What is a Narcissist?
The term “narcissist” is thrown around often, especially for people who have high self-esteem, love to talk about themselves, and are proud of who they are. However, people with a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are often those who have low self-esteem and need to be admired and complimented consistently, don’t have empathy for others, and have a hard time accepting criticism.
How can I know if my partner or someone I know is a narcissist? Although only a licensed psychologist can diagnose someone with NPD, knowing the signs of narcissistic behavior might help, especially if you are in a romantic relationship with this person. Our team of skilled therapists at Lone Wolf Psychological Services understand this pattern of behavior and are here to help.
Common characteristics of a narcissist
Like all mental health disorders, narcissism exists on a spectrum. These are the common characteristics and behaviors of someone with NPD:
1. Has a sense of self-importance
2. Believes that one is unique and “special”
3. Requires excessive admiration
4. Lacks empathy
5. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of the person
6. Displays arrogant behavior
Am I Dating a Narcissist?
Your partner was charming at first and the relationship felt like a fairytale:
It’s common for people with NPD to feel as if they are unique and special, and that they deserve to only be around people who are also unique and special. Because of this, narcissists in romantic relationships will usually start out by emphasizing how amazing you are and how compatible you are together. They put you up on a pedestal.
Ask yourself: did your partner come off too strong at the beginning? Did they tell you they love you quickly?
Your partner thinks he/she/they are right about everything:
A common characteristic for people with NPD is feeling as if they are constantly right, unable to see others' perspectives and opinions. They are very confident, so at the beginning, this may feel like they are knowledgeable and intelligent. But, typically there is a shift where you start to see that they are often incorrect or even make up lies to uphold this status of always being correct.
Ask yourself: Does your partner recognize their own faults in arguments? Does your partner apologize for wrongdoings, or does he/she/they blame everything on you?
Your partner gaslights you:
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that is common in relationships with people with NPD. Gaslighting takes many forms but can often look like falsely accusing others and telling lies in order to distort your reality. It may be as clear as saying the sky is blue and they argue that it is green with such conviction that you start to question if the sky is truly blue. This is also often called “crazy-making.”
Ask yourself: do you no longer feel as confident as you used to? Are you apologizing often? Do you often wonder if you are being too sensitive or automatically assume things are your fault when things go wrong?
What to do if you think you’re dating a narcissist
Set Healthy Boundaries:
Setting a boundary means clearly stating what is okay and not okay. Setting boundaries with a partner with NPD will be a difficult task with some pushback. Here are some signs that you have healthy boundaries:
- You both make an equal effort to understand one another
- You both can acknowledge mistakes and apologize for wrongdoings
Tip: personality disorders are often rigid and unmoving. Setting a boundary can help you determine if this person has a personality disorder or not.
Be aware of resources:
If you believe you are in an unsafe situation, consider leaving the relationship. Knowing resources that are available to you are
· My Plan – this app helps you understand your relationship and take necessary steps if safety is in danger.
· National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-7233
Talk to a trained therapist or couples’ counselor
If you are thinking about breaking up with your partner or just want to talk to someone about your options in this relationship, talking to a trained psychologist is the best plan. Whatever it is, a trained psychologist is here to help!
Is Individual Relationship Counseling in Denver, CO Right for You?
Do you struggle to break out of toxic relationship cycles with family, friends, or significant others? Do you feel trapped in a relationship with someone who exhibits narcissistic behaviors? If you do, Individual Relationship Counseling might be right for you. Our therapy services in Denver, CO are here to offer guidance in better understanding yourself so you can form healthy and lasting personal relationships. Below are a quick set of steps to follow in order to begin your journey.
We encourage you to get to know a little bit about our therapists, their specializations, and their credentials. Get to know our therapists here
Burned out with Online dating? Check out our blog on reenergizing your dating life!
If you think Individual Relationship Counseling is for you, reach out to us! You can use our online therapy scheduling form found on our home page.
Begin the exciting journey of understanding yourself and start building better relationships!
Other Denver Counseling Services
Not only do our therapy services in Denver, CO offer Relationship Counseling, but we also offer a wide variety of services for individuals or couples at any time in their relationship journey. Relationships can be challenging at the best of times and we understand the need for individualized services to meet you where you are currently at. We pride ourselves on providing caring, insightful, and productive Couples Counseling, Divorce and Break-up Recovery Counseling, Kink and Nonmonagamy Counseling, Attachment-Based Therapy, LGBTQ+ Counseling, and Premarital Counseling as well. We also offer Self-Help Resources to help supplement your therapy or to better prepare for upcoming therapy sessions!