(Photo: Josh Pesavento)
Narcissists fall in love every day. It’s just always with the wrong person.
Many disturbing statistics have shown just how easy it is for narcissists, sociopaths, and the dangerously self-obsessed to thrive in the modern world.
Whether in business, fashion, or the movie industry, a delusional belief in one’s own talents and superiority can be just the quality one needs to bloom in professions that rely on selling an image of confidence and self-assuredness.
It doesn’t help that narcissists are great seducers too.
Narcissists can be rich, powerful, talented, clever, charming and keen to please.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Here’s the downside of dating a narcissist: It can take a really long time for you to notice the enormous downside (namely his complete lack of empathy with other people)!
What will likely happen is you’ll be with a guy who seems to have his life together, takes care himself, is highly successful, and even wants to take you out and treat you well. But you’ll notice something missing. Some form of caring and human generosity that he doesn’t show.
You might not even be able to put your finger on it, because a narcissist, being someone who is eager to be loved, will tell you everything you want to hear.
11 Behaviours Of The Self-Obssessed Asshole Your Mother Warned You About
How do you spot these creatures then?
The signs are subtle, and it’s not usually just one behaviour. You need to look for repeated patterns of the following kinds:
[*] Needing too much attention for minor accomplishments. He does most activities for people to cheer and tell him how great he is, and acts like a child if people don’t give him the attention he craves. He is extremely sensitive about the slightest criticism. Most guys want their girlfriend to be their greatest cheerleader, but only a narcissist wants her to be as blindly devotional as a Justin Bieber fan.
[*] Selfishness with giving praise. He rarely, if ever, will give you praise for your own achievements or parts of your character he admires. In fact, he’s likely threatened by your success, and will become colder when he sees you rise up the ladder.
[*] Every story you tell becomes a story about him. You’re in the middle of telling him about an argument with your parents, and before you know it you’re talking about his relationship issues with his Dad. Somehow every conversation turns to his own grand internal struggle because, frankly, yours just isn’t that interesting to him.
[*] Envy. He is insanely jealous of other people’s achievements, and tries to belittle their success. If he can’t bring himself up, he’ll show why others are worse than he is.
[*] Lack of curiosity about you. Your inner world and thoughts are of practically zero interest to him. He is never truly interested in getting to know you as a person. He tends to ask superficial questions and only takes an interest when he’s told to.
[*] Takes credit, avoids blame. He takes credit for everything good, and rarely apologises for anything bad. He is awful at sharing his wins with anyone else, and will need to regularly prove how others played no role in his successes.
[*] Thinks he is never the problem – it’s just that you “have issues”. He assumes all faults in the relationship must be because you’re erratic, needy and unreasonable, not because he’s acting badly. If you’re upset, he blames you for being emotional, and makes you somehow feel bad for unfairly putting pressure on him.
[*] Ignores your plans. Your dreams are disposable and do not feature on his radar when he makes plans. His dreams, on the other hand, are of life and death importance and are a daily obsession.
[*] Does things to fuel his image of himself as a ‘great guy’. He only does things for you because he thinks they make you like him more or make him look better, rather than because he is interested in making you feel happy and fulfilled. The same goes for his friends and people around him. Anyone that threatens this identity he will swiftly disposed of, or instinctively avoid.
[*] Won’t assist with your projects. If your path to fulfillment somehow conflicts with his happiness and feelings of superiority, he’ll convince you to not to follow it. After all, what are your meagre projects compared to his epic quest for glory and domination?
[*] Unable to apologise. He just cannot say sorry. No matter what he’s done or how obvious it is, he finds a way to justify and explain why in this instance it wasn’t his fault, or finds a way to excuse himself for having done something bad. Or he’ll just pounce and attack your character as a means to defend himself.
I know nobody’s perfect. Even great people may have one or two elements of narcissism lying within them, ready to come out unexpectedly.
But stack enough of these behaviours on top of one another, and you’ve got a man who will sooner or later leave you desperately wanting for affection, love, and kindness that you just won’t get.
He’ll say all the right things when you’re upset. Of course he will.
That’s because he’s seeing your view of him for the first time. And he’s scared that it doesn’t match what he sees in the mirror.
And the mirror always comes first.
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48 Replies to “Want To Know If The Man You’re Dating Is A Narcissist? Look For These Subtle Signs!”
To anyone who has suffered narcissistic abuse; know that you are not alone! Those who have never had the experience first hand can’t understand what it takes to come out of such a toxic relationship. The emotional roller coaster I was on had me thinking I was crazy. Until I started doing research. I read everything I could on narcissistic personality disorder, followed blogs, fb pages, pod casts and spoke to others who were experiencing the deep depression I went through. These resources along with CUTTING ALL CONTACT with my Narc really helped me heal. This is the only way to move on; they will do anything to keep you, bc they feed on your attention . They call it narcissistic supply. Don’t give it to them! Don’t give your power away! Instead look for ways to rediscover yourself! We get caught up in longing for the love we once felt from our Narc and in that we lose so much of oursleves. Its a long journey back to self love but totally worth it! Making the choice for yourself will help you avoid falling into the same pattern of attracting narcissistic men/woman. You are worthy of a healthy, loving relationship!!
