Caitlin Weese LCSW-C, 200 RYT
Have you ever wondered if your partner is a narcissist? Narcissism is becoming an increasingly popular term in Pop Psychology but what does it mean? Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, a fragile ego and a lack of empathy towards others. While it's normal for everyone to have some level of self-love and self-confidence, narcissism becomes a problem when it interferes with one's ability to form healthy relationships or function well in society. In this blog post, we will discuss some signs you're dating a narcissist.
Self-centeredness: Narcissistic individuals tend to be overly focused on themselves and their needs, often to the detriment of others. They may monopolize conversations or talk endlessly about their achievements, goals, and interests, while showing minimal or no interest in what you have to say.
Lack of empathy: One of the most striking features of narcissism is a lack of empathy towards others. Narcissists often have difficulty putting themselves in other people's shoes or understanding their feelings and perspectives. Your partner may come across as cold, callous, or insensitive, and have little interest in the emotions or wellbeing of you or others.
Arrogance: Narcissists often have an exaggerated sense of their own importance and abilities and may behave in an arrogant or entitled manner. They may believe they are better than others and feel entitled to special treatment or privileges. As a result, they may become angry or resentful if they feel they are not getting the recognition or treatment they believe they deserve from you or others.
Need for admiration: Narcissists crave attention and admiration from others and may go to great lengths to obtain it. They may boast about their accomplishments, dress flamboyantly, or engage in attention-seeking behaviors to get noticed. Your partner may seem to be overly invested in what others think of them and may place this need onto you.
Envy and jealousy: Narcissistic individuals are prone to envy and jealousy towards others, particularly those who they perceive as more successful or popular than themselves. They may feel threatened by the success of others and may try to undermine or sabotage them. Oftentimes, narcissistic partners may discount or minimize your successes or become jealous of other relationships you have. In turn, they may also project this onto you, insisting that you are jealous of them.
Fragile Ego: Despite their outward displays of confidence and self-importance, narcissists often have deep-seated feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. They may use their grandiose self-image and behavior as a defense mechanism to protect themselves from these feelings, but any perceived threat to their ego can quickly trigger defensive or aggressive behavior. As a result, they may become aggressive or defensive with you when triggered.
Difficulty accepting criticism: Narcissists may have a hard time accepting criticism or feedback from others, as it may challenge their sense of self-importance or competence. As stated above, they may become defensive, dismissive, or even hostile when confronted with criticism, and may refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes or shortcomings.
Manipulative behavior: Narcissists may use manipulative tactics to get what they want, whether it's attention, admiration, or control over others. They may use charm, flattery, or even intimidation to manipulate you into doing what they want.
Lack of accountability: Narcissists may have a hard time taking responsibility for their actions or acknowledging their mistakes. They may blame you for their problems or failures and may refuse to apologize or make amends when they have you, insisting you are to blame.
Difficulty forming genuine relationships: Narcissists have a hard time forming deep and meaningful relationships with others, as they may be more focused on their own needs and desires than on the needs and feelings of others. They may have a string of short-term relationships or superficial friendships but may struggle to form lasting and meaningful connections with others. Oftentimes, this presents as a lack of long-term relationships and an ever-changing set of friends.
In conclusion, narcissism is a personality trait that can have serious negative consequences for individuals and their partners. While it's important to have healthy self-esteem and confidence, it's equally important to be able to empathize with others, accept feedback and criticism, and form genuine connections with those around us. By understanding the signs of narcissism, we can identify this trait in our partners and save ourselves years of heartache and confusion.
If you believe your partner is a narcissist, its important to encourage them to speak to a professional. However, they may be unwilling to do so as a result of their lack of insight. If they are willing to put in the work and have the insight necessary, therapy can provide some support.