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I got involved with an N 8 years ago & when I think about it there were many signs I now realize set off my radar at the time but I ignored (I was raised by an N mother & have been trained to ignore those warning signs).

The first time I spent time alone with him (he drove me home from a restaurant) my final comment to him was 'Just be yourself'. I had the feeling he was trying to be something else, so stongly I actually felt compelled to tell him to relax & be himself! During that same 25 minute car ride he also told me a horrible story about an ex who got murdered & he was a suspect (although as he mentioned he hadn't seen this person in years, they lived in totally different cities, he still had to be part of the drama in his tales). I was so shocked when he told me this (I was in the front seat of his car while he was taking me home) that I nearly got out at a red light (I panicked, but my N-in-waiting training made me give him the benefit of the doubt & live with my fear & uneasiness).

This was on my first time alone with him, he only drove me home from a dinner we both attended with mutual friends. In hindsight, I should have run for the hills because MY GUT told me something was not 'normal'.

After 8 years with this person & with help of this faq site, I know how to recognize an N. Funny thing, I was in a restaurant recently & heard a booming N loud & clear at the table right next to me.

Once you've been burnt by one, you will see the signs clearly, in the meantime, please remember to TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCTS! You should also remember that you are the one who should be CHOOSING the people you want to date or have as friends, DON'T LET THEM CHOOSE YOU (N's will target you, that was my mistake I just went along with it).

Signs of abuse/narcissistic behavior at first glanceNot too many people who talk about narcissists will admit that ALL humans have some form of narcissistic behavior, but most are mild. We are all guilty of it, but, we aren't as cruel as the troublesome narcissistic who makes a career out of it. It's important to listen to the person you are talking too as a narcissist will give themselves a way everytime. Never mind how good looking he/she is, listen! Here are some signs:

How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date by Dr. Sam Vaknin

February 28, 2004 Is there anything you can do to avoid abusers and narcissists to start with? Are there any warning signs, any identifying marks, rules of thumbs to shield you from the harrowing and traumatic experience of an abusive relationship?

Imagine a first or second date. You can already tell if he is a would-be abuser. Here's how:

Perhaps the first telltale sign is the abuser's alloplastic defenses - his tendency to blame every mistake of his, every failure, or mishap on others, or on the world at large. Be tuned: does he assume personal responsibility? Does he admit his faults and miscalculations? Or does he keep blaming you, the cab driver, the waiter, the weather, the government, or fortune for his predicament?

Is he hypersensitive, picks up fights, feels constantly slighted, injured, and insulted? Does he rant incessantly? Does he treat animals and children impatiently or cruelly and does he express negative and aggressive emotions towards the weak, the poor, the needy, the sentimental, and the disabled? Does he confess to having a history of battering or violent offenses or behavior? Is his language vile and infused with expletives, threats, and hostility?

Next thing: is he too eager? Does he push you to marry him having dated you only twice? Is he planning on having children on your first date? Does he immediately cast you in the role of the love of his life? Is he pressing you for exclusivity, instant intimacy, almost rapes you and acts jealous when you as much as cast a glance at another male? Does he inform you that, once you get hitched, you should abandon your studies or resign your job (forgo your personal autonomy)?

Does he respect your boundaries and privacy? Does he ignore your wishes (for instance, by choosing from the menu or selecting a movie without as much as consulting you)? Does he disrespect your boundaries and treats you as an object or an instrument of gratification (materializes on your doorstep unexpectedly or calls you often prior to your date)? Does he go through your personal belongings while waiting for you to get ready?

Does he control the situation and you compulsively? Does he insist to ride in his car, holds on to the car keys, the money, the theater tickets, and even your bag? Does he disapprove if you are away for too long (for instance when you go to the powder room)? Does he interrogate you when you return ("have you seen anyone interesting") - or make lewd "jokes" and remarks? Does he hint that, in future, you would need his permission to do things - even as innocuous as meeting a friend or visiting with your family?

