(WellnessPursuits.com) – Narcissists are fun, charming and exhausting — though you may not realize how emotionally draining they are at first. That’s because narcissists often love-bomb new partners with expensive gifts or treat a group of acquaintances to complimentary Happy Hours.
A narcissist may even buy lunch for the entire office to look like a good person, then work behind the scenes to destroy professional relationships. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to identify these master manipulators until they’ve caused some major damage.
If you suspect you may have a narcissist in your life, whether they’re a friend, family member or significant other, watch for these 3 signs.
Your Romantic Relationship is Perfect… At First
There’s nothing quite like dating a narcissist, especially in the beginning. A narcissist partner will say and do all of the right things to manipulate you. Your partner may treat you to lavish gifts, text you constantly and pile on the praise.
Friends and family may even think you’ve found your soulmate since your partner dotes on you around the clock and the two of you never fight. Everything is perfect… until you get on your partner’s bad side. You may not even know what you did wrong, or you may blame yourself for things your partner did.
You Notice They Mirror Your Actions
Narcissists have an odd habit of mirroring people, especially in the beginning. Your favorite movie is Titanic? Wow, no way — your narc buddy is obsessed with that film, too. You like wearing emerald earrings every Friday? What a coincidence — so does the narcissist in your life.
This copycat behavior may initially seem flattering, but it’s actually a form of manipulation. Some narcissists do it so you let your guard down and view them as a close friend or life partner. Others do it to level the playing field so that you can’t accuse them of doing anything wrong. After all, you’re exactly alike, right?
You Experience Gaslighting
When you’re involved with a narcissist, you may find yourself walking on eggshells or doubting your own sanity over time. A narcissist may tell you the sky is purple and then call you a liar when you reference the purple sky 5 minutes later. It’s confusing and stressful, and your self-esteem may plunge. You may even find yourself questioning your memory and sanity.
That’s because narcs like to gaslight their victims by pretending that certain incidents or conversations never happened. A narcissist may scream at you all morning, then pretend that the arguments never took place and encourage you to seek counseling or consider psychiatric meds. He or she may tell you several versions of the same story, then deny that the conversations ever occurred.
As a result, you start doubting yourself, and you fear that maybe something seriously is wrong with your mental health. You may make excuses for your loved one or apologize for incidents that never happened, or you may start blaming yourself for being too sensitive. Gaslighting may also make you less likely to leave an abusive relationship or speak out about abuse because you aren’t entirely sure what’s real and what isn’t anymore.
Dealing with a narcissist can make life very difficult, especially if you don’t know what you’re up against. Be careful if you meet someone who seems flawless or overly charming, and always trust your own recollection of events.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!
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