Who is a Narcissist?
A narcissist is a term used to describe a self-absorbed or egotistical person. Many individuals are unaware that narcissism, also known as a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), is a serious ailment. Some others might perceive a person with NPD as just preoccupied with their self desires and needs or as possessing an insatiable necessity for praises and compliments. However, one might feel a bit more uncomfortable, uneasy and lonely on the inside than what they show outside. It is very difficult to relate to people or have true self-worth when people have NPD. It can have an impact on people's relationships with parents, family members, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and so on. NPD is common to almost 5% of the population of the world. It is considered or termed as one of the serious personality disorders. It leads people to think, feeling as well as behave in such a manner that it tends to hurt themselves as well as others. The most common signs of a personality disorder usually occur in the late teen as well as early adulthood years. Though the exact cause of NPD is yet to be known or researched properly, some factors are considered to cause this disorder such as:
- If a person has faced any physical, sexual, or verbal abuse during their childhood years.
- Hypersensitivity to any loud sounds.
- Family history of having NPD.
- Problems faced at the workplace.
- Influence of society or culture.
- Receiving excessive amounts of pampering and care during childhood.
- Over expectations from others.
Different healthcare providers around the world have considered various characteristics of NPD. Some of them are as follows:
- Actions and behaviours that are snobbish or condescending.
- Exaggerated adoration is demanded.
- A lack of compassion and tolerance for others
- An exaggerated sense of personal importance.
- A proclivity to enjoy the benefits of others to pursue one's purposes.
20 Signs That Someone Is Dating A Narcissist
It is usually not possible to know in the very beginning if someone, whom a person is romantically involved with, is a narcissist or not. However, some studies have provided various signs which an individual needs to keep in mind before they get into dating someone. Some of the red signals are as follows:
Constantly talking about oneself
The only thing a narcissist wants to talk about is themselves. They make themselves the subject of every conversation, and every story revolves only around them. Every reference leads to back them, and they are constantly the only centre of attention. There is one particular habit that every narcissist follows, which is that they ramble only about their great qualities. They even want their partners to talk only about themselves. They also want the other person to admire them. They ask only self-centred questions to their partners regularly. Narcissists are always boasting of their successes and triumphs in exaggerated terms. They only do it because they think they're smarter and wiser than everybody else, and it also aids them in portraying a sense of self-assurance.
Empathy is the capacity to detect and understand the sentiments and emotions of another person. But, a narcissist's emotional experiences are different from that of ordinary individuals. They may understand why someone feels a certain feeling on the surface, but they are unable to reciprocate similar feelings of sympathy and empathy towards others. Many narcissist partners are extremely harsh and unforgiving. For instance: if one's partner is late for five minutes to a date, then they get extremely furious and yell at the other person. They lack empathy in the sense that they want their partners to be extremely perfect in every situation. When a person is dating a narcissist, compassion and respect are both lacking, if not non-existent. They can't provide it to their partners regardless of how hard their partners ask or plead. And since empathy is the basic minimum required to be followed in a relationship, one should not beg for or plead to show empathy towards others. If such a situation arises, one should by then get the red flag that their partner is narcissistic.
There is always the exaggerated requirement of validation
In the mind of a narcissist, nothing is worth doing unless someone is there to see if they thrive. When other people compliment or recognize their success, it inspires them. The urge for affirmation in a narcissist is like a vacuum. The moment an individual feed nice, encouraging words in them, it just flows out the other end and disappears. No matter how many times someone reassures a narcissist that you love, appreciate, or approve of them, they never consider that will be enough. They don't accept anyone could adore them. They are constantly attempting to gain admiration and acceptance from others to shore up their frail personalities, but no matter how much they are provided, they just want more and more. For instance: if they work extra hard on a presentation at work, they are not doing it because they care about the quality of the project. They're putting in all those extra efforts only to hear their boss tell them that they did a great job or to put their co-workers to shame. But when nobody praises them, they get angry and lazy and constantly search for receiving compliments only as validation.
Violates rules and boundaries
Many individuals lack limits or constantly breach other people's personal space, but for narcissists, this is typical behaviour. They assume that everything is theirs and that almost everyone feels and thinks the same way they do, and so everyone desires the same stuff they need. Narcissists frequently love breaching rules and social standards, such as jumping in queue, persistent under-tipping, misusing supplies and equipment, ignoring frequent engagements, or even disobeying speed limits. They also hate being told what to do and think that anybody who gives orders is trying to put them down or make them look small. Just like a small child, they will go beyond boundaries to prove themselves strong and that nobody can tell them what to do and what not to do. Furthermore, narcissists also frequently exhibit willful contempt for other people's ideas, opinions, belongings, time, and physical space. They exploit people without regard, taking delight in their malicious conduct instead of expressing regret.
