Do You Have a Narcissist in Your Life?

Do you know a person who almost always thinks only of themselves, can twist any situation into one where they are the victim, dominates most, if not all, conversations, and generally blames their problems on others?

If the answer is yes, chances are that you have a narcissistic in your life.

Let’s examine the causes, characteristics, symptoms, and treatment options for a person diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

​NPD is one of several psychiatric disorders that are referred to as “Cluster B” personality traits. There is no definitive answer as to what causes NPD, but there are many theories. Most psychologists agree that that the patient must be predisposed biologically in order to develop the disorder.

Secondly, the interactions they have with others as a child, their temperament, and their ability to handle stress will factor into the development of this personality disorder. However, there is disagreement over what type of childhood relationships are more likely to be seen in these patients.

While most believe that NPD patients are the result of being overly praised, babied, and pampered as a child, there are some professionals that believe it is a product of abuse and neglect in the younger years. The only way that it can be diagnosed is through an evaluation of symptoms performed by a psychiatric professional. Many clinicians will not diagnosis someone as having NPD until they are through their teenage years.​

Narcissists often have an interesting group of believes that revolve around how much better the world is with them in it. They are often preoccupied with their perceived beauty, intelligence, and success and give off a vibe of extreme arrogance. They tend to think that anyone who is critical of them is simply jealous. They expect others to go along with their ideas and will almost certainly become irritated when they do not. They are inclined to think that they are extremely special and only other special people are worthy of their company.

They are rarely, if ever, pleased with others and most often see others as inferior to them. Overall, they are very dramatic and demanding of attention. They display symptoms that can be quite overwhelming to those around them.

Two primary symptoms include an overpowering need for others to admire them and a complete inability to empathize with others. They almost always dominate conversations and are adept at integrating themselves into other’s problems and tragedies.

The following is a good example of this. Jan just lost her four year old son in an accident. At the funeral she is comforted by many friends and family who are offering their condolences. Her sister, Jill, makes her way into the middle of the group and starts sobbing hysterically about how she “cannot go on without her nephew.” She refers to him as “the love of my life” and wonders aloud “Why did God have to take him from me, his favorite aunt?” Before long the group, including her sister, is trying to console Jill and the grief the mother is feeling is pushed aside. (Little does the group know that Jill saw her nephew just a few times a year and really just ignored him then.)

People diagnosed with NPD often tend to exploit others as well if this works to their advantage. To their defense, they usually do not even realize what they are doing. They truly have a problem with looking outside of themselves.​

Treatment for NPD can be difficult and time consuming. While there are medications that can treat distressing symptoms such as behavioral issues, there are no medications that will magically make these traits disappear. Instead psychotherapy with a trained clinician is a must. This can be very draining on everyone involved as the narcissist is pushed towards recognizing and understanding their condition and developing insight into their behaviors.

The overall goal is for the patient to develop a sense of empathy and more realistic expectations of others. Whether their condition improves or not is almost solely up to the patient. They must be able to realize that they do have a problem and they must be an active participant in therapy sessions.​

It takes a very strong person to be involved in a relationship or friendship with a NPD patient. You must have an understanding of their condition, be willing to listen more frequently than you talk, and understand that you may not make them happy.

Overall compassion is key to surviving this relationship, but never let them know this.

41 Replies to “Do You Have a Narcissist in Your Life?”

    • Ive been dating a girl for 3 yrs. Shes talked me into doing things u said i wouldnt ever do or do again. I cant seem to ever say no for very long cuz she is very suduceing and powerful with her body, lies n shes even used drugs to suck me into her spells. I have always felt i could somhow make her want to b a better person but she just lies all the more i have lost alot in this relationship and have to seperate cuz shes sucked the life out of everything about me. Dont no how i let this happen,yet she still hunts me down day n day out trying to convince me of outlandish things. I truly never no ware shes been or doing ive been a fool.

      • Don’t be too hard on yourself. I just got out of the same situation after realizing nothing the man ever told me was the truth. It is not your fault; we naturally want to believe in and trust the person we’re with. I was manipulated, criticized, and controlled. My self-esteem was at zero. Happily, I figured out all the lies and, oh, yes, the cheating. It isn’t you…these people won’t change because they blame everything on everyone else. Kiss ‘er goodbye (figuratively speaking) and get the heck out!

