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11 Ways to Spot a Narcissist

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Can you spot a narcissist? I didn’t even know what a narcissist was prior to two years ago. Sitting in a therapist’s office after my {then} husband had screamed at me and refused to continue counseling after our separation. Completely embarrassed, but I was over it and had lost all hope or emotion tied to the After fifteen years he knew all the things to say to hurt me the most. I was afraid, beaten down, and was broken. The therapist looked at me and said ‘I am positive that he is a narcissist.’ I’m pretty sure I looked at her confused, but didn’t ask any questions. I thought it was just an insult and not a diagnosis.  

Don’t Marry a Narcissist 

I remember typing the word ‘narcissist’ into the google search bar and thinking I knew what would pop up. Egotistical. That was my only knowledge of narcissism at that point in time. Since then I have become all too familiar with the term, the disorder, it’s use {and misuse}, and the affects it has on the relationships surrounding the narcissist.

I was married to a narcissist and there was the evidence written in every article I read. Still I wanted to reason with those facts and I wanted to see something that didn’t make me feel like my entire life was a lie. I needed comfort, but I wasn’t finding it. All I was  finding were more reasons to make sure I never allowed the prior 15 years to become reality again.

No way was I staying with this man. I was never going back to him. One major piece of advice – Don’t marry a narcissist. Save yourself. Save your family. IF you did marry a narcissist, then see the tips I have on divorcing a narcissist

 

The Narcissist Defined

A narcissist is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as someone who has an excess interest in or admiration of themselves. There are different types of narcissists. Those types include covert, malignant, communal, and antagonistic. There are many red flags and a toxic cycle of abuse that the narcissist tends to exhibit. However, just like anything it’s not a one size fits all definition.

It is widely agreed upon that the term narcissist is thrown around these days and overused. Every person who does you dirty isn’t a narcissist. Everyone, however, does possess narcissistic qualities. Everyone. There is a difference between exhibiting a healthy amount of narcissism, having narcissistic traits that are deemed toxic, and having narcissistic personality disorder.

 

11 Red Flags that a Narcissist is Known to Possess

  1. Superiority: will feel like they are right always. It’s black or white and there is no room for gray areas. They feel they are better than everyone and the best at everything. this isn’t just typical cocky behavior this is on the extreme side of confidence.
  2. Entitlement: feels like they are owed something always. It could be financial, respect, authority, control or favor. Whatever they want they feel it should be given without hesitation, whether they’ve earned it or deserve it.
  3. Fantisizes about Power: will often be preoccupied with fantasies of their ‘ideal’ life. This is far and beyond the ‘if you win the lottery’ scenario we all think about at one time or another. This is the further almost obsessive preoccupation with fame, fortune, beauty, and power.
  4. Special: they are special and uniquely made and that only those around them that are as special will be able to recognize their uniqueness.
  5. Attention Seeking: constantly craving attention. They need attention to thrive. It can be positive or negative attention, but they need the focus on them to feel in control. This is the life force they get from their supply.
  6. Absence of Empathy: does not relate to the emotions of others. Their feelings are the only driving force in their lives. They seek to feel good and avoid the bad, if you are looking to make the narcissist understand your perspective you will never succeed.
  7. Envy: either extremely envious of those around them or believes everyone is envious of them.
  8. Manipulative: will gaslight those closest to them to make those people comply to their wishes. They manipulate situations, arguments, circumstances in order to receive their desired outcome.
  9. Defensiveness: extremely defensive and lacks the ability to accept criticism even when constructive. They automatically ‘right fight’ and try to spin the situation. Don’t wait around for an apology, and if it’s given it’s not sincere and usually has a ‘but’ attached to it.
  10. No Accountability: they have a reason for everything and someone or something to blame. Admitting fault is admitting failure. They will hold everyone around them accountable for their actions and behaviors, but always have an excuse ready to go when needed.
  11. Passive Aggressive: sarcasm and backhanded remarks are the language best tied to a narcissist. They make their feelings known with their remarks and typically back those up with the ‘I was joking, can’t you take a joke’ or claims of your over sensitive nature.

When you realize that a narcissist is in your life it’s hard to see the red flags that were constantly being painted green.  Behind the pretty scenery of smiling pictures and the pretty words is where the ugly truth of our abuse was hidden. Looking back it was all so clear, but in those moments I had every excuse he had every given, every lie he had ever told, and every bit of the blame for the misery of our lives.

The Narcissist’s Toxic Cycle:

If you are exposed to a narcissist for a long period of time you will most likely see a pattern of toxic behavior over the course of the relationship. It’s repetitive like a bad song on repeat. There are defining characteristics of this toxic cycle. The goal is to control the victim so that the narcissist feels powerful and superior. They completely control their victim and the narrative with a few tactics.

  1. Love Bombing or Idealization: in this stage the narcissist is hooking you into their game. They will move quickly, claim ‘love at first sight’ and spoil you. They know all the right things to say and may even pretend to be interested in what you have to say. They are attempting to make you feel connected, attached and gain your trust. They need you to see the good in them and believe they want the same things you do. They will serve you empty promises that never hold weight.
  2. Degradation and Devaluation: the narcissist begins to target their victim by gaslighting, inflicting psychological and verbal abuse, and withholding intimacy. This stage comes on suddenly and usually unexpectedly. A narcisisst will blam their victim for all their problems and begin to make them have a distorted self image. This stage involves extreme manipulation and is the stage where physical abuse can be used to reinforce control. 
  3. Discard: during this stage of the narcissistic abuse cycle the narcissist dispose of you. They will turn cold. A narcissist will try hurting you intentionally with any information they have to do so. They will call it quits and tell you they no longer want to tolerate your behavior and abuse. They will label you “crazy”, “psycho”, “controlling”, or “abusive” in order to make you feel at fault for the problems in the relationship. 
  4. Hoover: You know the Hoover Vaccuum Cleaner? Thats where this term comes from. You think you’ve been completely discarded after stage 3 of the cycle. YOU ARE WRONG. The narcissist will attempt to hoover and suck you back into the toxic cycle. The narcissist will apologize, they lie,  manipulate and wear you down to get you back. You provide that life force they need to survive. Without this cycle they cannot function. They need someone {anyone} to give them the attention, the sense of power and control, and the admiration they feel they deserve. 