Does he act in a patronizing and condescending manner and criticizes you often? Does he emphasize your minutest faults (devalues you) even as he exaggerates your talents, traits, and skills (idealizes you)? Is he wildly unrealistic in his expectations from you, from himself, from the budding relationship, and from life in general?

Does he tell you constantly that you "make him feel" good? Don't be impressed. Next thing, he may tell you that you "make" him feel bad, or that you make him feel violent, or that you "provoke" him. "Look what you made me do!" is an abuser's ubiquitous catchphrase.

Does he find sadistic sex exciting? Does he have fantasies of rape or pedophilia? Is he too forceful with you in and out of the sexual intercourse? Does he like hurting you physically or finds it amusing? Does he abuse you verbally - does he curse you, demeans you, calls you ugly or inappropriately diminutive names, or persistently criticizes you? Does he then switch to being saccharine and "loving", apologizes profusely and buys you gifts?

If you have answered "yes" to any of the above - stay away! He is an abuser.

Then there is the abuser's body language. It comprises an unequivocal series of subtle - but discernible - warning signs. Pay attention to the way your date comports himself - and save yourself a lot of trouble!

Many of my correspondents complain of the incredible deceptive powers of the narcissist. They find themselves involved with narcissists (emotionally, in business, or otherwise) before they have a chance to discover their true character. Shocked by the later revelation, they mourn their inability to separate from the narcissist and their gullibility.

Narcissists are an elusive breed, hard to spot, harder to pinpoint, impossible to capture. Even an experienced mental health diagnostician with unmitigated access to the record and to the person examined would find it fiendishly difficult to determine with any degree of certainty whether someone suffers from an impairment, i.e., a mental health disorder � or merely possesses narcissistic traits, a narcissistic personality structure ("character"), or a narcissistic "overlay" superimposed on another mental health problem.

Moreover, it is important to distinguish between the traits and behaviour patterns that are independent of the patient's cultural-social context (i.e., which are inherent, or idiosyncratic) � and reactive patterns, or conformity to cultural and social morals and norms. Reactions to severe life crises are often characterised by transient pathological Narcissism, for instance (Ronningstam and Gunderson, 1996). But such reactions do not a narcissist make.

When a person lives in a society and culture that has often been described as narcissistic by scholars (e.g., Theodore Millon) and social thinkers (e.g., Christopher Lasch) � how much of his behaviour can be attributed to his milieu � and which of his traits are really his?

Additionally, there is a qualitative difference between having a narcissistic style, or a narcissistic personality � and being diagnosed with the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The latter is rigorously defined in the DSM IV-TR and adheres to strict criteria and differential diagnoses (for more, see here:

Narcissism is regarded by many scholars to be an adaptative strategy ("healthy narcissism"). It is considered pathological in the clinical sense only when it becomes a rigid personality structure replete with a series of primitive defence mechanisms (such as splitting, projection, projective identification, or intellectualization) � and when it leads to dysfunctions in one or more areas of life.

Pathological narcissism is the art of deception. The narcissist projects a False Self and manages all his social interactions through this concocted fictional construct. People often find themselves involved with a narcissist (emotionally, in business, or otherwise) before they have a chance to discover his true nature.

When the narcissist reveals his true colours, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry that they failed to see through the narcissist earlier on.

But the narcissist does emit subtle, almost subliminal, signals ("presenting symptoms") even in a first or casual encounter. These are:

"Haughty" body language � The narcissist adopts a physical posture which implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Though the narcissist usually maintains sustained and piercing eye contact, he often refrains from physical proximity (he is "territorial").

The narcissist takes part in social interactions � even mere banter � condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux "magnanimity and largesse". But he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the "observer", or the "lone wolf".

Entitlement markers � The narcissist immediately asks for "special treatment" of some kind. Not to wait his turn, to have a longer or a shorter therapeutic session, to talk directly to authority figures (and not to their assistants or secretaries), to be granted special payment terms, to enjoy custom tailored arrangements.

