Dating a narcissist can be a nightmare. Having a long-term relationship with them is even worse. That’s why it is important to make sure you know what you are doing before things get serious. People who suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder (aka narcissists) have this belief that they are a superior breed and hence have little or no regard for the feelings of other people. However, behind this ultra-confident front that they show, there lies a person with very fragile self-esteem who crumbles internally even at the slightest bit of criticism. The alternate persona that they tend to carry may seem highly grandiose, like a person who considers himself above everyone else, someone who is highly conceited and self-absorbed.
How to find out if you are dating a narcissist? Here are some common telltale signs to keep an eye out for. A lot of us are guilty of the below-mentioned behaviors every once in a while which is perfectly normal. However, for a pathological narcissist, they will dwell on these behaviors habitually in either several or all of the personas. They will also be unaware of or even unconcerned about the effect that their action has on other people.
LOVES TALKING ABOUT THEMSELVES
A very simple way to find out if a person is a possible narcissist or not is by listening to their talk. A person who is a pathological narcissist will love to talk about themselves all of the time and often things will be exaggerated and presented in a grandiose way. A narcissist will also likely dominate any ongoing conversation because they make for bad listeners. Some of the most common topics of conversation for the narcissists will include their personal achievements and accomplishments which is called the trophy complex. They will also talk about activities that are envy-worthy and exciting, excessive focus on materialism and looks, excessive focus on personal concerns and issues and are always putting other people down just to prove that they are superior.
ROMANTIC AND CHARMING – BUT WITH A CATCH
Many of the narcissists come across as attractive and alluring, especially at the initial stages of developing a relationship when they are making attempts to woo and win your heart. They work like a professional salesperson. They will use tactics like charisma to capture your attention, and compliments to make you feel you are special. They will also use different forms of seduction to sweep you off your feet like always get, dinners, flirting, sex, etc. Narcissists are also very persuasive people and use this technique to make people give them all that they want.
LACKS RELIABILITY AND DOES NOT FOLLOW THROUGH
Measuring a person’s actions against his or her words is another sure way to find a pathological narcissist. This will range from breaking appointments regularly, and falling through habitually on agreements and appointments, and lying constantly to cover up the truth. Lack of reliability can also be emotional. It is about the inability to be there for you when you need them. If you see such a pattern of inconsistency in their behavior that veers between what they actually say and what they follow through with action, you may be dating a narcissist.
Being self-absorbed and self-centered, some of the narcissists expect to get instant gratification for the fulfillment of their needs. This will range from activities like forcing you to do things their way (interpersonal, social and/or sexual), and insisting on answering their calls and texts immediately. A quick and easy way to see if your partner is a narcissist or not is by saying “no” gently and letting them know that you will think about it first and watch how they react to it. If you see them persuading you with a lot of pressure and simply would not let up but instead show signs of anger, irritation (like a petulant child), impatience, etc., take note of it.
BREAKS RULES AND VIOLATES BOUNDARIES
If violating social norms and rules are what your partner wants to get away with, like disobeying certain rules of the traffic, breaking several appointments, stealing supplies from the office, chronic under tipping and always cutting the line.
In addition to this, pathological narcissists, also show a lot of wanton disregard for the feelings, thoughts, physical space, time and possessions of other people. They are always overstepping and using other people without any trace of sensitivity or consideration. Instead of showing signs of remorse, they take pride in their “Machiavellian” actions.
SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT
Preferential treatment is something that narcissists expect from other people all the time. They think people should cater to all their needs without offering a sense of consideration in return. To them, the whole world revolves around them. For example, watch how your date is treating service people like the doorman, the waiter, cab driver, support staff, etc. They will usually order them around, acting as if they are royalty. After the initial stages of dating, such people will start to exercise similar kinds of entitlement towards you.
There are some narcissists who use their romantic partners in order to fulfill certain unrealized ambitions, meet unreasonably self-serving needs, or even cover their self-perceived flaws and inadequacies.
CONSTANTLY PUTTING OTHER PEOPLE DOWN
Most of the narcissists are constantly putting others down to disguise their insecurities, put up a fake superiority front, and boost their personal acceptability or desirability. Their negative talks will mostly target former relations that are “flawed,” “clueless” friends, “incompetent” managers and “inferior” colleagues. During the early weeks of dating, a narcissistic person, will shower you with their charm and then entice you further with compliments. However, even at this initial stage, it is easy to notice their seemingly negligible, passive aggressive comments and jokes about you like body features, character, background, attire, work, and personal priorities and even your use of time.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU CHANGE THE DYNAMICS OF THE RELATIONSHIP
REDIRECT THE FOCUS FROM HIM TO YOU
Not that it is any of your faults, but it is time to take control of your situation and take action. Do not be tempted by the idea of trying to figure him out, read articles to try to analyze him, etc. This will not help you to understand your position in this. Take the attention from him and then to you. Think about what it is that you want. When you are together what do you want from him or how do you want to be treated?
KNOW YOUR WORTH
Once you have taken a good look at yourself in the mirror, consider your self-worth. And add taxes to it! The thing is that narcissists feed off of insecure people especially people they are romantically involved with. This is because it makes them feel superior, as opposed to their partner who is always accommodating their whims because they think they don’t deserve any better.
Also – Tell him to change. You can actually stop being a narcissist with a right psychological approach. Of course, it is a tough process, but if everything else is great, why let narcissism destroy a relationship? Hopefully, the article was helpful.