What is Narcissism?
What is narcissism? Experts define narcissistic personality disorder as a mental health condition where a person has an inflated ego, excessive need for attention, volatile relationships, and a lack of compassion for others. Because narcissism encompasses such a wide range of characteristics, it can be difficult to label someone a narcissist.
Many individuals are suffering from other disorders that cause them to act in narcissistic ways, but they are not in fact narcissists. For example, those with addiction tend to act selfishly and without regard for others, yet are typically kind and compassionate people when sober.
Unfortunately, narcissists are everywhere in our society. Because there is no rule against being a narcissist, we all will probably encounter one at some point in our lives. Politicians, celebrities, and CEOs are often narcissists, but so are people who don’t have important careers or positions of power.
Because narcissists are all around us, it’s not uncommon to accidentally date one. Because these individuals are excellent chameleons and sweet talkers, the darker side of their personalities can go unnoticed for quite some time. Read ahead to know the top signs you are in a relationship with a narcissist.
1. Extremely Charismatic
The person may be very charming and chivalrous when you first meet them. They will say “I love you” very quickly, send presents and flowers constantly, and do everything possible to woo you. While this can seem sweet in the beginning, it’s a mechanism to hide darker behavior. Remember, if you feel that a relationship is moving too quickly, it probably is. Don’t ignore your feelings.
2. Abusive Behavior
After the initial charming phase, the person will show his/her true colors. They will turn abusive, which could be physical, emotional, or financial. Often, the abuse is passive-aggressive and difficult to pinpoint, which can make you feel like you are the one losing your mind. When you point out abusive behavior, the individual will try and put the blame back on you or pretend the abuse didn’t occur.
3. Zero Accountability
A narcissist has a difficult time taking responsibility for any of their actions. They cannot be humble or see themselves as someone who makes mistakes. They will either deny accusations or turn them around so it becomes your fault. They will do everything possible to make you feel like you are the mentally unstable person when really, they are the ones doing exactly what they are accusing you of doing.
This person is good at lying directly to your face and will change personalities at the drop of the hat. Around other people, they will present the best version of themselves to ensure nobody can call them out on poor behavior. In private, they will say cruel and untrue things while acting like there is nothing wrong with doing so.
5. Keeps You Isolated
A narcissist typically doesn’t have close friends or family members, and they don’t want you to either. They are extremely possessive and want you to be entirely attentive to their needs and desires. They will do whatever is necessary to hurt ties between you and loved ones or prevent you from reaching out to others. They will probably become jealous over innocent interactions, such as a text message about work from a member of the opposite sex. Keeping you isolated makes you feel more dependent on the individual for every need, which is exactly the goal of the narcissist.
Have you dated a toxic individual or a narcissist? Are you struggling with trauma or low self-esteem from your experience with this individual? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.