Picture this: After all the ups and downs of dating, you find someone who immediately gets you, puts their energy into winning you over, bombards you with the kind of attention you’ve always craved, then just as sudden as a car crash, they turn on you. Their mood shifts. Everything is about what you’re not doing right, every comment is meant to guilt or trigger you, communication is like pulling teeth, and just when you find the power to walk away, they shame you into staying. You don’t want to give up on them like everyone else; you want to fix them, prove yourself, and get back to the good times. What you don’t know is that these hot and cold characteristics are the new normal. Narcissists hate you, but they won’t let go because they love the strength they draw from your weakness.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD): A personality disorder characterized by a long-term pattern of exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy toward other people.
Many of you have dated, are dating, or are in full-blown relationships with a narcissist. The fucked-up thing is that 90% of these people don’t get diagnosed. To them, it’s just how they are, and it’s a gift, not a curse. They’re smarter than everyone, are going to make more money than everyone, and if you can’t accept that, then you’re just too dumb to recognize greatness. Some of you have never heard the clinical term, so what you think is just a moody and entitled boyfriend or an egotistical girlfriend, is a person who needs to be in therapy, not a relationship. Ignorance is never bliss. Everyone goes through relationship problems at some point, but when you chase someone who has a mental disorder, the typical dating gimmicks don’t apply. You think it’s about you, and what you’re not doing, as opposed to their damage, and try to work it out in all the ways you were taught. You set boundaries, threaten them with ultimatums, and attempt to prove that you’re not like the rest, blind to the fact that they will continue to break your heart because you can’t cure narcissism with love. Today I want to share with you some tell-tale signs that you’re dating a narcissist and show you a way to come out on top.
Those who read this site or have studied my books know that I call out your flaws in a very loud manner to shake you out of your basic mindset. The internal work everyone must do is to stop living on autopilot, sit still, and cut to the heart of their problems. All trauma starts in childhood. A man or woman can’t exploit you unless you have a preexisting insecurity. What’s your preexisting insecurity? That’s not rhetorical. Answer it right now in your head before you continue.
Daddy Issues: Your father wasn’t present in your life or if he was didn’t shower you with attention. No matter if you didn’t think about it much or if you and your father were able to mend fences later, that damaged never healed. You want to feel special to a man, you want to prove you’re good enough, you want to rewrite the past by using the present as to say, “Look, I have value, don’t leave me.”
Mommy Issues: Mothers typically run the homes, and when a father isn’t there, that spirals into a dictatorship. You love your mother, but you despise her attitude. She’s petty, a know-it-all, constantly reminding you what you could be doing better…but at the same time, she’s all you have. She’s a weak woman working through her own trauma who has developed a toxic way of parenting, but you don’t call it out, you just slowly morph into her.
Physical Hang-ups: No matter how you look, someone will find something to label as a flaw. For women, this cuts a lot deeper. This world has made it evident that females are only as valuable as their looks. Correction, as valuable as how closely your looks resemble the mainstream media beauty standard during the time you grew up. Maybe your body isn’t built like Rogue from the X-Men. Your hair isn’t a particular texture. Your nose isn’t a specific shape. Your complexion isn’t what men of the 80s or 90s celebrated. The result? You grew up looking for workarounds to make yourself more attractive, not to today’s world, but to the world that told you that everything about you was either fat, skinny, ugly, or average.
Abuse: No one talks about abuse openly, and if someone dares to ask about it, they don’t go deep enough to explain to you that it wasn’t your fault. The result? You live with it, you find a way to justify it, and as the memory folds into your permanent psyche, you silently start to hate yourself for not confronting the issue. You think it’s too late to get help, so it festers. Now you walk around splintered, one side has to put on a happy face and play a role, the other is still dying inside searching for someone or something to take the pain away.
The list of insecurities can go on for pages, and people often have more than just one. No matter what insecurities are at work inside of you, the lasting effect is this feeling that you’re not worthy of love. Some of you settle for people who also have low self-worth, while others try to latch onto approval from those you see as trophies or alphas. I routinely advise women who preface their personalities with shallow titles or accolades in an attempt to prove that they’re special. “G.L. I have this job, make this much, and drive this car…” Those things aren’t to brag; they’re to say, “Look at me, I achieved, so that makes me worthy now.” Your job title, the home you own, nor the things you can buy makes up for the insecurities you still feel from childhood trauma. You put a ban-aid on a mental issue, and that’s why nothing you have has made you happy.