Lack of positivity
Narcissists don't like to acknowledge their partner's success. Rather they like to make fun of someone behind their back. Even if something requires positive feedback, narcissists won't agree because they don't want anyone to look better than them. They treat others' success, even their partners, only as a challenge. They'll devalue others' accomplishments and undermine them just to make their selves feel superior to others. Hence it is necessary, in a relationship, to see how often the partners show positivity by supporting each other.
Lack of effort and responsibility in a serious relationship
If you and your partner have been dating for a great many years and your partner is hesitant to make a major commitment, you should be concerned. There might be a variety of causes for a companion's lack of enthusiasm and interest. Some are sensible and should be given a considerable amount of attention. Others, on the other hand, may be extremely cruel and selfish. The urge to preserve the status quo with you, savour the pleasures of closeness while keeping a watchful eye out for other, potentially more qualified (in the narcissist's opinion) alternatives is what defines a narcissist's lack of loyalty, integrity as well as effort, and commitment.
They're extremely deceptive
One of the most dangerous traits of a narcissist is their desire to mislead individuals, particularly those close to them. Because of their insatiable desire for praise, they will go to any length to obtain it, no matter how harsh. Some narcissists will exploit their love relationship to satisfy unrealistic self-serving desires, achieve unattainable objectives, or conceal self-perceived shortcomings and weaknesses. A narcissist may influence you by making you feel bad for doing something for yourself that contradicts their wishes. Alternatively, they may openly disparage you to keep you feeling imprisoned or stuck in the relationship. For instance, a narcissist may persuade their partners to feel that no one else will accept them since they are so big, unattractive, foolish, and so on.
Obsession with status
Some partners like to brag about their accomplishments and statuses in front of their other halves. They sometimes even go to the extent of boasting about how much money they possess than others. Narcissists are often obsessed with status and power even if they don't have – either they'll pretend like they are the wealthiest person in the room. Because they need people to look up to them. It's how a narcissist develops their self-worth. They want the individuals around them to feel low and inferior. That's also the reason why narcissists shy away from people who have real power and fame because, in comparison to them, they feel uncomfortable and small. At the back of their mind, they know that they cant compete with them, and hence they surround themselves with people they feel superior to.
Narcissists frequently seek special attention from others. They expect others to cater to their demands without reciprocating. For instance, a narcissistic partner gets mad when the other person in a relationship says no. this is because they feel entitled to everything one has. They also expect one to willingly give up anything on their demand. Again, if someone wants them to come over for lunch or dinner and if they get late, they will yell at the other person (including the waiter or the waitress and every other person in the room). The narcissist partner thinks of oneself as the highest in position compared to others.
Obsessive nature or Perfection at every step
A narcissist may be identified by their intense demand for everything to be flawless. They think they should be flawless, others should be flawless, circumstances should unroll exactly as planned, and they even want life to unfold just as they anticipate it. This is an exceedingly difficult requirement, which leaves the narcissist unhappy and unpleasant most of the time. The narcissist's need for perfection causes him or her to grumble and be disappointed all of the time.
Lack of friends
It's easy to see why narcissists don't have many connections. Because narcissists despise everybody, it's not surprising that their circle of friends is narrow. While they can be fascinating and appealing, and it is easy for them to attract people, maintaining them is a completely different story. People avoid narcissists because their entire world centres around themselves. It's difficult to maintain a friendship with someone who doesn't bother what others say and believe. As a result, any companions they meet will undoubtedly find what they are truly like and will instantly want to leave.
Stress and feelings of apprehension
Stress, anxiety, depression, or apprehension is a continual, irrational fear that something awful is underway or is about to begin. Some narcissistic people display their fear by incessantly preaching about the impending disaster, while others suppress and bury their dread. Most narcissists, however, transfer their concern towards their beloved, blaming them for being pessimistic, unloving, mentally ill, failing to put them first, failing to react to their demands, or even being egocentric. All of this is intended to shift worry to the beloved for them to avoid feeling it personally. The narcissist feels progressively better while their companion feels worse. As the other person's anxiety and sadness deepen, the narcissists seem stronger and much more powerful.
They utilize sex only as a weapon
The narcissists may browse adult videos, betray or even prefer self-stimulation over intimacy with their partners due to their distaste for emotional bonds. They've been known to force their partners to go without being intimate to annoy, harass, and even embarrass the other. Narcissists like creating "triangles" in which their partners feel "at odds" with someone else, which may lead to jealousy and struggling for affection and attention. This might be with an ex or a friend, but the goal is to make them the focus of attention and attraction. This is designed to make their partners feel insecure, unwanted, and apprehensive.
