Sometimes in a relationship you might feel like something just isn’t right about the absurdly selfish things your significant other does or says — and, it could be that perhaps you’re overlooking the blatant signs you’re dating a narcissist. Is everything always all about him or her? Are your thoughts and opinions completely brushed under the rug at every turn? Do you feel like you’ve lost any sense of control whatsoever? If so, take some time and read this article, my friend, because if it’s a narcissist you’re dealing with, you might need to weigh your options and consider running for the hills.
According to Dictionary.com, a narcissist is defined as “a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.” Just the word “narcissist” sends a chill down my spine, as I once dated a terrible one (more on that later). A lot of times, these relationships start out amazing. The guy or girl is incredibly outgoing and charming, and sometimes the other person reports they feel they’ve been swept off their feet.
Later, the true colors begin to show. Narcissists, as we’ll discuss in this article, feel the world resolves around them, so it’s difficult for their significant other to even begin to compete with that. Even more troubling, narcissists often put others down as an additional means of boosting their own ego. Do any of us really want to be the person being put down by our significant other on the regular? Probably not. Here are nine telltale signs you’re dating a narcissist.
1. All Your SO Does Is Talk About Themselves
This is the first and most obvious sign. I once dated a narcissist very briefly, and I’m telling you, all we did was discuss topics that related to him — his job, how rich he was, how cool he was, how he was so incredibly well-traveled, etc. On our first few dates I thought perhaps he was trying to impress me. However, after a few months of this behavior, I realized this was part of his character. Needless to say, it didn’t last much longer than that.
What’s more, narcissists won’t listen to a damn thing you say! Perhaps they nod and gaze at you feigning interest, but ultimately they haven’t processed anything you’ve said, or maybe even took it upon themselves to cut you off completely to direct the conversation back the other way. According to Psychology Today, if someone is regularly disinterested in what others have to say and, rather, spend the time hogging the conversation themselves, it’s likely you’ve got a narcissist on your hands.
2. Your Partner Acts Particularly Entitled
According to Psychology Today, narcissists are likely to expect preferential treatment in various circumstances. That said, if your significant other is a narcissist, likely he or she believes it’s your duty (as well as others’) to cater to whatever they need or want whenever they need or want it. Stop and pay close attention to how they treat service people, for example. Are they ultra demanding ala an A-list celebrity? Are they constantly snickering at waiters? Do they get a major attitude if their coffee takes too long to prepare at Starbucks? These are the kinds of things to look out for.
3. He Or She Is Constantly Putting Other People Down
How could your partner ever be the best if there are other “bests” out there? Narcissists are likely to put other people down as a means of boosting their own ego. Remember those days of childhood bullying? The bully was usually mean because they wanted themselves to prevail over others while hiding their own issues and insecurities. That’s what this is like. If you’re dating a narcissist, it could just so happen that they put you down, in addition to the poor way they treat others. Remember the narcissist I dated? Once, out of nowhere, he leaned over at dinner and told me I was wasting my time in my grad school program (I was already halfway through!) because it would never lead me to a good career like his. Ick! I could vomit just thinking about him.
4. Your Partner Feels Everyone Is Jealous Of Them
Given the overall conceited mindsets of narcissists, they tend to feel others around them must be jealous. This sign might become obvious to you if your partner is constantly mentioning how their coworkers are jealous because he or she performs so well at work, or how you must be jealous of them because they’re smarter than you.
5. They Thrive Off Being The Center Of Attention
If there’s one thing narcissists seem to love more than themselves, it’s being the center of attention. In fact, according to Psychology Today, narcissists literally thrive when all eyes are on them. This could be because they’re in their “moment of glory” when all attention is focused on them. This sign is a bit tricky to navigate though, because someone can certainly be outgoing and wanting to be in the center of crowds without being a narcissist. Here’s the trick though: Pay attention to how your partner acts when someone else tries to join them in the “center.” Are they OK with sharing the spotlight, or do they have a cranky reaction? Keep this is mind — narcissists do not like being a team player, so their reaction there will be telling.
6. He Or She Does Not React Well When They Don’t Get Their Way
With a narcissist, it’s really their way or the highway. Not only will they have that sense of entitlement we discussed earlier, they are also likely to have a really terribly response when things don’t go as they wanted or when they don’t get their way. This could result in any sort of emotional response, like yelling or crying.
7. They Are Never, Ever, Ever Open To Criticism
How could this person possibly be wrong when they’re always right? The ego on a narcissist might lead them to believe there’s no shot their way of doing things isn’t correct. According to Dr. Robin Berman, a practicing psychiatrist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, narcissists are “hypersensitive to any perceived critique.” Dr. Berman said narcissists have an excessive need for praise and admiration, therefore when they’re offered criticism, they feel really hurt. Their reaction might even be that of extreme anger.
8. Your SO Doesn’t Have Many Long-Term Friends
According to Albert Bernstein, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist, to determine a narcissist, it’s important to see the kinds of friendships they have. When discussing males, he said, “If he has long-term friends and solid relationships for many years, it’s a good sign.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the person has trouble keeping long-term friends and is more of the “seasonal best friends” or casual friendships kind, it could be a blatant sign of narcissism.
9. They Thrive Off Having Control Over You
Narcissists have a high need for control, according to Dr. Craig Malkin, clinical psychologist and instructor at Harvard Medical School. In fact, according to Dr. Malkin, they’ll even go so far as to “arrange events (and maneuver people) to orchestrate the outcomes they desire.” Dr. Malkin said to be on the lookout for someone who makes you feel nervous about expressing your preferences, as narcissists often have a knack for making someone else’s views or preferences feel off-limits.
By examining some of these signs it could guide you in determining whether or not your significant other is really all about himself or herself. Then — take my word on this from experience — if you think you are in fact dating a narcissist, run girl, run!
Images: Pixabay (1); Pexels (8); fabrisalvetti/Flickr