10 signs you’re dating a narcissist
It’s really easy to dismiss the last douchebag you dated as a psychopath, a sociopath, or a narcissist. It’s true that lots of dudes do share many qualities with all of the above personality disorders, but how do you know if the dudes you’re dealing with is truly a narcissist and you need to GTFO?
Well, we talked to an expert, naturally.
Margalis Fjelstad, PhD, LMFT recently published her book, Healing from a Narcissistic Relationship: A Caretaker’s Guide to Recovery, Empowerment, and Transformation, and we’ve published excerpts from the book so that you can spot a narcissist from a mile away. Because a narcissist is a lot more than a guy who’s really cocky and into himself. In fact, lots of times it’s the complete opposite.
Here are some signs you should GTFO and maybe get that dude some help.
1. They always have to be right
“Narcissists have to be the best, the most right, and the most competent; do everything their way; own everything; and control everyone,” says Fjelstad.
You probably know a lot of people like that, but there’s a kicker.
“Interestingly enough, narcissists also get that superior feeling by being the worst; the most wrong; or the most ill, upset or injured for a period of time,” she adds.
So if they’re the victim, they need everyone to feel sorry for them, ya know?
2. They need constant reassurance and compliments
You’d think narcissists love themselves and DGAF about anyone’s opinion, but the opposite is true. In fact, they never think any amount of compliments are enough.
“No matter how much you tell narcissists you love them, admire them, or approve of them, they never feel that it’s enough – because deep down they don’t believe anyone can love them,” says Fjelstad. “Despite all their self-absorbed, grandiose bragging, narcissists are actually very insecure and fearful of not measuring up.”
Chances are, your most boisterous and braggadocios friend is actually insecure af, just like narcissists.
3. They want everything to be perfect
A normal person knows that nothing is perfect, and that it’s better to have low expectations than high ones. A narcissist is not normal.
“Narcissists have an extremely high need for everything to be perfect… which results in the narcissist feeling dissatisfied and miserable much of the time,” says Fjelstad.”
4. They’re controlling AF
Lots of guys are controlling, and even if he’s not a narcissist, that doesn’t make it okay. But narcissists, like many guys, are also controlling – of you and of everything/everybody.
“Their sense of entitlement makes it seem logical to them that they should be in control of everything,” says Fjelstad. “When you don’t behave as expected, they become quite upset and unsettled… You are a character in their internal play, not a real person with your own thoughts and feelings.”
Does this sound familiar? If it does, G2G!
5. Nothing is ever his fault
If nothing is ever his fault and the blame always falls on you, you might have a narcissist on your hands. It’s very him vs. the universe, even if the problems were created by solely him.
“Sometimes that blame is generalized, for example, all police, all bosses, all teachers, all Democrats, and so on,” says Fjelstad. “Most often, however, the narcissist blames the one person who is the most emotionally close, most attached, loyal, and love in his life – you.”
6. They don’t take no for an answer
If you’re young and naive, you might think that a guy who perseveres and tries really hard to win over a woman – or win her back after fucking up – is adorable. Once you get older and get a few relationships under your belt, you know better.
“If a narcissist wants something from you, he’ll go to great lengths to figure out how to get it through persistence, cajoling, demanding, rejecting, or pouting,” says Fjelstad.
This isn’t because he “really wants you,” it’s because he can’t handle not having things go his way, and once he sets his sights on something – he needs it. If his way to win you over is through doting behavior, don’t expect it to last once you give in. If he really cared about you, he’d accept that you were happier without him and leave you alone!
7. They have zero empathy
Guys are notorious for not being able to interpret other people’s emotions, and narcissists take it to the extreme.
“Their lack of ability to correctly read body language is one reason narcissists are deficiently empathetic to your feelings,” says Fjelstad. “They don’t see them, they don’t interpret them correctly, and overall they don’t believe you feel any differently than they do.”
If they do try to take a guess at your feelings, they’ll probably guess them wrong. Like, they’ll see someone randomly check them out at the club and they’ll say “OMG, that person was sneering at me. They were definitely hating on my outfit. Fuck them.”
8. No amount of logical explanations change their mind
Save your breath and don’t bother trying to have a logical argument with a narcissist.
“You think that if he understands how much his behaviors hurt you, he’ll quit doing them. Your explanations, however, don’t make sense to the narcissist, who only seems able to be aware of his own thoughts and feelings,” says Fjelstad.
He doesn’t understand logic! It’s like trying to argue with a die-hard Trump supporter. The facts, figures, and stats you bring up won’t matter, he’s already decided his opinion on the matter devoid of any real information.
9. They see everything as black or white
There’s a reason why guys who call their exes crazy are bad news – because it means they saw the whole relationship negatively, even though there were definitely some good parts. This is a characteristic of narcissists, who see everything as wholly good or wholly bad.
“[Narcissists] split everything in their relationship into good and bad,” says Fjelstad. “Any negative thoughts or behaviors are blamed on you or others, whereas they take credit for everything that is positive and good.”
10. The closer you get, the further he tries to push you away
The closer you get to a narcissist, the more he’ll try to push you away, weirdly enough. But also not that weird, because you’ve definitely dealt with a dude like this before.
“Narcissists fear any true intimacy or vulnerability because they’re afraid you’ll see their imperfections and judge or reject them,” says Fjelstad.
From Healing from a Narcissistic Relationship: A Caretaker’s Guide to Recovery, Empowerment, and Transformation, by Margalis Fjelstad, PhD, LMFT. Copyright © 2017 Rowman & Littlefield. Used by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or printed without permission in writing from the publisher.