What Is A Narcissist & How Do You Spot A Narcissist Before It’s Too Late?

I am often asked what is a Narcissist and how do you spot Narcissist before it’s too late?

While the first question is fairly easy to answer, the second question isn’t that simple.

Let’s address these questions in order.

What Is A Narcissist?

At the very core of extreme narcissism, it can be best described as a egotistical preoccupation with one’s self. This could be in terms of the individual’s preferences, their personal ambitions, their inner needs and desires, their view on success, and most important, how they are perceived by others.

While everyone displays a certain amount of narcissism, as it motivates us to take care of ourselves, there is a major difference between ‘healthy narcissism’, and extreme pathological narcissism.

Narcissism is a character trait that involves self-admiration, self-centeredness, and self-regard.

To the far right end of this spectrum lies the extreme or pathological narcissist.  This person’s narcissism is so severe or abnormal that when diagnosed, is classified as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

This type of pathological narcissism is maladaptive, rigid, and relentless. It is a lifelong pattern of traits and behavior, which signifies obsession with oneself to the exclusion of all others. A narcissist lacks empathy and engages in a ruthless pursuit of gratification and dominance.

An individual with Narcissistic Personality Disorder has an excessive need for attention and admiration. This need is so intense that it severely damages the person’s ability to maintain relationships. This is because they suffer from extreme selfishness and have no regard, whatsoever, for the needs and feelings of others.

Not only so, Narcissist view people as things to be used. As long as you are catering to his ever demanding needs, you will be viewed as valuable. That is not to say that your perception and meaning of valuable is equally in the same as his/hers. It’s not.

You can still be considered valuable long after a Narcissist abandons the relationship, as long as you are providing him with attention. Please note, attention is attention whether it be good or bad, it’s all the same to a Narcissist.

This describes the men I have loved—selfish and consumed by their own needs to the point that eventually, they could no longer see me. It was as if I ceased to exist in their eyes. My story is about these men, or Narcissists, in my life and I tell it so that others who find themselves in a similar situation can recognize it for what it is.

Although much of what he does is unconscious, a Narcissist is only out for himself. You must understand this. He enters into relationships with women in an effort to fulfill his unmet needs.

Common Characteristics Of A Narcissists

  • Frequently thinking that they are much better than others, they express disdain for other people who they think are inferior
  • They’re preoccupied with energy, success and attractiveness, and think that other medication is jealous of these
  • They monopolize conversations and seem conceited, boastful, or haughty
  • They do too much their accomplishments yet set impractical goals
  • They need constant praise and admiration
  • Showing up tough-minded, yet they’re easily hurt and declined
  • They’re inconsiderate of other individuals feelings and feelings
  • They frequently make the most of others to the stage to be exploitative.

Now allow me to address the second question.

How Do You Spot A Narcissist?

As I like to remind readers, Narcissists are extremely hard to pin point, and they are extremely difficult to identify. Unlike most relationships with toxic people, the red flags are often never visible until it’s too late.

There are usually no warnings in the beginning, and based upon a Narcissists ability to mimic what appears to be REAL genuine love and emotion, rarely would you ever question his/her true motives.

After all, it feels real, then it must be real.

On the contrary, there is nothing real about a Narcissist. From the beautiful beginning, to the painful ending, the only thing real was that it was all an act.

So the question remains, how would you spot someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, if there is not red flags, and no warnings?

While this is not simple to answer, there are classic signs you can be on the look-out for. In no particular order, here they are.

1. The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde phenomenon that occurs in relationships with Narcissists is a regular theme. Soaring with the extreme highs of ‘finding’ your new soul mate, and this remarkable ‘instant’ connection you feel. This elated beginning is tantamount to a romance novel or soap opera.

2. In the beginning when meeting a Narcissist, he will often appear as the Alpha Male. Full of confidence, full of charm, and extremely addicting to say the least. Without knowing what is really lurking in the Narcissists mind, victims often feel elated, and consumed by his overwhelming acts of love and attention.

3. Trying to understand how you went from being idolized and put on a pedestal to being completely discarded is baffling. Suddenly, you can’t do anything right and nothing you do is good enough for him. 

4. After the idealization phase begins to wear thin, a Narcissist eventually becomes sarcastic and belittles you constantly. You begin to feel you can do nothing right in his eyes and your presence is hardly tolerable. You’re baffled. You wonder what you did wrong to cause such a drastic change in his feelings toward you.

5. Once a Narcissist feels he has obtained control of you, you will see a completely different side of him you never knew existed. Victims go from being completely indulged by the Narcissists heart felt emotions of love and romance, to be completely engulfed by the shock of his REAL temperament! His REAL temperament is one of being cold, cruel, distant, careless, robotic, withdrawn, motionless, disinterested, and completely without remorse or compassion.

6. Narcissists are oblivious to others and how their behavior affects people close to them. They dismiss the feelings, ideas, and opinions of others. They are condescending in their nature. They belittle, criticize, judge and put others down.

7. A Narcissist has a way of turning everything around so you begin to question yourself.  He will do something terribly mean or cruel.  You will talk to him about it, and by the end of the conversation, you are the one apologizing for some reason.  A Narcissist knows how to manipulate better than anyone.

8. While Narcissists do not always realize how hurtful their behavior is, it doesn’t mean at times, they are not deliberately abusive. A Narcissist is purposefully abusive when his relationship with you changes in a way that is not to his liking.He may use various forms of punishment such as ignoring you (aka, using silent treatment), belittling you, comparing you, or using reverse psychology to brainwash you into believing the relationship problems are all your fault.

9. The relationship will often feel like a roller-coaster ride of many high’s and lows. If you begin to pull away, he will lay on the charm again. A Narcissist knows when to engage his false self to ensure you never leave him.

10. A Narcissist will eventually devalue and discard you with no remorse.  It is inevitable in any relationship with a Narcissist.  At some point, he will emotionally and physically withdraw from you and leave you wondering what you did wrong.

All in all, if the relationship feels to good to be true, chances are it might be! Watch for these red flags!

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