The Narcissist has no empathy, however, you seem to have an endless supply, even for him…

It is a big sign that your partner is a narcissist when they appear to have no real empathy for you, or others. They appear indifferent and cold as ice. If the situation or topic is about something that they do not value, they shrug it off as inconsequential. Of course, narcissists sometimes simulate empathy, by using stale words with no real emotion behind them because they have learned the socially acceptable vocabulary for particular situations, however the real substance of emotion is missing. Actions speak louder than words here.

In my case, I told my narcissist husband about my dear friend’s mother dying when my friend was just a little girl. I told him that her mother had a long battle with a debilitating illness and a kidney transplant, but then passed away. I was overwhelmed with sadness for my friend and was telling my husband how I was in awe of her amazing life story and how she kept a positive outlook on life, despite her horrible loss at such a young age. His response was a bland “Oh that is too bad,” then he changed the subject. He had no expression on his face, in fact he started eating. I again asked him what he thought about my friend’s story and he had no other response or insight. I was appalled by his emptiness.

The real truth is that you and I are people with an overabundance of empathy. This type of person is called an “empath.” Narcissists choose highly compassionate, considerate and understanding individuals as their victims. They know that they have a much easier time manipulating a person who always looks for the good in others. You are a beautiful person with a beautiful soul, that is the upside. However, you have to look at the whole picture when looking at a person and not just the good pieces. All the pieces, good and bad, fit together to make up the puzzle of the person they are.

You know deep down that you overlooked the red flags that have been there since the beginning of your relationship. You either saw them and disregarded them because you felt that he had too many other good qualities to balance out the odd behaviors. Or you saw them and was afraid that acknowledging the problematic behavior meant that you had to confront him and you did not want to hurt his feelings, or risk losing him. As a result, you find yourself making excuses for his bad behavior by thinking that everybody handles emotions differently. You look for the good to balance out the bad, thus you are fooling yourself on a daily basis.

I will never forget the huge altercation my narcissist had with my parents Easter weekend, which happened to be my birthday this year. My parents were visiting for the weekend and after I spent all afternoon cooking a homemade dinner, my parents offered to get ice cream at the local store and my Dad wanted to take me along, for a one on one for a few minutes. However, my narcissist was offended that my dad wanted time with just me. So, he picked a huge fight with my wonderful, loving parents, he belittled them, and he put me down in front of them. He couldn’t be reasoned with and they had no choice but to leave early and drive three hours back to their house, and missing out on the holiday and my birthday, because he was so horrid to them and they did not want the children to witness anymore of their father’s antics. Basically, he cut my parents out of our lives that day, then he expected me to act like it did not matter to me.

Then the day after the confrontation, my narcissist expected me to act as if nothing happened. He wanted an automatic return of the status quo after the confrontation. I was not allowed to have lingering sorrow. He said that he thought we resolved the problem and he did not want to see me sulking. I responded that he could not expect a person, especially a woman, to go about her life as if nothing ever happened. I told him that I am entitled to my feelings of sadness, that I could not simply put a smile on my face and pretend that life was ok. This is an example of no empathy, and being out of touch with others feelings. My parents are the biggest parts of my life, they made me who I am. They supported every decision I ever made and had been nothing but supportive of us, then he treats them like garbage! Well, I made a choice that day, I was going to organize my plan to leave my narcissist husband.

If you have discovered that you are the victim of a narcissist, you must be a fabulous lady, because a narcissist only chooses the best for himself. You are probably asking yourself how you could have gotten into this situation with this hollow person? It is not your fault, so stop beating yourself up over it. You were deceived by a professional liar and manipulator. The valuable lesson is to learn the traits of a narcissist, so that you will never be fooled again.

Top 13 Signs that you are in an Abusive Relationship with a Narcissist

1-You find yourself constantly making excuses to friends and family for him and his behavior. That is what I did. When my parents or friends would question me about my narcissist’s statements or actions, I would find myself always trying to explain away the reason behind it. He could never interact in a normal way with my dearest loved ones. He seemed distant, but would be overbearing and dominate the conversations if it was on a topic that he liked. My mom would try to be nice and ask him questions and his eyes would glaze over and he would act if he didn’t hear her and walk away. (If I was not present that is, otherwise he was on good behavior) I found myself saying things like, “Oh he is just sensitive about that topic.” or “He just loves me and wants to spend a lot of time with me.” or even “He works hard and he is worn out, he is stressed.”

