Statistics show that there are more men than women with narcissism but women cause just as much pain, devastation, and humiliation as the men and take just as much pleasure in destroying any one close to them. I refer to the N as “him” but these traits apply to women also.
– Upon meeting new people the narcissist presents an image of being friendly, confident, reasonable, humorous, they usually are attractive or have sex appeal and intelligent. Whether it is a friendship, romantic relationship or a business deal the narcissist is on his best behavior until he is sure he has you hooked, then slowly the mask will start to slip and his true colors will show. The following traits are of the narcissist exposed, you will not see them until you are in deep, often times too deep to easily extricate yourself.
– People that know them find it very hard to believe the way he treats his family behind closed doors. At home he/she is withdrawn, arrogant, unavailable, and can treat their partner and children with loathing, resentment and self-righteousness. (JC had cried to me for years about the son he had never met, he finally met him and his son came to live with us. After a month or so my ex turned critical, angry, intolerant, and violent towards his son. He came home late after work, sometimes he didn’t come home at all, he ended up punching his son, calling him a selfish pig and telling him to get out and never come back because the boy ate his doughnut. We could be out in public and have so much fun, he would be loving and I would be looking forward to it continuing when we got home; but as soon as we got home he would disappear into his shop, pick a fight on the way home, or go on the computer)
– It is impossible to not fight with a narcissist; the simplest of requests such as “please take your boots off in the house” will turn into a major fight with you defending yourself. I never felt my ex and I were “on the same team”, seemingly obvious choices that would benefit us as a couple would be dismissed for whatever my ex felt would benefit him at the time, or to prove to me that he wasn’t about to do anything I thought was a good idea. He wasn’t afraid of being responsible for making bad choices because he would just blame me anyway and alter the course of events to suit his agenda and if all else failed he would just deny, deny, deny.
– Passive aggressive retaliations-ie: something special to you gets broken or disappears; he will purposely make you late for an event you are looking forward to. My ex “accidentally” dumped antifreeze all over ALL my photos, dumped the gold flakes out of a small vial I got while in Disneyland with my son, took or destroyed almost every memento I had. He even took my son’s baby teeth and a small charm given to me when he was born, and tried to blame it on his son. Destroying or taking you property as “punishment” is very common, you may not even know you angered the narcissist. A situation that would have normally sent him into a rage doesn’t and months later you discover a favorite lamp is broken, or a memento is missing.
– When he meets new people he feels could be of benefit to him he acts the same as he does with a new “love ” interest. He instantly takes on their interests, their beliefs and values, suddenly he is quoting them like they are experts on any topic, he will lavish them with gifts, all they have to do is mention they need something and he is dropping it off to them, but not without a price, he plans on getting payback later and if he doesn’t he will find all kinds of fault with them and discard them as useless just like he does with the woman in his life.
-They will find a way of being the center of attention and if they aren’t they will leave. Whenever we were any where or if people came over to our house he would always be late (even when we were the hosts), he would just up and leave without saying anything to anyone, or injure himself. One time we had people (that he had invited) for dinner, we were having dessert and drinks by the fire outside and he disappeared, then we heard his Harley start and he drove off. Many of them are hypochondriac and are always complaining of some ailment or will injure themselves to get attention. Every time my ex and I fought I knew he would injure himself somehow, after I mentioned it too him then my truck started breaking down every time we fought. When he got with his new woman he had to go away for work, I figured he wouldn’t go and was surprised when he actually left for work, but I was not the least bit surprised when he ended up injuring himself and having to come home.
– They are extremely abusive verbally if not physically and those wounds take longer to heal if they ever do completely. The abuse starts with verbal assaults out of the blue. In the beginning you think he is the most even-tempered guy you have ever met, you never fight and he never loses his temper. But out of the blue he will totally lose it over some insignificant thing or perceived slight by you. If you challenge his honesty or catch him in a lie, he will be indignant that you could believe such a thing of him and you end up apologizing because he is so angry.
– Many narcissists have a tendency toward violent and even criminal behavior. They will be the “bad” cop, the dirty lawyer, the white-collar crime executive, the employee that steal from the company, the petty pick pocket. They will steal from their own grandmother.
