11 Signs You’re Dating a Toxic Narcissist

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man looking in mirror

Among the types of people who can really muck up your life, there is the toxic narcissist.

Narcissism exists on a spectrum. These self-centered folks can be simply more focused on themselves or it can cross over into an actual personality disorder. Either way, narcissists are legendarily difficult to have relationships with, so if you are truly coping with one, it might be time to make some hard decisions about the relationship.

Here are some signs that you might be dating a narcissist:

1. They lack personal responsibility.

It is never, ever their fault. The narcissist can’t see the other person’s side of an issue or admit that they had a part in something that went wrong. They deny the reality that they cause a lot of their own problems.

2. When confronted with your feelings, they lack remorse.

This is particularly hard to deal with in romantic relationships because it’s essential to be able to work through problems with your partner. Since they don’t believe they are at fault in disagreements or misunderstandings, coaxing a sincere apology out of them is difficult and hollow. They will argue in such a way that causes you to feel guilty even though they were actually at fault.

3. They manipulate you to get what they want.

Since the most important person on the narcissist’s list is themselves, they see the people in their lives as means to an end. If they need admiration, attention or to borrow $100, they’ll find a way to get it from you.

4. Preoccupied with perfection.

The narcissist likes their outer appearance to match their elevated perception of the world. Surface appearances are extremely important to them. Since in their eyes, their partner reflects upon them, they will often try to control the image that their partner and family projects. This often involves micromanaging your appearance and decisions. They will often make their partners feel like they should be striving to reach their imagined idea of perfection.

5. Their life is secretly in shambles.

While they may strive to appear perfect on the outside, things are not what they appear underneath. Because narcissists can even convince themselves that their lives are going perfectly, they gloss right over “hard work” and “persistence.” That combined with the fact that they treat others like crap leads to messy breakups and rocky relationships.

6. They have charisma.

A narcissist can be magnetic… at first. They usually have a carefully crafted public persona. Frankly, putting on a repellent self-centered attitude would run contrary to a narcissist’s goals— namely— creating admiration and attention in others to get things from them. As a result, they usually have a carefully crafted public persona.

7. They steer the conversation toward themselves.

It doesn’t matter what’s happening, a narcissist can make it about themselves. They seek out praise and validation from others and are drawn to flattery to support their oversized self opinions.

8. They don’t care about problems that don’t directly involve them.

A narcissist is the wrong person to confide in since they are so self absorbed and rarely consider the needs of others. They will make you feel like you’re boring or inconveniencing them or change the subject to something that they are interested in, usually themselves.

9. They can’t stand criticism.

While they may be adept at cutting you down with criticism, the narcissist does not handle criticism (constructive or otherwise) well. They may hit back or lash out.

10. They have less empathy.

Recent research suggests that while narcissists have lower levels of empathy as a whole, their ability to emphasize with others depends on the individual’s level of narcissism. Either way, low to no ability to put themselves in your shoes as their partner spells out a life of dealing with a very uncaring partner.

11. Your relationship revolves around their needs and wants.

When the going gets tough, the narcissist will often check out completely. Because they are so low on empathy, narcissists have a hard time putting the needs of others above their own. As a result, narcissists make difficult, uncaring parents and lovers. As the partner of a narcissist, your needs will not likely ever cross their radar, let alone come first.

Ever been in a relationship with a narcissist? Have anything to add? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.

MORE: Can a Narcissist Change?

Elizabeth Stone

About Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth Stone is the founder of Attract The One.

Her popular program Ex Attraction Formula, has helped hundreds of women reunite with their men. She is thrilled to have helped so many people reignite the spark in their relationships.

Tirelessly focused on helping people improve their love lives, her work has been featured on EHarmony Blog, YourTango, Thought Catalog, Mogul, Fox News Magazine, Ravishly, Femalista, Popsugar, Read Unwritten, Medium and many more.

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