2-You don’t see friends and family much anymore because it is easier not to, since he will ruin your time with them anyway. So you stop going to avoid his guilt trips, or he sucks the fun out of it if you do go. My narcissist would make if feel like he was sacrificing so much by going to visit my parents, a few times a year if that. He would give me glaring faces if he felt annoyed there. He would give me the silent treatment when we were alone in a room together when there, or he would accuse me or my family of making statements to “upset him.” He would ask me things like “Why did you mom say so many nice things about your cousin‘s husband? I think she likes him more than me, maybe your parents would rather you be with him instead.” Crazy talk!!! Then I would have to spend the rest of the trip there trying to reassure him that my parents did like him, and that he was reading into their statements too much. They were nothing but wonderful to him, my mom would even spend hours cooking fancy meals just because my narcissist liked particular dishes. But he still saw them as an enemy. They just wanted to spend some time with me, and he resented that. He wanted me all to himself.

3-You find that you are becoming a super sleuth. You are hungry for information on why your partner is behaving so erratically. You research online, go to the library for books on personality disorders, reading people’s blogs for clues that could help you understand what you are dealing with. In my case, I could not put my finger on it until one phone conversation with my mom. She said she thought my partner was a narcissist. I did not even know that that meant, besides loving oneself too much. Boy, the next thing I did was Google Narcissist Personality Disorder, and my life was changed forever. I finally discovered what it was that was so vile in my relationship. It saved my life.

4-You find yourself constantly questioning yourself “What did I do that offended him so badly? Am I really such a bad person?”

5-You are shocked and rendered tongue tied during arguments with your partner because he turns it around on you and he always ends up the victim and you apologizing to him. Narcissists are so good at this manipulation because they remember every little thing you tell them and store it in a mental tally and use it when they need to get one over you. It is not a way to play fair, but it is what they excel at.

6-Your “gut” doesn’t feel right. Something about him doesn’t set right with you but you cannot put your finger on it because he has too many other good traits that you weigh more heavily in his favor. This is because you are an “empath” a person with highly empathetic tendencies, you give people second chances or figure that he will “get better” the longer you are together. However, it never gets better, it just gets worse. Mistrust is embedded in the narcissists code. I swear, my narcissist also had the markers of Paranoid Personality Disorder.

7-You feel like maybe you are too “negative” or not “grateful” or that maybe the problem in your relationship is actually you! This is a hallmark of how narcissists make their victim feel. Because the narcissist honestly believes he is the superior, perfect mate, how could anything be his fault? Therefore, it must be yours. Don’t fall for it.

8-You keep thinking to yourself that things will get better if… you just move to a different house, state, job. These are all just distractions.

9-You hide (or lose) parts of yourself that they don’t approve of. Over time you find that you have lost so much of yourself that you don’t even recognize yourself and feel empty inside. You lose confidence to make even the smallest decision without their input.

10-You walk on eggshells (more like shards of glass) that are littered with landmines. No matter how carefully you tiptoe, you are bound to trigger an explosion sooner or later, usually when you least expect it.

11-You have been absorbed by your partner. Your partner wants you to be his family, his friend, his lover his everything, but does not want to share you with anyone. You have become so isolated from friends and family and hobbies and yourself that you cannot function happily. Even when we visited my family, if I did not sit next to him on the couch he became indignant and furious with me when we went to bed that night. He was so upset by it and couldn’t understand why my parents would want to sit next to me instead of him. I told him that he was crazy. I only see my parents a few times a year because my husband moved me so far away from them. He expects unreasonable closeness in all circumstances. It is suffocating.

12-You become anxious and nervous in the presence of others while around him. You don’t want other people to see him for what a vile person he is, so you overcompensate with attention towards him in the presence of others to keep him under control. Because if he feels like he is not the center of your attention, he will either act out, whether people are around or not. Or he will make your life a living hell with silent treatment or rages when you are finally alone together.