– Narcissist’s hate authority and boundaries and will do things just because he isn’t supposed to, the only thing that keeps most of them from breaking the law too severely is the fear of going to jail. They hate authority so much and need ns so badly that jail is one thing they fear the most.Seeing as they have no respect for a person’s boundaries they often end up pissing people off and getting into confrontations. From my experience when he was confronted by a man who was pissed at him, my ex usually didn’t respond violently or even verbally but would act as if nothing was happening at all. I have witnessed a big Harley riding dude threatening him, screaming and hovering over him because he owed the guy’s boss money and my ex just kept working on the motorcycle he was tinkering with and didn’t say a word. When he did feel the need to get even with someone he plotted passive aggressive retaliation. With me also most of his aggression was in the form of destroying something of value to me. That is not to say they won’t or don’t get physically violent, as time went on the physical abuse escalated in severity and frequency. From pushing, to choking to punching me in the head and physically preventing me from leaving.
– For someone who comes across as so personable and sensitive they will come up with some totally inappropriate comment. That is because they have no real feelings, no conscience or empathy. They study people so they can imitate appropriate reactions to situations, if they do not have a reaction “on file” they will exit the situation or may “wing” their reaction and miss the mark.
– To the outside world they present an image of a happy-go-lucky kinda guy but at home my ex would brood for days and refuse to tell me what the problem was. He would build a fire and stare into it for hours on end, or go in his shop and stay in there all night. If someone dropped by he would be friendly and happy but the minute they left he was sullen again. He seemed so unhappy yet would say it had nothing to do with me and he wasn’t sad. Eventually he would blow up and once he spewed all over me he would be happier again and act like nothing happened and be frustrated and angry if I didn’t immediately get over it.
– They don’t feel guilty about anything, they feel justified to screw around, steal, lie, and cheat to them you are only guilty if you get caught and can’t lie your way out of it. He was telling other women he loved them and sleeping with them when he was out-of-town and he knew I would be upset so he would lie. To him a lie was as good as the truth as long as you believed him. If you questioned him on it he was angry with you for causing conflict by not believing his transparent lies. I ruined things by looking on the computer and finding evidence of his infidelity; I was supposed to just be happy that he called to say he loved me and missed me and not care that he was with another woman at the time. His excuse for screwing around was I could have a different guy every night of the week. I had said, “maybe I could, but that is the key word, I “could” but I don’t because I love you. You should be proud that other men want me but I am faithful to you.”
– If their lips are moving they are lying. Narcissists are pathological liars, you probably have no idea all the lies he’s told you or about you. They will lie to you about things that you did together. They will misquote you to yourself. If you disagree with them, they will say you are lying, or crazy. (If you have been with them any amount of time you are probably starting to believe they might be right) They lie about EVERYTHING, even stuff they don’t have to lie about. There were lies he told me that I believed for the whole 10 years we were together and didn’t find out the truth until after we had split and I made an innocent statement to his sister who informed me he had been lying.
– After the initial “hooking you” idealization stage when they are wooing you with their generosity by taking you for dinners, buying you gifts and flowers they become downright stingy, buying things for themselves and ignoring your birthday, anniversaries, Christmas and Valentines. They will give you Valentine chocolates they bought on sale Feb 18th and eat 1/2 of them before presenting them to you as if they have done something wonderful. They will tell you that you do not deserve gifts because you haven’t earned them and tell you what they would have gotten you if you behaved better.
– If they are constantly starting fights about your spending habits it is more than likely a smoke screen they are using to hide their own spending from you.
– Narcissistic people usually have weird sexual hangups or addictions and rarely are they faithful. They have secret crushes, affairs, use pornography, have “Cyber” affairs, and generally are always on the prowl for the rush of new love. They are known for going after married people because it is a bigger ego boost to take someone away from their partner. They will entice their new victim with professions of undying and unconditional love and once they leave their husband or wife will discard them without a backwards glance with no thought to how they just destroyed a family. He will create his fantasy self on the internet and wants every woman to want and love him, whether they can truly ever be together is of little consequence to him, he lives in a fantasy world anyway. He gets the ultimate Narcissistic supply if he can get another man’s wife or girlfriend. JC bragged to me one time about how before he met me he had been outside washing his car when a pretty woman walked past taking her kids to school. When she was walking home he started up a conversation with her and before school let out he had her in bed. She was married and when her husband found out he came over to my ex’s. My ex beat him up and then charged him with assault and the guy was put in jail. My ex and this woman partied and screwed the whole time her husband was in jail. As soon as the guy got out of jail he would go to my ex’s looking for his wife. My ex would beat him up and then charge the guy with assault. He was laughing and was surprised when I thought it was disgusting and not the least bit funny. He had told me how devastated he had been when he found out a girl he loved was with another man and I reminded him of that, I thought he understood, but he’s been with a married woman just recently so obviously not!
