HALLEY (SAL) / DUR / jsp People with narcissistic personality disorder often lack empathy and self-esteem. You have an increased need for approval and want to be admired by friends and family. Narcissism is recognized as a mental illness.
Psychologist and relationship expert Erin Leonard gives in her article “Are You Dating a Narcissist?” Tips on how to recognize if your partner is a narcissist. For the American journal Psychology Today, the psychiatrist lists a total of eight warning signs by which to identify a narcissist.
The partner should pay attention to these 8 tips:
1. The partner does not keep his promises
In her article, Erin Leonard writes, “Narcassians often lack self-evaluation and insight.” They make promises they can’t keep and exaggerate their portrayal of themselves.
For example, a person says that he is good at dealing with children, but then finds himself stressed or mistreated in a situation that involves children. The therapist explains, “narcissists cannot see the discrepancy between their self-perception and their actual behavior.”
2. The partner should always be the center of attention
Narcissists tend to want to be the center of attention all the time. They want to be seen as “cool” by those around them and need a lot of validation. They like to be in control of situations, especially when they are with a group of friends or acquaintances.
3. The partner swings from love to indifference
Narcissists do not always treat their partners the same way. So a person can one day treat the partner with kindness and love and another day be indifferent or even insulting. This is a narcissistic strategy that forces the affected partner to continue to prove themselves and fight for the love and acceptance of the narcissist.
4. The partner wants to be seen as deep
Erin Leonard explains, “A narcissist often likes to be seen as deep, so it is common for them to portray their passions, hobbies, and relationships as being more meaningful than those of others.”
For this, people with narcissistic personality disorder take drastic measures and spend a lot of money on a concert ticket, for example, to prove their love for music.
5. The partner is constantly gossiping about friends and family
Everyone will gossip behind someone’s back from time to time to vent their frustration. With narcissists, gossip goes beyond the usual level. They take advantage of any situation to make the person look bad. “narcissists use distraction and projection to discredit people who are jealous of them,” writes psychotherapist Erin Leonard.
6. The partner utters compliments that are at the same time insulting
Narcissists rarely give compliments that are not offensive either. Binomial compliments are disguised insulting remarks in the form of a compliment.
Narcissists try to reduce the other person’s self-confidence and sense of power. Examples of binomial compliments would be, for example: “You put your makeup on today, and you look great. You should do it often!” or “You look great! Have you lost weight?”
7. The partner always plays the victim
People with narcissistic personality disorder tend to always portray their condition as worse than it is. Hoping to garner attention and sympathy from friends and family, they brag about how difficult their lives have been.
8. Small disagreements lead to big discussions
Narcissists cannot see their faults and instead blame their partners. Psychotherapist Erin Leonard explains, “By subconsciously changing their version of reality, narcissists see themselves as the victim and their partner as the villain.” This skewed reality can quickly lead to controversy.
Relationship with a hopeless narcissist?
“Unfortunately, the narcissist’s lack of foresight, inability to take responsibility, and a distorted version of reality can make it difficult for him or her to thrive,” concludes Erin Leonard in her essay.
It’s hard for narcissists to work on themselves and some of them never change. Thus a relationship with a narcissist, as well as hope for improvement, is hopeless in many cases.