Are you familiar with the Greek Myth of Narcissus? He’s the Greek god whose love of his own reflection became his undoing.
In the real world, Narcissism is a legitimate personality disorder that affects roughly 6.2% of Americans. In psychology, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is defined as “a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration and a lack of understanding of other’s feelings.”
Now would be a good time to pause, take a look in the mirror (figuratively, not literally, you narcissist), and review your relationship history.
Selfies, arrogance, vanity… Narcissism manifests itself in a long list of strange and interesting ways. Today on Healthversed, we’re going to reveal 15 surefire signs that your pretty, funny, too good to be true better half is actually a narcissist. Let’s go!
Do You Know Who I Am?
If you’ve ever caught your SO rhyming off this cliché, then it may be time to pour a glass of wine. A man or woman with an exaggerated sense of self-importance could be a narcissist.
Narcissists believe that they are always the exception to the rule, they believe everything is theirs for the taking and they often have a problem with authority. This unusual behavior flows from their very real delusions of superiority.
“The normal people aren’t allowed back stage,” says Roger P. Narcissist, “but I deserve to be treated differently.”
That Fish Was How Big?
We’ve all found ourselves on the wrong side of a clearly fabricated story. Like… do you expect me to believe that you donate 15% of your income to charity and call your mother 3 times a week? Occasionally embellishing in itself isn’t a surefire sign of narcissism. Let she who has never “punched up” a story to make it more fun cast the first stone.
But for narcissists, it’s about more than just pretending to be interesting. Narcissists exaggerate their achievements and talents to fuel their delusions of grandeur.
When you’re in a long-term relationship with a narcissist, you may sometimes feel like you’re an accessory. Like a fancy gold watch or an expensive designer handbag. That’s because… you kind of are.
People with NPD are either incapable of perceiving their partner’s needs and wants or, they just don’t seem to care. Regardless, if your partner has a personality disorder of this magnitude, it’s safe to say that you’re probably used to being tuned out.
I Know a Guy
Real narcissists value relationships differently than you and I. For those with NPD, friends are mostly just “people who can get you things.” Friends that can give you a ride, friends that can hook you up with free tickets, friends who always pay for dinner… narcissists are notorious for exploiting relationships to accomplish their end game.
And don’t expect them to return the favor either. If you’re knee deep in a relationship, romantic or otherwise, with a narcissist… you better be comfortable giving. Because they love to take, take and take.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Queen Grimhilde was a narcissist. That’s right, I said it. Think about it. Snow White’s Evil Queen wasted her days listening to compliments from a talking mirror. She never actually spent time with any real people. Classic NPD.
Narcissists require constant admiration. It’s because they don’t actually believe that they are loved. In this particular analogy, you’re the mirror, constantly telling them how strong, funny and beautiful they are.
And the Award Goes To…
It takes more than shallow compliments to keep a Narcissist’s fire burning though. They’re typically very, very motivated, goal oriented and cut-throat.
Though I don’t expect you to read the entire thing, this study does a fantastic job of explaining the phenomena. Achievement, whether it be an academic award or a beer league championship, is everything to a narcissist. They are better than everyone else, at everything, and they have the trophies to prove it.
Give Me Your Milk Money
There are a lot of similarities between those with NPD and schoolyard bullies. They think they’re the best: check. They devalue the accomplishments of others: check. They lack empathy: check. Just another reason why dating a narcissist can be a nightmare.
If you are dating a narcissist, they’re probably very emotionally abusive. They probably push you around. And they probably don’t care how you feel about it. Real talk, I’ve been there. And, if it’s any consolation, there’s probably someone else out there who does care about how you feel.
If I Don’t Win, You Can’t Either
There are two sides to every coin. So, if side one features an unhealthy dose of superiority, side two features more than a daily dose of envy. According to this study, the more emotionally vulnerable the narcissist, the more envious they are. Maybe they haven’t fully realized their grandiose goals yet, so they resent those that have. In school-yard terms, we call it sour grapes.
Wondering if your SO is a narcissist? Beat them at something and see how they react. If they quit before they lose, berate you for cheating or deflect to something completely irrelevant, then you may have found your answer.
Webster’s defines arrogance as, “showing an offensive attitude of superiority.” Sound familiar?
In many ways, Narcissism and Arrogance are synonymous. In their mind, they are better than you. So why not act like they are? Putting you down, talking themselves up… they’re generally not a lot of fun to be around.
Fantasies of Unlimited Power and Success
The world of those with NPD is filled with delusions of grandeur. In their mind, they invent their own personal narrative and act as though it’s reality. They’re constantly fantasizing about their end game: a world where they finally possess of the money, power and admiration that they rightfully deserve.
So, if you ever catch bae staring out the window, ask them what they’re thinking about. If they say, “world domination,” run away as fast as you possibly can.
Only Special People Get Me
Everyone needs peers. It’s a fundamental human desire. The problem for narcissists though, is that they genuinely believe that they are superior to everyone they know. As such, they almost always maintain that those as great as them can truly understand them. Just another dangerous fantasy stemming from their perceived superiority.
In their minds, your feeble mind will never truly be able to understand them. So you might as well stop trying to.
No Means Yes
Narcissists are persuasive, charming and used to getting what they want. As such, the word “no” is more of a yellow light than a full-on red. No doesn’t mean no. No means try again.
Maintaining a relationship with this kind of person requires a lot of giving in, a lot of losing arguments and a lot of frustration. Getting what they want is most important. How you feel isn’t even secondary.
They don’t care about your feelings. In fact, your emotional state rarely crosses their mind at all.
Mine and Only Mine
This trait can border on paranoia at times. As discussed, those with NPD believe that they are superior in every single way. Naturally, they expect that everyone on the planet envies them and their accomplishments.
Naturally, this makes it incredibly difficult to build meaningful bonds with people. They maintain that the rest of the word is out to steal everything that they hold dear.
They Talk a Lot
Now, not everyone that talks your ear off is a narcissist. Only some of them.
Narcissists always have something to say. Whether they’re regaling you with that time that they made the last second, game-winning play back in college, or just making putting you down, they need to be the center of attention.
Someone else is talking? Who cares! Narcissists are happy to interrupt or talk over someone else to get their point across.
Last but not least, Narcissists also lack boundaries. They’ll leave their shoes on in your house. They’ll break things and laugh it off. They’ll break promises and obligations on a regular basis. And heads up, don’t let them borrow that book, because odds are you’ll never see it again.
Being in a relationship is a full time job, my friends. And, it may even require you to take a second job… you know… to replace all of the stuff that they’ve broken or borrowed.