How Narcissist Prey Upon You
The most damaged people are often the most empathetic. No matter how rough your life has been, you believe in loyalty, honesty, and optimism. Although you don’t have confidence in yourself, you have faith in the concept that you will find someone to love you. Religion, astrology, or spiritual concepts hit harder when you lack true self-esteem. Some higher power reminding you that there’s a way out or a formula where the negative will soon become positive, keeps hope alive. This mentality is the foundation that a narcissist sniffs out. They prey on your empathy, superstition, or faith. You want a soul mate, so they show you all the ways they’re compatible. You want someone that speaks your love language, and they prove they’re fluent. A horoscope or card reader told you this month would be huge for you, and here they come mirroring that they also were told the same thing. It all seems destined… Ha! They’re con artists taking notes, feeding you what you want to hear, and doing the basic things you assume prove love. Your empath nature makes you naïve, your longing for companionship makes you thirsty, and your quest for validation makes you a perfect candidate to be victimized.
Dating A Narcissist
Someone with a narcissistic personality disorder has obvious red flags that you won’t see as red flags because they hide them behind traits we often see as admirable. They’re overly confident to the point of cockiness. They have an inflated sense of self-importance. They have stories about how others envy them, which proves that they’re doing something right. Think about these traits in terms of dating. When you go on a date, you have a mental checklist of things you want to hear. You date to see if a person has their life together, if they’re ambitious, achieving, and someone that brings something to the table besides looks. A first date is perfect for a narcissist because they can tell you what they’ve done, the companies they’ve worked for, name drop famous or influential people they’ve met, and then launch into visionary ideas that make them seem like the next Elon Musk.
First date bragging is organic, not random, which is why it flies under the radar. In my books, I preach vetting because it’s how you knock a bullshit artist off their square, but most of you don’t practice what I write. Instead, you listen, you feed in, and you feel honored that someone with so much going on seems so into you. Let’s be honest; you don’t see yourself as the trophy. Instead, you crave the validation of a winner seeing you as interesting enough to keep dating. Once a person impresses you, the goal becomes “I hope they want to go on a second date,” and because you’re looking at the small picture, you don’t see how self-absorbed this person is or any other red flags. Here are some things to keep in the front of your mind when scouting for a narcissist.
-Self Assured Know It All: Narcissists want to convince you they’re the smartest people in the room. Every conversation topic you bring up, they’ll discuss as if it’s a competition. You went to Vegas; they went to Greece. You don’t like the way politics are going; they have insider information on how the world is really run. You’re trying to eat vegetarian; they’re giving you data on why that may not be as good for as you think. They can jump on any topic with the certainty of an expert. For those of you who usually date inarticulate people or nervous introverts, this doesn’t come across as cocky; it comes across as powerful and charming. Here’s a person that (seemingly) knows what they’re talking about and is discussing deeper topics than how long you’ve worked at your job and your favorite album. Being (fake) deep is a turn on because you like to think of yourself as an intellectual as well.
-Love Blitz: Narcissists require constant praise and attention. What these people are hiding is a very low self-esteem. They’re frauds, they’re bullshit artists, and they know it. The fuel they require to fight these thoughts off comes in the form of someone they’re dating thinking highly of them. For you to go from a person who didn’t text back often or hated the phone to a person that’s constantly texting and wants to sit on the phone with you, feels like night and day. It’s only been a week, and it feels like forever. That’s not chemistry or proof of compatibility, that’s being love blitzed by a person that’s an emotional vampire. A narcissist wants to talk for hours, they want to see you multiple times throughout the week, but most importantly, they want an audience to listen to how great they are on any given day.
-Of Like Minds: Narcissists study great people, they obsess over celebrity, and they feel a deep sense of jealousy. Jealous people hide their insecurity by claiming others are jealous of them. The inability to empathize creates this mind frame where they assume everyone is as petty as they are. In their minds, they are Diddy mixed with Bill Gates, and rivals want to stop their ascension. When dating, this works in your favor as they’re going to paint you as similar to them. You’re a go-getter too, you’re a deep thinker too, you’re a person on the rise too. They aren’t flattering you because they see something special; narcissists are so self-absorbed that they project what they want to see in themselves into you. Nevertheless, when it’s presented to you under the umbrella of romantic bonding, you buy into this idea that you are twin flames. Finally, someone believes in your potential, but if you pay close attention, it’s never about the details of your life, it’s about them and their potential, they’re just adding you in for decoration.