– Often has one or several women on the hook should the present relationship end, also having two women in love with him keeps the narcissistic supply coming. I used to think my ex purposely let me find out he was pursuing other women just to make me jealous, it fed his ego to know I was hurt over the fact he wanted someone else. He especially enjoys triangulation, pitting two or more women against each other., both of them blaming the other when in fact they should both be angry with the narcissist.
– He has no problem promising anything to get a desired reaction or something he wants, he simply denies saying it or finds a way to blame you for not living up to his promises. ie: Because of your behaviour he isn’t going to “reward” you.
– Glorifies and falsifies achievements past and present to the point of being unbelievable, and expects to be recognized and praised for real and fabricated accomplishments. These are the people who will be in the news because they practiced medicine and a doctor and never went to med school. my ex went so far as to print up his own credentials.
– They are extremely sensitive to criticism, even the simplest complaint, such as taking their shoes off at the door is met with a barrage of all your faults and wrong doings, you end up defending yourself and he is ready to walk out the door. If you confront him on his infidelity, porn addiction, disrespectful treatment etc he will become extremely defensive to the point of violence.
– Seems totally oblivious to others and the effect his actions have on the people around him, resulting in loss of jobs, being evicted, loss of friendships
– Very poor impulse control, acts without any thought to consequences and rarely learns from past experiences.
– The narcissist does not have a conscience which means he demonstrates an extreme lack of compassion and shows no sensitivity towards the problems of their partner.. They will purposely act grossly unsupportive and uncooperative of loved ones in times of need or illness. Yet they expect their partner to totally support and cater to their every whim.
– He brushes his indiscretions under the carpet; and expects his partner to accept the blame for making him do whatever he did. To the point that the problem is NOT that he was unfaithful, it was his partners fault for snooping and discovering it. (but you will be raked over the coals for your slightest indiscretion over and over again)
– Uses allies, real and imagined to back up claims and arguments. ie: the guys at work don’t know how he can tolerate the way you treat him, or they all think you are crazy etc they will tell people their life is hell because of their partner and love to play the victim, they are always the one being taken advantage of and all their ex’s were psycho.
– To them any relationship, life period, is a game of strategy to get what you want or to “win”, if you cry it is a ploy you are using to “pull one over on him”. Consequently he trusts no one because he knows he is lying and manipulating and just assumes so is everyone else. He will resort to any method to get what he wants. All those conversations you and he had in the beginning when you were sharing and getting to know each other? He was sharing seemingly intimate details of his life in order to get you to open up and now he is using the information he got to manipulate you, make you feel guilty or inferior. He has no scruples and will use any information no matter how intimate a hurtful it may be to you. He loves to make you feel flawed, inferior, and you should be thankful he even tolerates you. He feels he is superior to you or any other human that shows emotion, he does not feel he is flawed in any way because he doesn’t feel emotions, he sees emotion as a weakness and something to be exploited.
– Tends to be unreasonably jealous and possessive; going to great lengths to control the freedom of his partner. (to the point of sabotaging your vehicle, causing you to lose your job, controlling all the money) Again, he knows what he is doing behind your back and just assumes you must be also.
– The narcissist can be an extremely passionate and talented lover when trying to “win” his love interest or get them back after a break up but any other time it is all about him and with many of them they lose interest in sex all together. They actually hate intimacy so once they have hooked their prey sex becomes strictly a physical release and used as a tool to get what he wants. During a fight he is capable of sexually degrading name calling and ridiculing the sexual performance of their partner.
– The N will make unreasonable demands of their partner’s time and resources, demanding money, NOW, insisting you stay home knowing you have plans. If the victim doesn’t comply they will be punished in many ways. The narcissist has an arsenal of ways to punish their partner from stealing, destroying, or hiding their property, gives the silent treatment, physically intimidate or physically abuse the person.
– The narcissist rejects, threatens to leave or end relationship to keep partner in line and compliant, will later deny saying it and say you are too sensitive, misunderstood or provoked it.
