This is such an important question because being in a relationship with a narcissist can make you very unhappy. Dating a narcissist can be a hell of a rollercoaster ride, one that’s mostly downhill.
How to spot a narcissist
As someone who’s been in a long-term relationship with a narcissist, I know how difficult and emotionally abusive they can be. It’s very important to know how to recognize a narcissist so you can avoid dating them.
The good news is, once you know the signs, it’s fairly easy to figure out if the person you’re dating has narcissistic personality disorder. In this post, I’m going to show you how to easily spot a narcissist.
What is narcissistic personality disorder?
According to the Mayo Clinic, narcissistic personality disorder is a “mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”
Approximately 1% of the population has a narcissistic personality disorder, and that number may be much higher because lots of people don’t seek treatment and are not diagnosed. About 75% of narcissists are men.
What are narcissists like?
Narcissists are often very popular and greatly admired. On the surface, they seem like kind, caring people (as long as you’re on their good side). They’re charming and charismatic and have very appealing energy that draws people to them. Narcissists make you feel amazing, often by giving lavish praise and compliments.
When a narcissist tells you they love you, they actually love the way it feels when you admire them. They crave external validation and thrive on their ability to manipulate you to get what they want.
Narcissists can seem larger than life and often portray themselves as fascinating characters, describing themselves as the person they wish they were. They often tell stories of their past that show they are special and stand out in some way.
They exaggerate their accomplishments because they have a strong need for admiration, attention, and praise. The way they’re viewed by others is very important to them, and they will maintain a positive appearance at any cost.
How do they make you feel?
When a narcissist chooses you, they will make you feel important and special. They may sweep you off your feet and “love-bomb” you which feels so good. They’ll give you lots of attention and praise and often move too fast. You’ll probably feel a ton of chemistry.
But don’t let that fool you. Soon enough, being with a narcissist will make you feel miserable.
Narcissists have low self-esteem
Relationships with narcissists are often toxic and full of drama because they have difficulty genuinely loving others. This is because they don’t truly love themselves.
Narcissists fear intimacy and rejection because they lack self-love and feel unlovable. They cannot be vulnerable and are extremely sensitive to criticism and negative feedback. They take disagreement very personally.
Because narcissists are not comfortable with intimacy, they sabotage their relationships in a myriad of ways. They criticize, intimidate, and belittle their partners.
They are critical of others
Often preoccupied with fantasies of a perfect life, they have unrealistic impossible expectations and a very low tolerance for imperfection in others. Therefore, narcissists are very critical and may put you or others down to feel good about themselves.
They also have difficulty managing their emotions and are often passive-aggressive and withdraw when they are upset. Instead of taking responsibility or apologizing, they blame others and hold grudges. They’re always right and never apologize.
They are self-centered
Narcissists feel very self-important and are self-absorbed. They require lots of attention because they are fueled by compliments. They often expect special treatment and feel the rules don’t apply to them. They will manipulate others for personal gain and a sense of control, and you may find that you’re always doing what your narcissistic partner wants instead of what you prefer.
Narcissists lie and cheat
Because their sense of self is based on external validation, they often cheat. Narcissists commonly lie and use gaslighting to ruin their partner’s sense of self-esteem, making you question your own sanity and perception of events. This is a form of emotional abuse.
They want you all to themselves
Because narcissists are so insecure, they may slowly isolate you from your friends and family under the pretense that they hate him for no reason. He will expect complete loyalty from you and may try to convince you that your friends and family are not good enough and hold you back. They often see your loved ones as a threat.
Narcissists don’t feel empathy
Narcissists lack empathy and cannot relate to or validate the feelings of others. A narcissist will view his partner in terms of how he or she fulfills (or doesn’t fulfill) the narcissist’s own needs. In fact, a narcissist will value you only to the extent you are seen as beneficial.
They have drama-filled relationships
At the end of the day, narcissists create tons of drama, and their romantic relationships are usually unsuccessful. And they rarely have deep, authentic, long-term friendships. Instead, they have surface-level friendships and a lot of acquaintances.
Are you dating a narcissist right now?
If all of this sounds familiar, you may have dated a narcissist in the past. Or perhaps you’re dating one right now. If that’s the case, I hope you’ll end your relationship immediately.
When you try to break up with a narcissist, they will likely love-bomb you again, so beware. If you give in and stay in the relationship, the whole cycle of dysfunction and abuse will begin again.
You deserve better.
Now that you understand how destructive a narcissist can be to your relationships, your mental health, your self-esteem, and ultimately to your entire life, I hope you’ll AVOID them at all costs.
Remember this. It doesn’t matter how hot, sexy, rich, brilliant, or charming a narcissist is, it’s never going to work out.
So RUN! You deserve better