How to judge an ex-narcissist
4 signs you're dating a narcissist
Time and again, people fall for narcissists when choosing a partner. Suzanne Degges-White, a professor at Northern Illinois University, explains in an article in the American magazine Psychology Today why this is happening and why you should end such relationships.
It seems like people with narcissistic traits magically attract potential partners. “Narcissists can be extremely attractive and lovable in the early stages of a relationship,” writes the psychologist.
Sure to fail
Long-term relationships with narcissistic individuals are seldom established, however, because "a narcissist will never love anyone as much as himself," writes Degges-White. Once people notice that their significant other is more interested in themselves than in their partner or the relationship, those relationships often break.
The goals that narcissistic people pursue when choosing a partner are all selfish. They try to increase their self-worth by looking for someone who loves them as much as they love themselves. The expert goes on to explain: "Narcissists want partners who highlight their own strengths and their perceived status and who do not steal the limelight." . To ensure this, they control both the decisions and the behavior of their significant other and impose their will on them.
Four warning signs of a relationship with a narcissist
Degges-White explains four signs that you are in a relationship with a narcissistic person and explains their behaviors and intentions.
The expert mentions gifts that are always linked to conditions as the first warning signal. Narcissists use these gifts to buy affection and increase the well-being of the partner without really addressing the feelings and needs of the other.
"A sure sign that you have been deceived by a narcissist is when you start noticing that he is consistently putting his needs above your own," explains Degges-White. "Narcissists see people as objects and treat their significant other like an accessory rather than a living, breathing and feeling partner."
Another sign that should make you skeptical is the feeling that you have to change for your partner. Spouses should support each other with changes, explains the scientist. “However, we accept that we are not perfect, nor do we expect others to be perfect. Narcissists believe, however, that they know exactly what is best for themselves and others. " Therefore, narcissists demand the lifestyle they like better instead of paying attention to what is actually best for the other.
The expert also warns of people who are less interested in their partner as a person than in his public opinion about the couple. "Narcissists want to be perceived in the best possible light, and when they decorate their life with a partner, they want their partners to reflect the perfect image," explains the author.
As a final warning sign, Degges-White cites escalations in arguments: "Narcissists actually believe that they know what is best for themselves and for those with whom they are in relationships." Narcissists interpret the accusation of being wrong in an argument as an attack on their self-worth and personality. Because of this, narcissistic people overreact and threaten ultimatums or the end of the relationship.
Arguing with a narcissist isn't really worth the energy it takes, as they are pretty much unable to ever see any other side of a problem other than their own. They will always have the last word and will not give in, even if the evidence shows that they are wrong. "
Equal partner instead of an accessory
Unless you want to be treated like an accessory, it is better to think twice about a relationship with a narcissistic person. The expert therefore advises: “When you start to suspect that a seemingly great partner is not as great as you first thought, trust your instincts and look at the person and the relationship more objectively. Seek advice from your closest friends who you know have the best on their minds. "
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