– If he senses you are feeling insecure the narcissist will emotionally punish you by refusing to say I you back when you say it to him, refusing to hug or sleep with you. This also goes for times when the love partner is struggling with a loss, grief, or challenges. He will not tolerate not being your main focus and will do or say something to hurt or anger you to switch your attention back to them. Like a misbehaving child, negative attention is better than no attention
– He will often use unpredictable and unaccountable behavior to control and keep partner off-balance. ie: always late, will call to say he is on his way home and then not get home for hours or at all, not phoning or refusing to answer his phone, never home at the same time, not coming to bed, even something as simple as eating supper before he comes home knowing you’ll have supper ready. It eventually gets to the point where you stop planning anything because he finds a way of ruining it; usually by being late or just not showing up. You can count on nothing!! my ex’s favorite phrase when he would disappoint me was, “If you have no expectations you can’t be disappointed.”
– Creating powerlessness and helplessness in another person makes them feel superior and inflates their ego but once they succeed in making the person feel insecure they will criticize that person for being to needy.
– The narcissist refuses to apologize or when he does it is backwards apology where the person they hurt is somehow to blame for them hurting them .One of my ex’s favorites was, “I shouldn’t have let you get to me, I should have walked away instead of hitting you.” Or, “Its your own fault I hurt you, you kept taking me back.”
– Will create a situation where love partner needs them to “rescue” them, making them a hero of sorts and puts them in control. my ex would sabotage my vehicle, I would have to call him for help and he would make me wait hours and hours to get there. I noticed he was always in a very good mood when he had to rescue me, very supportive and “loving”, but later would complain to others. Whenever I said I was leaving him he’d say that I’d never find another man willing to constantly rescue me. (Funny, when he was out of my life for any length of time I didn’t need rescuing).
– They have illogical thought processes; ie: He wouldn’t let me use his computer because he said every time I did we fought. We fought because every time I used his computer I would find letters to other women, photos of other women, videos of us having sex that I didn’t know he’d taped, etc. One time we’d been getting along really well until he used my laptop and forgot to close his POF account, and email accounts and I discovered he’d been communicating with at least 10 women. His response was,”See? Every thing was fine until you snoop”. He refused to acknowledge that he was using my computer and denied he had a personal ad (until I threw photocopies of all his correspondence in his face) I found myself explaining to him why everything was NOT fine just because I didn’t know about it, what he was doing was wrong and totally disrespectful of me and my feelings. He thinks if he doesn’t get caught he hasn’t done anything wrong. Its not stealing if you don’t get caught.
– They “steal” bits of behaviour, ideas, tastes, opinions etc from someone they regard as an authority figure, usually a new acquaintance.
– Where ever they work they are the “star” employee, solving problems no one previous could, without them the company would fold or if he just got hired he is repairing all the mistakes the person before him made and the company is so thankful and lucky to have him. my ex worked 24/7, even when bosses told him not to but for all the hours he put in eventually the company would figure out he was not being productive and always cut corners and cheated when possible. They are not invested in what they do so they don’t pay attention to what they are doing. my ex would say he spent all night fixing my truck while I was asleep in bed. for one thing he wouldn’t start working on my truck until midnight, then he would have spent 2 hours looking for tools, 3 hours on the internet checking his email and looking at porn, an hour in the bathroom, built a fire, spent an hour on the phone, played his guitar for an hour and watched the fish tank for an hour. Every job my ex had he put in phenomenal hours and was eventually falsely accused of stealing. No “normal” person would put in the hours at work he did I wondered sometimes if he was afraid to take days off because someone might figure out he wasn’t doing anything when he worked overtime.
– They will flatter you, charm you and generally act like they “love” you if they think you have something they want or you can benefit them in some way.
– The partner of a narcissist is continually cleaning up after them, literally by picking up behind them, (because they are too special to pick up their own mess) my ex would put his garbage on my truck, it infuriated me. I asked him nicely many times to not put rotting food etc on my deck, it only seemed to encourage him, he NEVER did dishes even if I was sick with pneumonia for two weeks. I was forever picking his tools up off the driveway, putting his dirty clothes in the hamper. A lot of women complain that their partner doesn’t put away their stuff, but with my ex there would be dirty dishes and clothes in the yard, the car, the barn, at his work, the bathroom, every where! Also because of their inconsideration of others, lying, stealing and inability to adhere to rules their lives (and those involved with them) are in constant turmoil.(Evictions, loss of friendships, loss of jobs, run ins with the law and the list goes on and on)
– The narcissist will test your love and dedication to them by making outrageous demands that are impossible to fulfill, even if you want to please them. ie: my ex demanding I stay home from work to help him do something, but also demanding I pay him hundreds of dollars immediately.
