There’s nothing sexier than confidence. But what if your love interest’s high self-esteem signals something harmful?
Narcissism is characterized by an excessive interest in one’s personality and physical appearance, and sadly, many of us have found ourselves dating one because we missed the red flags.
Fox News talked to Dr. Ramani Durvasula, author of “Should I Stay, or Should I Go? Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist,” about eight signs that may tell you if you’ve fallen for a narcissist.
1. They act entitled.
Entitlement can commonly be mistaken for confidence or success, but when this air assumes an aggressive tone, it may be a sign of narcissism. Durvasula said narcissists particularly “don't want to wait in line, expect VIP treatment, and get angry [or] irritable when people don't accord them with special treatment.”
2. You feel like you’re not being heard.
“[Narcissists] rarely remember what you told them — even 10 minutes later — look at their phone or around the room when you are speaking, and they give a ‘twisted’ or ‘revised’ version of what you said,” Durvasula said. If you lack authority or are overly forgiving of such behavior, you may be more prone to missing this sign.
3. They’re rude to workers in the service industry.
Sometimes the waiter gets the order wrong or your food comes out late, but if your partner gets angry or is rude for no reason, he may be a narcissist. Specifically, “[Narcissists] won’t look them in the eye, are downright rude or dismissive, raise their voice for even a small slight, and may rapidly demand to see the manager,” Durvasula said.
4. They're obsessed with their online image.
We’ve all taken selfies, but there’s such a thing as too many. Narcissists in particular love taking them and are obsessed with sharing photos of themselves and their whereabouts online. “Narcissists are very quick to post everything you guys do on social media and take a picture of themselves in front of every sign, drink, etc.,” Durvasula said.
5. They want you all to themselves.
You might think your partner just likes spending time with you, but if he or she is stealing you from your loved ones more so than what feels normal, this could be a sign of narcissism. In fact, Durvasula said, “Narcissists will mock your friends and family and tell you they don't have your best interests at heart. They won't show up to events that involve your friends and family, tell you that you like them better than themselves, and regularly point out their flaws.”
6. They won't stop talking about themselves.
If you’ve only just started dating someone and feel like you could ghost-write his or her memoir, you might be dating a narcissist. “Narcissists never ask you about your day but give you a dissertation about theirs,” Durvasula said. “Again, this sign is missed early on because you’re so in love. They’ll monopolize a dinner party or even day-to-day conversations.”
7. They lie.
To spot a narcissist, look for inconsistencies in their stories, Durvasula advised. “Worst case, you actually Google them and find out nothing really adds up,” he said. “We often miss this because we want to believe the ‘too good to be true’ when we first meet someone.”
8. They seem superficial.
“In this day and age, superficial social media is redundant and ubiquitous,” Durvasula said. “We see what we want to see, and think that perhaps there will become more ‘depth’ as we get to know them.” But don’t kid yourself here. Instead, do your research. If every picture on their Facebook and Instagram screams, “Look at me!” there’s a decent chance you’ve got yourself a narcissist.
So, you think you’re dating a narcissist?
If you think you’re dating a narcissist and want to continue the relationship despite that suspicion, Durvasula said it’s important to recognize you can’t force him or her to change. Rather, you need to change your expectations.
“Develop strong social networks outside of the relationship, have things in life that give you joy outside of the relationship, and learn to talk about neutral topics,” like weather or TV,” Durvasula advised. “Do not talk about topics that have significance to you because the narcissist does not care, and those conversations can leave you feeling empty and frustrated.”