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So, You Insist on Dating a Narcissist?

Ten things you must sacrifice to keep your narcissist lover happy.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

If your romantic mate says, "it's me instead of you", read this post carefully. He or she may be a narcissist, and thus incapable of healthy relating. Today's post is about what you must give up to date a narcissist.

Let's define what a narcissist is, first. Do you recall the myth of Narcissus? One day he saw an image of himself reflected in a pool of water. He was so captivated by his own beauty that he stared at his reflection for days, forgetting to eat, drink, and sleep so that he died.

The Narcissus myth persists today because it speaks to a self-centered stage of human development that characterizes many people in our culture. Romantic involvement with a narcissist can damage your self-esteem. You, as a separate person with unique thoughts, feelings and needs, do not exist for them. They are too preoccupied with themselves. So, before you involve yourself with a person who has this personality tendency, know at the start how much you are about to sacrifice in self-worth and self-expression.

Narcissists can be male or female and exist as a type of personality in every culture, race, profession, and religion. So the pool, no pun intended here, from which you can choose is vast.

Pathological narcissism in adults results in an enduring personality disorder that is characterized by an inflated sense of self, hostility, and severely disturbed interpersonal relations.

There are two types of narcissists. The less lethal form is the classic narcissist, the person who needs to belittle you to bolster a fragile self-esteem. They tolerate differences poorly, are very competitive, and resist giving credit to anyone other than themselves. If you are waiting for them to say "I'm sorry," don't hold your breath. To them, saying sorry shows weakness.

Most narcissists are of the classic type. They don't want to destroy you; they just need to be better than you. Truly, their emotional stability depends on this relationship scenario. No matter how much you appreciate their psychological vulnerabilities, their put-downs sting all the same.

Classic narcissists rarely go to therapy on their own. They have to be emotionally hurting a lot to get help. Moreover, when they start to feel better, they go right back to the reflecting pool to admire themselves.

The scariest narcissist is the antisocial type often referred to as pathological narcissism. This type is hostile and sometimes lethal. They need to be in control of themselves, and you, at all times. See my post called, Are you sleeping with an enemy? Losing control threatens them deeply. Negotiation and compromise, the tools of healthy relating, are not part of their vocabulary. The antisocial narcissist will never put himself in a situation where he feels vulnerable. Therapy, as you can imagine, is out of the question. You might as well have asked the person to walk through fire for you.

Antisocial narcissists take hostages; they do not form relationships.

O. J. Simpson, Rihanna's ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, and Casey Anthony appear to exhibit behaviors that are typical of this type.

I'm ending my post today with some tongue in cheek wisdom that is sad but true. If you are going to date a narcissist, there are ten sacrifices that you'll have to make in self-respect, to keep your narcissist happy.

  1. Make your daily mantra "It's all about him-or her."
  2. Say you are sorry, even when you have done nothing wrong. He will appreciate your eagerness to make him happy.
  3. Do not get sick or appear needy. Remember your mantra in sacrifice one.
  4. Never, I mean never, talk about the relationship, if you wish to have one with her.
  5. Don't be selfish. Downplay your looks, smarts, and appeal to make him feel secure.
  6. Be charming at all times. Charm never harm should be your motto.
  7. Never start a sentence with "I need you to......."
  8. Know what they expect of you, then, give it to them.
  9. He or she believes in the give and take relationship principle. You give, he takes.
  10. Above all, never age. He will grow to hate you for this.

Think twice before you wish for a relationship commitment with a narcissist. You have a lot to lose and little to gain.

I hope you liked my post today. I welcome your thoughts and comments. And, thank you for stopping by. Warmly, Deborah

 

Deborah Khoshaba, Psy.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Director of Training and Development for the Hardiness Institute, Inc., Irvine, California, since 1989.

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