-No True Friends: Narcissists don’t have many friends. They may have people from work they know, maybe relatives they talk to, but they don’t have that true best friend or group of friends to lean on. This is why they can pour so much attention into you even at the dating stage; you’re all they have in terms of a social bond. Why is this? Anyone who has known a narcissist for over a year has figured out their agenda. These vampires don’t compromise, do favors, or want to hang without them being the center of attention. In response, friends dry up rather than deal with a selfish asshole.
How A Narcissist Suckers You In
Honey Turns To Glue: What makes someone an egomaniac on the surface? How others treat them. That tall handsome guy that looks like he used to play ball knows women like you are going to be on his dick just based on his looks, so he acts cocky because he perceives himself as a trophy and women treat him like one. That young woman who gets a hundred thousand likes with every picture she drops knows that the social media obsess want to be her friend, so of course she brags and acts entitled. Money or the perception of money is an even bigger magnet than looks or status. No matter how many people say, “None of that stuff matter, it’s how you treat me,” the success of narcissism proves that to be false in most cases. A narcissist sucks you in by leading with their charm, their looks, their popularity, or their wealth. They act like you’re in an exclusive club, they do small things to make you jealous like show you who else is texting them or how an ex is trying to get back with them. It’s all a show. If you’ve been waiting for someone that looks 10 out of 10, someone that’s known and powerful, someone that has the world figured out, or someone with money, you aren’t going to walk away the moment their true colors shine through. They’re going to remind you that they’re rare, remind you that you’re not so rare, and if your dating options are limited, that threat becomes a glue.
Turning Red Flags White: Within the first month of dating a narcissist, you’ll begin to see the warning signs. You have friends; a narcissist doesn’t, so they’ll try to guilt you about hanging out so much. Some of you enjoy “clingy love” because you’re dealing with Daddy Issues or past abandonment, where the ones you wanted the most didn’t want you at all. To have this narcissist pout about spending more time with you strokes your battered ego. What a Spartan would see as a Red Flag, you see as cute and proof of a deep interest in you. Another clear sign is how they choose to listen. In the case of a narcissist, they listen only to piggyback on your problems with their issues or their brilliant solutions. Work drama conversation turns to their work drama and what they plan on doing. Family issues turn to their ideology on family and friends and why you don’t need them. Narcissists never ask follow-up questions about you, how you’re feeling, or asks you to expand upon your thoughts. They instead take your anger and replace it with their agenda. Not once do you stop and think, “this motherfucker just made it about them…again.”
The Slow Abuse: Let’s talk about insults. Everyone reading this knows what slander looks like, they know what shade sounds like, and they know what a backhanded compliment feels like. If someone on the internet takes a shot at you, it’s clear as day. When your mother takes a shot at you, it’s masked, but you still get the point. During the dating stage or new relationship stage with a narcissist, insults have silencers attached to them. A woman says, “Babe, I think I’ll get the chicken club.” The man replies, “You’re the last one that needs all that bread. Get the salad.” Said calm, and between the two, this insult about weight goes unnoticed. Said with another person around, it stands out. This happened to me once. A guy said those words to his girlfriend, and I reacted with an audible, “Wow, really?” which caused her to speak up. I found out after they broke up that he routinely said little things like that to her that slowly made this 120-pound woman think she was still that chubby little girl that used to get teased.
Remember that narcissists insult you in a way where it’s conversational and triggers things that you already believe about yourself. “This is why the people at work don’t like you,” “This is why you’ll never get that business off the ground,” “Wow, you really put on all that makeup?” “Damn, are you going to eat all of that?” “I see why your mother treats you like that…” Anything that jabs you about things you already feel guilty about is the key to priming you for gaslighting. In Men Don’t Love Women Like You, I call these Bitch Checks, but it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman; the point is to slowly but surely make you doubt yourself. Each month they go deeper and get more personal. After a year with this kind of person, you’re in a full-blown emotionally abusive relationship where everything you do is wrong, and every mistake you ever made in your life is thrown back in your face. Little did you recognize that it started very early because back then, it seemed innocent.
The Reminders: They’re going to be great, and you’re going to be nothing. They’re going to go on to find someone better looking, who was raised properly, and knows how to be a team player. Meanwhile, you’re going to go back to dating idiots, hanging with your loser friends, and end up depressed and regretful. It’s easy to say, “Fuck you, pussy. I don’t need this!” when it’s not happening to you. For someone to sink their claws into an already damaged psyche, make you feel loved, wanted, like a part of a team, only to remind you that you’ll never be truly loved— it hurts!