13-You can’t do anything right. You never win an argument. You are always the loser in the blame game. When he loses something, it is your fault, when anything does not go his way, it is your fault. Need I elaborate?

So, if you are experiencing any of these feelings, please open you eyes and trust your gut and leave your narcissist relationship. It is not healthy. It does kill you slowly, body and soul. Gather strength, knowledge and courage and save yourself. I am so thankful that I did. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and I am still in the process of a divorce with children, but I have faith and hope that I will make it… one day at a time.

Victim has false sense of control in a narcissistic relationship

It’s beyond my control…I realize that now.
You cannot control someone else’s behavior, you can only control your own.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist makes you feel that if you behave differently, it will stall or stop their maltreatment of you. You feel that your actions can help to control their cruel behavior. This is a false sense of control. You are stuck inside a cage.  The narcissist is the one holding all of the cards, they are the puppet masters. You are merely a pawn in their game. Even if you do everything exactly the way they want, they will still find something wrong, something is your fault, or you could have done something better.

Nothing will ever be good enough for a narcissist. Therefore, you walk on eggshells because you never really know what will set them off. However, along the way, you have learned some of their triggers. Because when a narcissist feels offended, slighted, or not in control, they will struggle to regain that control by using a multitude of tactics like belittling, challenging, denying, raging, gaslighting, lecturing, pouting, threatening or giving the silent treatment.

As a result of this schooling, you are determined to avoid making these “mistakes” in the future and subconsciously go to great lengths to avoid stepping on these land mines again. This is how narcissists use abuse as a way to gain control over you. They may do it obviously or they may do it subtly, for example by saying “You look so much prettier with your hair down.” A seemingly innocuous statement, however, it lets you know that they want you to wear your hair a certain way. If you don’t conform to their expectations, then they keep mentioning it and eventually may even say that you don’t care if they find you attractive because you refuse to wear your hair the way that they like it. You are basically a dog to them. A dog that they don’t particularly like. They want you to be subservient to them. The narcissist is omnipotent, a god (in his own eyes). They expect ADMIRATION, RESPECT and COMPLIANCE at all times.

No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get it right. You are desperate to please, you find yourself constantly going to the narcissist for their opinion or help because you become afraid to make even the simplest decisions for yourself. This inability stems from the constant struggle you have with the narcissist not approving of your past decisions or opinions. So, to avoid any future issues, you just go to the source, so you “don’t have to hear it” if they disapprove of your choice, because they are going to be the final say on the matter anyway. For example, he would question my clothing choices for going to see his family or out to a restaurant. He wanted me to wear a dress every time. Even if it was a casual restaurant. He hated when I wore jeans, even though I always looked fashionable with high heels and a fancy top. He also hated anything that looked “like a hippie.” Well, that killed me because I am bohemian at heart and love that style. He tried to make me into something I am not. Narcissists strip away the strongest parts of you that they used to admire because it threatens their control over you.

It was exhausting to be involved in a narcissistic abusive relationship. Talking to a friend about my decision to divorce him, I compared my relationship to that of a horse with a broken leg. I believe that as difficult as it was, and how I hated to, there was no other option but to kill it and walk away. My hand was forced, it was beyond my control. For if I had stayed, I would have surely died inside. It was me or him. As much as I loved him, (the illusion of what he was and our future) I love myself more.

The Narcissist’s abusive control can cause physical illness in the victim

The Narcissist’s abusive control can cause physical illness in the victim

The control they exert over you is so smothering. To me it felt like he had both hands cupping my heart and would squeeze it when he was asserting his will. I could not catch a deep, fulfilling breath in his presence. I felt like I was drowning on a daily basis.

The constant pressure of perfect performance gets to you after a while. The stress is ever present. I have always prided myself on being a “type A” personality, I get things done. I am a perfectionist, I am a neat freak, I cook and clean and do what is asked of me, and have not had a babysitter in over 3 years! I am a non-practicing attorney because I much prefer to stay at home with my children and watch them grow into amazing individuals. So I have been a full time homeschool mom these past 7 years. That can be a strain at times as any woman knows, but it is worth every minute!

