Undercover narcissists are very smart people

How you can tell you're in love with a narcissistic person

Every person is unique in a special way. Everyone has an individual story - experiences that have shaped him * she. However, some people have a significantly higher puke potential than others. This includes narcissists.

To put it simply, they lack empathy, empathy and human warmth, they have a highly fragile ego that is always thirsty for recognition. They are easily offended and freaked out, they use other people to meet their own needs.

If this sounds familiar to you in connection with your partner, it could be that you fell in love with a narcissistic person. And that can become a problem in the long run.

What is Narcissism?

Generally speaking, the term narcissist describes someone who is perceived as arrogant, selfish, and incapable of criticism. Originally the word goes back to a figure from Greek mythology. Narcissus was the beautiful son of a river god who fell in love with his own reflection in the mirror due to a divine curse and finally passed away from lovesickness, whereupon he turned into a narcissus.

This is exactly what is painful about narcissists. No matter what it's about - it's actually about them. Exclusively and at all times.

“Narcissistic people are characterized by extreme self-centeredness, but they are also very attractive,” explains psychotherapist Dr. Bärbel Wardetzki, who wrote books on narcissism. "You are socially open, eloquent, but very difficult to deal with personally."

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How the difficult personal interaction in everyday life shows up in concrete terms, explains Dr. Wardetzki says: “They prefer to speak of themselves than to refer to the other person, expect constant attention and attention and are very easily offended. They also tend to devalue other people. "

So if your partner never seriously wants to know how you are doing, but instead directs the conversation back to himself; if he * she insists on unrestricted attention and admiration and repeatedly demands this, if he * she presents his / her own achievements greater than they are or if he / she is of the opinion that they are constantly being misunderstood and underestimated by everyone, if he * she is continuously compares with others and is often jealous when he * thinks they are unique, quickly snapped at criticism or perceived rejection, lies without blushing, and occasionally makes smug to nasty sayings - then you are probably having a relationship with one narcissistic person.

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Narcissistic people relate their environment and perception to themselves much more than others and therefore only that which serves their own needs is important.

Although every person perceives the world from their own perspective, that is in the neurological nature of things, most are basically able to put themselves in the shoes of others to a certain extent, to feel compassion, to put the ego aside for a moment.

Not so narcissistic people. Everything that is not directly related to them does not exist or only marginally exists. You are the sun in your own universe. And actually the planets too. Plus all the stars.

Where does the narcissistic disposition come from?

That doesn't mean that all narcissists are bad and bad people per se - the expression can also be stronger or weaker, more open or hidden - but the personality structure that has formed in the course of childhood and adolescence has hardly changed around them or a lack of self-esteem and should support and protect it, everything else is subordinate to it.

Interpersonal relationships in particular are a means of maintaining and regulating self-esteem. Narcissistic persons therefore (unconsciously) choose their partners according to the extent to which they can offer them this confirmation.

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"Narcissistic people suffer from an injured self-esteem that they hide behind a self-confident facade," explains Dr. Wardetzki. “This makes them look appealing and attractive, socially open and eloquent.” But this facade is thin and cracked: “You look for and need external confirmation in order to feel valuable. That is why they are very quickly ailing if there is no external confirmation, ”says Dr. Wardetzki. This is what is known as the narcissistic insult.

While narcissistic people can express sympathy and compassion to a certain extent, it mostly remains superficial. As soon as frustration arises from an insult, the facade crumbles. And then it gets ugly.

Why is that a problem?

Narcissistic people are manipulative. Otherwise they cannot guarantee the external delivery of self-worth necessary for psychological survival. This is at the expense of those around them, especially those who are close to them - i.e. partners, family, children.

They lie, cheat, deceive and gaslighten in order to maintain the image they have created of themselves at all costs and to be able to meet their needs. By the way, they are also very good at deceiving themselves - they lack the ability to realistically observe and assess themselves, their behavior and its effects. And they use loved ones for their own needs and goals. It's a form of emotional abuse.

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It makes sense that these are not good prerequisites for a healthy, stable and happy relationship. "Narcissism is always related to an attachment disorder, which is characterized by the fact that the other is recognized as long as it corresponds to the ideal," explains Dr. Wardetzki.

At the moment, however, when the partner no longer corresponds to this ideal and no longer behaves in conformity, he * she sees himself, according to Dr. Wardetzki was subjected to massive devaluations and allegations. That hurts and undermines self-esteem in the long term. And that ultimately leads to the fact that partners * of narcissistic people feel weaker and smaller, that they believe that they are never worth enough and that they are simply doing everything wrong.

And to be honest: Nobody wants or should have to feel that way.

In the long run, a relationship with a narcissist can actually damage your health: "Living in such a situation for a long time makes you psychosomatically ill: those affected suffer from sleep disorders, pain, depression, anxiety or panic", as Dr. Wardetzki says.

You can (not) do that

The first and most important question in the club of people who fell in love with narcissists is: why? Yeah, okay - they're charming and magical and dazzling and funny. But there is often more to it than that, the subconscious falls in love with it.

"Basically, the charm of narcissistic people can affect anyone," says Dr. Wardetzki. But above all, it is self-insecure people who are looking for a narcissistic partner - because paradoxically, they initially feel themselves valued by the charismatic, attractive counterpart.

The more self-confident a person is, the easier it is to recognize the often cocky demeanor of narcissists as a facade and not to get involved in a close relationship.

That said, if you've lost your heart to someone with a narcissistic disposition, your own insecurity may well have contributed. And you can work on that.

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Working on the relationship together is actually a useful way to deal with problems and improve the situation. The prerequisite for this, however, is that both are equally willing, ready and able. However, this is exactly where it is lacking in people with a narcissistic personality structure.

“Narcissistic people are usually unwilling to acknowledge their own part and tend to put all the blame and responsibility on the other,” says Dr. Wardetzki. As a result, any form of couple counseling or therapy is likely to fail.

If that is the case, then, according to the expert, sometimes only the separation remains: "This is especially necessary when the relationship is so difficult that it is only painful."

Because nobody should give up completely in a relationship and completely adapt to the partner and their needs. Even if the other person is still so beautiful, sexy, funny, smart and charming. Even if the separation is difficult and the thought of living alone and independently can be frightening: It's worth it. You are much more than just the confirmation delivery service for a traumatized mini-ego.

Oh, and don't worry about the narcissistic abandoned one - after all, he * she still has the person he * she loves most in the whole world: himself.