12 November 2007

Narcissistic Men (or Women)

How to recognise them.

1. They are ever attentive and caring in the beginning of the relationship. This is not so after a couple of months onwards.

2. They establish behaviour rules. Oh, nothing drastic at first. It could range from seemingly banal assertions like "I never answer the phone" to the more controlling "I don't like you talking with other guys." Cringe.

3. They have low self-esteem - The common misconception about narcissistic persons is that they love themselves and that they have an unshakeable self-belief. This couldn't be further from the truth. While they seem self-sufficient and appear to have an elevated sense of self, in actual fact their self-esteem is dismal. They are extremely insecure people who need others to boost their ego.
That's where you come in!!! You, along with others serve as their audience. Narcissists use others to boost their crumbling sense of worth and they ride high on that collective energy so much so that it is easy to believe they don't need anyone. That's not true. They do!!
This also implies that injuring their ego is not recommended.
Which brings me to point number 4.

4. They react badly to the slightest criticism or negative nuance - that's what I meant. You shouldn't injure their ego. This can make them anxious, irritable or downright aggressive. At worse they can become revengeful.

5. It's all about them. Ok, there are people who love talking about themselves but who are equally interested in you and who can tolerate constructive criticism. But in the case of narcissists, the marketing blurb doesn't stop. And while they talk selflishly of their own concerns, they are blatantly oblivious to yours. For example, they are not interested in making you feel good about your achievements instead, only concentrating on their own achievements.

6. They like, need and crave attention from the opposite sex - there's a dual rule here. You for one, should abstain from even smiling at the opposite sex but they on the other hand need the maintain their fan base regularly. It doesn't matter if the narcissist already has a partner, girlfriend or whatever: they need a large group of admirers on stand by. The more the better. And quantity is usually favoured over quality.

7. They are manipulative - you have to understand that these people have such high insecurities that they are not naturally confident that you would either support them or remain with them for long, unless they coerce you to do so in some way. This is why they use all their powers of persuasion which includes lying about their achievements, making you insecure or jealous, and planting evil seeds of doubt in your mind so that you are sure to hang around. In short, they make you vulnerable. In the meantime, the narcissist refrains from revealing his or her own vulnerability.

8. You find yourself neglected - In your relationship with the narcissist, you feel uncared for and generally neglected emotionally. There is a key factor in childhood/caregiver attachment called 'sensitivity'. In this scenario, a mother helps her child to become attached to her by being sensitive to its needs. That is, by correctly detecting what the child wants and responding to its needs appropriately. According to psychological research, caregiver sensitivity and synchrony with the child are the most important aspects for developing a trusting and comforting child/caregiver attachment rather than just breast-feeding for example. But what about adults? I would argue that we want basically the same thing. And the irony with narcissists is that while at first, they show extreme sensitivity towards you, they later become highly out of sync and aloof. Think about it, you are there to support them, not the other way around. If they are sick, it's your duty to say "Are you ok" or "Hope you get better" but on the other hand, if you are sick, expect no such kindness from them. It's as if they are not listening. Think Oscar Wilde and Bosie and you'll get what I mean. Poor Oscar.

9. You find it hard to 'leave' them - Ok, this is the telling sign that you are dealing with a narcissistic individual. But there are two issues here. The first is that through their rules, neglect or jealousy games, they have managed to injure your self-esteem in some way.The result is that somehow, you have come to believe that you don't deserve better. Or worst, you actually come to believe that there is nothing wrong with their behaviour and that it is your expectations that are incorrect and need re-adjusting. Don't go there. Look around you and you will find people who treat you more kindly. The second issue is your nature. Unfortunately, you are as much a problem as they are. This is because while narcissistic people tend to be highly avoidant of overt emotional manifestations they in turn attract highly emotional, clinging, obsessive types. Like you, perhaps. So be careful if that is you. Understand what it is that they represent and don't hurt yourself by remaining in this relationship.

The Narcissisists - How to leave them

1. Don't make a scene. The more emotionally charged the breakup, the more you set yourself up for a sadomasochistic state where deep down, admit it, you expect them to suddenly feel intense remorse for hurting you and somehow to run after you, then go down on one knee to say sorry and ask for forgiveness.... It won't happen!!!

2. The very first step you need to take is to like yourself. Appreciate your strengths. Do things that make you feel good. Learn to love yourself. Spend time with people who are positive and responsive. Stop dismissing or rejecting those people who respond to you easily. That's the mistake clingers make. They seem to get high on rejection and throw themselves at narcissists. Kamikaze style.

