I met a new guy that seems perfect, too perfect and although I am mesmerized, I am afraid that he may be a narcissist. Can you help me identify red flags?
The classic narcissist is fascinating, in that way that so many things are—like car accidents and other disasters—and we look at them with our hands over our eyes, fingers spread. But when one makes his or her way into your life and heart, it can be oh-so difficult to recognize the truth.
When a narcissist lands in your life, you may believe you have met “the One.” Narcissists dazzle you with gifts, attention and promises of undying love. Once in the security of a relationship, that dazzling image erodes and most of their less healthy traits become all too apparent. There are recognizable signs that you may be in a relationship with a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder. Take a minute to read on. A narcissist:
- is head-over-heels in love with you immediately and moves the relationship extremely quickly to promises of commitment. People with narcissistic tendencies thrive on intense feelings and have a strong need for admiration. Everything is about them and their needs and not about you. (In fact, a narcissist can maintain a pretense that it’s all about you… for a little while. Then the truth comes out.) When a narcissist captures you with a whirlwind relationship, someone is in control – and it is not you.
- will put you on a pedestal one minute and devalue you the next. If you feel that you can’t tell from one minute to the next which person is going to emerge, the lover or the belittler, you may be involved with a narcissist. Narcissists are very hot and cold, can be aggressive when criticized and will disparage you in an attempt to validate their own self-worth.
- has a complete lack of empathy and everything has to be on his or her terms. In fact, narcissists are unable to see that not everyone thinks the same way they do. This inability results in their self-serving, callous behavior toward others. Everything is about them and what they want. Their needs are the only needs that get met in a relationship. The result is that they rarely can maintain long relationships.
- feels an utter sense of entitlement. People with NPD want you to comply automatically with their unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment. They have arrogant, disdainful or patronizing attitudes.
- does not recognize rules, because they don’t apply to him or her. Lying, cheating, or manipulating without remorse are classic behaviors of people with NPD. They can easily take advantage of others with no concern. After sweeping into your life full of charm and promise, they eventually leave you reeling in devastation. They can destroy your reputation, take your money, suck all your energy and shatter your emotional wellbeing while proclaiming to all that you are the one with a problem.
Sounds monstrous. And it is. But paradoxically, narcissists are often the most charming person at a party, the most alluring conversationalist at dinner, and the one who can make you feel like you are the only other person in the room. They do not wear warning labels that say: “I am a manipulative, selfish jerk so stay away.” So, the best way to avoid a person with a narcissistic personality disorder is to know the signs. And take it slow. Get to know someone over a period of time before becoming emotionally invested. Know what you want and need in a relationship and settle for nothing less.
If you do happen to meet a person with a narcissistic personality disorder, here is my very best and most professional advice: RUN!
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