However, if I ever voiced any of my tensions from that day, my narcissist would say “What’s wrong with you Mommy? Can’t you handle the house and the kids, or is that just too much for you?” Then he would go on about how stressful his job was and that my job at home was not stressful and that he would gladly trade his job for staying at home with the kids and putting me to work anytime. He belittled me so often like this that I could never have a qualm or complaint without him accusing me of being “ungrateful” that I got to stay at home.

All I wanted was to vent and to be able to talk to him about how draining it can be when you have a toddler throwing massive tantrums and a 5 year old fighting for attention all day long without even a second for me to decompress. He never wanted to hear about my day, even though he would ask sometimes. His eyes would glaze over and he would not pay attention to one word I said. Then he would ask me questions that I had already answered earlier in the conversation. I became furious with him at the drop of a hat because I was so horribly frustrated at not being heard by him. I felt like I was talking to a hole in the wall. It is a sad truth that narcissists don’t listen or pay attention to anything that is not related to them directly.

Believe me, I know pressure, I know stress! I went to law school and even passed the bar the first time. However, the pressure and stress that the narcissist applies was a dose that I could not withstand any longer.

My health was suffering and I started getting tingles in my legs and arms. I thought I had Multiple Sclerosis. I had five MRI’s that said nothing was wrong, thankfully! The neurologist asked me if I was an “anxious person” because he could only deduce that my body was responding to extreme pressure and stress with physical symptoms. Knowing what I know now, I believe that I had a nervous breakdown from all of the worry and upheaval that we have had the past 7 years of marriage. I noticed that the tingling got worse when my narcissist was around me, especially if he had “an issue he wanted to discuss with me.” That was one of the ways he framed his abusive diatribes.

During those times, I didn’t know what Narcissistic Personality Disorder was, but now I wish I had. It would have saved me so much pain and worry and youth. Time is something that you cannot buy and if you choose to waste it, you can never get it back.

Ways that Narcissists Abuse

What are the ways that narcissists abuse their victims? Where do I begin? In my relationship, his preferred abusive tactics included belittling me, challenging me, denying, raging, lecturing, over-reacting to perceived criticism, pouting, threatening me or giving me the silent treatment. The abuse was not continuous, there were times where we got along great (as long as we were doing what he wanted to do.)

I began to notice that the abuse would occur in any circumstance where he felt like he was losing control over me or the situation. Thus, he abused me to control me. In each of these circumstances, he made it seem like I was the one at fault, that I was the unreasonable one. The abuse would continue until I apologized to him for whatever he felt that I did wrong.

Any time that I stood up for myself or asserted my opinion, (that was conflicting from his) he would abuse me. If I ever played devil’s advocate for anyone that he was having problems with at work, by pointing out how they might feel or why they may have said what they did to my husband, he would get offended and say that I was not “on his side.” He was incapable of understanding other people’s emotions and felt that people were out to get him. So when I tried to point out that it was not the case, he would get angry with me and say that I am defending them and not him. So how does the abuse start in a narcissistic relationship?

Pedestal and the Pit– Narcissists are fast movers. They meet their victim and groom her to believe that she is the most wonderful, funny, intelligent and beautiful woman in the world. The narcissist will shower love, attention and praise on its victim at dizzying speeds. They will want to commit quickly, pronounce everlasting and perfect love within a month of meeting. This early phase is called love bombing. The narcissist places its victim on a pedestal for all to see, but then after he has hooked her, he will knock her down into the pit. He will devalue her, belittle her, shame her into believing she is worthless, stupid, careless, and disrespectful. Then when he sees that he is pushing her too far, he will put her back on the pedestal so she stays put. This cycle of the pedestal and the pit continues for the duration of the relationship.

Gaslighting– Narcissists use this stealthy method of abuse to disorient the victim in order to make the victim feel like she is going mad. The term was named after the classic 1944 movie “Gaslight.” This film featured a husband dimming the gaslights of the house and when his wife asked him about it, he would say that they weren’t. He would hide items from her, then make her think that she did it. In short, gaslighting is crazy-making abuse. The victim feels like she is losing it because events are happening and the narcissist is denying anything is wrong. An example is when a narcissist hits the victim and then denies ever doing so. In my case, my narcissist would lose items and blame me for taking them. And if it was obvious that I was right about something that we had disagreed on, he would change his statement and claim that he was the one who was right, even using my exact language. It made me so furious! Gaslighting occurred daily in my relationship. He would use the toilet in the upstairs guest room, not flush, then when I would ask him about it, he would deny it was him. I know it was not me or my kids. Gross.

