9 Signs You’re Dealing with a Narcissist

The last couple years haven’t been easy on an emotional front. I’ve broken up with two close friends and massively distanced myself from an entire group of people.

What’s behind it all? 

Well, assuming I haven’t lost my mind {and that’s debatable},  I can sum it up with one word:cleanse.

I’ve made healthy, honest relationships a priority and that means saying no to situations—and people— that exhaust me or otherwise infect me with negativity.

My energy is precious and I’ve learned to protect it. Fiercely.

I’ve also learned it’s natural for your social circle to evolve as you evolve. 

You will inevitably meet new people and forge deeper connections as your consciousness expands.

It also means you will need to let the dead weight go, or lovingly release those people who no longer deserve a spot in your life. Or we learn to relate to them in a new way.

Only you can determine who is healthy enough to keep around {with some strict boundaries in place} and who needs to go.

And believe me, I know it can be hard to know the difference.

See, us empaths, or sensitive introverts, are a magnet for manipulation. Narcissists, sociopaths, ego maniacs—they love us.

And as much as I hate to reduce anyone to labels, the point is: there’s some people you just need to stay away from. Or prepare to be perpetually pissed off and plain tired.

They will pull closer just as you tell them you need distance. Trash you behind your back after telling you how much they love you. Their words may be sweet but energy doesn’t lie.

You will know who is good for you by one simple measure: how they make you feel. Do you leave your time together feeling uplifted and loved or confused and angry?

Your gut won’t lead you astray.

The worst thing you can do is not trust it. Especially when it comes to deciding who you will devote your precious time to.

Remember, you always, always have a choice. You don’t have to be friends with someone just because they’ve been in your life since you were six or have all the dirt on you or had you in their wedding. You are free to move on from anyone or anything that is no longer serving you. Period.

In case your gut is in need of some convincing, here’s what myself {and many people with PHDs} agree are the some sure signs that you’re dealing with a narcissist.

  1. They feel better when you feel bad. And when you’re doing well, they drain your energy like an emotional vampire. No matter what’s going on in your world, you will somehow leave an exchange with a narcissist feeling far worse about it.

  2. They dominate the conversation, or force you to. Either way, it’s not an honest, balanced exchange. They’re not capable of that.

  3. They leave you feeling crazy, even if you’re not sure why. If you ever get into an argument with a narcissist or generally manipulative person, prepare  for an emotional whirlwind. By the end of the argument, you’ll forget how it started or why you bothered bringing anything up.

  4. They gaslight or somehow make you out to be the bad guy. You know those men that cheat on their girlfriends and then get pissed when their behavior is questioned; turn it around on the girl and convince her she’s being jealous, irrational and insecure? That’s gas lighting. Stay far, far away.

  5. They will guilt trip you + hold things over your head. Yet, they’re not capable of being accountable for their actions. If you do get an apology, chances are there’s an agenda attached. Similarly, they will dish it out all day but react with outrage to any perceived criticism. It’s too damaging for the fragile narcissist’s ego to admit they may be wrong or worse,imperfect!

  6. They question/judge/criticize damn near everything. When you’re in the presence of a narcissist, prepare to feel as though nothing you do is good enough. I once had an boyfriend criticize everything from my home state to the way I presented myself on social media and even my choice in music. Know that this sort of behavior, though seemingly benign at first, will only lead to deeper wounds.

  7. They will routinely put others down in order to make themselves feel better. I’ll never forget how shocked I was to witness a couple “sweet” girlfriends of mine completely tear into this complete stranger jogging down the street, mocking her hair and appearance in general. The only people who do this are people who profoundly dislike themselves.

  8. They are incapable of intimacy; it’s like they’re not there. This can be tough to understand unless you’ve been there. The surest sign of a narcissist, in my experience, is the emptiness in their eyes. These are individuals who don’t know themselves, making it impossible for them to truly connect with anyone else. Empathy is literally impossible for them, and though they may appear majorly concerned for others, it’s not compassion that fuels them but self-interest.

  9. They will say/do almost anything to project a certain image— appearance is everything to a narcissist. They are terrified of looking less than in the eyes of friends and colleagues. Oddly, they are happy to dump on close friends + family members. It’s the opinion of strangers that matters most to them.

    In case you’re freaked out and now wondering if you’re the awful narcissist you’ve been reading about, let me assure you: narcissism, like most disorders, exists on a spectrum. Meaning, you can exhibit narcissistic traits at times and still not be a clinical narcissist. It’s only cause for concern if you’re exhibiting most of these traits, most of the time.

    And hot tip: those who actually are narcissists usually have no problem being identified as such. Call it a symptom of the insanity.

    Point is, if you’re questioning and worrisome over your own status, chances are: you’renot a narcissist. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to learn. In fact, if you’re looking to find out more on the subject, I highly recommend the following resources:

YouTube: 

Lisa A. Romano, Breakthrough Life Coach Inc.

Books:

The Narcissist You Know by Joseph Burgo, PhD

Disarming the Narcissist by Wendy Bebary

Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward

Trapped in the Mirror by Elan Golomb

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyn McBride

The Narcissistic Family: A Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment by Stephanie Pressman

Why Is It Always About You?  The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss

Peace + whole lotta love,

Monica

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