Spotting a narcissist isn’t an easy task.
They’re usually highly successful, extremely charming and always look amazing. They’re uber confident and can make you feel like you’re the only woman in the world.
The problem is, this wears off really very quickly and what you’re left with is a partner whose sense of entitlement and self-importance is so grand, they’ll beat you down to a fraction of who you were in order to feed their selfishness.
I’m an empath and we are usually the type of souls who fall in love with these kinds of people. Why? Because we care.
We look past all the ugly overcompensation and see the insecure little boy on the inside. We want to help them even if it kills us. Narcissists love empaths because they will continually feed their need for validation to the point of absolute exhaustion. It’s a destructive relationship and one where you’ll never feel adequate.
It will leave you completely depleted of self-worth and broken in ways you’ll struggle to repair for the rest of your life.
So how do you know if your love interest is a narcissist? Narcissists are smart and cunning and usually you won’t feel the full brunt of their personality until it’s too late.
When a narcissist starts revealing their true selves it’s likely you’ll already be married, tied up financially, living together or have a child on the way. It will happen very quickly and all of a sudden you’ll realise you’re stuck in a situation you really can’t escape.
They may not have you in physical chains but the emotional manipulation you’ll endure in this relationship will keep you in it for years, sometimes even forever if you’re unable to break free.
There usually are some subtle indications that someone is a narcissist and it’s important you don’t ignore them, even when you’re wearing those rose coloured glasses.
Quite often your stomach will have a feeling that something’s not right. You will find it hard to pinpoint and you will try rationalising away the odd feeling you have. Please don’t. This is the first sign you need to start digging a little deeper into someone’s personality and it could save you from a truck load of heartache and pain and many years of repair and healing.
1. They’re vain and shallow.
A narcissist will always look and smell good. They take very good care of their appearance because, to them, how they present themselves says everything about how successful they are.
They like brand named clothing and will always be well groomed. They love having nice things and aren’t afraid to put them on display. It’s the only way they can measure their self-worth and believe this is how the world measures it too, which is why it’s so important.
They will also be quite judgemental. If others don’t present themselves according to a narcissist’s standards they’ll be harsh in their critique. It may be subtle at first with just a comment here and there. But it will slip out on occasions and you have to be able to identify it. They may also judge your appearance, too.
Wearing the same outfit twice, not wearing makeup or maybe commenting that you haven’t been to the hairdresser in a while. It won’t be constant in the beginning, but that will all change once they’re comfortable and by then it’ll be too late.
2. They’re confident.
I’m not talking confident in an attractive way, although you may mistake it for that originally. A narcissist’s confidence is actually very arrogant.
Many people will actually say that about the narcissist while you continue to deceive yourself believing there’s an air about them and it’s a quality you admire. I can tell you now; by the end of the relationship this confidence will have killed you. A narcissist needs you to feed their ego constantly.
They will take every last piece of self-esteem you have in order to feed their own. They won’t care that you’re laying bare at their feet at the end of it. They’ll merely wipe their shoes on you as they walk in the house and expect you to say thank you for it.
3. There No Shared Decision Making.
When you’re with a narcissist there won’t be any conversations about what restaurant to eat at or what takeaway to buy. The narcissist will always choose.
You will go where they want and with people they want to associate with. In the beginning, you’ll love that they take control because it’s a desirable trait to have. Being with a man who knows exactly what he wants is quite the experience. The problem therein lies with his inability to compromise. Once your narcissist is comfortable with your level of commitment, the decisions won’t be about what movie you go and see. Everything from what house you buy, your children’s names and what friends you keep will all be directives from him.
You will not get a say and you will not be consulted.
Your narcissist partner doesn’t value your opinion and therefore you’ll never be asked for it.
4. They’ll talk about themselves (a lot)
A narcissist will have plenty to say, but it will usually be about themselves. In the beginning, again it will be very subtle. But, a narcissist has an innate ability to change every conversation into one about themselves.