The narcissist is the one who � vocally and demonstratively � demands the undivided attention of the head waiter in a restaurant, or monopolizes the hostess, or latches on to celebrities in a party. The narcissist reacts with rage and indignantly when denied his wishes and if treated equally with others whom he deems inferior.

Idealisation or devaluation � The narcissist instantly idealises or devalues his interlocutor. This depends on how the narcissist appraises the potential one has as a Narcissistic Supply Source. The narcissist flatters, adores, admires and applauds the "target" in an embarrassingly exaggerated and profuse manner � or sulks, abuses, and humiliates her.

Narcissists are polite only in the presence of a potential Supply Source. But they are unable to sustain even perfunctory civility and fast deteriorate to barbs and thinly-veiled hostility, to verbal or other violent displays of abuse, rage attacks, or cold detachment.

The "membership" posture � The narcissist always tries to "belong". Yet, at the very same time, he maintains his stance as an outsider. The narcissist seeks to be admired for his ability to integrate and ingratiate himself without investing the efforts commensurate with such an undertaking.

For instance: if the narcissist talks to a psychologist, the narcissist first states emphatically that he never studied Psychology. He then proceeds to make seemingly effortless use of obscure professional terms, thus demonstrating that he mastered the discipline all the same � which proves that he is exceptionally intelligent or introspective.

In general, the narcissist always prefers show-off to substance. One of the most effective methods of exposing a narcissist is by trying to delve deeper. The narcissist is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades. A narcissist never admits to ignorance in any field � yet, typically, he is ignorant of them all. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the narcissist's self-proclaimed omniscience.

Bragging and false autobiography � The narcissist brags incessantly. His speech is peppered with "I", "my", "myself", and "mine". He describes himself as intelligent, or rich, or modest, or intuitive, or creative � but always excessively, implausibly, and extraordinarily so.

The narcissist's biography sounds unusually rich and complex. His achievements � incommensurate with his age, education, or renown. Yet, his actual condition is evidently and demonstrably incompatible with his claims. Very often, the narcissist lies or fantasies are easily discernible. He always name-drops and appropriates other people's experiences and accomplishments.

Emotion-free language � The narcissist likes to talk about himself and only about himself. He is not interested in others or what they have to say, unless it is a potential Source of Supply and in order to obtain said supply. He acts bored, disdainful, even angry, if he feels an intrusion on and abuse of his precious time.

In general, the narcissist is very impatient, easily bored, with strong attention deficits � unless and until he is the topic of discussion. One can dissect all aspects of the intimate life of a narcissist, providing the discourse is not "emotionally tinted". If asked to relate directly to his emotions, the narcissist intellectualises, rationalises, speaks about himself in the third person and in a detached "scientific" tone or composes a narrative with a fictitious character in it, suspiciously autobiographical.

Seriousness and sense of intrusion and coercion � The narcissist is dead serious about himself. He may possess a fabulous sense of humour, scathing and cynical, but rarely is he self-deprecating. The narcissist regards himself as being on a constant mission, whose importance is cosmic and whose consequences are global. If a scientist � he is always in the throes of revolutionising science. If a journalist � he is in the middle of the greatest story ever.

This self-misperception is not amenable to light-headedness or self-effacement. The narcissist is easily hurt and insulted (narcissistic injury). Even the most innocuous remarks or acts are interpreted by him as belittling, intruding, or coercive. His time is more valuable than others' � therefore, it cannot be wasted on unimportant matters such as social intercourse.

Any suggested help, advice, or concerned inquiry are immediately cast by the narcissist as intentional humiliation, implying that the narcissist is in need of help and counsel and, thus, imperfect. Any attempt to set an agenda is, to the narcissist, an intimidating act of enslavement. In this sense, the narcissist is both schizoid and paranoid and often entertains ideas of reference.

These � the lack of empathy, the aloofness, the disdain, the sense of entitlement, the restricted application of humour, the unequal treatment and the paranoia � render the narcissist a social misfit. The narcissist is able to provoke in his milieu, in his casual acquaintances, even in his psychotherapist, the strongest, most avid and furious hatred and revulsion. To his shock, indignation and consternation, he invariably induces in others unbridled aggression.