They panic and go crazy when the other partner talks about breaking up
Though at first, they may be all charming and romantic, however, when they show their narcissistic side and the other person talks about breaking up, they go mad and hurt the significant other. They never try to change, and because of this attitude, many narcissists land themselves in on-again, off-again romantic relationships until they find someone else to date
If the other person persists in ending the relationship, they will make it their purpose to hurt them for leaving. Their ego has been so gravely wounded that they are filled with hate and animosity for everyone who has 'disrespected' them. That's because everything is the fault of someone else, including the reason for parting ways.
With-holding information or providing silent treatment
Stonewalling or silent treatment is when someone refuses to speak with anyone. Some people use this as a buffering method to reduce or prevent conflict. However, for a narcissist, it is a kind of exploitation. Obstructionism, for whatever cause, is harmful to a relationship. Narcissists may pretend that the other person doesn't exist for a few days and then return to them as if nothing happened, or they may wait until the partner breaks and give in to their desires. This might happen after a quarrel when they give the other person the cold shoulder. It is critical to understand that silent treatment is not the same as requesting distance following a disagreement rather it is a form of punishment.
They try to brainwash the other person (gaslight)
Gaslighting is a type of manipulation in which a person convinces you that you are insane for not seeing what they profess to see. Then you begin to doubt yourself and attempt to discover a reason to accept, and you get gaslit. You don't feel like the individual you were once; you're more stressed and less optimistic, you doubt if you're too responsive, you feel like everything that you do is completely mistaken, you invariably presume it's your failure when things go wrong, you issue an apology for topics almost all of the time, you perceive something is untrue in the connection but can't really explain it, and then you'll seriously question if your initial reaction to them is relevant. Finally, to safeguard them, you find explanations for their actions.
They require instant gratification or instant messaging
Because they are excessively self-centred and self-absorbed, some narcissists want rapid fulfilment to meet their requirements. This might range from nagging their partners to respond to their messages or phone calls right away to pressing them to do things their way. Because their concept of identity is inextricably linked to everyone else, if someone waits too long to reply, they will begin to feel unstable and unpredictable. A fast technique to spot a potential narcissist is to politely say no or choose to think over the matter to a request you're not comfortable with. If the other person reacts in an unfamiliar way, it is highly recommendable to take note of the person one has been in relationships with.
They always have a sad story to tell
A narcissist always has a sad story to tell others. In the case of dating, when the other person constantly keeps on telling sad stories about their ex and that they are sad and worried, then it is a sign that the person one is dating is narcissistic. After listening to these stories, one might easily feel emotional attachment and quickly fall for them. However, this is not the case. They go on telling such stuff to feel a sense of pity from the other, which for them, is a narcissist supply. The other reason is that they want to be taken care of, which proves that the one caring is in control of the other person.
Tiny details irritate them weirdly and quickly
Even though the narcissist tries to hide his or her juvenile tendencies during their relationship, ion being looked closely, one can see subtle indicators of toxic narcissism peeping through - one of the most prominent is that they become readily, abruptly, and disproportionately angry about things that don't matter to most people. One might suppose it's justified rage initially, and then you go about attempting to console them and supply the affection they've been lacking.
They are never going to change
There is no "cure" for narcissism, according to several kinds of research. They may improve their communication skills, but it will take years of treatment, and one can never truly have the relationship they believe they had or desire. They'll always be in it for supplies, no matter what anyone says, perform, pledge, or acknowledge. If you haven't heard from them in a while, it's because they've moved on. If they return, someone has seen right through them and is sweet-talking the supplier. Their perspective is the only one that ultimately counts at the end of the day.
How To Get Out Of A Narcissistic Relationship
One of the hardest things to do is leave behind a narcissistic relationship. Throughout the bonding of love and affection to stonewalling and gaslighting, leaving a toxic relationship is sure tough as hell. Though there aren't yet any medical treatment for narcissism as such, some of these steps can be followed to save oneself from a narcissistic relationship:
- Not allowing them to take any 'one more chance'.
- Reporting to the doctor what has happened to you while being with the narcissistic partner.
- Ignoring persons who are always with sad stories.
- Practising yoga and mindfulness.
- Talking with friends and family.
- Making simple plans to leave without letting them know about it.
- Cutting off completely by not keeping any contact with the narcissistic partner.
- Allowing oneself some time to heal.
- Setting boundaries and documenting everything.
- Being patient and staying grounded to one's self-awareness.