Now I’m sure we’ve all heard the word Narcissism, but what does that really mean? Narcissist : The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding.
Narcissists are one of the biggest, and slyest foxes in the dating game. They come on strong pouring love and admiration into you. The attention is intoxicating, so much so that you won’t realize what hit you until after the Devaluation Stage kicks in and they realize you are a human being with your own set of flaws. Narcissists have a high ideal of the “perfect partner” and once you step into a light that reveals anything out of their impossible ideal, they begin their separation.
Ladies and gentlemen, please be aware and weary as I have experienced this firsthand…and despite my dating prowess and emotional maturity, I got taken for a ride and had my heart shattered to pieces.
Unfortunately, dealing with narcissists when dating is all too common, so here are my tips for riding out and surviving a narcissistic relationship:
Stand Up For Yourself: I believe this is one of the things that my ex loved/hated about me. I have had my fair share of relationships to know what I will and won’t tolerate. I would call him out on his bad behavior, especially when it came to compromising my intuitive feelings with my own journey, which he tried to manipulate and control. I was going through an intense healing process and career shift, which I wasn’t entirely sure of. He would say things seemingly motivating like, “Babe, just step into your greatness. Just turn it on” in response to me saying that I needed to take time and space to go slow and heal. He was so obsessed with making me into this mold, which he has seen me to be, instead of really seeing me and honoring where I was at.
He would “gaslight” me and say that I just needed to push forward and “turn it on” and say that he sees my potential, but its up to me. He made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough when I was rising to the occasion trying to figure out my “new career” when really my intuition was screaming at me to slow down, take walks and contemplate at the beach.
I fell in love with him. We were crazy about each other and wanted to create this life together. I had never met someone that seemed to be into all the same things as me, (helping the world, spiritual knowledge, sustainability, etc) Everything was so intense so quickly.It all seemed too good to be true, which is the game they play—a bait and switch. He played to all my interests to hook me, then once we were comfortable with each other, he sang a completely different tune. He went from “I’m so in love with you” to “I expect my partner to be this and that.” He was not the knight in shining armor he pretended to be. When you see this switch happen, don’t be afraid to call out their inconsistencies. Narcissists hate to have their self-serving, grandiose self-image questioned, let alone compromised. The goal is not to bring them down, but to reaffirm that your voice to the truth will not be silenced.
Don’t Forget About YOUR Journey: Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in our partner, let alone the entire relationship, to the point where we start losing ourselves in the process. You have to remember that you have your own journey and purpose, no matter how magical the relationship is. It is uber-important that you stay true to your goals, dreams and desires while cultivating a partnership. Not only is it more attractive, but it’s way healthier to pursue your desires as an individual, instead of abandoning them (and yourself) in order to merge with someone else. The healthiest relationships are based on equal partnerships. Two whole individuals coming together to co-create, love and support each other. This will help prevent any resentment and keep your own happiness that you get by staying true to yourself.
Trust Your Intuition: My gut told me something was too good to be true. My ex was the co founder of a tech startup company. In one breath he would enthusiastically talk about how revolutionary it is and how excited he was, but behind closed doors he would bad mouth his business partner and CEO of the company expressing the unlikeliness of the company's success. I started to see this pattern of him saying things to people to get in their good graces all the while breaking them down and their personalities as if they weren’t even human beings. There were red flags, but by the time I saw them I was in too deep. There was always a consistency of him not being able to show up and take ownership of his pitfalls in the relationship. I kept mental tabs, but kept trying to have faith in him and the situation. Don’t make my same mistake; Trust your gut, and when it says run…run!
Know Your Worth: Take the time to remember and own your worth. Even right now…take out a pen and paper and contemplate. Reflect on all you’ve endured in life. All the responsibility you’ve taken on, all the heartbreaks, all the friends and strangers you’ve helped. Remember how much value and love you add to others’ experiences. How many people you make smile or care for. If you aren’t coming up with much, then this is also a great time to evaluate where you can show up more for those you care about and in places in your life that are lacking self-love. Don’t let any person, boss, family member, lover or friend make you feel less than the pure love that you are.
Everything begins and ends with self-love. It may sound like a cliché, but you truly can’t love someone until you love yourself. It seems simple, but the first step is to dissect how you truly show up for yourself. Do you let people take advantage of you because you’re a helper and want to feel liked and validated? Do you excuse abusive or bad behavior because you over-empathize? Or do you treat people poorly, because you see them as objects or opportunities versus human beings?
My take-away from my experience is to remember that I am love and light. My love is pure and powerful and not to be spent on those who are unable to comprehend and reciprocate all that I am. I am better off in solitude than falling for fake princes and broken promises.
So do yourself a favor and pour all that energy and love into yourself, so if a narcissist comes your way, they will smell your independence, self-respect and strength to know you would never allow yourself to be a victim.