A narcissist is a person who loathes modesty and approves of vanity. In narcissism, everything is a reflection of self which is overblown and unrealistic. Every narcissist perceives themselves as God-like and covers their deep-rooted fears and insecurities with an erroneous belief that they are special. Malignant self-obsession and self-centeredness are the two pillars of narcissism where a person is scarcely concerned with other’s desires, needs or interests.This type of behaviour falls along the axis of what experts call personality disorders. Psychoanalysts and thinkers throughout history have concentrated on the narcissist’s requirement to bolster his/her self-esteem through exaggerated ambition, grandiose fantasy, feelings of entitlement and exhibitionism.
A narcissist partner
Many times, narcissists are excellent on paper — good job, money, success and being attractive. All of these are awe-inspiring characteristics that people are advised to value in a long-term partner. But this preconceived notion needs to be dumped because fantasising such a partner can land you on the wrong side of the story. If you enter into a relationship with a narcissist the dynamic changes more insidiously.
At the beginning, fairy tale romance started off with a bang, a narcissist begins to “love bombing” — you are showered with constant texting, gifts and compliments and they show benevolence to the core but on the other side of the coin it’s always about their own benefits. They make efforts to withhold your love and attention just to manipulate you. As the relationship with your narcissist partner develops, you come across some mysterious traits and you are likely to feel disillusioned due to their sudden change in behaviour.
You might have a question in your mind, can a narcissist be a good partner? Unfortunately, the answer is almost always “no.” Narcissism is a behavior that’s difficult to overcome because such people are self-serving and feel no remorse when they hurt their partner and this trait makes them difficult to be around people.
But what if you are already dating one? If you find yourself defending your partner's behavior and toxicity then you are definitely in a relationship with a narcissist. You must look at these unmistakable signs which will help you unmask the hidden personality of your partner. Here the five signs that tell you are dating one:
1. Dominate the conversation: They love to be the center of attraction and control the focus of the conversation. They avoid listening attentively and are prone to cut off their partner in the middle of a conversation to share their own perspectives or completely change the topic that highly focuses on them.
2. Lack of empathy: A primary hallmark of narcissism. There is no love or genuine affection. It might be hard for you to capture their attention and get them to care about your emotions and needs. Narcissists are vulnerable to the need for self-protection, which creates a boundary between them and their partner. They lack genuine compassion towards understanding and considering the feelings of their partner.
3. They gaslight you: It is a technique of a narcissist to undermine their partner’s perception of reality. They use it to gain power over their partner. Being a partner of a narcissist, you may feel less confident and often find yourself apologising for the things you have not done.
4. Sensitive to criticism: A narcissist has a tendency to react adversely, intensely and disproportionally to criticism. They will devalue their partner if they make any disparaging remarks. They will use the process of devaluing as a defense mechanism to protect their self-esteem.
5. Superiority complex: Narcissists can have superiority complex, which is an overinflated ego that is paired with a desire to belittle or undermine others to make himself/herself feel better. If your partner begins to feel, act, and speak as if they are superior to you, then it is a tell-tale sign that your partner is a narcissist.
(The writer is a Life Coach and a Mentor)