I just feel like…I don’t want anyone to love me like Kanye loves Kanye.
nar-cis-sist: noun. a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. (not to be confused with self-love, that’s totally different)
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is NOT about any of my specific relationships or ex-anythings, but rather my experiences while dating over the course of my 28 years of living. Although, if you are indeed a narcissist, you will disregard this disclaimer and believe this post is about you anyway. So I basically just wasted my time typing out this disclaimer, nevermind.
Have you ever dated a narcissist? Of course not right? A guy in the mirror more than I am? No thanks. I’m the prize in the relationship, not you boo boo. Ok but sis, what if I told you that’s not even a narcissist, that they come in all shapes and sizes, and that some don’t even own mirrors? Confused yet? Ok let me explain.
“I’ve never felt like this about someone before.”…after 2 weeks. “No one will ever love you like I do.” “I’m a really good man/catch.” “People always tell me I’m too humble.” “I’m sorry I did/said that to you, BUT I only did it because YOU (fill in the blank).” “My ex was crazy.” “You’re remembering that wrong, it didn’t happen that way.”
Do any of those phrases sound familiar? Then you MAY have dealt with and/or are dealing with a narcissist. And if you’re using these lines on people, then sis you yourself might be the narcissist. If you are one of the brave souls who always tend to end up with people like this you are probably an empath.
em-path: noun. a highly sensitive individual who has a keen ability to sense what people are thinking and feeling.
While having girl talk with girlfriends over the course of our almost 20-year friendship, there are countless stories we’ve shared about being with someone who at the time we didn’t realize were straight up narcissists. And unfortunately most women are empaths, because we’re givers, nurturers, always trying to heal, always trying to be “the one” to make a man realize his potential, the catalyst for his transformation from trifling to a stand up guy. LOL.
Now I’m not trying to come down on the guys. As I stated in my disclaimer, I can only speak from MY experience and this is MY truth. But studies DO show that male narcissists outnumber female narcissists 3 to 1…so I think it’s safe to say this is at least a few other women’s truths as well. (shrug). And its super prevalent in my generation (late 20 somethings-early 30 somethings). While reading those phrases I shared earlier in this post, I’m sure there were many head nods, “yes girls”, and other versions of amen. But the truth of the matter is that narcissism is actually a legit mental illness. Narcissists often don’t even realize (or care) that they are the way they are. Their problems with narcissism probably started where all other issues start, at home as a child. Based on my research, most, if not all, sources state that narcissists were missing a key source of love from one or both parents. For instance, a narcissist may have been rejected as a child by his mother or father. Because they weren’t emotionally fulfilled as a child, if they never deal with the hurt from this rejection, it will carry over into adulthood and adulthood relationships. They spend most of adulthood searching for this long-lasting, unconditional love, that they either never learned to have for themselves, or have a hard time recognizing because they never experienced it before, not even from mommy or daddy.
This is where empaths come in. Here you see this attractive, (seemingly) stable man come along. The beginning is a whirlwind romance, and when I say whirlwind, I mean a romance that moves at the speed of a Tyler Perry film plot. Issa fast love. Ain’t no friendship bih. He is sweeping you off your feet, doing things you used to have to beg a man to do. It’s almost as if he can read your mind, he’s so on point. Narcissists are excellent at pretending to be whatever your fantasy may be in the beginning. And attention? Girl you got that. “Good morning beautiful,” texts, phone calls, facetimes, gifts for no reason, talk of MARRIAGE because he can see himself settling down with you right away, YOU’RE DIFFERENT SIS. And you’re hyping yourself up 3 weeks into the talking stage, like “YES I KNEW MY PRINCE CHARMING WAS OUT HERE!” Narcissists’ ability to charm is out of this world. A Narcissist can sell water to a fish in a tank. It’s almost admirable the way they know all the right things to say. Almost.
After 3 weeks or a month, you may notice minor red flags, but you don’t say anything. Everyone has their issues right? Right. You’re not about to let these little things keep you from your hussssband ok? LOL. As time goes on though, you can’t help but to notice a few cracks in Prince Charming’s armor. But this is normal right? I mean, everyone puts their best foot forward in relationships at first right? You’re probably just tripping, chill girl, you’re going to lose a good man. But you can’t shake the feeling that you don’t really know this guy like you thought you did. His temper makes its first appearance when he snaps at you for something small. You excuse it, you decide to take the high road. He talks extremely negatively about other women, maybe even women you know, judging everything about them. But he’d never speak that way about you right? You’re his girl, nah he’d never do you like that. Besides, he’s probably been hurt by some awful woman from his past and just needs time and help getting over that hurt. Yes, that’s it.
