If you’re even passingly familiar with Greek mythology, you know Narcissus is the tragic figure who loved his own reflection so much that he eventually died after being unable to pull himself away from a reflecting pool. Fittingly, that’s where narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) gets its name.
For anyone who has dated a narcissist, you know the old Greek myth isn’t far from the truth. People who suffer from NPD are self-centered to a fault, and it can make dating them an impossible task.
Unfortunately, the signs of NPD aren’t always apparent to the untrained eye. If you’re afraid you might be dating a narcissist, you need to know what to look for. Here are 4 glaring signs your partner could have NPD.
1. Their Charm Was Powerful but Fleeting
The thing about narcissists is that they’re unbelievably charming, but only at first. They know exactly what to say to get you on the hook and keep you there, but the fantasy only lasts so long.
In the beginning, they may hit you with near constant praise and affection. This softens you and makes you more malleable to the manipulation that comes later. If your partner has suddenly gone from praising you to seeming cold, distant, and mean, take it as a warning sign.
2. They Can Only Talk About Themselves
Another defining characteristic of people with NPD is that they have no clue how to consider the feelings of others. This translates to one-sided conversations in which they focus on themselves and their feelings while glossing over yours.
Narcissists lack empathy, so their ability to even conceptualize the thoughts and feelings of others is stunted. Not only do they only talk about themselves, but they tend to self-aggrandize and overinflate claims about themselves and their achievements.
3. They Need Constant Praise
Narcissists aren’t actually self-assured or confident at all. On the contrary, they have a diminished sense of self-worth. This is why they feel the need to heap praise upon themselves.
Likewise, they’ll expect that same level of praise from you. If it seems like you can never do or say enough positive things to make your partner, it might be because they suffer from NPD. The truth is that no amount of praise will ever be enough, because their internal self-esteem gauge is out of whack.
4. They Gaslight You
Gaslighting is a form of mental and emotional manipulation that narcissists use to gain power over those around them. In short, it’s the process of distorting reality in such a way that they always appear right and you always appear wrong.
If everything is always “your fault,” you find yourself questioning your own self-worth, you’re unsure of your own thoughts, or you’re frequently making excuses for your partner’s bad behavior, there’s a good chance you’re being gaslit. And there’s a good chance the person doing it is a narcissist.
The most nefarious part of a narcissist’s behavior is their constant need to divert the blame elsewhere. Even if you recognize that, knowing how to deal with it is another story. Check out LoveLearnings for advice on how to manage that sort of behavior.
So, You’re Dating a Narcissist. Now What?
Now that you know you’re dating a narcissist, the next steps are going to be even more difficult. Knowing how to actually deal with the relationship involves a whole slew of acquired skills and know how.
For the best advice, follow the link we shared above. With any luck, you’ll manage to navigate the situation and move on to greener pastures.