3. Stop investing yourself Emotionally with them- You need to do this over time and consistently. Test your resolve to resist their manipulative ways. The more you resist, the more you will feel stronger. Continue to interact with them but remain detached. They hate that. They will probably notice this since they feed on your emotionalism. They will probably change their behaviour temporarily to get more emotional response out of you. The key word here is temporarily. So don't be fooled.

4. Once you are strong and emotionally detached, you will find it easier to end the relationship. And when you do, you will realise how truly pathetic and childish they are. It's really quite sad to see and they should probably see a shrink.

5. Don't look back. You are worth more than this.


Anonymous said...

One of the best posts on Narcissistic behavior I ever read..however due to the masking behavior they seem to appear to different people in different forms...complimentary read to Vamkins site..he addresses Narcissism from an internal perspective whearas this is for the everyday regular reader and thier interaction with this MONSTER!

Anonymous said...

this article really helped me. I was really confused and anxious about what this gorgeous strange acting man was doing to me. I could not understand why he was so difficult and enigmatic with me. Now, I know that he needs me like a drug. MY attention to him is his kicker for the day. he needs and wants that drug but he does not want not me.

Nightingale said...

Thank you for this article. It was the only one that has been able to explain more effectively the traits they show and also the type of person who is vulnerable to them.. aka me.(sadly) I think I'll sleep a little better tonight.

Anonymous said...

Simply the best advice out there. The mind games they play are very difficult to break free of. No contact didn't work for me, as I always second guessed myself, and felt like I'm punishing the poor soul - making myself feel even worse. Emotional detachment is the key, while staying in contact. Pay close attention to everything they say, and call them out on their fibs. They will contradict themselves so quickly, you‘ll be surprised and disgusted. It will be easier to let go.

Jennie Perez said...

Thank you. He hurt me really bad for so many years. Now I understand. I was young, he was a mature man. So handsome. He used me to keep young. I was always laughing, laughing. I believe his soul belonged to Satan. I saw him, I almost got sucked right back in. He's older, but he not handsome anymore. He's using money now. My car is green the color of money. His soul was still the same. At the very end, they will get theirs. You can just watch. He hurt a lot of women. I don't think his father was right with him. Thank you again. I feel happy reading these articles. I pray he doesn't ever hurt anyone ever.

P said...

This article has helped me greatly.I still cant fully except in my heart the change which this woman wrought! Pretty and charming....but truely underneath appeared to be a raving wolf that knew no bounds to cruelity. It has left me in a state of shock and disbelief and of course much pain.The mask did slip after all....the lies and deception were beyond belief but still she said she was a good person! My advice to anyone in the very first intance..trust your instinct at the very beginning,there will be tell tale signs! I just ignored them. They are masters of their craft and I am even unsure if they are aware of what they are! May God help us all to recover!

strawberrysky said...

This article has changed my life. I dated a person that fits this profile perfectly beyond measure. He had a party once and spent thousands of dollars on lavish cuisine. I waited on the guests hand and foot until the wee hours of the morning not sitting or eating or drinking once. When all of the guests had finally left, I ask if we could make some coffee. He started screaming and cursing at me for having the nerve to ask for a cup of coffee. This was not an abheration just par for the course in which there are too many incidents to enumerate. Incidentally, most of the guests were people whom he barely knew: people that he worked with that had parties but never invited him to their functions. His highly responsible nephew asked to borrow one of his Corvettes. He wrote him a nasty letter insulting him, while denying the request. However, I must say, it was not uncommon for him to take one of Corvettes to work and let co-workers take turns giving it a spin. He loses jobs quite frequently I might add. His boss always has jealousy according to him. Thank you for the enlightenment. I was tired of being told I was dumb, socially inept and ugly. My graduate school education was no sign of intelligence according to him. He had a co-worker whose wife flashed her breasts to everyone constantly and I had to hear everyday how lucky this man was. The days of being treated like an untouchable in a caste system while casual associates and co-workers were treated like royalty are behind me. Thank you with all sincerity.

Fernanda said...

First and foremost I can't thank this site enough for releasing this article. I has helped me to see what I have always known, just didn't have all the words. My ex was this to the "T" and letting go has been exactly as mentioned. I have walked away from 4 and 5 year relationships easily. However, this relationship only lasted less than 2 years and have had no clue how to get out of it. This has hit the nail on the head and has inspired renewed confidence. I wasn't such an idiot afterall (as I was always treated).

I want to comment to the above blog from "strawberrysky". Your situation was EXACTLY the same as the one I was in. On a different level of course, but the same exact concept. My ex would do everything for everyone else yet I just sat in the back seat. If he was able to get to me great, if not oh well. My ex also always spoke about how his boss was soooo jealous and similarily that he hated him becuase his wife was always staring and even made a comment to him about how handsome he was. What a joke!!!!

