7 Serious Signs You Might Just Be Dating A Narcissist
By Giselle Castro
He’s just not that into you… but he might be really into himself.
Most women have dated a jerk or two in their lifetime, but then there’s the worst kind ever: the narcissist. Although he’s part of a rare breed, you can definitely still encounter him everywhere from your professional love to your love life. We would advise avoiding him at all costs, but experts say he’s not always so easy to identify.
So we talked to clinical psychologist and author of Emotional Vampires, Albert Bernstein, to find out how to spot a narcissist:
They’re the Best – Just Ask Them
There are two different types of narcissists, but they’re both smart and motivated by a need for greatness. “The first type are the ones I call ‘Legends In Their Own Minds'” says Bernstein. “They end up in a position that’s lower than their intelligence. It’s the guy who lives in his parents’ basement, because he blames others for not seeing his potential, is self-entitled and thinks he’s too special to follow the rules.” The other type of narcissist is the “Superstar,” who Bernstein describes as someone who appears to follow the rules, but not without doing everything in his power to manipulate his way to the top. (Picture Leo Dicaprio in Wolf Of Wall Street.)
They Need Their Egos Stroked ALL The Time
Sure, every guy likes a nice compliment here and there, but these dudes need this type of attention all the time. They love the idea of you flattering them, being at their every beck and call, and reminding them that they’re the best. “Narcissists are good at having their needs met, and are very high maintenance people, but for some of them even this is not enough,” explains Bernstein.
They Shower You With Attention…At First
Just like a nice guy (or needy guy) compliments you or buys you gifts to win you over, a narcissist does the same, just not for the same reason. They will treat you like you are as great as they are when they first start dating you, but they’re always thinking about what’s in it for them. So how can you distinguish between the good guy showering you with attention and the narcissist? “Narcissists tend to overdo it with the praise and do so charismatically,” says Bernstein. For example, if he’s complimenting you 10 times in a row and it feels uncomfortable…something might be up. Or if he bought you a horse because you mentioned you’d do anything to get into riding, that’d be a pretty big red flag.
The nice guy on the other hand will be more reasonable about how often he compliments you and may even be subtle about it. “If you’re questioning his motives, ask yourself, why is he telling me this? What does he hope to get out of this?” suggests Bernstein. Then use your best judgment based on the track record of the person. This will help you distinguish if the guy is being genuine or has an ulterior motive.
They Don’t Take No for An Answer
It might seem cute at first that the guy is practically begging you to go out with him, or trying to get you to meet up with him all the way across town after work. He’s so into you, right? Eh, maybe not. Bernstein says that narcissists will have a hard time taking no for an answer and will often take it very personally if you reject them.
They Say All the Right Things…Except When They’re Wrong
Narcissists are known to be manipulative, smart, witty, and great at seducing people – yet incapable of loving another person. “You might find the neediness of the first type of narcissist attractive and the second type might notice that all you need is emotional support and pretend to give you that,” explains Bernstein. However don’t expect this guy to turn around and apologise after a big fight. Narcissists are too oblivious to everyone around them and think they’re right all the time—even when they’re not. “They’re not thinking about your feelings and they will expect you to shower them with gifts, presents, and apologies,” he says.
They Have No “Real” Friends
“The best way to spot a narcissist is to see how he treats people he doesn’t want anything from, ” suggests Bernstein. He explains it’s important to see the guy interact with his friends and see the kinds of friendships he has. “If he has long-term friends and solid relationships for many years, it’s a good sign.” However, narcissists generally can’t keep friends for long periods of time and tend to be the type who namedrop, have seasonal best friends, or casual friendships.
They’re Selfish To An Extreme
If you’re always the one doling out compliments, making sacrifices, and he doesn’t do the same for you, something is up. It’s normal to be selfish or oblivious from time to time in a relationship, because that’s a trait we all can have, says Bernstein. Narcissists possess those qualities as well, but in their case, it molds their personality style. Unlike the rest of us, narcissists put their needs above others and do so without considering those around them.
So, You’re Dating a Narcissist. Now What?
If you read each of these signs like, “YES, THIS, HOW DO YOU KNOW HIM?” it might be time to move on. If you walk away from a narcissist, you can expect some drama and grovelling involved, but don’t fall for it, says Bernstein. “The best way to get out is turn with your heel, walk away, and don’t respond to any of his comments. Simply tell him ‘we are done’ with no explanation.”
The reason being that if you give him that extra attention, he will not take no for an answer and will try to win you back by promising things he will never follow through on. This may sway your judgment, but keep in mind he will do anything in the moment because his motive is winning. Some narcissists may even ignore the fact that you’re broken up and still show up at your door acting like nothing ever happened, says Bernstein. If it gets to that point, ignore his calls and texts and block him on all fronts. Tell someone you trust if you ever feel unsafe. Hopefully, he’ll eventually get the point and give up his pursuit.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com