When you think of a narcissist, you might envision someone who’s overly full of themselves.
And, well, you’re right.“Simply put, narcissists are vain.
This kind of rhetoric alone isn't necessarily alarming; we all know how intoxicating the first stage of a relationship can be.But while the beginning stages of a relationship with a narcissist might not raise any huge issues, it won’t take long until you’re left wondering when things took a turn for the worst.“When you first start dating a narcissist, it’s almost like you’re getting a hit of really good, stimulating coffee in the morning. Then, you’ll feel really exhausted,” says psychotherapist Yoon Kane, founder and executive director of Mindful Psychotherapy in New York City.There are many ways this can show up in your relationship, but even something as simple as them showing up late all the time and never apologizing or thinking about how their lateness affects you is a red flag. Narcissists believe themselves to be "special" and unique, and by extension believe they can only be appreciated by other "special" people.If they're dating you, don't be surprised by comments such as, "Wow, no one else has ever understood me like you do" or "You are so different from everyone I've ever met" — even if you've started dating.But as soon as something bad happens and it’s not even your fault or they feel embarrassed or something, it’s very possible they’ll just discard you,” Kouffman Sherman says.
“Not only are they not supporting you emotionally through it, but they won’t want anything to do with it because they think it looks bad for them.” They're more invested in looking good — whether in their career, social life, or love life — than in a relationship with any individual person.
No matter how much you reason with them or explain your stance on a certain topic, they’re not going to see your side of things.
“When you’re dating a narcissist, they probably won’t compromise on an important issue,” Kouffman Sherman says.
If you recognize these signs in someone you are dating, it is helpful to remember that narcissists have very rigid expectations (especially for themselves) and so this type of person rarely changes.
Understanding or experiencing intimacy and love within the context of a balanced and healthy relationship is not on the agenda of a narcissist.
A huge red flag is something know as "gaslighting" - a tactic used by narcissists to chip away @ their victims & alter their sense of reality.