Narcissism is a toxic personality type that rests upon the idea that nothing is bigger and better than one’s own self. Narcissists tend to undermine everyone around them to ensure that their delusions about themselves being the highest and the mightiest than even their own family and friends are not proven wrong. These people rarely form a bond of friendship and affection and are rather more focused on emerging as the winner in a self-made struggle for power and competition. Being in a relationship with such toxic individuals can be detrimental to your well-being, especially as they continue to gaslight their partners into believing that they are non-valuable and insignificant. The company of narcissists can leave you very emotionally drained, which can have a negative impact on your mental health.
10 Sure Signs That You Have Narcissistic People in Your Relationships
1. They always talk about themselves
A narcissist’s favorite topic of discussion is themselves. Whether they are at a family gathering or at a bar, they make sure that they are bragging about how kind or rich they are, how amazing they are in bed or to those around them and how they excel at everything that they do. They imply that they have no parallel in whatever their field of work is even when this is all deceit and an unhealthy exaggeration. The purpose of going to such great lengths of self-admiration is to garner unwavering attention and to belittle everyone around them, without having even an ounce of remorse.
2. They are always indulging in competition
If they are driving on a busy road, they will turn the entire affair into a race to stay ahead of anyone who rightfully tries to overtake them or stay ahead of them in the lane. If a nearby car is playing loud music, they will risk the health of their own speakers and the safety of their driving to blast their songs at the loudest volume to mock the other riders. They hate waiting for their turns in the queue and tend to over-estimate their importance by showing off their privileges to strangers just to portray themselves as the better ones in a non-existent competition.
3. They act differently when they are alone than when they are in public
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is toxic because of how differently they show themselves to other people, while in their personal space they treat their partners in the worst way possible. Spouses of such vile people are afraid to open up about their problems to other people because their narcissistic partners have talked and acted in front of them in a way that suggests that they are the epitome of goodness. Their affection also suddenly enhances when they realize that there are people watching them with their partners, even if in their rooms they are physically and emotionally abusive.
4. They mock you for who you are
No matter whether it is your career or domestic life, they always find faults in the way you execute things. They might even stoop so low as to make fun of the way you look, the way you speak and the way you walk, making you feel much unloved. Even if you try to make amends and twist yourself to fit their definition of perfection, they will still not be satisfied and find a way to point out your flaws. They are just insatiable because anyone who is not them is not worthy of any appreciation and they feel like there is no one that is like them in the entire universe, so nothing can be done to appease them.
5. They make you feel powerless
If you attempt to take control of anything even in your own life, they will always delve for a way to show you how you are not capable of doing certain things for yourself and them. You can bring them the entire world at their feet and fulfill each of their desire to make them happy; they will still make sure that you do not get the acknowledgment that you try so hard to attain. No matter how many efforts you put into the relationship and the setting between you and a honed narcissist, the chances of you making them happy are very bleak.
6. They invalidate your feelings whenever they have a chance
Whenever you express any kind of emotion, they do not give you the validation and the attention that it deserves. They make your depression look like something very normal and routine; they might find faults with your joy and even pay no heed to a physical ailment, exhibiting a very dismissive behavior because they are incapable of feeling anything else besides their own false grandeur. In fact, many narcissists believe that emotional expression is an anathema and a sign of potential weakness, making them immune to experience and recognize the entire spectrum of humanly feelings.
7. They make you question your decisions
Regardless of whether you seek their advice on a matter or not, they will always butt in to give their own opinion about a decision that you might be taking, guaranteeing to spoil it for you. They will keep on dishing out the worst possible outcomes of your actions and plans, making you hesitate. Basically, they wish to be the person you heavily rely on for even the most nominal of the matters. So, if you ever have the guts to decide something on your own, they will look at it as a challenge and leave no stone unturned to make you do things as they want them to be done, irrespective of the degree to which they affect them and how they will affect you.
8. They play the victim when evidence goes against them
When you finally have all the arguments and the proof that goes against narcissists, they will blackmail you emotionally till you surrender and retreat. They hate being called out and there is nothing worse than them being wronged so blatantly. Whenever they are caught red-handed, they use your weaknesses to manipulate you via their emotions and their understanding of how you operate. If they realize that you are a very sensitive person, they will play the most believable role of a person who is remorseful and sad. They know which buttons to push to make you forgive them over and over again.
9. They gaslight you
During a fight, they will bring forth points that are irrelevant but are very useful in diverting your attention from the problem at hand and making you focus on your own faults. If the issue is something that happened recently, they will bring to light some wrong you might have done years ago to be able to paint you as the criminal. This effect will eventually have you down on your knees in front of a master narcissist who has no respect for you.
10. They have no reverence for the boundaries that you may have set
If they know there are certain limits that you hate being transgressed, they will make sure that they do it very visibly to make you feel bad and to bring you down. They derive pleasure from violating your principles and boundaries. This is a more problematic act in public, where they make all the jokes and point out all the things that you are insecure about in front of other people because they know you will not put up a show in front of other people. Things like these can be very painful and can break you.
Online Test to Identify Narcissistic People
This quiz is called "The Narcissistic Personality Quiz" and it's designed by the Psych Central Research Team. It's a reliable online tool, which presents to you a list of questions that can be answered to assess if you or someone you are in a relationship with is suffering from this ilk of personality disorder. Real-time results can be obtained so that you don’t have to keep waiting for the amends that need to be made.
Tips on How to Deal with Them
Be vocal about how they treat you so that they know that you are not someone who would silently tolerate abuse.
Take them to a psychiatrist to help them face their flaws if they genuinely want to be with you.
Call them out in public the moment you feel that they are changing their personality to hide the toxic person they actually are so that your loved ones can recognize the pattern to support you when needed.
Keep a journal to clear the fog that they create to cloud your mind. Writing things down will help you stay in touch with yourself in the event that they manipulate you till you can find the means to leave them.
Leave without a second thought. Remember that no person is worth your own self. Sometimes what you call love is just a mere act of sympathy that you are putting up because a narcissist makes you believe that they will not thrive without you.
Quote on Narcissism
‘’Stay away from lazy parasites, who perch on you just to satisfy their needs, they do not come to alleviate your burdens, hence, their mission is to distract, detract and extract, and make you live in abject poverty.’’ ― Michael Bassey Johnson
“The sadistic narcissist perceives himself as Godlike, ruthless and devoid of scruples, capricious and unfathomable, emotion-less and non-sexual, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, a plague, devastation, an inescapable verdict.” ― Sam Vaknin
“Even though friends say they are interested in your life, they never really want to talk about you as much as you want them to.” ― Charise Mericle Harper
Living with a narcissist can be a self-made hell and the longer you dwell in there, the harder it becomes to come out as the same person that you were when you first entered. It is alright to have misread the signs and not realize what is wrong with someone until you are too involved with them; narcissism has a goody-two-shoes façade that takes some time to come off to reveal the ugly reality of people with this personality disorder.
Make the right decisions and be not a slave of someone else’s ego. Sometimes, breaking up with certain people actually means breaking free from a vicious cycle of abuse and self-depreciation, but it is never too late to take a step in the correct direction.