The After Effects of Abuse — 12 Signs You’re Dealing with a Narcissist.
Some common signs that your failing relationship is more than just a lack of compatibility.
My first encounter with a narcissistic man took me for a ride. A very rocky, bumpy and horrible ride. In the very beginning I knew things were way worse than what I made them out to be. I wanted very badly for things to work out better for both sides of the equation but it seemed like I was always being punished and disappointed for no reason. It even got to a point where I wanted just a friendship or for us to both go our own separate ways without any harm done to one another and that couldn’t even happen as well. Little to my luck, there was in fact a reason for me being punished and a valid reasoning for my disappointment.
Narcissism is a noun that means excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance. Some synonyms include vanity, self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, self-obsession, conceit, egotism, and self-regard just to name a few. Unfortunately during today’s time and age, narcissism is not uncommon with some people, it is just covered up very well with time. Some narcissist do not know that they suffer from this disorder, and worse some are in denial about this hidden character flaw they have. Narcissism is a personality disorder (NPD), this is not just the way of a person nor how they just are. This disorder stems deep and runs deeper than most want to believe. 50% to 70% of people who have NPD are males, but narcissism is still rare overall. Only 1% of the entire population suffer from this disorder. There is no known cause for the disorder, but it is said that genetics and biological factors like the environment a person is in or has grown up in or around may be a root for it happening in certain people.
The Signs of a Narcissist
There are many, many signs of a narcissist. Some are minor and some are very extreme. The minor signs are the ones that are presented in the very beginning of your relationship with a narcissistic person. For this particular post, I will be referring to men that fall into this category or may be suffering from this disorder, but you better believe women can be narcissist too and often times the female narcissists are far worse than the males. Even though there are a lot of signs of this type of behavior, they all play a part with one another and stack upon one another. Let’s take a look at some of the signs:
- Exaggerates their own importance — The most common sign of a narcissist is their exaggeration of themselves. Everything has to be about them. They feel more important than any other human being known to mankind, even the people closest to them deep down. For example, you may be having a discussion about someone. Could be anyone in particular and they will always shift the conversation to themselves in some way, shape or form. They may begin to compare themselves to the person you may be discussing in a heighten notion as though they are in competition. For a narcissist, this will happen quite frequently. You may blow this off as something minor or as the narcissist making a simple and innocent joke but it may be a lot deeper than that once you realize everything and everyone is literally a competitive factor for them all the time.
- Fantasizes more than normal — We all have fantasies about what we want to do or have in life. That is normal. How will we ever get to the places we want to be in life if we don’t have this fantasy and vision about how we see our lives. But if these fantasies become repetitive with no action behind them and become something that is just like a fairytale and makes no sense, this is a problem. Narcissists will often hit you with a fantasy they know you will fall for. It could be them always speaking about marrying you but never ever dropping to one knee to even ask you for your hand in marriage. It could be them playing this fantasy with you in your head about having children with you because they know children are something you have always wanted, only to not give you offspring ever. This is where the concept of “keeping your word” comes into play. Narcissists often talk a good game but never have the intentions on doing anything they tell you they are going to do.
- Place themselves high on a pedestal — First off the pedestal that a narcissist places themselves on should be the greatest sign here. A narcissist will believe that they are special in every way and that everyone else around them are below them. They believe they are the smartest and everyone else around them have no idea what they are talking about at all. They believe that they should be bowed down to in life by everyone, male and female. They never come down off that pedestal that is in fact an imaginary one.
- Unhealthy amounts of attention — The desire to have constant attention can become disturbing. At first you’ll think this person is just confident in themselves and think highly of themselves. After a while you will be reminded of how great this person is by them on a regular basis, very repetitive to say the least. In the end you will realize this person has a sick obsession with themselves overall. If the attention is not on them then they get really upset or they will exit the situation all together. They want your constant attention non-stop no matter what is going on. You could have death in your family and they will be too worried about whether or not you are coming to see them and spend time with them instead of asking about how you are doing, which leads us to the next sign.
- Lack of Empathy — Narcissists do not possess empathy at all. They do not know how to be there for people when it is needed the most. During those times where they know you may be needing a shoulder to cry on or just someone to be there and let you know everything is going to be alright, they will either redirect the conversation back to them and what they have going on, or they will disappear completely only to return again when they believe the coast is clear again for them to play with your mind again.
