Discovering and coming to terms with the fact that your partner is a narcissist can be a really tough and supremely heartbreaking realization. When this behavioral trait results in you being denied the love and attention you deserve, it’s time to move out and move on. Read on to take note of the serious red flags indicating that you might be living with a malignant narcissist.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (also called NPD for short) is a mental condition that sees affected individuals holding a highly inflated sense of ego and self-importance. This condition, which is a fairly serious disorder, is characterized outwardly by a near-total lack of empathy for others and patterns of behavior which reflect a constant or persistent need for attention and approval-seeking.
According to the National Institute of Health, symptoms of NPD include:
- Displaying an exaggerated sense of one’s own self importance
- Exaggerating personal achievements
- Demonstrating over-the-top entitlement
- Requiring a steady stream of praise and admiration from others
- Experiencing near-daily fantasies of greatness
- Insisting that one is superior to others
- Dominating conversations and social gatherings
- Acting arrogant
- Claiming that everything they do or have is the best
- Putting down others in order to make themselves look better
- Taking advantage of others for self gain
With any of these symptoms, this isn’t always game over. Low-grade narcissism can be treated with talk therapy, lifestyle changes, and coming to terms with major revelations (think about Ebeneezer Scrooge, fictional but hopeful).
Talk therapy is critical, and really the only effective treatment, because it allows a NPD patient and a trained psychotherapist to reframe the patient’s worldview such that they recognize the importance of such crucial notions like caring for others, the world not revolving around them, setting realistic goals, and managing anger and disappointment.
It’s when we get to malignant narcissism, however, that you’re in serious trouble and need to just pack your bags and bounce. So here are some of the signs that you may be living with a malignant narcissist
#1 Me Me Me Me, NOT you
If your partner always talks about themselves and rarely asks you questions about how you feel, how your day was, etc, this is a serious red flag. Putting oneself [always] before everyone else is a primary sign of narcissism.
#2 Hearing “I’m Better Than/I’m The Best At” Every Day
Serious narcissists are obsessed with positively comparing themselves to other people to make them look better. Oftentimes, these comparisons may be dead wrong.
#3 Repeatedly Wronging Others for Personal Gain
Unfortunately, there are a lot of jobs that more or less require employees to engage in morally questionable behaviors and professional antics in order to make more money for the company, fill a quota, meet a deadline, or otherwise succeed.
It is when this behavior extends beyond professional life and into more personal examples that you start to see a potential red flag that shouldn’t go unignored.
#4 Reacting with Rage when Contradicted
The age-old motto “never tell a crazy person that they’re crazy” holds true to a certain degree for extreme narcissists. If your partner insists on a certain fact, particularly when it involves their personal greatness, and they react with unusual or extreme anger when they are presented with evidence to the contrary, this is a concerning indicator of NPD.
#5 Projecting Projecting Projecting
One of the biggest indicators that you may be living with a malignant narcissist is when they repeatedly accuse or label someone else of doing exactly what they themselves can be described as or are engaging in.
It is extremely common, for example, for a narcissist who has been or thinks they are about to be caught in a lie to accuse someone else of being a liar. Narcissistic government officials known to be or suspected to be engaged in corruption will be the first to claim that a political rival is corrupt.
The Dangers of Narcissism
People with malignant NPD can sometimes become violent when the mirror is figuratively held up to them or their version of reality is challenged. Most often, the victims of this type of violence will be the affected individual’s partner.
Domestic violence victims support is out there, so don’t be afraid to talk to someone and get the support you need to get to a safer place.
This article is a collaboration with a freelance writer and follows The Haitian Times publishing guidelines