Projection– The narcissist projects his own feelings and insecurities onto his victim. If he is cheating on his partner, he accuses his partner of cheating. If he is lying, he accuses his partner of lying. The narcissist cannot accept responsibility for his own thoughts and actions and projects his own mental garbage onto the unsuspecting victim. The narcissist is the one who feels that he is the victim in the relationship.

Lectures– My narcissist would go on and on about whatever was bothering him that I did. He would find fifty ways to say the same thing until I would break and just accept everything as my fault and apologize, even though I did nothing wrong to apologize for. He would treat me like a child that was behaving badly. I always felt intimidated and scared of him when he would go on his rants.

Guilt trips & Pouting– Used as a way to let you know his wants and he will make you feel bad for not giving him what he wants. They commonly use “always” and “never” statements. For example, my narcissist would constantly tell me that he never felt that I cared about being intimate with him, (despite the fact that we were intimate at least 2-3 times a week! I felt that after 7 years of marriage, he didn’t have anything to complain about!) But he did not feel that it was enough. On the nights that I just wanted to go to bed due to the extreme exhaustion of taking care of my children and him, schooling and everything related to the house, he would pout and guilt trip me to make it seem like I did not care enough about him because I wasn’t giving him enough “attention.” Please! So he would keep pouting until I relented and just “did it.” I tell you, that when he would pressure me that way, I felt as if I was being raped because I did not want to have sex, but had to in order to shut him up so that I could finally go to bed in peace. And looking back, I really HATE him for that. This is an example of Sexual Abuse.

Financial abuse– Occurs when a narcissist has all the control over the financial matters in the household. In my case, he never put my name on the checking account. I asked many times if I could be on the account but he said that if I wanted cash, I had to ask him for it. (Which I never did.) He said he didn’t want me to be able to write checks and possibly overdraw the account. This so-called concern of his was unfounded because I am very financially responsible and would never do such a thing. So, I had no access to any money. We even had a debit credit card but he refused to give me the pin number. He let me use the credit cards and he would pay them off but if I was charging too much in any given month, he would make sure to speak up and let me know that I need to cut back. He was so paranoid about the money, he would check his banking, credit card statements and retirement accounts each day!

Silent treatment– Used by the narcissist to induce your fear of abandonment by withholding his attention and affection. When the narcissist comes around and starts talking again, you feel relief and the anxiety dissipates. I call this form of abuse “Dark and Broody.” My narcissist was a professional at being dark and broody. I knew when trouble was lurking because he would get all quiet and look like a dark storm was brewing inside of him. Then after the storm, he would come out with a secondary form of abuse like rage, threats or lecturing me. During his dark and broody stage, I would get sick to my stomach at the fear of the impending doom I was about to face.

Verbal abuse– Insults, put downs, aimed to wound the victim’s self esteem. These words cut like knives, hand crafted to strike at our most fragile self. Narcissists reach into their arsenal of the victim’s phobias, weaknesses and disappointments in order to use against them to mutilate their soul. Once, when all was calm, I asked my narcissist why that when he was upset, he would say the most cruel, untrue things to me intending to hurt me. He responded that sometimes he doesn’t play fair and that he would work on that in the future. However, he never stopped using his malicious verbal daggers on me when we had disagreements.

