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Is your partner a narcissist?  11 ways to check if they are.

We have all heard the word ‘Narcissist’ being thrown around.

Maybe a family member referred to you as a narcissist when they caught you taking selfies or looking at yourself in the mirror. The word is normally used to refer to people who seem full of themselves. Many use it as a synonym for the word ‘vain’. The media have also brought to light a growing concern that narcissism is ‘on the rise’ amongst young people as a result of social media.

This is completely false. There is no scientific or psychological proof that narcissism is something that can spread through the population in this way.

Here are some facts you might not know about narcissism:

  • Like many personality disorders, narcissism can be viewed on a spectrum with the average person falling somewhere in the middle.
  • Narcissism is not defined by an excess of self-esteem or a lack of insecurities. Instead, someone who scores highly on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) will feel entitled to attention and special treatment because they believe they are of a higher status to most other people.
  • Highly narcissistic people often admit to being self-centred or self-absorbed.

So how can I spot a narcissist?

Well, people with narcissistic personalities are usually:

  • charming
  • charismatic
  • likeable
  • enticing

We know this sounds delightful, but being in a relationship with somebody with a narcissistic personality can be extremely damaging.

Here’s why:

The beginning of the relationship will be as normal. The honeymoon phase will leave you besotted and feeling lucky to be with somebody full of confidence and who appears to have it all figured out.

However, as time goes on, your narcissistic partner will begin to withdraw emotionally and become critical and demanding. As the partner of a narcissist, you might begin to feel ignored and unheard. Your feelings of inadequacy will grow as they become more and more intolerant and self-important.

How can I tell I my partner is a narcissist?

If your partner exhibits some of the following attributes, they might be narcissistic:

  1. They exaggerate constantly when it comes to their achievements and talents.
  2. They have high, unrealistic expectations when it comes to career success, physical appearance, relationships, and power.
  3. Despite this perceived confidence, they are constantly looking for an excessive amount of admiration and appreciation.
  4. They believe they are special, and that only other unique or special people will understand them.
  5. They clearly lack empathy for your feelings and needs.
  6. They believe they are entitled to your compliance and special treatment.
  7. They have no problem putting others down and exploiting them to get what they want.
  8. They are often jealous or believe that other people are jealous of them. They cannot be happy for others' successes – including yours.  
  9. They come across arrogant or as if they have an attitude.
  10. They blame others when they do not achieve what they want.
  11. If they have not yet achieved success, they are certain that they will.

Don’t be fooled:

It is important to remember that some narcissists are experts in seduction. As many people with narcissism are good-looking, it is easy to fall for their smooth charm and beauty. They are also known to mask their narcissism with flattery. They might act like they are super interested in you, your job and your hobbies, but this interest will fade quickly.

Source: Psychology Today

With her daughter Evie as her muse, Anna writes about mumhood and all its intersections from mental health to movies, social issues to pop culture. Anna lives in Dublin with her daughter, partner, three younger sisters and parents. She is a dreadful cook, a fair guitar player and thinks caffeine should be given as a yearly vaccine to parents - courtesy of the HSE.

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