Ok so boom, we’re 2 months in, and other than a few hiccups, we in this thang. You’re in a full blown relationship after just 2 months. WORK SIS! You casually mention the issues you have, and your narcissist boo of course chalks it up to his past relationships or his current circumstances (work, family, whatever). He assures you that you’re overreacting and that you guys are still good and on track. But if you guys are still on track, why are you two arguing so much, mostly from arguments started by the narcissist. They get a rush out of seeing people fight over or for them. If you don’t fight or engage in the argument, your love and loyalty for them and this relationship is brought into question. Yikes. You go to your friends for advice because you’re starting to think you’re crazy at this point. They’re shocked because they can’t believe the guy you introduced them to is even acting like this, he seemed like such a cool person. Narcissists tend to act completely different in public than they do in private. Because they are so concerned with self-image, they would honestly rather APPEAR to be a good partner/boyfriend to the outside world, than to actually BE a good partner/boyfriend to their significant other.
You decide that since your friends said he seemed cool, that maybe you are tripping. You push your doubts to the back of your mind because you’re determined to continue to work on your relationship. He just needs to let the hurt go and y’all will be just fine right? But you can’t help but notice even more red flags. He starts pointing out things about you that you can work on, things he’s not particularly fond of, but things that HE can help you to change. But he’s just trying to be a good partner right? He’s just being honest with you. Narcissists actually use this as a tactic for control. They want to exercise complete control over the relationship and over your thought process when it comes to them. They want you to believe that you need them. They’re your savior. This will arise later when you try to stand up for yourself and the narcissist reminds you of everything they’ve done for you.
So you guys have a huge blowup and you finally decide this isn’t for you. You look around yourself and realize you’re having huge altercations almost every other day and you take this as a sign of how the remainder of the relationship will be. You’ve tried, but you can’t help this one. You don’t have the ability to give this one the love HE needs, its too much for YOU. You tell your boo, well ex-boo already in your mind, that you’re done and the relationship is done.
He goes through the narcissist stages of a breakup:
—–Anger. Narcissists cannot fathom the idea of someone NOT wanting to be with them. Their thought process goes a little like this: “What are you talking about? YOUR raggedy ass is dumping THEM?! Nah, no way. They can have anyone they want, but they CHOSE you and you slap them in the face by breaking up with them? You’re crazy, and you will definitely regret this because you will NEVER find another person to treat you the way they did. Good luck ashy.”
—–Remorse. Now narcissists aren’t complete demons. Underneath all the illusions of grandiose self-images, they are actually great people. Besides they were able to sweep you off your feet before, they can do it again right? The thought process goes a little like this: “So I’ve thought about what happened and the things you said and you MAY have been on to something. Let’s work it out, I’ll do better. Or you can just walk out on me and leave me like everyone else, it’s up to you. But I really just need someone to stick around for once. I still want to be with you.”
—–Acceptance/Hunt for New Source. Narcissists will move on (kind of) and set their sights on another empath to give them the emotional fulfillment they so desperately need. This new target will be swept off of her feet as well. And you? The empath? Oh you will be brushed off and dismissed as the crazy ex, no worries sis, you’re good. The coast is clear (not really).
You won’t hear from your narcissist boo again. The only time you’ll know they exist is when they ask mutual friends about you or incessantly make their way to your social media (often times creating fake accounts because their ego can not take them letting you know that they care to see what you’re doing) in hopes to see you doing bad without them. The empath however, leaves this situation a little more protective of their heart and hopefully smarter about choices they make in the future. LEARN FROM THIS! (I said that in my Tyra Banks voice).
I, unfortunately, have dealt with a few people who fit this description. And honestly it is so widespread that we just write it off as that person being terrible, when that isn’t the case. As I stated before, narcissism is a mental illness, and must be treated as such. Counseling, therapy, and self reflection/discovery are all great ways to start addressing it. But empaths, you HAVE to realize that YOU cannot fix this. Yes sis, I know, you love deeply and your love can “change” people. But in this case, the narcissist has to fix themselves. You can love them from afar, but trying to fix them is like trying to put a shattered mirror back together, you’re bound to hurt yourself in the process.
Are you an empath or a narcissist? No judgment. But if you recognized yourself as either while reading this, perhaps it’s time to do a little self-work. Let’s work on healing ourselves rather than healing others, or looking for a healer in others.