In my ongoing research of personality disorders, I have encountered the most cruel of all illnesses. That disorder is called, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder.” Narcissists need your emotions because they are not capable of their own emotions -- they need you to feed their ego.
We usually avoid the slimy guy at the end of the bar, but narcissists are a completely different slimy guy. They are charming, charismatic, and often the life of the party. They appear to be larger than life, so people are often drawn to the narcissist. Being included in their circle leaves one feeling "special". However, those feelings are short-lived. The feeling of being special will become riddled with carefully thought out put-downs and passive- aggressive attacks. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, it is not if, but when, your self-esteem will reach all-time lows, and you will start to doubt yourself and your self-worth. That is exactly where the narcissist wants you.
The Narcissistic Personality Disorder as defined by the Mayo Clinic as follows:
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings.
Too many times people confuse narcissism with an inflated ego. A true narcissist is cruel beyond belief and will cause immeasurable emotional pain to those he or she is in a relationship with. They will stop at nothing to control other people.
75% of narcissists are men and there is very little difference between the male and female narcissist. Thus, this research is geared toward the male. They are attracted to strong, competent, self-sufficient women. She has to be a trophy. The more self-sufficient and confident she is makes the narcissist excited to “break” her heart and her will.
The following are common behaviors of a narcissist. If someone you are in a relationship with exhibits at least five on the list, they fall into the category of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
• ‘Tit for tat’ retaliations;
• Striving for the ‘spotlight’ and attention;
• Excessive generosity to outside people; Giving large tips;
• Uncomfortable when others are incurring attention or praise;
• May fake illnesses or problems to procure attention / sympathy;
• Abusive verbal behavior when angered or insecure;
• Moods that affect others;
• False promises;
• Glorifies and falsifies achievements past and present;
• Expects to be recognized and praised;
• Finds others not complying with wants intolerable;
• Extreme sensitivity to criticism;
• Very little consideration for how their behavior affects others;
• Uses allies real or imagined to back up claims and arguments;
• Doesn’t trust love partners;
• Tendency towards unreasonable jealousy and possessiveness;
• Capable of sexually degrading name calling;
• Uses excessive charm and manipulation to control;
• Discredits love partners to gain attention / sympathy from others;
• Emotionally punishes love partners when feeling insecure;
• Employs unpredictable and unaccountable behavior;
• Uses the silent treatment to punish
• Say’s things like, “You train people how to treat you.”
A few examples of some of the above behaviors are detailed to help you recognize when someone is a narcissist.
If they constantly give large tips and say things like, “I am training that waiter or waitress how to treat us when we come in.” A narcissist will pick up an enormous group drink tab or buy everyone in the bar a round of shots. Their motivation is to be showy and attract attention. These gestures could be interpreted as kindness, which is the furthest thing from the truth. While a narcissist is signing the tab for drinks, he is scanning the crowd to take inventory on how he can personally use each person to maintain his inflated self-image or for elevation in prestige or status.
If you win an award, they will praise you for a moment, then tell you how they are upset with something about you, possibly what you are wearing or how high your heels are. Then you will spend your time trying to make the narcissist feel good again, or you will spend the time defending yourself. All the attention is now back on the Narcissist, and you have lost your moment in the spotlight.
They will fake illnesses or problems so you will sympathize with them and give them more attention. Common complaints are of dizziness, headaches, stomach problems, or feeling like they are having a heart attack.
When they become angered or feel insecure, they will resort to name calling. Usually the name calling consists of names they know will hurt you the most, such as fatty, whore, or bitch. Narcissists will seek out your weaknesses (abandonment issues, self-image issues, areas of sensitivity, etc.) and will become your savior. Whatever voids you have, they will fill. This sounds great except for the fact that it is short-lived. Once you are hooked on them, they will turn from savior to devil and leave you bleeding.
They can switch moods in a matter of seconds depending on what result they want. They like to confuse the person they are in a relationship with by starting off in a dark mood then switching to a wonderful fun mood. This makes you always feel as if you are walking on eggshells.
They are so sensitive to criticism that if you hang up quickly on the phone because a customer or your boss walked in they will think you were being rude to them. Any perceived attack or criticism of the narcissist is not dealt with in a healthy, normal way. In his mind, you are either with him or against him; there is no gray area.
They have very little consideration as to how their behavior affects others. They only think about the end result and the only person that matters to them is themselves. It does not affect them how hurtful they may be by their actions to another person. They may deliver bad news via email, note, or text, and not care a bit they crushed the person receiving the email, note, or text, and they will not even give the person a chance to discuss the situation. They just don’t have the capacity to care.
They will create stories in their own minds, using imagined allies or claims to suit their needs. They will not be able to remember if it is the truth or a figment of their imagination. They always think they are right so they will believe their own lies as truth.
They don’t trust their love partners. They make their partner crazy defending where they were every minute or why they may have grass on the bottom of their shoe. They do this because a Narcissist cannot be faithful. They always need the attention fix of a new lover. So they project their guilt towards their partner so their significant other is always defending themselves, and all the wrong doings of the narcissist get swept under the rug.
They will be the most charming person you will ever meet. They use their charm to manipulate, control, and brainwash their partner. Narcissists are masters at wooing their targets. There is no bouquet of flowers, expensive dinner, or trip to Mexico that is worth the pain a narcissist will cause in your life when they decide to discard you.
They will discredit their love partners when on the chase for a new one. They will tell you how their partner is loud, lousy in bed, has a fat belly that disgusts them, or how no one likes them because they talk behind people’s backs and it is so embarrassing to them. This way they get their sympathy from their new lover, or they tell others lies when they leave their partner so no one will put the blame on them. The narcissist thinks he is perfect and will never accept blame for anything.
They like to emotionally punish their partner by the silent treatment. It is a very powerful trick of the narcissist.
They love to brag. They will show pictures of their trip to the bartender who is busy and could care less, but because they tip big, they get the attention. They are obsessed with telling you how great they are. Their bragging rights carry over to a wide variety of topics, including their family, heritage, money, cars, physical appearance, elite memberships, vacations, awards, clothing, and shoes.
They have unpredictable behavior. They can love you in the morning, decide they don’t in the afternoon, and be gone without explanation by evening.
The narcissist will eventually cause their partner immeasurable pain. You are not dealing with a mentally healthy person.
There is only one way to please a narcissist beyond the satisfaction of their bodily needs. You must indulge their every whim, cater to them 24 hours a day, accept their views on every little thing, and constantly stroke their ego.
Part two will be about gaslighting techniques used by the narcissist. Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse that is deeply painful yet hard to pinpoint.