WHAT IS NARCISSISM?
First up we need to identify a potential narcissist and find out what narcissism actually is.
I view a narcissist as someone that can’t think outside their own conciousness and their wants. I think most humans have some level of narcissism in them so its not the end of the world if someone you work with, are in a relationship with or even you, yourself, have a low level of narcissism present. I will also preface this article and my thoughts and say that I’m not a psychologist and have no qualifications in any area relevant to this. I have however come into contact with a few of them and have had to learn to deal with them on a person to person basis without loosing my own sanity.
From what I understand Narcissism stems from a persons child hood upbringing, either through neglect (so they feel the need to build themselves up) or conversely from being spoiled (so they need to keep the special treatment going).
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE DEALING WITH NARCISSISM?
Trust your gut. Have you ever had a feeling something isn’t right with a particular person. Usually they are giving of signs that you don’t conciously understand but it will register with your subconcious. If you do have that feeling about someone, keep your eyes open. When being altert its important you don’t look for things that aren’t there, but again look for things that you’d consider red flags.
Many of us will have to deal with a narcissist in the course of our working or romantic lives. Hopefully you don’t end up being partnered with a high level narcissist long term. This can really destroy you if you don’t either get out or have a thick enough skin to deal with it.
These traits are common in a lot of people. But not a lot of people will have a whole bunch of these traits. We all as I think I’ve read somewhere around 1 in 200 would be classed as Narcissists. We all as humans have imperfections. But how many imperfections do we have? If the person you are dealing with seems to have most of these you probably have a narcissist on your hands. Following is a bunch of yes / no questions. The more “Yes” answers you get, the more likely you are to be dealing with a narcissist and the more intense the narcissism will be.
Is this person incapable of showing empathy towards you or other people? Narcissists in general don’t see how their behaviour affects others. They don’t (or simply can’t empathise) if something really bad happens to you. Do they find a way to heap criticism on you or turn it around because it affected them in some small way? They will do and say horrible things to you. The thing to remember is that most people are capable of doing horrible things. And hey, look I’ve done some shitty things in my life, I’ll be the first to admit that. With the narcissist it seems to be a constant feature of their behaviour. There doesn’t seem to be an off switch where they think to themselves “this is gonig too far” or “How would I like it if the same behaviour was to be mirrored onto me?”
SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT
Does this person just expect everything to just go their way? Or other people to just do stuff for them because they are important?
Is the person overly concerned with their appearance? Ie: constantly working out or spending large amounts of time getting ready for anything (Ie: makeup, hair, clothes etc…), excessive amounts of money (in comparison to their income) on fashion and accessories (this could be clothes, shoes, cars anything) Narcissists will have an inner need to look better than everyone else and are prepared to put a lot of time and money into this into this.
Does the person lie constantly? Again as humans we all lie every now and then. Narcissism goes hand in hand with constant lies. Sometimes about big things, sometimes about little things. They’re more worried about their image than being in healthy relationship, be it work or romantic or whatever. They’ll lie when they’ve clearly been busted. They’ll heap lies upon the lies they first told you if you challenge them on it. Then they’ll find a way to turn the blame on you like its weird that you questioned them.
PUTTING OTHERS DOWN
Does the person Constantly put you down? Do they tell you how much better than you they could be doing? Is nothing you ever do good enough for them? Even if you’ve done something good, do they find a minor criticism point to berate you on?
FALSE SENSE OF EGO
Do they have an ego that is far beyond what they’ve actually achieved in life? Do they need the praises and attention of others to the point where it runs their life. Do they do things they do not want to do to receive this attention?
LOVE BOMBING AND NARCISSISM
Have you heard of the term “Love Bombing”? It is a huge red flag for identifying narcissistic behaviour. It basically means to smother someone in sex, love and affection so they can’t see whats really going in a relationship. For those in a romantic relation with a potential Narcissist, ask yourself the following questions. Did they rush head first into sex and saying those three words “I Love you”? We’re all human and we all want to be accepted. Did you meet someone and straight away the sex is awesome, non stop, and the affection is non-stop, beyond the stage of the relationship you think the two of you have realistically reached. This could be because they either do love you, are sexually charged (hey some people really like sex) or it could be a plot to trap you. You have to think about this objectively. At the start of the relationship they will be all over you to get you addicted to them. To do this they have to be great in bed, which means they are most likely very experienced and have had lots of partners. More often than not they will do the dirtiest things. Again you have to use some discretion here. Is it narcissism or just a high libido? The sad thing is they may not even be that much into sex or even that much into the cute affectionate behaviour so this whole thing is basically a show. Imagine how physically and emotionally draining it must be to put on that kind of show all the time to get into someone else’s head? Do they use words like “soulmate” too early in the relationship?
Basically if most or all of this rings true you are probably with a Narcissist.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
One thing you can do is sit back and enjoy the sex / affection without getting too emotionally involved. This will be hard to maintain. It probably shows you have some degree of narcissism in you too. But realistically, You’d be hard pressed to get better sex than the narcissist. They will literally do anything to rope you in.
In all seriousness, if you don’t think you have the time, patience and energy to deal with them, the other thing you can do is get out as fast as you can. If you leave go “No contact” they don’t like loosing a fight and will try to charm you back.
You can also choose to be with them, but if you do, brace yourself for a long and painful ride. And it will be painful.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT NARCISSISM
You wont really know early on in the relationship until the relationship is a little more advanced exactly how engrained the narcissism is. Be observant, You will see cracks in this over time. Nobody can keep that kind of smokescreen up forever.
What is their temperament like? Are they angry and behave irrationally? Do they flare up over seemingly minor issues? Is the anger over the top for the situation? Remember if you’ve spent your life stressing about the lies you tell, the facade they put on takes its toll on them psychologically. They’re always stressed and on edge and its easy for them to loose it completely over the smallest things.
Does their past stories they tell you not make sense? Analyse this, past relationships, how many have their been? how they behaved in past relationships. You will notice they will tell a story one time and the story will change if they tell it again. This was key in me discovering my partner was a narcissist.
Does their past consist of many short relationships? They may hide this from you initially but keep an ear out for this. A narcissist will only keep people around if it suits them. Ie: maybe they have very deep pockets, are a constant ego boost for the narcissist, or doing everything for them. Whatever it is they want out of you if you stop giving it they will leave. The high of sex fades in any relationship, money runs out. If you can’t constantly deliver the goods are you now useless to the narcissist? Do they idolise past partners with money, good looks but no real substance?
How to they get along with their Mother or father? Not everyone gets along with their parents. But do they see them as the cause of all their problems? Do they see them as someone only there to lend money or provide baby sitting services or help with work or life problems but never give back? This is true for all their relationships.
Do their friendships seem solid or superficial? Are those friendships give and take relationships or does that person only keep people around if they are some use to them? How many long term friends do they have? Do they constantly put those friends down if they are not of any use to them?
Further into the relationship…. If something doesn’t go their way is the reaction extreme? The silent treatment for days over a minor issue? Do they find a way to shift blame onto you for things that are obviously their fault? Lie about the way events unfolded, even though you were clearly there, or have irrefutable proof of what happened?
How would you rate their level of maturity? Are they at a level not far beyond a teenager when they’re in fact in their early 30’s?
IF the answers to these questions are mostly YES or the negative option, you my friend are probably involved with a narcissist.
At some point in the near future, I’m going to put another article up here on how to deal with Narcissistic behaviour. But I’m tired from typing all this out. Remember to keep checking back on https://theantisocial.network for more great articles to keep you thinking.