In this article I will teach you how to avoid dating a narcissist by showing you the most common traits of narcissists. I will explain what early signs you need to look out for, what makes someone develop narcissistic personality disorder and what are the four main types of narcissistic personality.
How are narcissists made?
“Because narcissistic parents are experts at making everything look good, the child of the narcissist may not know anything was wrong. A common response in therapy is ‘I had a great childhood with caring parents. I should be happy.’” – Heather Sheafer
Narcissists are made, not born. Narcissistic personality disorder starts to develop in childhood when kids are over-indulged with superficial things. Parents of narcissist children offer them the best material things they can have.
They invest in their future, in their appearance, they go on best holidays and they pressure the child to excel in sports or education.
On the other side, narcissistic children are deprived of emotional support and attention. Parents of narcissist children don’t listen to the needs of their children, they are not present in their life and they are not expressing any affection towards them. These children feel valued only when they achieve goals their parents set for them.
Moreover, narcissism is a learned behavior. Children observe the behavior of their parents. If their primarily care giver is manipulative, self-centered and loves appearance and superficial things, children could mirror their behavior. This is not to say that all the children that have come from this type of environment become narcissists.
What is more, research has shown that children that come from narcissistic parents are more likely to choose a narcissistic partner.
The 4 types of narcissistic personality
“Narcissism and self-deception are survival mechanisms without which many of us might just jump off a bridge.”-Todd Solondz
Dr. Ramani classifies narcissistic personality into 4 main types:
1. Classic narcissists – They are grandiose, arrogant, attention and validation seeking, they don’t listen to anybody, they are entitled and they are lacking empathy.
2. Malignant narcissists – They have all the traits of classic narcissistic but they are also very mean, borderline psychopathic, they rarely feel any guilt, they lie, cheat or steal.
3. Covert narcissists – They feel they are great but the world doesn’t recognize their qualities. They victimize themselves by blaming others if they don’t achieve their goals. They are passive aggressive, they feel like life have done them wrong, that the world never got their greatness.
4. Communal narcissists – They are out there volunteering, trying to save the world, but only to make others recognize, validate and admire them. They either post it on social media or they talk about it a lot.
How to identify narcissists
“Narcissistic love is riding on the roller coaster of disaster filled with a heart full of tears.” -Sheree Griffin
In order to identify if your partner could suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, you need to recognize at least 6 of the following behaviors and personality traits:
- They gain their self-identity from other people.
- They experience low levels of empathy for other people.
- They brag and believe they are better than others
- They are self-centred- They like to talk about their accomplishments and pay little to no attention to what anyone else says
- They are manipulative and emotionally detached
- They don’t like to obey rules, they could go as far as committing small crimes in order to prove they are fearless
- They deny saying things they have said to you in the past
- They gaslight people close to them (Gaslighting is manipulating someone by psychological means into doubting their own sanity)
- They believe they are self-entitled; they want to be treated as they are special
- They are very superficial and choose their friends based on their status
- They are very concerned about their appearance and the appearance of people around them
- They would do anything to gain admiration, triumph and respect from others
- They are controlling, they need to be in control all the time
- Their reputation is more important than your relationship
- They would do anything to be right and change your opinion to match theirs
- They cannot take criticism and they become angry and defensive if people don’t agree with their point of view/way of living life
- They don’t feel any remorse
- They belittle others as they believe they are the best
- They see themselves as more attractive than they really are
- They use silent treatment in relationships in order to punish their partner (they believe talking to them is a gift)
- They have nothing positive to say about other people and they treat everyone’s success as a challenge
- They are scared of commitment; they want the benefits of the relationship without commitment
- They get pleasure out of the misery of other people
- They don’t want a partner that makes them feel good, they want a partner that makes them look good
- They think they are always right and they don’t need to change
- They love social media attention (they are so insecure inside that they regulate their self-esteem by getting approval from others)
- They are arrogant, grandiose and entitled
- They are constantly seeking admiration and validation
- They cannot tolerate frustration, criticism or disappointment from others
- They are very dishonest
- They cheat in a relationship to build their ego
- They are often very financially successful
- They feel the world is not just or fair (in case they don’t succeed)
- They don’t care about anyone else except themselves
- They are very charming and attractive
- They are invalidating other people feelings, they lack compassion and respect
- They are cold and indifferent
- They see human relationship as conveniences
- They exaggerate every detail in any story as they want to be perceived as heroes
- They act like they have everything under control, but they rarely do
- They have unrealistic expectations of their partner, expecting perfection
- They usually recognize, admit and are proud to be narcissists
- They cannot be changed or fixed
How to avoid dating a narcissist- Early signs to look out for
“I don’t care what you think unless it is about me.” – Kurt Cobain
In order to identify a narcissist before you commit to a relationship, try to look for early signs. In order to avoid dating a narcissist, you need to pay considerable attention to the following behaviors:
- Narcissists are very good at conversation, they are confident, seductive and charming.
- They have a relaxed, confident manner to approach you and make you feel seen, heard and special.
- They have very interesting stories to tell about themselves and they love to brag about their accomplishments.
- They know how to look at you, how to make you feel beautiful and they know what to say to catch your attention.
- They are almost too good to be true.
Tip: Pay attention if they have any interest in your life, achievements or hobbies. If they don’t, there is a big chance the person in front of you is a narcissist.
I hope this article has helped you better understand how narcissistic personality disorder manifests and how to avoid dating a narcissist.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer them.
All the best,
(Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists)
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