Narcissistic personality disorder is not similar to self-confidence or being self-absorbed.
- Sense of importance inflated
- Deep desire for excessive attention and admiration
- Lacking empathy for others
- Having troubled relationships often
Licensed therapist Rebecca Weiler, LMHC had said that this is boiled down to selfishness at the extreme generally at the expense of others, and the inability for the consideration of others’ feelings at all.
NPD is like most disorders of mental health or personality, is falling in a grey area.
The most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has mentioned criteria for NPD, but to qualify clinically in being a narcissist five out nine criteria should be met
9 criteria for NPD
- grand sense of self-importance
- Unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love fantasies
- Believing that they’re special and unique and can only be handled by, or should be related with, other special or high-status people or institutions
- Excessive admiration required
- sense of entitlement
- Behavior which is inter-personally exploitative
- Lacking empathy
- Envying others or believing that others are envious of them
- Demonstrating arrogance and haughty behaviors or attitudes
This being said, official diagnostic criteria to be known don’t generally make it easier for telling about a narcissist, especially when involved romantically. Without the diagnosis of a qualified expert it might not be possible determine one
- Charming at first
It may seem like a fairy tale at first because they are constantly texting, or they have told that they loved you in about a month which is something that is referred by experts as “love bombing.”
They might tell of how smart or emphasize on being more compatible with them, even if recently just started seeing each other.
Narcissists have a thinking that they are deserved to be with people who are special like them, and only they can fully appreciate them
But if anything is done which makes them disappointment they could turn back
And generally one might have no idea of what could be the reason. Narcissists treatment towards you, or when they are turning back on you, is all because of their own beliefs
If someone is coming on too strong in the start, be cautious as real love has to be nurturing and growing.
People with NPD superficial connections may be developed by them early on in a relationship.
- Hogging the conversation
Constantly talking about own accomplishments and achievements impressively and they love to do that. And this is done because they have a feeling that they are better and smarter than everyone else, and also because it helps them create an appearance of being self-assured.
Clinical psychologists have added that accomplishments will often be exaggerated by narcissists and they will embellish their talents in these stories in order to gain adoration from others.
They will also be too busy talking about themselves instead of listening to you. There are two warnings parts in this. Firstly, the partner will talk about themselves continuously and won’t stop, and second, the partner might not engage in conversation related to you.
These questions should be asked to ourselves such as what happens when you do talk about yourself? Are they asking follow-up questions and expressing or showing interest to learn more? Or are they just making it about them?
- Feeding off compliments
Narcissists may appear like they’re very much self-confident. But most of them lack self-esteem with NPD
People with NPD require a lot of praise, and if it not given to them, they’ll fish for it. That’s why they constantly find a way at telling that how great they are.
Narcissists use other people who are typically very emphatic to give their sense of self-worth, and making them feel powerful. Their egos can be insulted very easily, which increases their need for compliments which is because of their self-esteem being low
The main comparison which can be made between folks who are confident and those having NPD is that narcissists have a need that others have to lift them up, and they can lift themselves up only by putting others down. Two things people with high self-confidence do not do
Lacking self-confidence can lead to Narcissists punishing everyone around them
- They lack empathy
One of the hallmark attribute of a narcissist is that they lack empathy and the ability of feeling what the other person is feeling
Narcissists are lacking the skill for making you feel seen, validated, understood, or accepted because they don’t hold the concept of feelings
The inability to empathy, or even sympathy, is sometimes the reason why many of the narcissists’ relationships eventually disintegrate, whether they’re romantic or not.
- Not many long-term friends
Long-term, real friends might not be present for most narcissists. If deeper digging is done into their connections and it might be noticed that they only have acquaintances which are casual, buddies they trash-talk, and nemeses.
As an outcome, they might not hang out with and lash out when you want to hang out with yours. They might complain of not spending enough time with them and also make you feel guilty for spending more time with friends, or degrade for having types of friends.
Questions to ask
- Treating someone who does not have any interest with them
- Partner having any long-term friends?
- Do they have or talk about having a nemesis?
