7 Signs You’re Under the Spell of a Narcissist

If their love seems like something out of a dream — that’s all it is.

L.A. Strucke
Dec 22, 2020 · 6 min read
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Photo by Amir Taheri on Unsplash

When you’re searching for your other half, beware of the one you meet who will seem too good to be true.

They’ll be charismatic, attractive, a great conversationalist, and will love bomb you with attention. They’ll be witty and funny and talented too. You’ll think you’ve hit the jackpot of love. That’s when you’ve fallen under the spell of the narcissist.

Even though according to studies, true narcissism only occurs in a small percentage of society, many people are labeled a narcissist by others because they have numerous narcissistic traits. Here are some of them:

You’re never sure where you stand.

In the beginning, you are so in love. The narcissist is on their best behavior. They are pursuing you (usually because you have something they need.) They’ll make you feel like you’ve met the love of your life.

As time goes on, their true colors appear. They start pulling back for no reason at all, and you’re confused. What have you done to drive this person away? They seemed so in love with you. You start to feel anxious and insecure.

Right when you think they’ve lost interest in you, they’ll contact you. You’ll go back with high hopes, that the narcissist will realize how perfect you both are together. And things will work for a while before they start drifting away again.

This constant on and off behavior can be maddening, and make you want them even more.

You’re one of many.

You are not the only one dazzled by the narcissist. They often keep a harem of admirers around them. A lot of them are particularly talented, musical, and witty, and have people hanging on their every word.

Even if they’re not a talented musician, the narcissist likes to have a constant source of supply around them. They crave admiration and want to present an image of success in the world. They like to have their fans present, feeding their insatiable ego.

They have deep insecurities they carry from a dysfunctional childhood, and they need these people to feed their egos to make them feel okay.

When you get under their spell, they can do no wrong in your eyes. You will admire them, and feed their egos with love and compliments, and all will be well. Until it isn’t.

Eventually, you’re going to stop giving them all that constant admiration, because they’re human and they’ll mess up. You’ll see they weren’t as perfect as you thought.

When you stop giving them that constant stream of adoration, watch out. They’ll begin searching for the next interchangeable admirer, while they’re devaluing and discarding you.

You’re always apologizing.

Narcissists think their lives are the only important ones. They’re always right, and everyone else is wrong. If you dare to disagree with them, you will be on the receiving end of a lot of drama.

You will find yourself apologizing for things that were never your fault, just to keep the peace between you. You’ll do anything to get that charming person you love back.

You will start seeing a dark side to them that you never saw before. They’ll start criticizing every flaw you have and comparing you unfavorably to others in their lives.

They’ll point out flaws you have, that you never even knew you had. They’ll make you feel like you are unworthy of their love. Then they’ll gain the upper hand on you.

When I’d told him that he’d acted unfairly, the narcissist in my life said — “There’s no pleasing you. You drive people away.”

I thought about all my friends in my life that I cared about. I didn’t do half as much for them as I did for him. My friends would never accuse me of driving them away. If I told them they’d done something unfair, they wouldn’t deny it. They’d own up to it, just like I would do if I acted unfairly to them. We’d apologize to each other.

Yet with us, everything was my fault. For he never saw how deeply loving I was. He could only see my flaws.

You get breadcrumbed, discarded, paperclipped, and discarded again.

The narcissist will keep you on a string, and give you just enough attention to feel like they’re there. Sometimes you’ll have moments with them that will feel so amazing, and you’ll feel like you’re under a love spell, and they can do no wrong. These are the moments that keep you attached to them.

They’ll throw you breadcrumbs of attention, that will be maddening. They’re always holding back. They never seem to give you what you want anymore.

Then they will go into a devaluing mode, they’ll criticize you, stop texting and vanish again, leaving your heart in tatters. You’ll fall back into despair, and wonder what happened to that person who seemed so kind and loving, who made you feel special to them in the beginning. They’re gone and you’re left confused.

Then they get tired of their new romantic supply and start hoovering you again. They go into a paperclipping mode. They don’t really love you, they are just coming back into your life to see if you’re still there waiting with open arms. You’re strictly an ego boost for them. There’s no real love involved.

You are being used to make them feel good about themselves. That’s all it is.

You keep going back to a relationship that never gets better for you.

They’ll hoover back, dangling the carrot on the stick — luring you to them. Every time you fall back under their spell, you’ll have fewer stars in your eyes, but will have strong hopes that this time it will be different.

This time they will value your love. This time the relationship will be more equal. Your love will heal all their childhood wounds. Your enduring, self-sacrificing love will give them an epiphany that you are the love of their life.

Unfortunately, the love-bombing stage will be shorter every time you go back. They’ll treat you with less respect than they did before. Once they’re certain you’re back on their string, they’ll return to their old tricks again. They’ll keep you around as long as you’re of use to them. Then they’ll repeat the vicious cycle of devaluing and discarding you again.

You constantly feel like you’re the crazy one.

Narcissists are so great at manipulating, and they’ll make you feel like you are going crazy.

If you tell them that they’ve hurt you, they’ll say you are overemotional and too sensitive. They’ll make a joke out of your feelings.

They’ll get you to help them out, often when it’s inconvenient for you. Once he woke me in the middle of the night to go help him and his friend when they had a problem with their car. He didn’t even care that he woke me at 3 am. Did this make him appreciate me for rescuing him? No, it didn’t. Would he have done the same for me? I know for sure, he wouldn’t.

Narcissists are experts at gaslighting you. You’ll tell them something that happened between you and they will deny it ever happened. They’ll ask you if there is something wrong with your memory. After a while, you’ll start questioning yourself.

Some learn they need to document things as they happen, so when the narcissist accuses you of imaging events you can hit them with the facts. If you reach the point where their constant gaslighting keeps you questioning your own memory, this would be a great time to figure out why you’re even involved with them in the first place.

You lost your self-esteem a long time ago.

If you were a confident person when you met them, this relationship will take that away. You’ll question your looks, personality, and intelligence and will always feel you’re lacking.

If you had low self-esteem in the first place, this relationship will make it even worse. It’s not healthy for you to stay in a relationship where you feel you are unworthy and unattractive, and less than another person.

There’s someone better for you out there.

Relationships are supposed to be life-giving, with mutual respect and genuine love. Don’t stay with a person who makes you feel like you’re not good enough for them. It will wound you to the core. Break their spell and leave.

Remember, if their love feels like something out of a dream — that's all it is.

Hello, Love

Love changes us. Love makes us human.

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