He is perceived to be asocial at best and, often, antisocial. This, perhaps, is the strongest presenting symptom. One feels ill at ease in the presence of a narcissist for no apparent reason. No matter how charming, intelligent, thought provoking, outgoing, easy going and social the narcissist is � he fails to secure the sympathy of his fellow humans, a sympathy he is never ready, willing, or able to grant them in the first place.

ANSWERI dated a narcissist for 3 years and had absolutely no idea what I was involved with - I did know, however, that his reasoning seemed to be WAY off. We had lots in common career-wise and where we were in life. There was a huge physical attraction but within about 3 months I could tell something was off. The biggest parallels I see here in behavior are the following:

DOES NOT LIKE TO BE IN GROUPS UNLESS HE IS THE CENTER OF IT ALL. I wrote it off as 'shy' or 'antisocial' but I didn't realize the actual reasons behind the fact that he seemed to be completely VOID in social settings. Introducing him to my friends was always a disaster unless they started complimenting him and he began to stand out. He had nothing to contribute to conversations that did not relate to him.

CONSTANT NEED FOR FEMALE ATTENTION / SHADY GET RICH QUICK SCHEMES / PORNOGRAPHY & WEB DATING. I took this so personally when I began to realize how slimy he really was, but it didn't come out for about 2 years. I realize now it had nothing to do with my inadequacies. It has everything to do with an inability to please this person. When we started living together I couldn't help but notice that the last websites he had always just been on were pornographic, where he had no doubt spent about 2 hours per day in total. Also, he seemed to belong to more than one dating websites and had 'friends' I usually found out about, had phone bills that uncovered EXTREME contact with other girls and all this while we had a very active sex life and very close friendship (sex daily and phone conversations four and five times a day, even when living together). I actually couldn't even FATHOM having time for any other guys - no wonder he never had his career on lock. He was always so involved in keeping up relationships behind my back, starting covert and sneaky friendships with female neighbors and co-workers of his that he never really finished anything he started. Most of his friends were losers and the ones who were actually cool people seemed to keep him at 'acquaintance' level. His finances were up and down. Although he was an actor he was always at extremes and whenever he had an extra dollar he'd blow it on something frivilous. Saving or paying bills was hardly in his vocabulary.

LACK OF EMPATHY TOWARDS OTHERS. I knew he cared but it came in cycles. He'd have neglected me for a while so he'd overdo it to make up for it. Nothing was steady. It would be paradise for a couple of months, almost euphoric, where I was showered with love and affection and then he'd disconnect, and he'd be (as I found out later) newly connected to another female emotionally (phone bills I found showed INSANE amounts of phone calls to girls he'd met just one time). After he would have 'realized' that girl was not all he hoped for or as good as me, he would come back to me and re-connect and we would go back into our 'Honeymoon' again. Finally, after three years, he was doing the disconnection thing and I was over it. I asked when we were gonna get married and move back in together (we had moved out per him) and he just coldly broke up with me, saying he didn't want to live with me or be in a relationship with me. After two months of no contact he tried to tell me he 'loved me more than anyone else in the world' ... it could have gone on that way for years. He really just missed the attention I gave him. He didn't really care how much he had hurt me at all.

YOU'RE COMPLETELY INVOLVED IN THEIR LIFE AND YOU ARE A HUGE ASSET TO THEM - BECAUSE YOU DO STUFF FOR THEM. There's a part of you that knows he needs you. Most narcissists aren't the core provider in the relationship - it's YOU who is holding your union together. They are wobbly without your attention, your commitment and your integrity. So you end up becoming all-knowing about their world. They love you because you fight for them, help them when they run into problems, calm them down when their huge delusions haven't worked out (which results in HUGE emotional lows), etc. You feel like this is going to get returned someday but trust me - it WON'T! They start to just expect your level of 'service' and you are somehow just happy to give it. As far as their contribution to YOU and YOUR LIFE? Don't expect much. In the beginning it will be overkill, after a while, their interest in making you happy and doing stuff YOU like is either NON EXISTENT or it's done in order to appease a fight or give them time to do what THEY like to do. It's never done because they were actually thinking about you. Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries are either overlooked altogether or a few token things are hurled at you, most likely bought at a store without much thought. Lots of times they will buy you things THEY like for you. For example, after shopping with my ex, he had shown me a red and white satin bomber jacket that I thought was okay but not exactly my colors or style. I picked out a blue jacket at the same store. For my birthday guess what I got? The red and white one.