Physical abuse

Rage– Rages occur when the narcissist yells and uses body language to intimidate its victim to get the response that he wants. I hated when he would fly into a rage in front of the children, which he did many times. My narcissist would work himself up into a rage when he felt threatened. He was like a tiger in a cage, pacing back and forth in the room, just gearing up for a feast. Then he would fly into a rage over some of the smallest things. One night, after book time with the children, I wasn’t responding to one of his requests fast enough and I commented that “I guess I cannot do anything right.” And he freaked out and started yelling at me in front of the kids. He screamed that I was “being disrespectful and that he deals with bitchy nurses all day and that the last thing he wants is to come home to a bitchy wife!” It was horrible. My 3 and 6 year old were scared, then my son asked me “Mommy, why is daddy yelling at you?” My heart was broken for them. I had to scurry them off to their bedrooms and I promised that I would be back to tuck them in. Then I had to go back to the kitchen where he was, pacing back and forth, he was physically vibrating, ranting loudly, calling me a bitch and making comments like, “Now I see why your ex almost hit you” stuff like that. Bringing up distressing moments of my past that were told to him in confidence, totally unrelated to our relationship, were designed to inflict pain. This is just one of the many examples I have of what a narcissistic rage can look like. Scary stuff.

Threats and manipulation– Narcissist uses intimidation, to get his victims
to doOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA as he pleases. By using fear to control or influence is serious abuse. My narcissist would threaten to put our home schooled children into public school and send me to work if I did not go along with something he wanted to do. If I ever had any complaints or seemed too tired during the day, he would say “Are the kids too much for you to handle mommy? You are too tired to have any time to give to your husband, maybe you need a real job so that you can see how easy you have it now, and I can stay at home.” He would tell me that he came first and the children come second. I couldn’t believe it when he said that to me. What a distorted view of a family relationship. Narcissists are the most selfish creatures on the planet. Children need unconditional love and support, and yes, dad’s should take second fiddle to the children.

Tit for tat– Narcissists will do nice things for you, but with strings attached. There is no such thing as a altruistic narcissist. There is never something nice done for someone without an expectation of a return. My narcissist would attempt to buy into his co-workers good graces, at least for a while before they could no longer stand to be around him. He would buy lunch for his co-workers once a month, because he expected that they would be nice to him in return. I told him that he did not have to do such things for people to treat him well, but he believed otherwise. Then when a co-worker would have a problem with him for whatever reason, or he considered them to be moody he would ask me, why? I told him that just because he buys them lunch doesn’t mean they are going to treat him like a king every day. He couldn’t wrap his head around that notion.

There are so many ways that narcissists abuse their victims. Abuse techniques that Sam Vaknin has also noted include: “Wounding “honesty”, ignoring, smothering, dotting, unrealistic expectations, invasion of privacy, tactlessness, sexual abuse, physical maltreatment, humiliating, shaming, insinuating, lying, exploiting, devaluing and discarding, being unpredictable, reacting disproportionately, dehumanizing, objectifying, abusing confidence and intimate information, engineering impossible situations, control by proxy and ambient abuse.” (The Mind of the Abuser-Dr. Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self-Love)

In a nutshell, narcissists are evil creatures void of empathy, they can be male or female. However, there are 3 times more male narcissists than female. If you can identify any of these methods of abuse occurring in your relationship, you need to take warning. Only you can save yourself.

Once a narcissist, always a narcissist. They never change, but that is a topic for a later date.

What are the signs of NPD?

There are varying degrees of narcissism. Everyone at one time or another will exhibit narcissistic qualities and behavior. That is to be human. However, the difference between healthy and unhealthy narcissism is that it is so extreme and all-consuming that it adversely affects the relationships this person has with the outside world, especially those closest to him or her.  I want to shed some light on what helped me to discover my narcissist.  So, what are the signs of NPD?  According to Sam Vaknin, self professed and clinically diagnosed narcissist and psychopath, these are the following traits of people suffering with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Grandiose feelings of being self-important, all knowing. Strong belief that one is truly unique and can only be understood by, should only have dealings with or associate with other special or unique, or important people.

Example: My narcissist never wanted to hang out with my friends husbands. He felt that he had “nothing in common” with them. He had not made one friend in the seven years that we were together. I, on the other hand, was always blessed to meet some wonderful mommies to proudly call friends. But by that time I got comfortable in my new city, and started to have consistent play dates for our children, we had to pack up and move yet again. He resented any time that I had with my mommy friends while he was at work. And he forbid me to get together with my friends when he was home, or on the weekends because he said that it was “family time.” He said that he was not a babysitter and that I have responsibilities as a mother and cannot just have a life outside of our marriage. He justified it by saying that he did not have any guy buddies to hang out with, so I should not be hanging out with my girlfriends and neglecting my family duties. As if!

Obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, great power or omnipotence, supreme brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion.

Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious. This attention is the drug they crave and are addicted to known as “narcissistic supply.” If they don’t have it, they will go to any extent to unearth it from those people who surround them.

Example: If I did not dish out the compliments on his appearance or his ideas on a frequent basis, he would get needy and clingy and make me feel like I was ignoring him, which could not be further than the truth. Then he would ask me straight out how he looked or what I thought. After I dispensed with the much needed compliment, he would then go back and forth talking to himself as if I was not there, agreeing. I felt like when he walked into the room, there was someone standing behind him with a cue card calling for “compliment” or “attention.” Suffice it to say, that when he was around, I was exhausted because the real world stopped in his presence and it became all about him and his “happiness.”

Entitlement. Expects unreasonable or favorable preferential treatment.  Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations.

Example: Narcissist will ask for a manager in many instances to handle their problem, instead of just dealing with the subordinate employee/waitress/telemarketer, etc. He believes that no one else is sufficient enough to be of service to him, unless they are the superior in that circumstances.

Manipulative. Uses others to achieve his or her own ends. Will expect others to do work for him, because he believes that it is a privilege that he allows them to do things for him.

Example: After each of our six moves in six years, my parents were the only ones who helped us. My mother would also help clean each house at the move in and out. He was always somewhat nice when my parents were doing his cleaning and cooking, etc. but then he would become nasty and make jibes when he felt they were not being useful enough to him.

Un-emphatic. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others. Incapable of showing realistic sympathy for another’s pain or unfortunate circumstance. Narcissists looks at the homeless with disdain, has hatred of overweight individuals, and sick children. Also, narcissists will go on and on about their smallest of ailments expecting to be babied, but will refuse to acknowledge or minimize any real complaint or illness that you may have.

Example: I will never forget when I had a stomach bug and my narcissist looked at me with annoyance when I was sick throwing up in the bathroom at 3 a.m. It was the first time I was sick during our six year marriage. He was angry with me and said that I needed to be quiet because I was keeping him up, and that he felt I was not being considerate of him because he has an important job and needs sleep!

Envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her. Cannot be happy for other people’s success or happiness.

*Paranoid behavior. Feels that people are out to cause harm, or “out to get him,” or deprive him of happiness, or steal from him, etc. Will read into innocent statements and draw out insults where there are none.

Example: My narcissist always blamed my parents, or his parents, or his ex wife for any problems he had at any one of his jobs. He felt that they were somehow calling his workplace and spreading rumors about him. Insane! And if anyone at his work ever asked him where his wife was from, he would come home and interrogate me asking if his co-workers were trying to insinuate that we should move back to my hometown. He even accused me of putting those ideas into his co-workers heads! This is ludicrous because I had never even met any of those people. I told him that he was reading into people’s innocent questions and that those are common conversation starters when you begin a new job in a new town, which we did many times over six years. Talking him down from his paranoid perceptions of other people’s comments was a common occurrence for me.

Arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted. Overly sensitive to any perceived criticism. Quick to order people around.

Example: My narcissist acted shocked and offended when I asked him, very nicely, to please pick up the pillow that he threw on the floor, or place his dirty dish into the dishwasher. He would react indignantly when I asked him to pick up after himself, then he would tell me to do it, because that it was “my job” since I stayed at home. Also, he was never shy about telling me to get this or that for the kids, when he was perfectly capable of doing so himself. Even if I was busy doing laundry, or making dinner, he would call me into the room to order me to fetch something for the children or him. I was expected to cheerfully stop whatever I was doing in order to cater to his every whim. This was “mommy’s job” according to him. Therefore, when he was home, I would become overwhelmed and anxious and felt like I had three kids instead of just the two.

So there you have it, the multitude of alarming traits that narcissists commonly display.   I hope this post helps you to see your narcissist in a brighter light and begin to reveal the deeply deformed emotional, and warped psychological distortions of their condition.

Narcissists use many forms of abuse to control their victims but that is a topic for a later post.

 

 

 

***Much of the above criteria for NPD comes from American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition, Text Revision (DSM IV-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association as well as Sam Vaknin.