You don’t break up with a narcissist cold turkey if you have a litany of insecurities because you don’t believe in your self-worth enough for a breakup to stick. The only reason you were feeling better about your life was due to their part in it, which means that your self-worth is tied to a narcissist who has weaponized your lack of self-esteem. Argue back, read a book, listen to a lecture, talk to a friend, but none of those things will empower you after they convinced you that you are indeed nothing without them. Understand that narcissist exist on every social-economic level, and some of their traits can lead to them attaining the money, power, and success. No matter if it’s a wealthy narcissist who dangles money or connections over your head, or a broke one who is using you because you have a place he can stay and a car he can use, the mindfuck is all the same—you’re never going to do better than me.
A woman once told me about her boyfriend, who was trying hard to be a fashion designer. He inspired her to start modeling again, boosted her self-esteem, encouraged her to get a job at a fashion house part-time, and then failure after failure he took it all out on her. It was torture. My advice was to leave. She tried for a week, then he hit her with how he had gotten a famous singer to wear one of his shirts. He was glad to move on, and he reminded her that she should remember this mistake when he’s a household name, and she’s still an ugly skinny bitch with a drug addict mother. She went back to him and has gone back to him several times since then.
It’s not about “that bitch is dumb,” it’s about the want to belong. When you don’t know what love looks like; someone wanting to control you feels the same as them needing you. Narcissists confuse you, play the victim, and lure you back into a state of weakness because they know your past is filled with pain and your present is filled with a want to belong. Recognize that you are not the problem, that you are worthy of more, and that the cycle can be broken. The road back requires you to love yourself even if no one else ever has, so remind yourself every day that you are loved.
The Chase: Walk away. Ghost them. Have a friend break the news. Whatever you have to do to escape this level of asshole, do it… That’s the advice you’re going to get from anyone with a brain. What they’re not considering is that even once you find the strength to break up, a narcissist goes nuclear with the one thing you still want—their love. Remember that these people have manic episodes, they get really high and really low. To break up, even if you mean it, registers as a game. A narcissist doesn’t have empathy for the way you feel, but they do understand that making you happy will put them back in the driver’s seat, so they not only play along, they overdo it to recapture your mind.
Most of you break up and then search the internet for “how to get them back.” Playing this game with a narcissist is dangerous as all those gimmicks that dating gurus give you like “write them a letter” “make them jealous” blah blah blah, provides a narcissist with a roadmap. Flowers, fancy dates, surprises, no temper tantrums—they can play that role for a month, if not more. Basic ass advice about how to make someone change will seem like it worked—and then the same patterns slowly reform.
Ladies, you don’t need a guy who disrespects you, gaslights you, and won’t even discuss what’s causing his behavior to take you on a date or buy you shit. Those things don’t save a relationship, they waste time until the next argument. Fellas, you don’t need a woman who is always lying, who doesn’t know how to handle her anger and is continually threatening you to put her titty in your mouth and tell you how great you are; she’s stroking your ego not changing her behavior. “Let’s have a baby” doesn’t fix anything. “Let’s leave the past in the past” doesn’t fix anything. “Let’s get married” doesn’t fix anything. No matter who you are, man or woman, you can’t trick, bully, or guilt someone with a personality disorder into change. They need therapy!
The Fallout: You did it. You finally broke things off and are beginning to rebuild. Even after you leave them alone and block them on everything, they’ll still see you as an easy target. You shattered their fragile little ego by proving that you don’t need them. What does someone with an inflated sense of self do when exposed? They change the narrative! Social Media is the easiest; they’ll post how fucked up you are and how they great they were to garner sympathy. They may reach out to your friends and try to get in their ear about the things you did or said behind their backs. If they do still have contact with you, they’ll text you random shit to piss you off—pictures of new things they bought, photos of the new person they’re dating, and jabs about how much you ruined something perfect.
The fucked up thing is that it works in most cases. You’ll see how fake your friends are when they pop up with gossip about your ex, or you find out that they’re inviting your ex to events, even after you told them what happened. You’ll see how cold the internet is when people are coming at your neck based on the fake news your ex spewed. Just recently, I had a woman who unblocked her ex only to see that he’s been sending her all kinds of receipts of how his new life is much better, and guess what? She ended up responding to him just like he knew she would. Narcissists have to win the war or get the last word because being ignored makes them feel insignificant.