Good description. Very well explained. I myself have been the hopeless girlfriend of a narcisist (read: sociopath) for 2,5 years.. When I finally flipped the switch and left him (I even went to live in another country), I soon enough met someone else who I now have a relationship with. Although we’ve been together for 1,5year and I’ve left my ex more than 3years ago; it is still difficult for me. I seem to be looking for any little flaw my now-boyfriend has and analyse it untill I lose my mind. Every now and then he’ll do a little thing such aa leaving crumbs all over the table and inside it will kill me. I’ll freak out thinking oh no here we go again. My boyfriend doesn’t know this but I was wondering if you could give me any tips on how to make it stop. I’m sure that a lot of us who have been in a relationship with a narcisist can relate. And I also know that my current relationship isn’t the same as my last one, because it’s not the same guy. This one is fantastic really, but my alarmbells keep going off for no reason..
I knew it! I know this guy, who is really nice and really is boyfriend potential in the way that he is someone that you can go out and experience something fun and different with, but also just relax with with a movie. But he is just that God dam cocky!! (sorry my language) And that is just so sad, I think.
I just ended a long term relationship (that ended fine) and besides that I’am used to go in and out of relationships, so I just wanted a little uncommitted fun for a chance, so I slept with him (the guy) twice, who work as a bartender in a bar that i have visited much lately, and everything was fine with us before and after we slept together, we were just friends – but it has only been 2 and a half month since i got single and I’m already tired of him.
It’s unbelievable how unattractive a so self-satisfied guy can be, that you don’t even want a one-nightstand.
TRUMP! … ahem … *cough*
This is a brilliantly written, concise and (to me) a highly amusing article. I finished with a guy at the end of August because he was every single one of these things mentioned above and left me feeling hollow, dejected and empty every time I was with him. 2 months later he gets in touch and says I am on his ‘agenda’ to get back and assumes I will go running back. When I say no, he gets upset and deletes me off FB and never replied to the fact I declined him. He is utterly gorgeous to look at but his personality made him the ugliest guy I ever met. Thank you Stephen. :) x
The mirror always comes first.
Wow now I know that the guy I fell in love with was a narcissist!!! Thank you Stephen I did gain a lot of information about guys who are narcissistic. I should be more careful so I can guard myself And not to be broken hearted with a wrong guy.
Thank you so much for the informative and very relevant article!
I have to deal with so many Narcissists everyday. I know in the beginning stage of a relationship with a narcissist it is always nice because they want to prove to us how great they are. And once we give them our complete trust and depend on them emotionally or/and financially, their coercive controlling attitude starts to come out and it keeps escalating.
I would like to know what exactly do you mean by the mirror. Is it his illusion of himself?
Hey Stephen :)
Thank you so much for this comprehensive piece!
This is so good.
If you have any thoughts on how to better deal with narcissistic people at work (including bosses and superiors)
I’d be so glad if you could share them.
Have a great day :)
Besitos de Andalucia!
WOW, I could have used this 30 years ago, before I met my ex husband and had 4 children with him.
You described him perfectly, all 11 traits. Make no mistake, what happened in the end is exactly what you describe.
I’ve dated a couple narcissistic men, it’s not unusual for people to have one or two of these characteristics. Truly dangerous narcissistic people are toxic and can cause lasting damage in your life. Be careful, the narcissist will reel you in, every step of the way he’ll have you giving away a little more of your self for his self, until finally your entire identity is tied to this person and you’ve lost your self, your self esteem, maybe even your mind, mental health and physical health down the drain. The cement is that the narcissist will do serious damage to your self esteem so that you find it impossible to leave or imagine life without this asshole! Run, for your life, run!! You are worthy of the love you desire.
Is there a remedy?
What do you do if your friend has married and had children with such a character? It’s such a slow crushing of their self esteem it makes it hard to call it out as abusive even though it does seem from the outside as emotional (and financial) abuse..
Yes my man is definitely a narcissist. I tell him all the time and explain exactly what I mean. But he is an extremely unique man that has the combination of being a narcissist, extremely sensitive and caring, and the most naive, innocent man I have ever met. This is definitely a unique pairing. He’s also gorgeous and brilliant. I’m an extremely unique individual and I usually poo poo most men because I am bored. I can say he has never bored me. I guess what I’m saying is that this is the first time I have ever looked at narcissist with love, empathy and kindness. This man has caused me to grow immensely. He has infuriated me to the point that I became a monster, someone I didn’t even recognize. But he loves me and supports me so much that he knows he deserves it and continues to love me unconditionally. I have come to the point in my life that I have to stop judging and putting people in boxes. I’m not saying I have yet, just starting to realize I should.
O my God it is exactly how is my boyfirend …I tryied to left him so many times but He just want to stay and do not let me go….
I hv had dated a narcissist & i can tell u tht how ugly & inhuman they are while playing a mind game with u!! It took me long time to get over to him… But I learned a lot.. Specially about self love,boundaries,& let go of ppl & situations which doesn’t serve to your highest purpose!!
You guys are doing wonderful work.. Matthew has been my inspiration since 2014!! More awareness needs to be spread regarding Narcissist, co-dependacy, self love & boundaries in relationship!!
Much love & best wishes to you & team!
Great article Stephen. My ex was a narcissist and I had a wonderful time for c.18 months followed by 18 months of the most horrendous emotional abuse. What you write is very accurate. I would add irrational ‘rage’ is also a common sign…not least because it comes from nowhere and over nothing – it makes you feel like you are going insane. There is life on the other side though:)
Just when I needed this!! :)
Being in a 10 years relationship with a narcissist helped me realize how it can drain your energy …I had to forgive myself and took me a while to see my true worth again… thanks for sharing it!
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