RELATIONSHIPS can have their ups and downs, but have you ever had a partner gaslight you into thinking you’re mad and imaging things?
Nit-picking and criticising you for things you hadn’t even thought about yourself, or even yelling at you but then giving the “silent treatment”?
Well, you could be dating a narcissist.
Dr Ramani Durvasula, a professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, dedicates her channel to understanding the workings of our psyche.
She claims that there are seven different types of narcissist to watch out for – and they could be anywhere.
Dr Ramani told The Telegraph: “The qualities of narcissism – lack of empathy, entitlement, superficiality, arrogance, rage, incapacity for deep and connected intimacy since they view relationships largely through a lens of personal gain – really aren’t a good set-up for a long-term, consistent and loving relationship.”
Her channel attempts to pick apart our pre-conceived ideas about narcissism – it’s not about self-love but self-loathing, narcissists aren’t actually confident and are really insecure.
She explains that narcissism is on a spectrum, so not every person who exhibits narcissistic behaviour is the same.
Dr Ramani says that the narcissistic personality can range from grandiose to covert, malignant to benign, and even a generational or cultural narcissist.
The end result probably won’t go well.
Once they’ve latched onto you and overwhelmed your thoughts, you’ll realise that you were blinded by you initial idealisation of your partner and you’ll be stuck.
Narcissism and love aren’t a healthy fit, so when you enter a relationship with a narcissist you tend to be blinded by idealisation – a period Dr Ramani calls “love bombing”.
She said: “So the simple answer is that narcissism complicates the pursuit of love – it can be quite seductive at the beginning and then end up being painful and destructive because in short order ‘love bombing’ shifts to ‘devaluation’ and ‘discarding’.”
Being with a narcissist could also bring around a lot of whiney feelings, much like dealing with a toddler.
They want everything all at once and if/when you can’t give it to them, they’ll throw a fit – and will struggle to get over it.
Dr Ramani said: “Listen for the throwaway hurtful and contemptuous comments, such as comparing you to former partners or other people”
Does your partner tell you you’re doing something wrong, or degrade your appearance which leaves you second guessing yourself?
Gaslighting can be a key tool a narcissist uses to make you feel smaller than they are.
Dr Ramani highlights that a narcissist’s self-loathing will often play into their own degrading image of themselves.
Nothing is their fault, even when it is -it isn’t.
She said: “Portraying themselves as a victim, that sort of sullen, resentful entitled victimisation.”
How narcissistic are you?
Responses most consistent with narcissism as a personality trait:
- I really like to be the centre of attention
- Everybody likes to hear my stories
- I insist upon getting the respect that is due me
- I like having authority over people
- I can make anybody believe anything I want them to
- I expect a great deal from other people
- I am an extraordinary person
- I always know what I am doing
- I find it easy to manipulate people
- People always seem to recognise my authority
- I know that I am good because everybody keeps telling me so
- I am apt to show off if I get the chance
- I am more capable than other people
Source: Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), Raskin and Hall
Dr Ramani says to watch out if you're partner is “being odd about money – either really controlling with it, or you feel they are keeping a spreadsheet on dating costs.
“Being really ungenerous about their space leaving you eggshell-walking in their space.”
How they treat others
The clinical psychologist says to watch out for how they treat other people, especially those who "don't matter".
Dr Ramani said: "They’ll be trying to win you over but they don’t need to win over that waiter."
Do any of these signs seem familiar?
Watch out, you may be dating a narcissist.
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