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9 Signs You’re In Love With A Narcissist

9 Signs You’re In Love With A Narcissist

When outlining the attributes of a narcissist, it’s important to note that not all narcissists are those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The character trait itself is one that may be easy to fall for due to a deceptive charm.

Wikipedia states that “narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. The term originated from Greek mythology where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.”

Essentially, just like the young Narcissus, one of the essential components of the narcissist is that they are head over heels for one person — themselves. If you are dating a narcissistic person, the progression into a toxic relationship comes as swiftly as the relationship progresses. Just as the fish is drawn in by a dangling worm on the end of a line, once you’ve been hooked, it’s pretty difficult to wriggle free.

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So, are you in love with a narcissist? Here are 9 signs you should be on the lookout for.

1. Their love bombing is totally deceptive

The relationship kicks off with a foolproof seductive element, the love bombing, which might come in the form of persistent text messages, phone calls, and emails detailing their love for you. Their one goal is to entice you. Don’t trust it, and never forget that ultimately it’s all about them, not you. We all want to be swept off our feet, loved, admired, and noticed by a partner or lover, and it is totally understandable that you will be impressed by their charm and magnetic personality. If you have felt vulnerable, suffer from low self esteem, or if you’re still hurting from a previous relationship that turned sour, the narcissist can smell this a mile away.

2. They are incapable of admitting they’re wrong

In the initial stages of the relationship, everything you do is perfect — your conversation, your friends, what you wear. The narcissist will agree with most of what you say. This might give you a false sense of security. You may feel that no one else understands you, gets you, or has the ability to love the real you. Once the winds change, and they will, most of what you do will be met with criticism. They are always right — such is the narcissistic element. Remember that there is only one way, the narcissist’s way.

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3. They are too interested in their own needs to bother with yours

If you’re in love with a narcissist, you will become accustomed to constantly suspending your needs to fulfil their’s. Initially, you will feel special, like a hero who is always supportive of their partner. After some time, this will begin to grate at you, as you constantly need to keep changing, cancelling, and rescheduling arrangements for their benefit. Even when this is done, they do not seem altogether satisfied, such is their tremendous need.

4. They bombard you with gestures to seduce and impress

The narcissist’s strength is the knack they have for making sweeping gestures. Being in a relationship with a narcissist has all the elements of a hollywood blockbuster, including the sounds and visual effects. However, like all bad trips to the movies, you might get to the point where you wish you could just walk out of the theatre. Not so easy when it comes to a relationship with a narcissist. Since the relationship kickstarted with so many grandiose gestures and seduction, you will be yearning for this constantly. This is why you will put up with their excuses and criticisms once they arrive. The whole point is essentially to hook you in, and this is when the seasons change.

5. They are deeply envious of your relationships with others

Initially, they will claim to adore the fact that you have close friends and a wonderful family. Who doesn’t love a partner who adores the close relationships you have built with family and good friends? But make no mistake, once you are firmly entrenched in the relationship, this changes dramatically. Now, any time you spend with others is the time you will be unable to spend with them. Narcissists do not deal well with any competitive element — whether that be family, friends, pets, hobbies, or anything else that will take your attention away from them.

6. They live in a narcissistic fantasy world

The reason why most narcissists are able to provide you with an incredible floor show of poetry, grand gestures, and seductive techniques, is because they live in their own fantasy world. They love the fantasy of romance — Disney movies where Prince Charming saves a damsel in distress and they live happily ever after. You will be carried away with the beauty of their words, feelings, hopes, and dreams. However, like all good fantasies, they have a beginning and an ending. We never found out what happened after Sleeping Beauty married the Prince. The narcissist wants the romance only, which doesn’t equate to a long-term, committed relationship, as the only person they love and are committed to is themselves.

7. They use people as objects for their own needs

The narcissist moves around in relationships as a way to fill a vacant hole that resides deep inside them. Your role is simply to feed their ego for as long as possible until their interest fizzles out. This is where the relationship suddenly switches from sizzling hot to stone cold. The confusion can leave you exhausted and drained, as you try to make sense of the changes in their behaviour. Internally, your mind is constantly preoccupied with questions. You start analyzing each interaction you have with each other, to try and make sense of their behaviour.

8. They have a sense of entitlement

They live with a sense of entitlement in all their relationships. This makes it difficult when dealing with workmates, friends, and family members. Even when it comes to hurting others with the comments they might make, they feel that this is completely acceptable. You might not be so lucky, as each thing that you say or do will be screened and censored. Anything that is seen as not to their liking, they will berate you harshly for. Since they are always right, there is no point in trying to argue your case. The narcissistic sense of entitlement overrides everything as their psychological survival depends on this.

9. They have a demanding and controlling nature

The narcissist sees others as an extension of themselves, which can be quite tricky when it comes to building up your reserves of personal space. This is when the control element begins to seep in, as their need to have you by their side grows. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t because they love being with you or want to contribute to your happiness and wellbeing. This is simply because you can provide them with a sense of importance and boost their already-inflated ego. As this progresses, you might begin to feel as though you are wearing a noose. Their control and demands know no bounds or restraints, just like their narcissism.

If you do recognize any of the 9 signs above in your own partner, understand that due to the intense nature of this type of relationship, it is natural that you will have been dragged in head first. We have all been sucked into situations that have been toxic and destructive from the offset, but too compelling and exciting to leave.

The point to remember is that narcissists have a never-ending need. You are not their saviour or their reason for being, you are simply the vehicle in which they can travel in first-class comfort until the next victim comes along. Begin to focus on your own needs, and make a choice to enroll supportive friends or family to empower you to step out of this toxic encounter and into a relationship which nurtures you.

Featured photo credit: Sara Cimino via flickr.com

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Michele Attias

Life Coach, Public Speaker & Writer

9 Signs You’re In Love With A Narcissist

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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