Narcissist Test: Is My Partner a Narcissist?

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From PsychCentral:

Imagine you’ve been dating a new person for around 5 months. Things started off on a great note. They made you feel special by showering you with attention and compliments.

But recently, things have started to feel different. You’ve noticed how much your partner likes to talk about themself… to the point that they hog the conversation.

Those compliments they used to give you have now changed into criticisms. It’s pretty clear they think they’re the smartest person in every room. When you call them out on these behaviors, they don’t take it well.

What happened?

What is narcissism?

In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection and spent the rest of his life staring at himself. Like their namesake, narcissists spend a lot of effort creating a self-serving experience.

Narcissists thrive on external validation and often don’t understand the difference between admiration and love. Instead of seeking deep attachments, they seek approval. Compliments and attention are validating, so the narcissist continually seeks them out. But the moment the narcissist fails, they’re “shattered”.

Narcissists typically struggle with empathy, meaning they can’t place themselves in another person’s shoes. This may lead to a narcissist barely seeming interested in what’s happening in your life.

Or taking it to the other extreme and celebrating you in a very public way, even if that isn’t something you enjoy. Because they’re always seeking external validation, publicly celebrating your birthday or your accomplishments makes them look good.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR) specifies that someone must meet at least five of the nine listed criteria to clinically qualify as having narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

For the purpose of this quiz, we’re going to focus on red flags rather than the criteria required to qualify as a medical diagnosis. These red flags aren’t exclusive to someone who has NPD –– anyone can display one or a few of these tendencies.

Some of the top red flags that your romantic partner either displays narcissistic tendencies or has NPD are:

  • Love bombing: At the beginning of your relationship, they showered you with attention, praise, and maybe even lavish gifts or vacations. It probably seemed too good to be true––because it was. Love bombing can be a manipulation tactic.
  • No long-term friends: Because narcissists have trouble connecting with others, they can struggle to maintain long-term relationships, even with family. Narcissists often learned through fraught relationships with their primary caregivers that love is conditional and must be earned. This can lead to shallow, transactional relationships with friends and can also set people up to fail. A narcissist may have an irregularly high number of ex-friends.
  • Grandiose sense of self: A narcissist wants to be the one talking. They often hog conversations, displaying far more interest in talking about themself than in trying to learn about you.
  • Picking on you: A narcissist’s self-image sometimes depends on feeling superior to others. This can lead to the narcissist actively trying to lower your self-esteem. They may begin picking on you for things such as your fashion or your hobbies. Often people who date narcissists find themselves adjusting their behaviors to avoid criticism from their partners.
  • Gaslighting: Gaslighting means intentionally denying or negating someone else’s memories in order to manipulate them. When you’re having to question your own memories, wondering, “Did that really happen?” it’s possible you’re being gaslighted.

Link to the rest at PsychCentral

PG decided to post this as an introduction to a personality type that might be useful for creating a fictional character. If you’d like to learn more, here’s a link to Famous People with Narcissism.

Caveat: PG is not a psychologist or psychiatrist and all he knows about narcissism is what he’s read and heard about the personality type from others. He suspects he has dealt with more than one narcissist in the past, but he could be wrong.

Yes, lawyers can be narcissistic, at least until the state bar disciplinary committee catches up with them and turns them into former lawyers. PG has dealt with a few of those as well.

2 thoughts on “Narcissist Test: Is My Partner a Narcissist?”

  1. Yes, lawyers can be narcissistic, at least until the state bar disciplinary committee catches up with them and turns them into former lawyers. PG has dealt with a few of those as well.

    PG has clearly had better experiences than has this shark regarding bar disciplinary committees dealing with, umm, “unsuitable personalities” in the bar. To name a true narcissist, consider that it took eight years after impeachment (117-1, and the one was a relative) and removal from office (59-0) — a felony, epitomized in his narcissism — for the Illinois bar to even open an ethics inquiry regarding Blagojevich. Many of the other specific instances this shark could cite remain subject to various restrictions on naming the malefactors.†

    Perhaps this shark’s exposure to litigation in the entertainment and finance industries has led him to… associate with a less-honorable cohort of lawyers than has PG. Given the number of jurisdictions in which this shark has either directly or indirectly practiced (and/or, prior to law school, been Otherwise Involved), that seems unlikely but nonetheless remains possible.

    † For example, in at least half-a-dozen states in which this shark has had reason to research the issue, it’s considered an ethics violation for a member of the bar to identify an individual against whom that member of the bar has filed an ethics complaint unless (and until) there is actually discipline imposed arising from that complaint. Even parallel misconduct resulting in discipline isn’t good enough (e.g., complaining about intoxicated abuse of an opposing litigant during discovery in case x, but virtually identical intoxicated abuse resulted in a reprimand from a parallel complaint in case y).

  2. I highly recommend HG Tudor channel on YouTube for more insight into narcissism. He not only details the different types and their hallmarks, but also does a deep dive into certain public figures to determine if they fall on the narcissistic spectrum or not, based on their public behaviors.

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