5 Surprising Signs You’re Dating a Legit Narcissist
A lot of us have called someone narcissistic for, say, talking about themselves too much or blowing off their significant others. But how do you know if you’re dating an actual narcissist, not just a selfish person? Narcissistic Personality Disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic, is “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.” About six percent of people have this disorder, though many others have narcissistic traits.
“Narcissism should be viewed on a spectrum of mild to moderate to severe narcissism,” says marriage and family therapist Gary Brown, Ph.D., LMFT, FAPA. “To the extent that all of us have our own self-interests, we are, to a degree, narcissistic. The problem compounds when the narcissist falls under extreme type. They do not make good life partners.”
Here are some signs that your date or significant other is a bona fide narcissist:
1. They build themselves up.
If your date or partner is always the star of their own stories or makes themselves look like a hero, that’s a sign of narcissism, according to psychotherapist Alena Gerst, LCSW, RYT. In extreme cases, she says, “they may claim (and believe) they have close ties to celebrities, royalty, and high ranking government officials.” Your date nights should not feel like celebrity interviews.
2. They’ll never admit they’re wrong.
One characteristic trait of a narcissist, says Denise Limongello, LMSW, is that they won’t apologize. “Studies show that individuals who reportedly were involved with narcissists complained of never having received an apology for any mishaps during the relationship,” she explained. “Narcissism is often characterized by a lack of accountability for all wrong-doings.” Due to this trait, narcissists might get take offense very easily, says clinical social worker Karen Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. “Although they seem emotionally secure and confident, inside they are as brittle as glass, as empty as shells. Your job is to prop and fill them up, and they may get angry when you don’t.”
3. They shut down after fights.
Narcissists are notoriously bad at taking criticism, says Limongello. They might, for example, stop responding to your texts if you seem displeased with them. “While it can be normal to take some space from each other after an argument, a sudden, prolonged disappearance can be more unnatural and problematic than simply taking a breather,” Limongello says.
4. They twist your arguments around.
Narcissists will make themselves seem like victims even if they’re the ones who have done something wrong, says Limongello. So, when rehashing your arguments, they may have a tendency to rewrite history. “If you find yourselves routinely disagreeing on what took place in the past, your partner might just have a distorted reality and consistently experience himself as a victim,” she says.
5. They don’t know much about you.
The hallmark sign of a narcissist, of course, is that they make everything about them. If you start talking about yourself, they’ll find a way to relate your experience to their own, says Koenig. You’ll often come out of conversations feeling like you’ve learned a lot about them but the reverse didn’t happen. “When you bring up something personal, they snatch the idea away and run with it, leaving you feeling that what you have to say doesn’t matter,” she says. “Sometimes, when you’re around them, you feel totally invisible, and that can generate either despair or rage or both.”
August 29, 2016 12:30 pm