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Long read "Dating a Narcissist"
You’re Dating a Narcissist — and How to Deal with Them
Narcissism, contrary to popular belief, is not a negative thing. We all have our narcissism, and it is a fundamental piece to achieve our goals and objectives, make other people respect us, have good self-esteem, and a good attitude to ourselves.
The problem is not narcissism, but the amount we have of it, as its excess may lead to a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Narcissistic people do not usually attend mental health professionals, but it is pretty standard for some patients to report problems resulting from dating people with a narcissistic nature.
What is Narcissism?
We usually associate Narcissistic Personality Disorder with personalities related to the world of art and entertainment: artists, actors, singers, etc. These are the people whose fame has made them star-struck, thus letting them have their diva moments from time to time.
Of course, narcissism is not directly linked to a person's position in society but to the individual's self-perception (that is, the perception of his worth, regardless of his social or economic position). The true essence of Narcissistic Personality Disorder lies in the following: the narcissistic person is convinced that they are superior to other people. The narcissist systematically compares himself to the people around, and does not see anyone above, instead, they place many (or even all) below.
In more technical terms, narcissism is characterized as a general pattern of grandiosity, little empathy in personal relationships, and a need to be admired by others.
What is a narcissistic person like?
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder often appear to be individuals with high self-esteem. This does not make them better people since they have significant shortcomings when dealing with interpersonal relationships.
The narcissist always needs to consider himself to be higher than other people, either because he does not support some traits of his close friends or because he has dissociated himself from the old connection with them. Due to this affective disconnection with others, people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder lack a genuine interest in others, which leads to low empathy. They are not very concerned about what may happen to people around them but focus all their attention on themselves.
They only approve of other people when they are all about them and positively reinforce them with flattery and ratify their self-perception and greatness. Unfortunately, it is common for some relatives and friends of narcissistic people to fulfill this role of unconditional "admirers", surprised by the halo of confidence that the narcissist gives off.
The personality of the narcissist
People who suffer from some degree of Narcissistic Personality Disorder export their way of being self-sufficient and outstanding beyond the family environment. They are usually individuals who develop themselves in life and take advantage of their way of thinking about themselves.
Narcissistic people often do not feel comfortable when they have to travel by public transport or when they have to enter a hospital because they will tend to think that they deserve better treatment or complain if they are not granted certain privileges. If they have a good job, they usually use their money to buy watches, shoes, clothes, or high-class sports cars because they consider that they deserve all this: the status and image of success are essential for a narcissist.
The narcissist's speech tends to be self-referential. The narcissistic person expects his words to receive superior attention; they love talking about themselves, their lives, and their (indisputable) opinion on things, demanding full attention to everything they say.
Although we are used to seeing narcissistic people on television or in movies, and they can even seem funny and eccentric, the truth is that regular personal contact with a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be really irritating. In addition to their selfish behavior that was already mentioned, they are also characterized by being very spiteful, and they tend to maintain attitudes of resentment and revenge towards others. They tend to enjoy making other people feel bad, thus increasing their ego and superiority. They are competitive, and if they believe that someone can overshadow them, they will try to undermine that person's reputation.
A narcissistic partner will end up making you feel inferior. Although they are great conquerors at first, it may make you feel guilty, belittled, and undervalued when the game is over.
Perhaps there are some signs in your relationship that make you feel really uncomfortable. However, you have not yet been able to identify the exact reason. He talks too much about himself, and his problems and projects are always more important than yours… So, perhaps, you are dating a narcissist.
Typical behaviors of a narcissist
According to psychologist Stephen Johnson, a narcissist is a person who "buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self."
Therefore, the traditional image of the narcissist in love with himself is not the image that corresponds to an actual narcissist. On the contrary, the narcissist is not in love with himself; moreover, he is in love with the idealized image that he has made of himself.
In reality, they are deeply wounded people with low self-esteem who hide under an idealized self not to face reality. It is not easy to deal with a narcissist. In fact, his need to feel superior can even lead him to belittle and underestimate another person.
So here are some typical behaviors of a narcissist, and some tips on what you can do about them.
1. Your conversation is not a conversation
Having a conversation with a narcissist can turn into infinite boredom and a truly frustrating experience. This happens because, in reality, the narcissist does not "converse", but instead has an endless and tedious monologue. It is not a dialogue, and there is no exchange of information.
