11 Ways to Spot the Narcissist in Your Bedroom

by Elizabeth Stone for YourTango  |

Among the types of people who can really muck up your life, there is the toxic narcissist.

Narcissism exists on a spectrum. These self-centered folks can simply be more focused on themselves, or it can cross over into an actual personality disorder. Either way, narcissists are legendarily difficult to have relationships with. So, if you are truly coping with one it might be time to make some hard decisions about the relationship.

Here are some signs that you might be dating a narcissist:
1. He lacks personal responsibility.

It is never, ever his fault. The narcissist can’t see the other person’s side of an issue or admit that he had a part in something that went wrong. He denies the reality that he cause a lot of his own problems.

2. When confronted with your feelings, she lacks remorse.

This is particularly hard to deal with in romantic relationships because it’s essential to be able to work through problems with your partner.

Since narcissists don’t believe they’re at fault in disagreements or misunderstandings, coaxing a sincere apology out of them is difficult and hollow.

They’ll argue in such a way that causes you to feel guilty even though they’re actually at fault.

3. They manipulate you to get what they want.

Since the most important person on the narcissist’s list is himself, he sees the people in his lives as means to an end. If he needs admiration, attention, or to borrow $100, he’ll find a way to get it from you.

4. Preoccupied with perfection.

Narcissists likes their outer appearance to match their elevated perception of the world. Surface appearances are extremely important to them.

Since in their eyes their partner reflects upon them, they’ll often try to control the image that their partner and family projects.

This often involves micromanaging your appearance and decisions. They’ll often make their partners feel like they should be striving to reach their imagined idea of perfection.

5. Their life is secretly in shambles.

While they may strive to appear perfect on the outside, things are not what they appear underneath.

Because narcissists can even convince themselves that their lives are going perfectly, they gloss right over “hard work” and “persistence.”

That, combined with the fact that they treat others like crap, leads to messy breakups and rocky relationships.

6. They have charisma.

A narcissist can be magnetic … at first. Frankly, putting on a repellent self-centered attitude would run contrary to a narcissist’s goals — namely, creating admiration and attention in others to get things from them.

As a result, they usually have a carefully crafted public persona.

7. They steer the conversation toward themselves.

It doesn’t matter what’s happening, narcissists can make it about themselves. They seek out praise and validation from others and are drawn to flattery to support their oversized self opinions.

8. They don’t care about problems that don’t directly involve themselves.

Narcissists are the wrong people to confide in since they’re so self-absorbed and rarely consider the needs of others.

They’ll make you feel like you’re boring or inconveniencing them or change the subject to something that they are interested in, usually themselves.

9. They can’t stand criticism.

While they may be adept at cutting you down with criticism, narcissists don’t handle criticism (constructive or otherwise) well. They may hit back or lash out.

10. They have less empathy.

Recent research suggests that while narcissists have lower levels of empathy as a whole, their ability to empathize with others depends on the individual’s level of narcissism. Either way, this characteristic makes them uncaring partners.

11. Your relationship revolves around their needs and wants.

When the going gets tough, narcissists will often check out completely. Because they’re so low on empathy, narcissists have a hard time putting the needs of others above their own.

As a result, narcissists make difficult, uncaring parents and lovers. As the partner of a narcissist, your needs won’t likely ever cross their radar, let alone come first.

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  1. Another thing to realize is that people who are very narcissistic not only exhibit the traits above concerning empathy, but they’re just not capable of it. I’ll repeat that. They are simply incapable of the emotion called empathy. For the “fixers” out there who want to remake the person a bit, it’s as stark as can be. You can’t start a car that has utterly no fuel in the tank. It AIN’T gonna happen.

  2. All the negatives above came through in my romantic relationship with a narcissistic woman. There’s another big one though: the need to be envied.

    My narcissistic buddy and his leather couch? Once he wastes money he doesn’t have on it, he’ll brag about how much better his couch is than yours.

    He owns nicer shit than me. I guess that makes me a little jeaous at times. But that jealousy is quickly beaten back by the logic of point #4: underneath the glossy impressive exterior, he’s flat broke because of his expensive tastes, and that’s not something I envy.

    Now, in a romantic partner, that need to elicit envy and jealousy will take the form of cheating/flirting with other people in front of you/inappropriate line-crossings, etc.

    They’ll intentionally do stuff to make you insane with jealousy, then they’ll “gas light” you about it – they’ll act like you’re crazy and they can’t for the life of them see what your problem is.

    This is why I’m always skeptical of people who “confess” when they cheat. I have a hard time accepting that they’re now trying to do the right thing, especially when,

    1) they very much missed their chance to do the right thing,

    2) confessing will very much wound their partner,

    3) this isn’t the first time in their life they’ve done this.

  3. One of my best friends is a textbook narcissist. A conversation might go like this:

    Johnny: “… and she left me for good, and my dog died, and my car broke down, and I really just don’t think I can go on.”

    Friend: “That sucks. Oh man! Did I tell you what happened to me the other day? I was walking down the street when…”

    In a way it’s great. I can get secrets off my chest knowing that my audience is paying zero attention. I can stop paying attention to him when he talks knowing that he doesn’t actually care if anyone’s listening. It’s like this neat cross between having company and being alone.

    One of the classic narcissistic problems he exhibits is a need QUANTITIES of assurance and praise without any need for QUALITY.

    Friend: “I just lost my job, buuuut I like this leather couch I’ve been looking at. I think I really need it.”


    Friend: “Thanks. Where do you think I should put it?”

    It’s endlessly funny to me.

    I’ve dated narcissists though. That is definitely NOT funny.

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