None the less, I am happy to know I'm not alone and that there's life after dating a Narcissist!

Daniel said...

Is there any help. I feel to blame for feeding the ego....But now its turned into physical, sexual as well as emotional abuse. The police are involved, my head hurts he hangs suicide over me all the time, but i feel my life slipping away evey second i'm with him, i've become very scared.

Cinnamongirl63 said...

Wow what a fantastic article. I knew something was wrong with my former BF but I made many excuses. It wasnt until the breakup that I dug further and diagnosed him a Narcisstic turd. Totally selfish, no concern for anyone but himself, it was all bout him all the time. I had to practically finance our whole relationship and lost money on our vacation. And he wasn't into sex (not with me anyway) another diagnosis of a narcisstic man who is in a relationship. He cut off everyone in his life who he believes slighted him...and now I am gone...Did not realize how detrimental to MY mental health he was....only been 3 weeks but trying to get my mind right...never again I say. But thank you for the wonderful article..

Babs112 said...

"Stop investing yourself Emotionally with them- You need to do this over time and consistently. Test your resolve to resist their manipulative ways. The more you resist, the more you will feel stronger. Continue to interact with them but remain detached"

HOW do you continue to interact with them but remain detached? It is a "CATCH 22" situation. If you show any behaviour different they will sense it and abandon you for fear of "detecting their weakness". If you interact with them you are obviously seeing/talking and giving them the attention they seek and they'll continue to abuse you. Im so confused. Im begining to think there is so no solution but to just end all ties with him and move on.

Im at the point right now where I use to be the "compliant codependent" but as my toxic relationship continues with him it has made me realize my own self worth and I know I deserve better. I do love him so I don't know how to move on and forget, but I also know someone is out there for me who will treat me with respect and without manipulation.

HELP! Any suggestions?

Sassy said...

I have felt for a while that something was wrong with my relationship with my BF. Over the past few months since he has changed jobs he has become impossible to be around. The world rises and sets around his job and his daily activities. We argue constatnly and mostly on the weekends. Things can be going great and he goes off on one of his rants and then blames me. We have been living together for a year and a half. I have moved away from my home state and family when I lost my job and to be with him. It is amazing how I do not do anything right. I do not know how to drive, park a car, sit correctly in the seat while driving or even listen to the right radio stations to name a few things. I am a very loving and caring person who was in a previous relationship with an alcoholic and then now with a Narcisstic person. He controls every aspect of our lives from intimacy and when it is right for him to threats of sleeping in the other room and blaming me for him not being able to sleep at night. I need to set a plan in place a break free from him soon. Right know I am in shock that someone that I love so much can be such a hurtful person. This article really opened my eyes that this relationship will never be healthy and that I need to start my plan to move on.

jkom said...

I had a best freind for many years who was narcissist though at the time I did not know it. He worked very hard to achieve financial success and felt he was more important than anyone and everyone. He was generous with food and alchohol. This allowed him, in his own mind to feel that everyone owed him their loyalty. if you did anything that he considered a betrayal he would first act with disdain, then anger, then have the breakdown into tears of self pity. All manipulation! I bought a $13,000motorcycle from him and paid cash in full. While he delivered the motorcyle, he had multitude of reasons not to give me the ownership and bill of sale. This would have meant him relinquishing control. After 2 years I wanted to sell the motorcycle, he still refused to give me the documents, finally I wrote my own bill of sale, obtained an ownership and sold the motorcycle. he reacted with rage at my "betrayal" and actually struck me in the face. I avoided him like the plague after this final straw. A few months later I saw him, he apologised profusely and broke down. He had me feeling sorry for him again for a few minutes... Then he began to qualify his apology by explaining that he had no alternative to his behaviour. It was my fault! I had betrayed the great trust he put in me etc., etc...

alejandra said...

This is a great article.. My ex is 8 years older than me, I never really understood why hed date hed date me when he could geyt any girl. I feel for him hard all he said was too good to be true (money, looks, great personality, hard worker) he would fly me to go see him (lives in another city) without me asking him too, he would tell me to move on with him as soon as I graduated he even said that he was ready to get married and that he would wait for me to graduate, he would be pissed if I didn't answer his texts in less than a 10 min period and get mad at any guy who would talk to me, hated when I would critizise anything from him... He then got mad at me as soon as I started seeing how he would disapear on me sometimes,starting with a "let's take it slow" to finally saying he wasn't into this anymore, that he no longer cared and that he never said we were serious but that on the contrary he always told me to not take us serious bc I'm too clingy and calling me crazy for my behavior

Beth said...