UNBELIEVABLE LIAR. I put this last but it's without doubt the absolute worst part of what you go through with a Narcissist. At least with this guy. Early on, he had advocated that we always tell each other the truth in all situations. So much so, that he gave me passwords for all of his emails. I found it completely strange but then after telling my girlfriends, felt encouraged that I was with someone who was so gung ho about HONESTY. If someone ever does that, all I can say is: RUN! One by one, the lies started to come. They were small at first, 'I was here; no I was there; my phone was off; I left my phone at work over night.' They were honest mistakes or wires crossed from confusion... but somehow I felt I was going a little mad - How could I confuse information so often with him? He actually made me feel GUILTY for 'forgetting' or 'hearing what he said wrong' and accused me of 'not listening' to him.

Don't think this will change! It will get worse! Once this narcissist sees what you are willing to believe and how naive you was at his game he will start basically doing whatever he feels like and tell you absolute whoppers, he will lie as he goes (which is especially fun to watch, since at this point the Narcissist is making stuff up as he goes along, to make a story come together) and then ultimately, blaming you for 'looking' for things.

Again, my advice is: RUN! Once you start feeling guilty about going through his things, feeling uneasy when the phone rings and he doesn't answer it, ... RUN! If you love someone you don't let them feel uneasy. The way he felt in the beginning was because he truly wanted to keep me. He wanted to grant all access because he knew what kind of a person he had the capability of being - he KNEW he was a liar. As we got more comfortable, he knew the chances of me going anywhere were slim, so he didn't mind doing things like hiding his phone from me, locking his computer up, keeping me away from his friends altogether (probably because he acted single around them), etc.

A huge symptom of this I think is DOUBLE LIFE SYNDROME. A lot of times this person (the Narcissist) is disgusted with their own behavior but in the end, sees it as the only way they will get ahead. If you are a genuine person and they do love you, they will be on the inside DISGUSTED with they way they treat you but don't have the ability to stop. It's a means of survival. So they develop one side of their personality that you are in love with: sweet, charismatic, sensitive and charming. The other side is cold, selfish, lying, cheating, TOTALLY UNSYMPATHETIC and bored/disinterested. The scariest thing is watching the sides go back and forth. Over time you see the mood they are in is based on what is going on in their lives. That totally varies and there's no telling which will trigger which mood. Often times when things are good they forget about you or don't want you around - they don't need you or your support. So they cast you aside. As soon as they are sinking financially, emotionally or are bored/disinterested with another romantic pursuit, they come crashing down and beg for you.

Again, this behavior does NOT CHANGE. It is a vicious cycle and whoever they are dating either wakes up quickly to their erraticness or wakes up later... Unfortunately I wasted three years. The good news is that I didn't marry or get pregnant... I also like to tell people what to look for to save others' time and stress and then ultimately terrible heartbreak. Often narcissists have a very sensitive side that makes them become extremely close with their partner. Losing that closeness is like death and it was to me. But now I see clearly that it's NOT TRUE LOVE. Even if they DO love you, you CANNOT live that way. They never find true happiness. They seem like they do: they have many lovers, people seem to want to be part of their lives because they make it seem exciting, but usually the quality of their acitivities, the people in their lives and the quality of the goals they set for themselves are empty, revolve around personal glory ultimately, and usually they lack the follow through to make them happy.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-12 14:59:50
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Q: Are there any immediate signs that you may be dating a Narcissist?
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Can someone who admits their mistakes be a narcissist?

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