I was reading the above article at the Huffington Post (Divorce section) by Sandy Weiner and I thought the author broke this down in digestible pieces. Ladies and Gentlemen, her points are clear and true. If you are in a relationship marked by these attributes, run.
Being selfish and immature is one thing, being a narcissist is something completely different. While there is discussions in the Psychiatric community on whether Narcissists are also Sociopaths/Psychopaths, their symptoms being very similar.
So, let's address these 6 points she makes.
1. Narcissists are defensive. Think about this. Defense is a natural response to thwart off an attack right? So the more 'defensive' a person is the more shallow, hollow they are. Narcissists wear a mask that seemingly says they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. They tell you that but mostly they tell themselves. If your partner has to remind you how great they are, needing adulation or adoration, chances are they need to feel like they are those things. Picture a small child curled up in a corner afraid of everything. More times than not, a narcissist flashes a confident smile but they are really just the child curled up in a corner. If you approached the child in the corner you might think he/she would trust you or shy away from you but they only see another person coming to attack them. If they become defensive, they can thwart the attack by lashing out. It's always all about them. If you bring up a problem you've discovered with your partner and they immediately become defensive you have to ask yourself why. If they do not apologize or listen to your side, they are probably not that concerned with how you feel. They feel pretty bad all of the time because they are so empty, so it doesn't really matter to them if you feel like that every now and then.
2. The crisis. Whatever is going on in your life is not important to them. You care about your partner and you expect the same treatment from them. If you are in a mutually giving relationship this is natural. If you want to have a 'serious' talk with your partner and they bolt, they can't handle the emotions you are throwing at them. To them it is like nails on a chalkboard. They have to run. Why are they like this? More than likely because one of their parents acted like that during a fight or emotionally charged talk. Parents inadvertently teach their children how to handle situations by their own reactions. A narcissist can only keep the act up long enough to get to what they want. They have no idea how to handle your emotions because they don't have any.
3. The rages. They have paper thin skin. The author mentions a key element of all healthy relationships and that is that we should feel safe when bringing an issue to light. IF you are often on the receiving end of behavior that goes from 0 to 60 in no time flat you are in a relationship that cannot stand criticism without a knock down drag out fight. It could be the smallest of criticism that sets them off. If you are feeling rages (and you all know what I mean when I say rages) directed at you when you bring up a point of question or the other party feeling inadequate, you need to run as fast as you can from the other person. IT will not get better, it will get worse and you will be the punching bag for these rages.
4. Crazy making. Does your partner make you constantly crazy by sending you mixed signals? Why do they do this? Number one, to keep you unstable and make you feel unstable. Why would someone who says they love you want to do this? Because it gives them control and power and when you are constantly second guessing yourself, you can't very well criticize them or point things out to them. Special Occasions, good topic. Let's say it's your birthday. A few weeks ago, they were planning this day to be the most perfect for you. You are enamored with how much care they show to you. However, on your birthday, they arrive late, don't have a present and are loaded with excuses and if you sound a tiny bit upset over it, they will twist and turn until it is your own fault your birthday is a mess. They might come back to you and promise to make it up to you but that never happens right? It all gets pushed to the back burner in light of their own needs.
5. Exclusivity. Narcissists need so much adoration and adulation that getting it from one source is hardly enough. It's like blowing up a balloon. The narcissist starts every day as an UN-blown balloon. It is your job to blow it up and make sure it can stay afloat. The only problem is they need an entire freakin' bouquet. Do you see how exhausting it is to blow up one balloon every day? When it comes to complimenting you or listening to you, they won't deliver it with equal thought. Can you see how exhausting it is to just keep them inflated? They will want you to be exclusive though, giving you the pouty face when you start hinting around at the possibility of dating or going out with someone that isn't them.
6. Actions won't match words. This is a telling sign for any relationship. When you realize that the actions do not match the words you are probably in too deep with this person. You're probably in it exclusively and have spent so much time with them that you feel like you have to stay. My best advice to anyone in a relationship regardless of narcissism is if the actions do not match the words, run. Your inner sense knows. Deep down you know you won't ever change them. Run.
Again, check out the main article @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sandy-weiner/6-ways-to-recognize-and-s_b_2754804.html?utm_hp_ref=divorce&ir=Divorce
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