Photo by Jayme Burrow. When it comes to determining whether someone you know is a narcissist, most people make it more complicated than it needs to be. I use the duck test—that is, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. There are no physical blood tests, MRIs, or exact determinations that can identify narcissism. Even therapists have to go on their observations of the behavior, attitudes, and reactions that a person presents to determine narcissism. What makes it simple is the fact that we know exactly what a narcissist looks like.
Therefore, narcissists make most of their decisions based on how they feel about something. They simply must have that red sports car, based entirely on how they feel driving it, not by whether it is a good choice to make for the family or for the budget. They always look to something or someone outside themselves to solve their feelings and needs.
Any negative thoughts or behaviors are blamed on you or others, whereas they take credit for everything that is positive and good. They deny their negative words and actions while continually accusing you of disapproving. They also remember things as completely good and wonderful or as bad and horrible. They can deal with only one perspective at a time—theirs.
They may have fears about germs, about losing all their money, about being emotionally or physically attacked, about being seen as bad or inadequate, or about being abandoned. This makes it difficult and sometimes impossible for the narcissist to trust anyone else.
In fact, the closer your relationship becomes, the less he will trust you. No amount of reassurance seems to make a difference, because narcissists deeply hate and reject their own shameful imperfections. Narcissists never seem to develop trust in the love of others, and they continually test you with worse and worse behaviors to try to find your breaking point. Anxiety is an ongoing, vague feeling that something bad is happening or about to happen. Some narcissists show their anxiety by talking constantly about the doom that is about to happen, while some hide and repress their anxiety.
But most narcissists project their anxiety onto their closest loved ones, accusing them of being negative, unsupportive, mentally ill, not putting them first, not responding to their needs, or being selfish. All this is designed to transfer anxiety to the loved one in an attempt to not feel it themselves.
As you feel worse and worse, the narcissist feels better and better. In fact he feels stronger and more superior as you feel your anxiety and depression grow. But they harbor a lot of shame.
Shame is the belief that there is something deeply and permanently wrong or bad about who you are. Buried in a deeply repressed part of the narcissist are all the insecurities, fears, and rejected traits that he is constantly on guard to hide from everyone, including himself. The narcissist is acutely ashamed of all these rejected thoughts and feelings.
For example, I had one narcissistic client who was into skydiving and other intense risk-taking behaviors tell me that he never felt fear.
Ultimately, however, this makes it impossible for them to be completely real and transparent. This makes them emotionally needy. When one relationship is no longer satisfying, they often overlap relationships or start a new one as soon as possible.
They desperately want someone to feel their pain, to sympathize with them, and make everything just as they want it to be. But they have little ability to respond to your pain or fear or even your day-to-day need for care and sympathy. How will the other person feel? Will this action make both of us happy?
How will this affect our relationship? Want more insight into the relationships in your life? Find out the things you should always be selfish about in your partnerships and the questions that could keep your marriage from ending.
Food has the power to create a happier and healthier world. Celebrity Nutritionist Kelly LeVeque will show you how. Group 8 Created with Sketch. Group 7 Created with Sketch. Email Created with Sketch. Group 9 Created with Sketch. Group 10 Created with Sketch. Group 11 Created with Sketch. Group 4 Created with Sketch. Exaggerated need for attention and validation. Great need for control.
Lack of responsibility—blaming and deflecting.5 Early Warning Signs You're Dating a Narcissist
An inability to be truly vulnerable. An inability to communicate or work as part of a team.
Related Posts Sex sex. Kelly Gonsalves 9 minutes ago. A narcissist was born to be on cam-ur-rah , the cover of magazines, and always expects to be the center of attention. And how could they not, especially when the success of their career depends on exactly how many people love them.
7 signs youre dating a narcissist
Madonna, bless her biceps, is probably one of the most famous narcissists out there. Get the F out of my Medieval castle. The key is that narcissists do things on their own terms. Sometimes we get sick, find ourselves in jail or scooched off on the side of the road with a flat tire.
In times like these you need someone to call who you know is going to have your back. Or at least someone who will come rescue you whenever you get in trouble. A narcissist is only interested in things they are directly interested in, which means you have to do what they want to do. You have to watch the movies they want to watch and you basically suppress your entire self so that your narcissistic partner is okay. The narcissist puts you in a state of constant emotional sensitivity.
When they finally decide to send you a text, your face lights up. When they make plans with you, you get so excited about the future. Holy smokes, my brother-in-law was right about McWhatever.