You may mention things you like and will end up discussing things he likes. You may talk about where you’ve travelled and end up discussing his 3-month long tour of Europe.
He’ll pretend he’s interested in what you have to say but eventually, every conversation you have will end up being about him. He will mask his conversation by asking you questions about yourself. But in doing so, provides himself the opportunity to talk about something he can elaborate on personally. A narcissist couldn’t care less about your life experiences because your existence only became important when you started a relationship with him.
5. They’re put on a pedestal by their friends.
You’ll find a narcissist’s friends overly flattering. They all seem to love him and he lives his friendships outstanding on a pedestal they gave him. This is because a narcissist will only be friends with people that feed their ego. Just as you are, friendships are a narcissist’s source of validation. He won’t keep friendships with people that don’t serve this purpose. A narcissist expects to be looked up to because everyone else is beneath him… exactly where they’ll be kept.
His friends will pay him compliments and tell you how wonderful he is. They’ll tell you how lucky you are to have him and very rarely will you hear the words he’s lucky to have you. The narcissist has blinded his mates just as he’s blinded you and it will be extremely difficult for you to show them otherwise when everything turns pear-shaped. A narcissist’s friends will have never copped the full force of his personality; he’ll save that just for you. So when the relationship finally ends, expect you’ll be the one to blame.
6. They will Isolate You
Initially, the isolation will be restrained. Of course, your narcissist will meet your friends and family but you won’t spend any quality time with them. He will gradually expose you to his family and friends and the group of people he’s collated to further fuel his needs. No one important to you fulfils that desire for him and is therefore useless and unimportant. Weekends will be spent with his friends catching up and going out for dinner. Weeknight dinners will be spent with his parents and none of your family or friends will be included.
He will make excuses why you can’t make your best friend’s birthday party and manipulate you into believing his friends are yours too.
But be careful, because they aren’t. And he will make that inherently clear if you ever leave the relationship. Anyone that tries to keep you from your friends and family isn’t doing what’s best for you, they’re doing what’s best for them in an attempt to limit exposure of their true selves.
7. Previous relationships ended like a train wreck and are usually quite recent
A narcissist will tell you about his last relationship and none of it will be his fault. His previous partner will be portrayed as an emotionally unstable psychopath and he will be the victim. Let’s be honest here, he probably isn’t lying about her being emotionally unstable. However, he will never expose why his last wife or partner ended up that way. After years of emotional abuse and constant manipulation the person who walks away from the narcissist is usually left mentally destroyed. A narcissist will play every low card in the deck to continue the emotional abuse well after the relationship is over. Things will get nasty and he will go to extreme lengths to be seen as the one who suffered. If they still have contact, as the new partner the narcissist will expose only elements that justify what he’s told you about his ex and none of it will be good.
A narcissist will often start a serious relationship quite soon following the dissolution of his last one. They do this in order to prove to the outside world they’re not the reason for the break up. If it were, how could he already be with someone else who seems accepting of his behaviours? A narcissist needs to be desired and although they’ll fight tooth and nail to keep hold of a long term partner, it’s got nothing to do with love. It’s to keep his sense of grandiosity and entitlement fed easily. Once there’s absolutely no chance of reconciliation a narcissist will move onto his next victim. He’ll portray his previous partner horribly, play the victim and start grooming you to serve his ego just the way she did. So be careful when your new love interest tells you his last girlfriend was a psycho.
Because a narcissist is so good at pretending, it’s really difficult to spot the signs at first. But if you manage to do so, run and don’t look back. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is escape the grasp of a narcissist that took away every last bit of my self-worth and left me in pieces on the floor. He blamed me for our marriage break-down because I was the one who walked away. He blamed me for having a broken family because I was the one who left. So trust me when I say, if something doesn’t feel right, believe it. Trust yourself enough to know when someone disguises serving you, in order to serve themselves.