Narcissist warning signs: The key signs youre in a relationship with a narcissist
Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Expert outlines condition
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The word ‘narcissistic’ is often used to describe a person who is extremely vain or selfish, but that’s not the world’s true meaning. Narcissistic personality disorder is a term to describe a personality type where someone has a lack of empathy and consideration for others and an extreme need for admiration and validation. Here’s how to spot a narcissist.
It can be very difficult to date someone with narcissistic personality disorder and the other person in the relationship may feel belittled and hurt frequently.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder that affects more males than females and it can start in teens or early adulthood.
This means that if you date men, there’s a higher risk that your partner is a narcissist.
Most relationship experts say that narcissists seek out people with codependency characteristics since these people tend to be easier to control.
However, a narcissist could target anyone to manipulate so it’s important to be able to spot the signs of this dangerous personality type before you’re in too deep.
Often, it is impossible to keep up a healthy relationship with a narcissist.
Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Becky Spelman, psychologist and clinical director of Private Therapy Clinic to find out the key signs YOU’RE dating a narcissist.
Sex means something different to them
Narcissists don’t have sex because they want to feel intimate and vulnerable with someone, but because they want to be admired and seen as the best lover that you’ve ever had.
Dr Spelman said: “It’s never about you – it’s all about how they think you see them.
“Narcissists want to be idealised and need you to show them that you think that they are the best person and the best lover in the world, regardless of how they actually perform in bed.”
Narcissists use sex and the pretence of emotion to control others – they like to be in control, and often derive pleasure from giving or withdrawing sex or affection to this end.
While a narcissist may appear generous at times, Dr Spelman pointed out that they are never truly interested in being kind to others.
She explained: “They may buy generous gifts for the person they are in a relationship with, but only with a view to getting what they want.
“In bed, even if they take an interest in your pleasure, it is only so that they can feel good about themselves and their sexual performance, and not because they actually care about you in any way.”
They need validation
Narcissists will do whatever it takes to make you think that they are incredible because they need your validation.
They need you to pour in words of admiration, encouragement and support, but deep down they don’t believe that anyone could love them because they’re deeply insecure.
Dr Spelman said: “If you do not validate them continuously, eventually they will start to withdraw or even become abusive.”
They need to be right all the time
A narcissist will be so self-centred that they will be sure that they are always right.
Dr Spelman said: “They will never try to reach a compromise or resolve a difficult situation through conversation.
“A narcissist always believes that they are right and that their views are the most important, so when you differ, they will try to convince you that you are wrong and that your views and priorities, and even yourself, are flawed.”
They don’t care about you
While your relationship might seem passionate and exciting at times, a narcissist doesn’t care about your feelings.
According to Dr Spelman, a narcissist doesn’t really care about you at all, except insofar as you can bolster his or her self-image.
She said: “They will put in some effort in the early stages of a relationship, but as soon as they feel that they’ve got you hooked, your emotions and needs will be completely irrelevant to them.
“When their relationship is no longer new and has ceased to provide the narcissist with the affirmation and excitement that they crave, they will start showing you, through their words and actions, that you mean absolutely nothing to them.”
They think they know you better than you know yourself
A narcissist will be convinced that they know you better than you know yourself.
Dr Spelman explained: “They will often talk down to you and belittle your opinion if it is not consistent with what they want it to be.
“If you try to assert yourself, they will put you in your place, often in a sarcastic and unpleasant manner.
“Even when it comes to discussing what feels good during sex, they will be sure that they know better than you do what your body feels like.”
They don’t apologise
Narcissists are not really capable of feeling guilty, and feel no shame about lying or hurting you if they think that it will get them what they want, Dr Spelman said.
The expert warned: “When they do something wrong or hurtful, a narcissist is unlikely to apologise or admit that they were at fault.
“Even if they do apologise, it’s only because they want to get something out of it.”
They don’t look you in the eye
Even if your relationship seems great at the start, eventually you’ll realise that there is no emotional connection.
Dr Spelman added: “Often, you will notice that the narcissist you are involved with won’t even look you in the eye, such is the extent of their self-involvement.”
The body language of narcissists isn’t difficult to spot – they tend to have a confident posture, stiff shoulders, a tight neck or a hard expression.
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