee when challenged than to square up and fight for it. Sometimes research calls the covert narcissist a “shy narcissist” while calling the overt narcissist the “arrogant narcissist.” This is a misnomer because the covert narcissist is still arrogant, they just hide their beliefs until they feel totally safe to unleash them.
If you’re ready to break free from that narcissist you’ve been wrapped up with, contact me here to get started on your healing journey!