Many clients tell me that their spouse is a narcissist. And that’s what drove them to separate. But what exactly is a narcissist?
Narcissists come in many flavors.
You’ve undoubtedly encountered narcissists over the years. You know, the person who is always talking about their latest and greatest achievement, the friend who has to hog every conversation with funny repartee, and the person who turns every conversation back to him or herself.
According to the Mayo Clinic, not all the signs of narcissism are obvious. Many people have some narcissist traits without actually being a full-blown narcissist. Some are malignant, and some are just plain annoying.
How Can You Spot a Narcissist?
He or she has an over the top sense of self-importance, without the hard work and talent that goes with all this greatness.
Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. A “dream weaver.”
Convinced that he or she is "special" and unique
Demands constant admiration.
Believes that he or she is entitled to special treatment.
Exploits others. Takes advantage of others with no sense of reciprocity.
Lacks empathy. Who cares what others feel.
Jealous of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
Arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
So what if your spouse is a narcissist? Welcome to Hell, and I am exaggerating just a little. Having been married to an undiagnosed narcissist, I can attest they are emotionally abusive, must win every argument and will make your life miserable. You wouldn't marry a narcissist on purpose, but they are very good at trickery and manipulation.
Here are 20 signs to watch for:
1. He or she was extremely likable when you first met.
Narcissists can be charming and personable in the beginning. They make great first impressions and will go out of their way for you, making you believe that they exist for you and you alone. A real “dream weaver.”
2. He or she takes their time, but will eventually show their true colors.
Narcissists know how to bide their time and make you feel very special. They will deceive for a while until they know they got you, hook, line, and sinker.
3. He or she is the most favorite subject to talk about.
Narcissists love to talk, mostly about themselves. They’ll turn every conversation around to be about their favorite topic – themselves. You’ll barely get a word in edgewise.
4. He or she knows important people and likes to name drop.
Narcissists have an exaggerated self-importance so will frequently talk of the important people they know and will name drop to impress.
5. Only the best.
A narcissist loves nice things and will only buy designer names because it is a symbol of higher status. Outward image is more important than inner reality.
6. He or she spends a lot of time on appearance.
A narcissist will spend a lot of time on making sure he or she looks perfect. Family members must also look perfect since outward appearances matter a great deal. And, how you look reflects upon his or her greatness.
7. He or she loves showing off on social media.
Narcissists love social media and claiming as many friends or followers as possible. They love to self-promote their comings and goings and will post multiple selfies sporting that perfect look.
8. His or her needs are more important than yours.
In a narcissist's world, all is good if their needs are met. You must plan your life around his or her needs.
9. All take and no give.
Before you know it, the partner who was once happily giving you attention and love has done a 180 and is now the constant taker. He or she deserves all the attention and could care less if you are without.
10. They take EVERYTHING personally.
The narcissist must be recognized for their greatness, or like a toddler will have major temper tantrums. If you disagree, then you are the problem and will be on the wrong end of their anger tirades.
11. Lacks empathy for others.
The narcissist is completely insensitive toward the feelings of others, even loved ones. Narcissists could care less whether they have done something to hurt you or not.
12. They’re superior to EVERYONE.
Narcissists believe they are better than others and have a high level of confident self-importance. People just don't understand their superior intellect. They resent people who don't treat them as superior.
13. Always right, never wrong. Just ask!
A narcissist is never wrong. If you suggest that what they did was wrong, they turn it completely around to be your fault. They will go on about how you are to blame until you agree with them or give up and stop defending yourself.
14. Hyper-sensitive to criticism.
Narcissists are hyper-sensitive to criticism and get extremely angry when criticized. Their egos are so fragile and their skin so thin that they take every negative comment as abuse directed against them.
15. Drama queen, and proud of it.
A narcissist's behavior is unpredictable and their negative reactions are way out of proportion. Hell has no fury like an angry narcissist and you will be blown away by their rage and punishing ways towards you.
16. Feel good by belittling others.
Since they believes to be superior, you will be demeaned every chance he or he gets to shred your sense of self-worth to nothing. Their objective is to win and keep you feeling bad about yourself so you don't have the confidence to leave. No one can leave. They have to do the leaving.
17. Never take responsibility for anything.
A narcissist blames everyone else for everything. It's always the bosses fault, the co-worker, the kids, and mostly your fault. Narcissist never say, "I'm sorry," unless they are manipulating.
18. Major control freak.
Many people overuse the term controlling about their spouses, but once you are knee deep in a relationship with a narcissist, "control" takes on new meaning. The narcissist will not let up until you totally capitulate.
19. Manipulator to the n’th degree.
Manipulation is fun and games for a narcissist. They dish out the silent treatment, blocked you on social media, ignore your calls and texts, or they will leave the house for long periods of time, all in an effort to force you to comply and accept abusive behavior.
20. Unlike you, they are unaware that they have a personality disorder.
They not know they are a narcissist. If they read the signs above, they think that you are the narcissist!
Sounds like a great catch, right? If the person you are married to has several of these signs, then cut the cord and run for the hills. It won't be easy getting rid of them since they have to be the one who leaves, but do it.
Are you married to a narcissist? Knowing who you’re dealing with is half the battle. Hang in there!