The Affects of Narcisstic Abuse

As someone who has suffered from narcissitic abuse and seen my threefold suffer through the aftermath of that abuse. I am going to share the affects this abuse has had on my threefold and I. As an adult, you would think I would be less susceptible to falling victim to the abuse cycle.

The affects after abuse, especially psychological, are long term. I question everything now. I don’t trust my feelings or my instincts. This has caused me to become more defensive, because I have an intense fear that I am going to suffer from that abuse again. Imagine always being on high alert, and reactive. There is a constant feeling of insecurity, overwhelm, anxienty. It’s like being on edge constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My world is all bass ackwards, and its flipped on it’s end. It is harder to believe in myself, to trust certain situations, trust people. I am paranoid, fearful, and accusatory. When I first left, I thought everyone was against me. I was scared anything I said or did would go back to him. This left me questioning my threefold, my family, my friends, and doubted anyone that pursued me. I felt crazy. Quickly, I learned that it was normal to question everything. It was even normal to ask myself if I was bad guy or the real the narcissist.  For a time, I was sympathetic towards my ex husband and believed it was only that he was hurting and projecting that hurt onto me when the abuse continued even after I left him. 

 

Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse

My threefold and I suffer from a trauma disorder as a result of the abuse we endured over those 15 years. Healing is an ongoing process and it’s not easy. Hard work is required to recover after trauma. If you are thinking how bad it sucks that even though you were the abused, you now have to put effort into your healing too, you’re right. It sucks and isn’t fair. It is worth it though. I am not healed completely and neither is my threefold, but I see our progress even when no one else does. I know how far we have come. I wish nothing more than to have a magic wand that could take the pain away from my threefold. I’d be lying if I said I have never wished that pain on my ex.

The truth is, he is in pain. He is worse off than we are in many ways. He may be the abuser, a total narcissist and complete pain in the ass, but he will never know any other life than this toxic cycle. He is destined to be in that cycle forever. He will never be able to know love in it’s true form. Narcissists rarely see fault in their actions or in their behavior. Therefore he won’t ever be likely to get help for these things and if he does it will merely be a show.  This in a weird way brings me comfort and makes me sad for the narcissist. I get comfort knowing that the internal pain he struggles with will never subside and it’s sad to me that other people will get caught up in that cycle with him. I’m just so grateful that we got out. 

I stood up for my abuser throughout my relationship with him of 15 years. After leaving him, I still stood up for him. I watched my threefold, my girls, struggle with the longterm affects of their abuse. Even so, I still tried to bridge a relationship for them with their father. It took me nearly a year to see that I was causing them more harm. They needed me to be on their side. Especially since I hadn’t been for all the years before. They were suffering from all the same issues, but they didn’t understand the complexities of it. We have come a long way from where we were. Unfortunately, cutting off the father of your children is not easily accomplished. Cutting off your father as a child is even more difficult. 

Get Help

The good parts that the victim sees are the lie, the monster the narcissist became during the other stages, that is the truth. It’s hard to see that when you are in the cycle. This cycle is never ending, until they find a new supply to feed off of, or until the victim finally escapes the abuse and breaks the cycle. Unfortunately, the abuse of a narcissist will never cease unless the victim cuts off the narcissist completely. Otherwise, the abuse just changes. 

If you or someone you know is being abused seek help. Escaping the abuse initially and the healing process you must go through is extremely complex. Seeking support, therapy, and being patient with yourself is paramount to finding the path forward. You are not responsible for what broke you, but it is ultimately your responsibility to heal the broken parts of you. Its hard to accept, but you will never change the narcissist, but you can change yourself and what you will tolerate. It’s ok to walk away, to save yourself, and to save your children. Set boundaries and remain firm with those boundaries.  Believe me when I say allowing the continuation of the cycle of abuse will only cause more harm. Be the change you need. Be the person your kids need you to be for them. Stay Positive. We’ve got this! You’ve got this! ♥~M

narcissist

 

7 responses to “11 Ways to Spot a Narcissist”

  1. I am glad you provided a summary and supporting tendencies of a narcissist. I used to work closely with a narcissist and someone once asked me why I did not eat lunch with said narcissist. My response was simple, “I don’t want to hear him bitching about everyone else.” A key way to define a narcissist is it is someone who believes it is never his or her fault.

    1. Absolutely! They have no accountability and therefore no remorse! Thanks for commenting as always! ❤️

  2. I’ve protected my two daughters from him for 18 years. They see him for who he is and are old enough now to decide for themselves what kind of relationship they will have with him.
    We are divorcing and I’m in counseling trying to find the soul he almost destroyed.

    1. I understand how difficult it is to watch your children suffer and struggle with setting boundaries with a parent. I’m glad you found support, left, and are in counseling. Finding that strength is difficult. I hope you find yourself in a place of peace. ☮️❤️😊~M

  3. It’s better to keep a safe distance with such people.

  4. Thank you for writing this, it’s so important to spread awareness. I was trapped in a fifteen year relationship thinking I was on the edge of insanity and completely unable to explain why.

    https://emmaswritingthings.wordpress.com/2022/04/24/the-intentions-of-the-abuser/

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