- Disappearing Acts — The disappearing acts will become a huge problem. No one who truly wants to be somewhere will just up and leave without a warning or a trace of where they have gone. Narcissists will up and leave on you when it matters the most for them to stick around. Really a narcissists will leave at any time, randomly, only to reappear weeks or even months later as though they never left and will not see a problem in doing this every so often. This is done on the abuser’s part to make you feel like you need them. It makes you constantly wonder where they are and what they are doing. More importantly it will make you wonder harder than anything as to why they are disappearing on you. The goal here is for the narcissist to have a hold on your emotions and your mind psychologically. They know once they leave without a trace you will begin to worry a lot about them. Meaning you will begin to check their social media pages non-stop. You will call them back to back. You will text them long paragraphs where one minute you are concerned, to the next minute of you being angry that they are gone. It is sort of like when a baby wants attention. The baby will laugh and smile at their mom hoping she notices and picks them up. When that does not work, the baby may begin to make noises in baby talk to try and get the mother’s attention. When that does not work they ultimately begin to cry for that attention and will become upset that the mother is not noticing what they are doing. The mother neglecting to give the baby attention in this case would be the narcissist for example. The narcissist will often times see you reaching out to them but because they love the thrill of being chased so much, they will deliberately not respond and avoid you until you are no longer giving that attention. Once the attention is not being given to them by you, then they will pop back up to see why you are not badgering them and why you are not constantly seeking their attention. This is not because they are trying to mend the hurt brought on by their absence but because they are coming back to make sure you have not moved on to something better than them.
- Superior Entitlement — Narcissists have a superior entitlement thing going on. They like things to go their way or no way. They will not accept anything different than what they believe is the right way to be and the right way to go about things in life. If you are in a long term relationship with a narcissist, you will find that this type of person will often project this entitlement on what you have going on too. There will come a time where they will want to control everything you have going on as well and will want you to do things how they tell you to do them, even if you do not feel comfortable with whatever they are asking you to do. Remember here, in their head, they are superior and you are inferior. Most narcissistic men showing this sign will often say “Eve came from Adam’s rib” insinuating that the woman will always be below man, not equal, because that is how he feels it has been from the very beginning of time.
- Unrealistic Perfectionism — Another sign is when a narcissist will not accept anything but everything being perfect. They will want the perfect haircut, perfect suit with arm lengths perfectly sized and shoes perfectly polished. They will want the most perfect house and they will want the most perfect wife….which does not exist. No person living and breathing on this Earth is perfect at all. This sign is a signal that this narcissist has an internal insecurity they are covering up with perfectionism that will never exist. It’s like chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Which leads to the next sign.
- Unreasonable Control — The unrealistic perfectionism typically leads to unreasonable control on a mass scale. A narcissist will want full control over everything which also ties into that superior entitlement in number seven of our list. With that entitlement, a narcissist feels as though he is the perfect and the only person that can control everything in the relationship. When I say control, I don’t mean he prefers to drive you as a couple to every single date and won’t allow you to leave the vehicle without him opening the door first. I mean more like he controls what you wear on a regular basis, he controls how you have your hair everyday, he controls when you can see and interact with friends and family if at all. Some extreme narcissists go as far as to move you away from any and everyone you know to have full control over you and everything you do. In most cases this stage is where things take a turn for the worse and physical abuse may begin due to the woman opposing being controlled all the time.
- Irresponsible Deflection — A narcissist never ever wants to hear nor read about themselves. Most of the time they are in so much denial about their disorder that they will deflect any complaints you may have about their actions. They hardly ever take responsibility for their actions, especially not when it begins to hurt you. Some even blame you for how they act towards you with a haunting statement of, “you made me do this” when in reality you did not make them do anything.
- Lack of Vulnerability — This sign is a mixture of lack empathy, inability to understand boundaries, and constant praise of themselves. With these three things, a narcissist can’t and won’t become vulnerable enough for a healthy relationship ever. They can not love and care for another in a healthy manner. Some would call this being emotionally blind. This often times leads a narcissist to maintain more than one relationship, or have more than one partner at one time. Once they get bored with one lover, they move on to the next. The closer you try to get to them emotionally, you may find that it causes them to pull away from you emotionally every time.
- Limited Communication — With this sign it changes from time to time. You have some narcissists that do communicate, but it is more of commands when they communicate based on controlling everything about you and your life. Then you have the narcissist who does not communicate well at all. Anytime you attempt to open up and hold a conversation they may shut you down. Anytime you may call them just to talk on the phone they may either text back hours later with a poor excuse of being busy every single time you attempt to reach out, or they will just not answer the phone and you may not get a call or text back for days to come as a method of punishing you for contacting them.
Can a narcissist change. Well, I believe personally that everything and everyone can change if given the opportunity and if they want to change. There is a treatment for the disorder itself but often times a narcissist is so in denial about their faulty ways and actions that they become defensive and will just refuse to see their issues for what they are. To keep yourself safe whether you are a male or female, know the signals and signs that come with this disorder so you can avoid them and save yourself a headache and heartbreak.