Narcissism has a broader definition than simple vanity. In 2009, a research study discovered that just over 6% of the U.S. population had been clinically diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
While statistics do not reflect the truth with complete accuracy, they do provide insight. It is believed that there is a much higher percentage of people who have narcissistic traits such as arrogance and dominance. Depending on the person, these traits may vary in severity, which means there may be a number of people who are at least partly narcissistic.
So, how do we know if we have fallen in love with a true narcissist?
A relationship with a narcissist is based on one person and one person only, and that person is the narcissist. They have the reins, so to speak. Gestures, affections, and compliments are all handed out on their terms and they expect their partner to submit to them in everything.
A narcissist will cross boundaries and negate rules. Whose fault was it that you spent the night cooking rather than enjoying an evening out because they didn’t make the dinner reservation like they said they would? Not theirs. Rarely will they will own up to their mistakes.
A narcissist needs to be remembered. They will take advantage of every chance they get to leave a strong impression so that others will think they are amazing. This means telling stories that are bigger, better, and more amazing than yours, and everybody else around them.
A narcissist will strive at being the best, but it’s strictly a self-fulfilling goal. Although it may make them look good and they may make you feel good, in the end, everything they do is designed to please only the narcissist. Your feelings are not considered.
Narcissism coincides with negativity, so it is easy to ask how and why? How do we end up in relationships with these people? Why is it that we easily fall for a narcissistic person?
The Attraction Factor
Narcissists put lot of effort into looking good physically. They are the ones spending more time than necessary in front of the mirror. Some may even say they obsess over their looks. Our eyes will land on them, for we are naturally attracted to nice-looking things, particularly people.
They also exude confidence, which is also attractive. They are self-aware and secure in themselves, which are big bonuses. Narcissists exude a specialty that directs the attention of others. It is instant attraction.
The Ability to Create Magic
Narcissists are masters of disguise. They will woo you until you cannot be wooed anymore. They will wine and dine you, they will whisper sweet nothings in your ear, and they will fill you up with praise. They are witty. They are charismatic.
They will pack on the Prince – or Princess – Charming stuff that exists in fairytales. When the going gets good, it gets really good. And we can’t help but to be drawn in by the fantasy and want all of our dreams to come true as they’ve promised they will, if only we are with them.
They know all the right triggers. Honing in on common insecurities like looks or intelligence is their signature move. As fulfilling as this all seems, the smooth-talking and the schmoozing have nothing to do with how good-looking or smart you are.
This isn’t to say you aren’t beautiful or smart, but the narcissist isn’t complimenting you because they genuinely appreciate that about you.
They deliver what we desire to hear because it is convenient for them at that time. Whether it is sex, money, vitality, or social status they are seeking, once they find it, they maintain it for however long they need to keep it. The ball is always in their court.
The Grandiose Gestures
Having dinner with a group friends? Slightly worried how the checks are going to be distributed or the fuss that comes with who pays for what? Do not fear, your narcissist is here! They are more than happy to pick up the check. This is what they live for, these kinds of gestures that heighten their image and make them look good.
Who wouldn’t be turned on by such generosity?
This is without a doubt one of the worst tricks that can be played upon a person. After all, selflessness is an admirable quality for anyone to have. But what we don’t realize until too late that what we thought was selflessness was actually selfishness.
Because They Steer the Ship
They will take the spoon and feed you compliments and they will lead you to believe that they have all the qualities that make up an excellent partner. They are therefore the ones in control as we will eat whatever is on that spoon. And we can’t help but to feel extraordinary because they tell us that we are.
Who could blame you for indulging?
They are almost too good to be true. The appeal that they deliver is delicious.
They Are the One with All the Friends
Narcissists prefer an active social life. They are often the life of the party, and we tend to find that appealing. If we happen to be on the shy side, we wish we could be as easygoing as they are in more populated settings.
We often begin to lean on them to provide the entertainment. It is endearing, knowing that others enjoy being around your partner. Most people prefer someone who is likeable, and don’t want to be with the “Debbie Downer” of the group.
A relationship with a narcissist will disguise itself as pure. We all fall victim to this façade at least once in our lifetimes. Although their actions and words may be saturated in romance, we must remember that a self-serving purpose lies beneath.
Truth of the matter is, once they have achieved self-fulfillment, they will pack up and leave. Then, before you know it, they’ve moved on completely, leaving you to endure the after math of a breakup, wondering where it all went wrong.