“Unconscious people – and many remain unconscious, trapped in their egos throughout their lives – will quickly tell you who they are: their name, their occupation, their personal history, the shape or state of their body, and whatever else they identify with.” – Eckhart Tolle
Someone with signs of narcissism is described as extremely self-centered. The narcissist is predominantly preoccupied with thoughts of “I, me, myself or mine”. Egoistical, he (or she) strives to be in a superior position. What differentiates narcissism from other forms of behavior is sadism. The narcissist tends to disparage and belittle others.
Like many other conditions, narcissism occurs in a spectrum. At its most extreme, it is known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This article covers content that pertains to individuals with narcissistic tendencies. For an accurate diagnosis, please consult with a trained mental health professional.
I was speaking to a client the other day. Michelle (pseudonym) has been feeling rather battered by her husband. From her descriptions, it appears that her husband is someone who has narcissistic traits. Of course, her sense of self-worth and self-love were not high to begin with.
Michelle is oppressed by her husband’s dominating behavior. It has taken her some years to see that she is in a toxic relationship. She only realized how unhappy she has been after being married for more than 7 years.
So while I am not a psychotherapist, I thought I would touch on the topic for readers who are in an unhealthy relationship with a guy. My interest is piqued as I suspect that I might have in the past, dated a few guys with an inferiority complex and who could have narcissistic traits too. I did some research to find out the common behavioral patterns.
Your Relationship With a Partner with Narcissist Traits
Without awareness, we may not recognize the signs. A guy with narcissistic tendencies is often very charismatic. You are not able to resist him. He is charming, successful and appears to have it all. At first, we are drawn to his winning “confidence”. He shares wondrous stories about being the hero, savior and knight in shining amour. Lapping up his wily stories, we come away impressed.
What we may not realize is that the narcissist is mostly of empty talk. His stories are grandiose. He desires to appear big. He seeks for approval and needs fans to constantly build him up.
It can be energy-depleting to be near a narcissist for long. Because he puts his needs first, you have to give in all the time. He is great at manipulation. Sometimes, it can feel as if you need to walk on eggshells around him. He throws a fit when he realizes that he is not the center of attention.
Learn to spot signs of narcissism. It helps to be aware of the challenges involved from being in a relationship with someone with such tendencies. So if you are dating one, you need to consider carefully.
It can be hard for anyone else to make the narcissist change his selfish ways, not unless he attains awareness himself. He is not likely to want to work on his issues since he perceives that he is not at fault. Sadly, a narcissist is very good with pushing blame to the people around.
How to Spot A Narcissist
You really want to be lookout on the following narcissistic traits: vain, egoistical and selfish.
Here are 10 warning signs on what the above description translates to:
1. His needs come first. You have to plan your life around his.
2. He takes more than he gives. You now realize that his show of attention on you at one stage was pretense. The honeymoon period did not last very long.
3. He talks about himself all the time. You can barely get a word in about your needs, concerns and ideas.
4. He can be manipulative, abusive and controlling. Your voice is reduced to a whimper around him.
5. He belittles you constantly. Your sense of self-worth has been shredded to pieces repeatedly.
6. He has lack of empathy for others. He is insensitive towards the feelings of his loved ones, including yours.
7. He strives to ensure that his stories of accomplishment are forever etched in your mind. You have heard the same overblown stories that happened years ago, multiple times.
8. He is always in the right. It is as if he can do no or little wrong. Even when he has a part to play, he will make it seem as if you are to blame. He is a world-class wordsmith.
9. He has trouble committing to a relationship. You have to give in to his demands for space; but you have to be on his beck and call.
10. His negative reactions are often excessive in relation to the issue. You are taken aback by his rage and punishing ways towards you.
What to Do Next
A guy with narcissistic traits usually bids his time before he shows his true colors. He knows how to make you feel on top of the world. For a while, you can be deceived into thinking he is your long lost soul mate.
However, once you spot a sign or two as described above, start to make more detailed observations about his behavior. If there are more than three ticks to the above signs, he could be leaning towards narcissistic tendencies. Hence, avoid being in a rush to commit into a relationship. Instead, tune in to your intuition and find out if there is any discomfort that you are experiencing.
If you are already in a relationship with one, you can possibly find it hard to persuade him to go for therapy. By all means, try but don’t get your hopes too high. He is likely to believe that you are the one with the problem, not him. A consideration on how best to handle the relationship and what to do next may become necessary. As mentioned, you may wish to consult professional advice, in cases of trauma.
Under all circumstances, you must not lose self-respect.
Definitely, seek assistance if you find that you are stuck or in repeated patterns of unhealthy relationships.
Love and Abundance Always,
Life Coach. Energy Healing Practitioner.
Related article: How to Handle Toxic Relationships
Share Your Story
Know anyone with narcissistic traits? Do share your thoughts or story about narcissism in the comments below.