You finally meet “the one” and they are amazing in every way, shape, or form. They are friendly, caring, loving, appreciative, and even have a ton of friends. After two years of being with this person things take a turn for the worse and they seem like a completely different person…their whole demeanor has changed. Now, you find yourself getting belittled by this person, they lack empathy for your feelings, and you feel like you are literately living in a nightmare. So, what happened? There is a chance you could be dating a Narcissist. The Mayo Clinic describes Narcissistic Personality Disorder as “a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”
I have met a lot of women who have never even heard of this personality disorder and even if you aren’t in a relationship with one, it’s still good to know what the warning signs are.
Most couples go through a honeymoon phase and that is completely normal but a narcissist is almost like an expert salesperson who is dead set on winning you over to get what they want from you. You will see gifts, dinners, tons of affection, flowers, cards, and anything else to put you in the Narc cloud. Narcissist’s are energy vampires who search for people that they can get their hooks into for a long-term energy feeding. So just remember in the beginning they will literally smother you with grandiose love.
They Are Self-Absorbed
This can be one of the easiest ways to expose a narcissist. Because they are self-absorbed they love to talk about themselves and they love to dominate conversations. Pay attention to see how often your partner asks you things about you. And if they do, are they really listening and genuinely attentive or are they just waiting for an opportunity to respond. They like to talk about things like rising to the top, accomplishments and achievements (even if they have none), materialism, and are extra focused on looks and appearance.
Constantly Puts You or Others Down
Because they are deeply insecure and damaged individuals in order to keep up a façade of superiority they need to tear others down. And the problem is, sometimes their verbal abuse is so subtle that it can go unnoticed. The problem is never the narcissist, it’s always everyone else. They will tell you that their manager is “incompetent,” or their friends are “jerks” or the lady at the post office always has an “attitude,” but in reality they are the problem. Unfortunately, to a narcissist your emotional pain and discomfort is something they enjoy…it gives them the fuel they need to keep going. They might even body shame you and make passive aggressive comments about what you are wearing, how your body looks or make comments that they “made” you who you are.
The first time you say no to a narcissist they will go into a childlike tantrum. They will try to persuade you to budge and if you don’t they will show signs of anger, irritation, and if that doesn’t work will give you the silent treatment for days. And if you don’t answer their calls and texts right away, they will probably keep calling insensately until they get you.
The bottom line is, being in a relationship with a narcissist can be extremely toxic. Life is too short to be verbally abused and to play emotional games. You should be with someone that lifts you up and not tears you down or stay single until you find that special person that really treats you right. You may really want to consider leaving any toxic relationship unless the person is willing to get professional help.