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Hayley Greenberg

Are You Dating a Narcissist?

If your dating life feels like you've signed up for a reality show without the fame perks, it may be time to tune in to a serious red flag: narcissism. And no, I'm not talking about the self-confidence that comes with your partner’s 100th gym selfie. Narcissism, when it's not just a social media persona, can turn your relationship into a solo mission, and not the fun kind.

Understanding Narcissism:

Narcissism is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. It's a term sourced from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a man who fell in love with his reflection. In a modern context, the reflection is a metaphor for how narcissists view themselves – through a lens of exaggeration and entitlement.

Recognizing the Signs:

The first step in determining whether you're dating a narcissist is to understand the hallmark signs, which include but are not limited to:

  1. A grandiose sense of self-importance.

  2. Preoccupations with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

  3. A belief that they are “special” and unique and can only be understood by or should associate with other special or high-status people.

  4. A need for excessive admiration.

  5. A sense of entitlement (unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with their expectations).

  6. Interpersonally exploitative behavior (taking advantage of others to achieve their own ends).

  7. A lack of empathy, unwillingness to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

  8. Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them.

  9. A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes.

If you suspect that you might be dating a narcissist, consider the following questions. Answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’:

  1. Does your partner make every situation about themselves?

  2. Do they frequently belittle or look down on others, including you?

  3. Is there a lack of reciprocity in your relationship?

  4. Do they seem to have an inflated self-image?

  5. 5. Is empathy lacking when you express your feelings?

  6. Are they obsessed with fantasies about success, power, or beauty?

  7. Do they require constant praise and admiration?

  8. Do they react negatively to criticism or perceived slights?

  9. Do you feel controlled or isolated by your partner’s demands or attitudes?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to most of these questions, it might be an indication that you’re dating a narcissist.

What to Do if You’re in a Relationship with a Narcissist:

  1. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Understanding narcissism is crucial to dealing with it effectively.

  2. Set Boundaries: Narcissists often don't see boundaries, so you’ll need to establish and enforce them firmly.

  3. Seek Support: Engage with friends, family, or a mental health professional for support.

  4. Reclaim Your Self-Esteem: Relationships with narcissists can erode your self-worth. Practice self-care and positive affirmations.

  5. Consider the Relationship: Evaluate whether the relationship is beneficial to you and if it’s worth continuing.

  6. Professional Counseling: If you decide to stay, couple's therapy could be an option, though it’s challenging with a partner who has narcissistic traits.

  7. Plan to Leave Safely: If the relationship is abusive or significantly detrimental to your well-being, it’s important to leave. However, this should be done with a plan in place, particularly if you fear retaliation.

Dating a narcissist can be a draining experience that often requires a significant amount of emotional legwork. Whether you're in it to fix it or planning your escape, take care of yourself. Your mental health isn’t just another wellness trend—it’s your superpower. And remember, a narcissistic partner's behavior is a reflection of their character, not a deficiency in yours. You deserve someone who loves you, not just the idea of you. In a world full of double taps and swipes, know that you’re not alone in this. Reach out, speak up, and stay true to your self.

You've got this!

Hayley Greenberg

Meet Our Practitioners

Sabrina Rodorigo
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Together, we'll use a holistic approach that honors your mind, body, and spirit going beyond the surface level
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Sabrina RodorigoPsychotherapistMiami, USA
Ishita Pateria
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I believe in using an integrative approach adopting different therapeutic modalities according to each client’s personal needs
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Ishita PateriaPsychotherapist and Couples TherapistMumbai, India
Dr. Nick Little
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I use these therapies to help my clients regulate intense emotions and cope with the difficult life dilemmas they encounter
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Dr. Nick LittlePsychologistLondon, UK