In fact, even if you try to take a turn to use some "good", "well", "actually", this will not allow you to participate in the conversation. And this is so because the narcissist knows everything and better than anyone. Your comments, if you even manage to express them, will be ignored or corrected.
For this reason, it's normal for you to feel really frustrated after trying to talk with a narcissist.
2. The conversation is always about "me, me, me and me again"
The topic of conversation will always end up being about him. In fact, even when more people participate in a discussion, he will always try to turn the conversation back on himself. For this reason, narcissists are people who constantly interrupt, taking turns speaking without respecting others.
In addition, they do not listen to others, but they end up ignoring them and monopolizing everything. For this reason, if your partner is a narcissist, this is why you feel belittled and undervalued.
3. They like to break the rules
The narcissist needs to feel different and superior. For this reason, it is common for narcissistic people to enjoy breaking the rules. For example, not respecting some traffic rules, taking home office supplies, etc.
These actions make them feel they are above the rules, laws, and society. They think that they can’t be punished and are superior.
4. You are dating a narcissist and he doesn't respect boundaries
As a superior being, for the narcissist, you are below. For this reason, the narcissist will not respect you, nor will they listen to your needs. He is the priority. Has he asked you for money and never gave it back? Does he show arrogance to your feelings or achievements, belittling them? These are the signs you're dating a narcissist.
5. They pretend to be not who they really are
It is the primary external characteristic of the narcissist. They spend too much time getting ready because they have to impress others. In addition, they usually even pride themselves in front of others: "Look how good this looks on me", "Look how handsome I am.”
They must create the idea that they need to be admired. However, in reality, these people are deeply insecure beings with low self-esteem.
6. He should be the center of your world when you are dating him
Not only are your needs less critical, the narcissist expects you to meet his preferentially. In the couple, the narcissist considers that he is the most outstanding part of the couple, so he will demand that you pay attention to him at all times, without considering your needs and interests.
7. At first, he was charming
When he tried to conquer you, he was charming. You saw a charismatic and persuasive person, fascinating and attentive. However, as the relationship went on and romance disappeared, he put you in second place.
The narcissist must be the best at everything. Therefore, he must also be an ideal conqueror. Once he is bored with the game, things get very different.
How to act if you are dating a narcissist
If you want things to change, you have to be more assertive. So:
First of all, show that it bothers you. You must describe the things that bother you, such as not carrying on a conversation, that their needs are always the priority, etc. Talk about how important you are too and have your own needs and demands.
Stay positive. Even when explaining to the narcissist that you exist too, you should do it so that he does not understand that this situation bothers you too much. Indeed, if you show you are outraged, you may even be reaffirming his superiority, as if you agreed with him.
Stay focused. Although the narcissistic person tries to make you see that he and his goals are more important at all times, remember that you also have yours. Don't get carried away and don't forget that you have your personality, needs, goals and dreams too.
Recognize that this person needs help. If you want to continue with the relationship, you must understand that the narcissist, deep down, is an insecure person with low self-esteem. Perhaps, in this sense, you can even help him.
Do some of these signs seem familiar to you? Either breaking up because such a relationship makes you feel bad or staying in it, do not forget that you are as important as the other person in your couple.
Should I leave him?
If he is not an evil narcissist who you should escape secretly, you must clearly indicate that you are leaving. You can tell him directly that he is a narcissist, but if he refuses to accept your assessment, let him know how you feel.
You can expect a narcissist to be quite reactive to this: get angry, cry, explain things, defend, promise that he will do better if you stay, or even threaten self-harm if you leave. It is vital that you have reached a place in your own healing where you no longer take responsibility for his feelings and let him know that you will not be responsible for his life or decisions. Otherwise, the narcissist will hold you captive with these threats.
You mustn't be reactive to what the narcissist says. A kind but firm way to do this is to say something like that as many times as necessary: "I know this is difficult for you and I care about you, but it is time for me to worry about myself, so this is what I need to do."
Once you are firm about your decision and ready to start a new life, open yourself to a new relationship with a person who will deserve having you in their lives. Meetville is a great opportunity to refresh your life! Sign up right now and give yourself a chance to live a happy life!
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