Narcissists can be beguiling and charismatic. In fact, one study showed that their likable veneer was only penetrable after seven meetings. But you don’t want to fall in love with one. Over time you can end up feeling ignored, uncared about, and unimportant. Typically, a narcissist’s criticism, demands, and emotional unavailability increase, while your confidence and self-esteem decrease. You’ll try harder, but despite pleas and efforts, the narcissist appears to lack consideration for your feelings and needs. So how do narcissists behave, read on.
Although some people who aren’t narcissists lack empathy, this trait is a crucial and determining symptom when combined with a sense of entitlement and exploitation. Simple examples are rudeness, not listening, walking ahead of you, ordering what you should eat, ignoring you and your boundaries, taking calls when you’re talking to them.
Admittedly, these are minor things any one of them alone may not be significant, but they add up to paint a picture of someone who doesn’t care about you, and will behave that way on bigger issues. They’re not comfortable with vulnerability – theirs or others, and are emotionally unavailable. In time, you’ll notice they keep you at a distance because they’re afraid if you get too close, you won’t like what you see.
Narcissists often like to talk about themselves and your job is to be a good audience. They may never ask about you, and if you offer something about yourself, the conversation quickly returns to them. You might start to feel invisible, bored, annoyed, or drained. On the other hand, many narcissists are charming, beautiful, talented, or successful. So, you may be entranced by their good looks, seduction, or fabulous stories. Beware that some narcissists who excel at seduction may act very interested in you, but that wanes over time. Flattery is also a means to allure you.
The Need To Feel Grandiose
Not only do they want to be the center of attention, they also brag about their accomplishments, trying to impress you. When you first meet, you may not know the extent of their exaggeration, but it’s likely the case. If they haven’t yet achieved their goals, they may brag about how the will, or how they should have more recognition or success than they do. They do this because they need constant validation, appreciation, and recognition.
They Are Jealous Of Others
Narcissists want to be the first and best, and don’t like their competitors. Instead of being happy for others’ successes, they feel envy. They may tear down the person they envy and say how the person doesn’t deserve what they have. They do this with their own children and partners! They project and believe other people are envious of them. When someone has good reason to criticize or not like them, narcissists will dismiss their complaints as envy, because they are so great – and they can’t tolerate criticism.
Manipulation is a form of covert aggression to influence you to do their bidding. Narcissists are masters of it. To many, dating is an art of game-playing. Narcissist usually aren’t concerned about the other person, their feelings, wants, or needs. When relationships feel one-sided, givers feel exploited. They are because they allow it, and don’t set boundaries. More serious exploitation involves lying, gaslighting, cheating, and fraud involving financial and business dealing. These may include legal violations. You might not see this coming, but a narcissist might brag how he put one over on someone he took advantage of.
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