Turning The Tables On A Narcissist
You will never be good enough for a person who feels they aren’t good enough. Narcissists have an inferiority complex that drives them, and a delusion fueled by a fear that they’ll be exposed as being weak, insecure, and fraudulent. A narcissist’s power comes from pushing you down and then lifting you back up as if they weren’t the ones responsible. To break the cycle and strip them of that control you must push back with courage and strategy.
Lean In: When initially observing a narcissist, you can’t get hypnotized by their fast talk. Ask trigger questions on those first few dates. Test his knowledge. Clarify his facts. Who told him that? How did he learn that? Where did he read that? Ask for specific stories about these big things he’s doing or these people he knows or who are out to get him. Listen to see if he’s trying to keep up with the lie or if this is real from memory. If he is doing well for himself, don’t get caught up in the flash or lifestyle, ask about family, friendships, personal bonds with people, not money or business. When it comes to the love blitz, learn how to say, “not today.” I don’t care how lonely you are or how great that date was, don’t allow someone to be in constant contact with you or see you multiple times a week this early. Smothering you with attention blinds you and numbs your commons sense. On future dates, see how well they remember things about you, quiz them organically by saying things like, “Remember the person I was telling you about last date?” Check to see if he or she is interested in getting to know you rather than getting you to be their adorning audience.
These simple steps will frustrate a narcissist. They will be annoyed that you aren’t allowing them to dominate the conversation. They will complain when you don’t allow them to see or communicate with you on their schedule. Their confidence is going to crumble when you push them into giving real answers. Most importantly, what leaning in does is bring to light their attitude and anger. When you don’t do what they say or move at their pace, the insults, passive-aggressive behavior, and commanding nature leaks out within weeks, if not days. Knowing a person has serious personality flaws early rather than months into it is crucial. Instead of being charmed into giving them the benefit of the doubt, you’ll expose them as yet another person with deep-rooted issues that don’t deserve a place in your life.
Ignore: If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, the best way to break up is to push them out of your life quickly and aggressively. Many of you don’t understand the power of ignoring someone or cutting someone off clean. It may be in your nature to get the last word, to seek closure, or to prove to someone that’s blaming you that it’s not your fault. Fuck that noise. Those that say that they’re unbothered are the most bothered. Play into this character flaw by taking away the one thing a narcissist covets—attention. Block their number. If they call remotely, hang up. Tell your friends what to look out for if they reach out. Get off of their social media and block them from yours. Don’t ruin your shot at freedom by being nosey! You don’t owe them reason; it’s better to cut out on them mysteriously than give them yet another blueprint to win you back. Remember what I wrote above; they want to play games. By ignoring them with no follow-up, they become trapped in their own head. They will try ways to get in contact or get you to unblock them, but you have to wait out the storm. Eventually, they will find a new target.
But what if we’re married… but what if a child is involved… but what if I have to see them at work… THERE IS NO BUT! You don’t have to engage with someone you don’t want to. There are always intermediates that you can use. No situation is an exception if you genuinely want to free yourself. Know that you can always sign up to email me if you need a specific battle plan. Never feel like you can’t do this step for any reason.
Reinforce: Fill your holes. It’s not your fault that narcissists exist. You didn’t ask to be exploited. You can’t help that you give people the benefit of the doubt. Improving your life isn’t about blame; it’s about power. I wished the people who you attracted into your life were all honorable, but most will have nefarious agendas. The key to safeguarding your heart and preventing further damage is revisit the patterns of your life, the types you fall for, and what you’re ultimately seeking. Make sure that you’re not chasing validation, you’re not dumbing yourself down for approval, and you’re not a low vibrational person that screams, “I’m a sucker for love and attention.”
I asked you what your insecurities were at the top. Now the next step is to do something about it. It’s not too late, you’re not too old, and it’s never silly to seek help. You’re walking around with baggage that has you operating at 65% of what you’re capable of being. Your guard may be up, but people are still sneaking through the back window because you don’t know how to defend against someone who knows the layout of your broken home! Choose to better yourself! That means therapy, that means meditation, that means rewiring your brain to stop going back to someone who hurts you, apologizes, then hurts you again. This site has all kinds of useful information on how to do internal work, and my books go even further. Use them. Take this time to reinforce your defenses so that no one wastes your time or furthers your trauma.
Next Up: “Dating During & After The CoronaVirus…”
you won’t want to miss this one.
Also Be Sure to listen to my latest podcast: https://farfrombasyc.com/2020/03/loapreview.html