Thanks for this, pal. It helps a lot as I'm dealing with one :D Ha!

Janice said...

A brilliant and accurate description of the way narcissists operate. Thanks too for the excellent advice on how to deal with them.

Mona said...

This is just what I needed, some positive reforcement. I've studied NPD after realizing that this was the kind of person I have been dealing with. I knew something was wrong with him after about a week. It was the way he treated me for something that was not the way a normal person would have done. Long story short, I have to get over him and it's taking longer than I would have thought. I thought I could be in a limited sort of relationship since I knew what not to expect from him but it's not working out for me. I know he's taken advantage of me and it needs to stop completely. I'm done. No more thinking we could be some kind of friends. It just can't happen that way with narcissist. I'm glad I've come to my senses, once and for all.

Joanne said...

Omg! Glad to have found this. I was researching daughters of narcissistic mothers, and it was noted that many of us get involved w/narcissistic men. For the longest time, I wondered if I was imagining the too many similarities between my mother and my ex husband. I thought maybe I was being dramatic, self pitying, or crazy.
Everything you described is my ex husband to a "T." Everything.
Thank you, it helps to see that I was not wrong.

sperkyperk said...

I will forever be thankful for the time and energy put into this article. I have tried for years to work on my relationship with my ex and looking back, I see the effort was always coming from me. He controlled every aspect of our relationship and towards the end (when he started to sense I was hip to him) he began to tell me that no man would want me because I have kids (from a previous marriage), that my imperfect body would not be attractive to any other man and that a man will only be interested in me for sex. I was beyond hurt of course, but in a way gave me more strength to leave. I also financed our entire relationship as someone else mentioned and have given him at least $15,000.00 of my own hard earned cash. I am out of work currently and he has knowledge of this. Do you think he has offered me a dime? He hasn't even asked if I needed food for my little girls. He is just so cold and disconnected. He is ONLY nice when he wants/needs something. Now he calls me and asks me where I am, if I have a new person in my life and to hear my voice because he says it makes him "hot." Yeah, the other morning he woke me up at 5:30 am just to get hot and didn't even think that maybe that would be inappropriate and inconsiderate since he knows I have a difficult time falling back asleep. In the past I have confided in his friends about how he treated me. Once it got back to him, he was mortifed and admitted to wanting to make me pay, which he did.Anyway, I, like all of the other victims could go on and on. I am just glad I am out and that I believe karma. The thought of karma keeps me sane and strong. Farewell Rubit!

~~ Cloaks and Daggerz ~~ said...

I think one thing most narcassists have in common is that when you first meet them....they come across really charming, they have the gift of the gab so to speak. It just annoys me that it takes investing emotionally into these people and jumping through emotional holla hoops before you realize what your actually dealing with. Most people think they know what a narcassist is & it be really easy to spot one! These people are so cunning, you cant actually tell if someone you first meet is one unless their wearing a sign around their neck saying...."im actually a deceptive, compulsive life sucking vamp!" The only good thing to come out of my relationship with one, is telling everyone we both knew that he has a mental condition called Narcassism. It really hacks him off.

Anonymous said...

This article is amazing.. one of the best ive read on the subject in fact and ive read alot :)
Make no mistake..these people are extremely dangerous and can and WILL destroy your life if you are unfortunate enough to not know much on this subject as i didn't until it was too late.
Watch for these guys on dating sites..its the perfect false environment, thats how i met mine.. i met his friends, his family, he was wonderful (for about 3 months) then he slowly became a monster who abused me in many ways. You will wonder where the man you fell in love with has gone.. don't be fooled..he never existed. These monsters will destroy you if you let them into your life, they will leave you lifeless, confused and a shadow of your former self. I will recover, slowly with time, my experience is recent and im so grateful for blogs like these. Cloaks and daggerz says it brilliantly... life sucking vamps who do not come with a warning label, this is a way of life for them, they are well practiced at manipulating even friends and family in addition to women they use. I hope my ex gets exposed for what he is, its a shame his "friends" and family are not close enough to him to see the real him.

Kidatheart said...

I dumped my boyfriend of 9 months just last week. The next day I came across the term Narcissist, and since then I have been doing a bit of research on the subject. The description fits my ex and everything makes sense now.
The trouble is, despite knowing now that it is a condition and a serious one at that, I sometimes feel pangs of pity and sadness for him for he must be such a tortured soul. But I also know that a narcissist can NEVER change. Maybe I am just missing him.
I need to ask you all, how are you coping with the loss of someone you loved dearly, although that love was never returned. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? I feel I will never find someone to love me again and that he was the one. Are some of you in happy relationships now?