Updated: Nov 20
We all know somebody who is too much into Instagram flexes and who loves to talk about themselves on their first date. We also sometimes see them be selfish and manipulative at their convenience. Ofcourse, these are not the desirable traits, one wishes for. All this put together makes one a self-centered individual. It indeed makes them unlikable and in layman terms, we call them a narcissist. We seem to throw around the word a lot these days. But are they really a narcissist?
Let’s make an effort to know what it means to be a narcissist.
Apart from being tricky to live with, a narcissistic personality tends to exhibit the following behaviors:
● Lack of empathy
● Deep need for excessive attention and admiration
● A constant insatiable need for validation
● Inflated sense of entitlement
● Superiority complex
● Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them
In other words, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a pervasive disturbance in a person’s ability to manage emotions hold onto a stable sense of self and identity and maintain healthy relationships in work, friendship, and love.
People with this interestingly confusing disorder can be magnetic and highly skilled at attracting people. They can be the most charmful and confident people comforting others. This can be the very reason why many people fall into the trap of dating them.
Signs of dating a narcissistic person
I am sure that gremlin little brain of yours is already trying to mentally tick off the behaviors of your partner to check for traits of narcissism. Well, let me make it easy for you. Here are the signs you have to look out to know if you are dating a narcissistic person:
● Lack of empathy:
This key defining characteristic of a narcissistic person is explained by a psychologist as, “It is the inability to identify with or recognize the experiences and feelings of other people. Everything is about them and belongs to them,”
They tend to be highly impatient or even annoyed when other people share their problems. They might even say cruel things in an offending manner, remaining oblivious to the pain they cause already with their words.
This term arose in 1930, where a husband, in an attempt to drive his wife crazy, kept turning down the gas-powered light in the house. When the wife asks why he dimming the lights, he denied it and said that they were no dimmer. Over time, she found herself doubting her reality and losing grip on her reality.
This trait of gaslight is a form of emotional abuse that involves deny a person’s experience and make-believe them that they are losing their mind. The damage it can cause is isolation, confusion, and often questioning the reality. It could also make one apologize constantly irrespective of the happenings around them.
Being a “Control freak” is the key trait. Things get worse with a narcissist tries controlling you while remaining completely disinterested in the rest of your life. The most common manifestation of this in a relationship is where a partner is constantly monitoring the whereabout of their mate, also checking their emails and texts. They are also capable of making nearly all important decisions with little regard for their partner’s opinion.
● Never takes responsibility:
Two things that are key for a happy relationship and also the things a narcissist generally struggle with are:
Accepting when you are wrong, and
Taking things as they come.
It indeed gets challenging in a relationship when one never takes responsibility for anything – words, feelings, and actions.
Narcissists being egoistic possess the ability to twist any situation to better suit their narrative. And this is what we call Manipulating. People with this disorder have no empathy, thus letting them mastering the manipulative trait. When your mate is skillfully manipulating, you may find yourself falling into the trap and remaining relatively unaware about it. Years later you might begin to connect the dots, you realize the manipulating was clear as day.
Projection is a type of defense mechanism that occurs when the person feels psychologically threatened. Accusing someone else of the emotions or traits that you don’t like about yourself is what defines projection.
This can get frustrating since a narcissistic partner ends up accusing the mate of doing things that the mate isn’t actually responsible for.
A relationship expert and author, Marianne Vicelich says, “Grandiosity can also be manifested by a sense of self-importance – a belief that their existence is bigger and more important than anyone else’s and certainly more important than yours.”
It is a pattern in which people tend to exaggerate their accomplishments, connections, talents, and experiences. Grandiose people tend to maintain over-the-top fantasy worlds.
Grandiosity is seductive. It can project your partner into something, ‘larger than life’ and makes you feel that things around you are going just perfect.
● Emotionally cold
I am sure it wasn’t a surprise to you. With a lack of empathy and a manipulative trait, people with the narcissistic disorder are shallow with their emotions.
This trait rears its head during an argument when one person is experiencing and expressing significant emotions and the narcissist checks out and doesn’t respond.
Now that you are dating a narcissist, what next?
Now that you know what are the signs you have to look for to know if your partner is a narcissist, you might wonder what next?
If the list has hit a close to home, and you are starting to realize your relationship is not perfect as once thought, it’s time to reconsider. Try talking it out with the partner and consider therapy.
Meanwhile, it is also important to remind yourself that you deserve good and better things and not let go of your self-worth while dating such a narcissist. It is also essential for you to strengthen your relationship with your empathetic friends, and build a strong support network with friends and family who can help remind you of what the reality is.
Remember: This article covers only the textbook, grandiose narcissist. There are several other kinds of narcissists who may not fit all of these above points. This article isn’t meant for diagnosis purposes. It is meant to outline the common red flags that one has to look up in case they are dating a narcissistic person.