When you hear the word narcissist what comes to mind? Maybe you think of a person who continually looks in the mirror or takes a selfie every ten minutes to post online. Well, narcissists do think highly of themselves by outward appearances, but on the inside, it is usually a different story. Their lack of self-worth is usually what is driving their narcissistic behavior on the outside. They’re usually not even aware of it.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be overwhelming, frustrating and even frightening at times. A narcissist has qualities in their behaviors that are toxic to relationships.
Consider these ten narcissistic traits to help you determine whether you’re in a relationship with someone who has this personality disorder.
1. They Believe Their Opinion is Always Right
Does your partner decide that whatever he or she thinks is the correct opinion? A narcissist will think highly of his or her own opinion and is more than ready to reject the opinions of others without considering them as valid or even hearing them out.
2. They Believe Others Are Jealous of Them
This is one of the most obvious signs of a narcissist. They believe they are admired by those they encounter. It does not make sense to them when some people don’t like them. If the narcissist receives criticism from someone or if they realize that someone does not like them, they immediately assume there is something wrong with that person.
3. They Have Very Little to No Empathy for Others
This is one of the more troubling features of a narcissistic personality. A narcissist doesn’t have the desire to empathize with another person’s difficulties or challenges. They are unsympathetic and even judgmental of other people.
4. They Always Guide the Conversation Back to Them
Think about the conversations you have with your partner. Does your partner truly listen to your thoughts and opinions? Or, do you find that your partner dominates conversations with his or her thoughts, opinions, ideas or whatever else they want to talk about?
If the conversation ever tries to move away from the narcissist to someone else, the narcissist is adept at bringing it right back. In a narcissist’s mind, his or her point of view is the most important and must be expressed.
5. They Don’t Think Rules Apply to Them
True to form, a narcissist thinks rules in general apply to everyone except them. Does your partner enjoy trying to get away with things like parking in restricted areas, taking supplies from the office or using a friend’s account to watch movies or TV shows without paying for it? If questioned about these things, a narcissist won’t feel the least bit of guilt. Just the opposite. The narcissist feels entitled to do these things and is resentful for being questioned.
6. They Are Never Satisfied with Anyone Except Themselves
Is your partner critical of you? Narcissists are never pleased with anyone but themselves. No matter how much a compliment is in order, there will always be something about you (in the eyes of a narcissist) that can be criticized.
7. They Focus on External Appearance
Outward appearance is everything to a narcissist. This narcissistic trait falls in line with the one above. A narcissist is focused on the outward appearance of a person and has a snap judgement for everyone he or she encounters based on it. The idea of listening to a person’s story and getting to know them a bit more before forming an opinion is not something a narcissist considers.
8. They Are Extremely Competitive
Narcissists believe they are experts at everything. They want to be the winner whether it’s a game of basketball with friends or playing cards with a young niece or nephew. If they happen to lose a game or a competition, there’s always a reason. A narcissist will insist the playing field wasn’t even, the referee was biased, or a competitor cheated. In their mind, the loss could never be a result of the narcissist’s own lack of ability or skill.
9. They Are Controlling
Narcissists never relax and let someone else take the wheel. This is one of the more basic narcissistic traits to look for. They always need to be in charge of a situation and can get very put out if someone else tries to take the spotlight. Do you find that your partner makes all types of decisions without asking for your input? Do you ever get to decide where the two of you will go on vacation? Or, where you’ll go to dinner? A narcissist would never think of deferring to someone else when making a decision.
10. They Are Very Critical of Their Exes
What does your partner have to say about his or her ex? Well, anyone who doesn’t stay with a narcissist is not thinking clearly, right? Is your partner really critical about the appearance, intelligence or personality of his or her ex? If so, you may be in a relationship with a narcissist.
What Do You Do If You’re in a Relationship with a Narcissist?
So maybe you’ve recognized many of these signs of a narcissist in your partner. What do you do? Well, you have a few options. One option is to give some serious thought as to whether you’re willing to accept the narcissistic ways of your partner. If you decide you don’t want to accept his or her ways, you can end the relationship. Be aware that you are going to receive the same criticisms that your partner’s other exes have endured. That’s okay though. It is not a reason to stay, just something to be aware of.
Another option is to accept who your partner is and focus on the good things about the individual. There are reasons you partnered with the person in the first place. Spend your energy focusing on the person’s good points. Just remember, you can’t change someone’s narcissistic personality, nor is it something that they will be capable of admitting. Keep in mind though that you’re the one who has the final say on who you’d like to be in a relationship with.