How To Know If You’re Dating A Narcissist

Relationships with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can be extremely challenging. Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and constantly crave admiration and attention from others. They often lack empathy and find it difficult to connect with others emotionally. If you suspect that your partner may have NPD, here are some of the signs to look out for:

1. Excessive Self-Love

Narcissists have an inflated sense of their own importance and often believe that they are superior to others. They may spend a lot of time talking about their achievements, abilities, and talents, and may become defensive or dismissive if someone challenges their beliefs. Narcissists may also feel entitled to special treatment and may expect others to cater to their needs and desires.

2. Lack of Empathy

Narcissists often have a hard time putting themselves in other people’s shoes. They may seem insensitive or indifferent to others’ feelings or concerns. They may also be quick to blame others and deny any responsibility for their actions. Narcissists may appear charming and charismatic on the surface, but their lack of empathy can lead to emotional neglect or abuse in relationships.

3. Need for Attention

Narcissists crave attention and admiration from others. They may seek attention by boasting about their achievements, dressing provocatively, or engaging in attention-seeking behaviors. They may also become jealous when others receive attention or praise, and may feel entitled to be the center of attention in social situations.

4. Manipulative Behavior

Narcissists are skilled at manipulating others to get what they want. They may use charm, flattery, or manipulation to get others to do their bidding, and may become angry or defensive if they don’t get their way. Narcissists may also use guilt or emotional blackmail to get others to comply with their wishes, and may lie or deceive others to achieve their goals.

5. Intense Mood Swings

Narcissists may experience intense mood swings, shifting rapidly from idealizing others to devaluing them. They may become angry or withdrawn if they feel that they’re not getting the attention or admiration they crave, and may lash out at others for seemingly minor issues. Narcissists may also struggle with feelings of insecurity and may become defensive or hostile when their self-worth is challenged.

6. Lack of Accountability

Narcissists often have a difficult time taking responsibility for their actions. They may blame others for their mistakes or minimize their role in problems that arise in relationships. Narcissists may also make excuses for their behavior and refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing, even when presented with evidence to the contrary.

7. Unrealistic Expectations

Narcissists may have unrealistic expectations for themselves and others. They may expect others to cater to their every desire and may become angry or frustrated when they don’t get what they want. Narcissists may also set unrealistic goals for themselves and become disillusioned or upset when they can’t achieve them.

8. Lack of Boundaries

Narcissists may struggle with boundaries in relationships. They may struggle to respect others’ boundaries or may become upset if their own boundaries are challenged. Narcissists may also insist on having things their way in relationships, and may become upset or vindictive if they don’t get what they want.

9. Gaslighting and Projection

Narcissists may use gaslighting and projection to manipulate and control others. Gaslighting involves making someone doubt their own sanity or perception of reality, while projection involves attributing one’s own negative qualities to others. Narcissists may gaslight others to avoid taking responsibility for their own behavior or to make them feel insecure and dependent. They may also project their own insecurities and shortcomings onto others to avoid confrontation or criticism.

10. Difficulty with Intimacy

Narcissists often struggle with intimacy in relationships. They may have a hard time connecting emotionally with others and may feel uncomfortable with vulnerability or emotional depth. Narcissists may also struggle to maintain long-term relationships and may have a pattern of idealizing and devaluing their partners.

Conclusion

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be emotionally exhausting and challenging. If you suspect that your partner may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it’s important to seek support and guidance from a mental health professional. While it’s not possible to change someone with NPD, you can learn to set healthy boundaries and take care of your own emotional well-being. Remember that you deserve to be in a relationship where you feel valued, respected, and loved.

FAQs

What are some common signs of narcissism in dating?

Some common signs of narcissism in dating include a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, a tendency to exploit others for personal gain, and an excessive need for admiration and attention. Narcissists often exhibit controlling behavior and manipulation in relationships, and may have difficulty accepting responsibility for their actions.

Can narcissism be treated and overcome?

While there is no cure for narcissism, there are treatments available to manage narcissistic traits and behaviors. Therapy can help individuals with narcissistic tendencies learn to empathize with others and develop healthier relationship patterns. It is important to note that not all individuals with narcissistic traits are diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and those with NPD may be less responsive to treatment.

Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with a narcissist?

Maintaining a healthy relationship with a narcissist can be challenging due to their tendency to prioritize their own needs and wants above those of their partner. However, setting clear boundaries and maintaining open communication can help mitigate some of the negative effects of a narcissistic partner. It is ultimately up to the individual to decide whether or not they are willing to continue a relationship with a narcissist.


References

1. Campbell, W. K., & Foster, J. D. (2007). The narcissistic self: Background, an extended agency model, and ongoing controversies. In C. Sedikides & S. Spencer (Eds.), The Self, Relationships, and Subjectivity (pp. 115-138). New York: Psychology Press.

2. Kacmar, K. M., Harris, K. J., & Lapointe, L. M. (2013). Do you see what I see? Perceptions of narcissism and coping strategies in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30(3), 356-374. doi: 10.1177/0265407512444569

3. Vazire, S., & Funder, D. C. (2006). Impulsivity and the self-defeating behavior of narcissists. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10(2), 154-165. doi: 10.1207/15327957pspr1002_5