– Because their whole life is a lie and fantasy when they meet a woman they change themselves to suit the woman, whatever the woman is into is what he is interested in, he will change his religious views, his taste in food, his interests, the way he dresses, right down to what liquor he drinks. While talking to me my ex mentioned how many hours he had put in at work, and said, “not exactly semi-retired”. He had never mentioned being semi-retired to me, in fact he was in no financial position to be semi-retired and had always been a workaholic. It all made sense when I found out his new woman was widowed and financially secure so had no need to work. my ex never, ever drank beer in the 10 years I knew him, but after I moved out he had cases of empty beer bottles.
– They exaggerate their importance when talking about family, work, life in general as if there is no one else in the picture. They give the impression they are bearing all the responsibility for their family or company and that they have to take responsibility for everything because their wife/coworkers are incompetent, uncooperative or in some way unfit. They ignore the contributions of others and complain that they get no help at all.
– They expect praise, compliments, deference and expressions of envy and gratitude, often! Constantly! Sincerity is not an issue, frequency and volume are.
– The narcissist will contradict himself, often in the same sentence. They will say something and literally 5 minutes later deny saying it and accuse you of being crazy.
– There is no reasoning with an N, I used to try to explain to my ex the consequences of his actions, why people respond negatively to his lying, cheating, stealing, even though he would nod his head and say “I hear ya” he’d turn around do it anyway. And he always seemed genuinely surprised when people were angry with him over something he’d done.
– They will attack you, spew venom at you, insult you, abuse you, threaten, possibly physically abuse you, say you are worthless, say they don’t love you and want you gone and as soon as they are done they expect an immediate restoration of status quo and are frustrated when you are hurt and crying and can’t just get over it.
– N’s will make a big deal about finding out what you want for your birthday or Christmas and then not get you anything or get you something he knows you don’t want, or he found somewhere.
– They hate to live alone and once you are living with them they will not leave unless they have another woman lined up and then they will drop you so fast your head is spinning.
– He will criticize your family and friends behind their backs, and try to cause problems between you and them, thus cutting you off from your support system and people who would confirm you are not the one who is crazy.
– The narcissist appears to be very resilient, bouncing back from relationships with insulting speed, whether it is a lost relationship, job or place to live the narcissist seems far less affected than anyone else; which he is. He easily adapts to new situations and new relationships because his whole world is make-believe and he values nothing. If he loses something he just assumes he will get one better down the road from someone else. He never really loves any one so he has nothing invested in the relationship and can move on without a backwards glance. Because he is a facade and a fake and because he in incapable of love he easily finds another partner. He morphs into the man of any woman’s dreams until he secures her. In fact he needs the continued challenge to keep his ego inflated.
– They exaggerate everything, and that is why they love the internet and the internet is so dangerous. They can present themselves as anything they want. Pictures of cars, homes etc are only pictures and no proof that he owns them. My ex used to go on trucking sites talking about just coming from a run on the ice highway and he didn’t even own a truck, it had repossessed! On a car forum he asked people to list all the vehicles they had ever had, he proceeded to list 51 vehicles while the other guys listed 6 or so cars. They have to exaggerate to the point of being so obvious people are laughing at them. On his Facebook he was so pleased when he figured out how to translate different languages and starting hitting on all these models from Greece, Russia etc. While talking to one of his old small town Sask class mates the class mate asked him if he was married and my ex said that he had “biblical knowledge” of 6 of the women on his friends list and then told the guy to check out the model from Greece, she was going to be the next Mrs xxxx. I was embarrassed for him and told him so, I told him he was making a fool and a laughing-stock out of himself and got off his friends list.
- Retrain Your Brain (ladywithatruck.com)
- Life After the Narcissist (ladywithatruck.com)
- The Narcissist’s New Girlfriend (ladywithatruck.com)
- Do you have a Narcissist at work? Author reveals tips on how to beat them (metronews.ca)
- Narcissists Are Not Accountable (psychologytoday.com)