- Picking constantly
At first it might feel like teasing but gradually it gets mean or becomes constant.
Suddenly, everything done by you, starting with from what you are wearing and eating to whom you hang out with and what you are watching on TV, becomes a problem for them.
A narcissist loves a reaction and reacting to whatever they say will boost their behavior. That’s because it lets them feel that they are having the power to affect the emotional state of others.
When you do something which worth celebrating and they constantly knock it down with insults and don’t appreciate you should get away from them.
To narcissist they feel that nobody is better than them and they will make you know also
A form of manipulation and emotional abuse is known as gaslighting, and it’s a trademark of narcissism. Narcissists may tell transparent lies, falsely accuse others, twist the truth, and ultimately distorting the reality.
Signs of gaslighting can include:
- No longer feeling like the person used to be.
- Feeling more anxious and less confident than before.
- Often left wondering if you’re being too sensitive.
- Feeling like everything done is wrong.
- Always blaming yourself when things go wrong.
- Apologizing most often.
- Sensing that something’s wrong, but not able to identify
- Often questioning whether the response given to partner is appropriate.
- Excuses are made for partner’s behavior.
Narcissists do this in order to cause doubt to as a way to gaining superiority. Narcissists want to prosper for being worshipped, and by using manipulation tactics to get you to do just that
- Defining the relationship
There are several reasons that someone might not want to label their relationship. Maybe they’re polyamorous, and agreement has been made to a friends-with-benefits situation, or simply keeping it casual.
If might be red flag when your partner is showing some of the other symptoms on this list and won’t commit
Some narcissists will start to expect you to treat them like they’re your partner so they can obtain the intimate, emotional, and sexual advantages while also keeping an eye out for options who they think are superior.
In fact, it may be noticed that your partner starts flirting with or looks at others in front of you, your family, or friends
Speaking up and owning your feelings about them being disrespectful, they will put the blame on you for causing a fuss, call you crazy, and may use it as a reason for not committing fully to you. If not saying anything also gives them a silent message that you don’t deserve to be respected
If it seems like lose-lose situation, then it might be the truth. But remember that you have the right to deserve someone who is as committed to you as you are to them.
- Right about everything and never apologizing
It feels impossible to fight with a narcissist.
There is no room for debate or compromise with a narcissist, because they think they are always right. They won’t agree to see a disagreement as a disagreement. They will just see the situation as giving a teaching of some truth to you
You might be dating a narcissist if feeling like the partner:
- Is not hearing you
- Is not understanding you
- Is not taking responsibility for their part in the issue
- It not even trying to compromise
The best thing to do is end the relationship with a narcissist and avoiding any negotiation or arguments. It might make you left feeling crazy. The lack of control and the lack of a fight will make the narcissist crazy. The less if fought back, the less power given to them over you, the better
And they will not apologize for anything because they never think they’re wrong
Not apologizing about anything can be revealed itself in situations where the partner is obviously at fault, like:
- showing up late for a dinner reservation
- when they said they would call but don’t
- last minute cancellation of plans which are important, like meeting your parents or friends
Good partners can be recognized when apologize for something they have done wrong
- Panicking when trying to break up
A narcissist will try to make so much effort to keep you in their lives as soon as you decide to break up.
At first they might try love-bombing and say all the things which will make it look that they have changed
But soon enough, they’ll show you their true colors that they never actually changed. And due of this, many narcissists will find themselves in being in romantic on and off relationships until they find someone else to date.
- Lashing out
If you had made the decision and you are insisting of breaking up with the relationship, they’ll make it their goal to hurt you for abandoning them,
They may feel raged and hatred for the person who have wronged them because of their ego being bruised severely. That’s because they don’t admit that the fault is theirs and believe that it is everyone else’s fault not them including the breakup,
The resultant of this might be that they bad-mouth you to save face. Or they might immediately start dating someone else for making you feel jealous and helping their ego to heal. Or they might also try to steal your friends.
The reason for this is because a good reputation and validation from others means everything to them, and they won’t let anyone or anything hamper it.