Updated: Oct 31, 2022
If you’re dating a narcissist, you may suspect the person has a mental health condition or personality disorder, as there will probably be a significant amount of turmoil in the relationship. While diagnostic criteria are helpful, some specific behavioral examples can paint a clearer picture of whether someone is a narcissist.
WELL WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS:
"One day I was scrolling on TikTok and came across a man named Coach Ken Canion and he's a relationship coach. The first video that popped up about him was "Why is gaslighting so destructive"... and as I began to sit and watch his videos, I couldn't help but think about my most recent relationship and all of the manipulation, verbal and mental abuse, and isolation that took place not only by him, but his family. And then this video popped about narcissism. Now at the time I was aware of narcissism but never fully dived into it due to how the word was being thrown around at the time. But something told "watch it"... and something he said stuck out to me: " They are incredibly interested in themselves and constantly need admiration for their self esteem because its low.. they are very hard to deal with, you'll never have peace in the relationship. The things they've once done in a relationship, it was done to reel you in just to be taken away and make it seem as if you are the problem not them. They'll learn things about you just to manipulate you and spit it back into your face. They'll brag about themselves all the time excessively. One key thing is, you'll find them putting other people down just to lift themselves up. They think the rules don't apply to them. They believe that they are above the law. They manipulate you just to make you feel guilty. Even in sex or anything you haven't done, just to manipulate you into getting their way. But most importantly, they lack empathy. they don't understand your emotions or reactions but they don't truly care to."
At this point I typed in the word narcissism and went on a Tik Tok University lesson. I finally came upon this man by the named of Lee Hammock. Lee has NPD and is fully aware of his disorder and brings awareness to others. So as I scrolled his page, I see all these videos.. and I took a deep breath and went down the rabbit hole. The more I watched, the more my stomach dropped because I FINALLY came to terms not only was I in a destructive relationship with a narcissist but how miserable I was with him. I watched this video and felt like I was looking DEAD in the mirror.
My previous partner was just like this video! We couldn't get through a civil date night after awhile without one of these silent treatments and attitudes. When I would genuinely ask what the issue was, he wouldn't speak on it, it would slide under the rug; but I would look up on social media and see tons of subliminal messages. And when I went through his phone, he would disrespect me and bad mouth me to anyone who would listen, including his family. But let me do what he did to me, mannnnnnn he would scream to the Lord himself about how I needed to be accountable for hurting him but I could never request the same in return. And LORD, he would cry about EVERYTHING, especially when or if he was in the wrong.
Personally growing up, I learned not to display it so much due to the very same thing I was dealing with: weakness and manipulation. And being an empath, I try to be considerate of other's feelings...but this man cried about fucking everything and I couldn't understand it, especially when we were at odds. But when I was visibly upset and in tears, it was literally like looking at a brick wall. No remorse. And I would still give and give but I grew to the point where I was numb and didn't care to acknowledge his emotions/actions anymore; and I gave up on the relationship because I truly wasn't getting anything in return. As I began to dissect everything, I realized who he really was. And even when I gave him another chance, I saw him for him. And there was nothing he or anyone else could do to change that selfish image.
I even looked at his relationship history and realized he's never been truly alone, even with the title of being "single", someone was always there. There was always a "new supply" to help "heal" them but they never truly heal."
Narcissistic personality disorder is a diagnosable mental health condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which provides diagnostic criteria to help clinicians identify mental health conditions. As a personality disorder, narcissism represents a deviation from what is typically expected of a person in terms of thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
To be diagnosed with the condition, a person must show five or more of the following traits:
An extreme sense of self-importance
Fixation on finding perfect love or being more powerful, attractive or successful than other people
Believing that they are special and should only surround themselves with special people
Demanding constant admiration
Feeling entitled to favorable treatment and compliance with all of their demands
Being willing to take advantage of other people to get what they want
Showing a lack of empathy and inability to understand other people’s needs
Presenting as jealous, or believing that other people are jealous of them
Behaving in an arrogant manner
SIGNS YOU ARE DATING A NARCISSIST:
1) They are charming: Charming behavior is necessary for someone with narcissism to maintain a positive image in public. They can come across as incredibly personable and social, both in public and during the beginning stages of a relationship, since they are putting their "best foot forward"
2) They lack empathy: They have a difficult time understanding other people’s feelings. If you’re dating a narcissist, this means that when you’re upset — especially about something they have done — they will have a hard time understanding your perspective. They'll be able to hurt your feelings and say cruel things and feel no remorse because they don't empathize with your feelings.
3)They LOVE talking about themselves: They have an exaggerated sense of self-importance. In a relationship, a narcissistic person will enjoy talking about their accomplishments, and they may even exaggerate their achievements to impress you or others.
4) (this goes hand and hand with #3) They NEED constant validation. They often struggle with low self-esteem but they'll never show it. This means they must boost their self-image with external validation. When you’re dating a narcissist, they will require an excessive amount of attention and praise. If you aren’t providing it, they may try to seek it elsewhere (aka possible cheating)
5) GASLIGHTING!: Alexa, play Set Fire to the Rain! and scream to the top of your lungs!! Gaslighting is a common psychological tactic used in abusive, controlling relationships. A perfect scenario provided by Jenni Jacobson: "This involves one partner convincing the other that they are “crazy” and that their understanding of reality is wrong. For example, a narcissist may engage in abusive behavior and then convince their partner that the abuse never happened. A narcissist may also call their partner “crazy” and claim that all relationship problems are because of the partner being crazy".
6) They HAVE to be right about EVERYTHING: Lord forbid you tell these folks they are wrong! you'll be condemned for it. Narcissists feel that they are above their partners. Rest assure they'll make it clear that you are always wrong and they are always right. Even when faced with evidence that they are wrong, a narcissist will refuse to accept that their partner could possibly be correct. Tragic I know.
7) They IGNORE boundaries: Narcissists feel that they are entitled to have all of their demands met, meaning they will not care about your boundaries. If they want something from you, they will not care how it affects you or whether it interferes with some other area of your life. Even if you try to establish this boundary, a narcissistic partner will repeatedly violate it because they feel entitled to contact you whenever they wish.
8) They Belittle You: Narcissistic individuals tend to belittle those closest to them. If you allow them to learn you, right down to your most vulnerable state, it'll be used against you in every way. And because they lack empathy, they'll see no fault in it.
9) They HAVE to be the victim: Narcissists may play the victim if they believe they gain something from making you feel guilty. They use this victim-hero storyline, so yourself and others are much more likely to side with them. Which means they get what they want and you end up feeling sidelined and very very guilty. To combat these feelings, you’re likely to overcompensate, whether in terms of positive affirmation or agreeing to things you normally wouldn’t; meaning you’re much more likely to let your narcissistic partner win.
10) They exude ENVY: When a narcissist is in a relationship, they'll never accept "competition", even if its as simple as a friendship or their partner. When someone else gets the attention they feel they deserve, it becomes a problem.
If someone has symptoms that may suggest narcissism, a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist or clinical social worker, will diagnose the condition utilizing the DSM. They will evaluate a person’s history and current symptoms to determine if they meet diagnostic criteria for NPD.
Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder should be individualized to meet a person’s unique needs, but some specific forms of treatment may be more beneficial than others. In some cases individuals with narcissistic personality disorder may benefit from taking medications to address co-occurring issues like anxiety and depression.
If you can relate to this submitted story, comment and share your own #WWHHW moment.
DO NOT DO ANY SELF DIAGNOSIS... but allow this to bring awareness to yours or someone else's life.
*This forum is not a substitute to getting professional help*