  1. This was so helpful, I really needed this, these are the exact traits of my boyfriend, I heard the term only yesterday & realized that this was him, I’m so scared now & don’t know what to now. Help please ? What should I do ?

    • Thanks this has helped. I think my sister suffers from this. Its hard because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. But I think its gone on for to long, weve all been putting up with it and she’s getting worse. I think its time to confront her to go get some help, to many people are getting hurt and I worried for her because shes so convinced by what shes saying is the truth and everyone can see this needs to stop. I’m worried because friends and family are getting fed up with her but I can’t help thinking she’s lost control of things.

    • Michell,
      You have to leave and do it sooner than later. This person will never change and will drain you emotionally, physically and financially as well.
      Take it from a person who tolerated it for 10 years. I’m so much happier now, and don’t know why I put up with it.

  2. thank you this has given me insight as to what em dealing with, my huuby to be is just like that for a moment i asked my self where did you meet him to describe him in such a way that i couldnt do it myself

    • Precious, if are not already married, then give it some serious thought. I just gets worse and worse. I have been married for 2 years to my husband and my life is a nightmare plus he now moved into violent actions also….I am an extremely strong woman, but I am almost at the end of my tether now. Your self esteem will reduce by his words and actions

  3. I just split from my ex and was reading about verbal abuse because I believe I was a victim of it with him. I came upon another website talking about NPD and abuse and realized this was him; I am really not losing my mind! Some people are not full blown NPD but have some traits of it or a mix of disorders from what I read. Either way I say RUN! Look up narcissism addiction abuse, my boyfriend was also addicted to pain killers. I’m just so glad that I can finally understand what this is why I need to walk away finally.

  4. Thanks for this. My boyfriend has NPD and life now is a living hell. It gets worse as time goes by. He was charming and funny when we first met but that person is a distant memory. He lies constantly and actually believes his own lies! He’s starting therapy next week and I’m hoping it might help but not holding out too much hope.

    The best thing if you know or are with someone with this disorder is it get therapy yourself because your self esteem will eventually hit rock bottom. I’m there now and it’s a horrible place to be. Confiding in someone is a great way of off-loading and give logical ways to deal with a NPD.

  5. I could write a book. Yes, my N ex-wife fits NPS completely. But, she lured me in with her great body and sex. We married and had three children. But, she has had three affairs all with bosses. She has lost four jobs. And her lying and double life finally took its toll and I had to call it quits. She continues to bounce back and forth from her current love interest and me just trying to control and manipulate both of us. I see it but he doesn’t. My life is a living hell. And, what will become of my kids. Don’t get connected the a narcissist!

  6. I have one of those in my life. But he also has very abusive traits as well. He is also a pathological liar. He also is a compulsive cheater. His favotive type of abuse is the gaslighthing effect. He likes to make me belive that what I know to be the truth is actually not the truth. And I can’t seem to dig my way out of the situation. We have 2 childern (I have 1 from a prior marriage) together and I spend most nights crying myself to sleep worrying about my 3 kids and the effects that this relationship is having on them.

  7. I think my partner has this. She constantly puts people down and compares them to what she is doing. She grew up in abusive family and I have constantly made that excuse for why things are! But it is getting worse and she actually seems to like conflict as I am now no longer making excuses for things she does. There are so many lies she tells that she actually believes. We have two young children together and I worry what would happen to them if we break up.

  8. Please, please, if you are in a relationship with someone like this, please get out. I was for 7 years. He has lied to me, my family, his family and countless others. The saddest part is that he has lied to himself and is his own worst victim!!!

  9. I married my wife just over a year ago now…I love my wife and I believe that she loved me then and she still loves me now…she just doesn’t seem to have the ability to be truthful or non deceptive …before we were married I realised that she had a very serious secret drinking addiction. After I had received a strange call from my wife’s phone I found her passed out on her now ex-bosses front lawn (in the middle of the day)stinking of alcohol so I took her straight to hospital where I was informed that my then fiancee had been admitted into hospital numerous times for alcohol abuse….so I decided to help her finally free herself from this sickening disorder. You see I was once an alcoholic too and as after many years I had managed to defeat alcohol addiction I was very willing to help my then fiancee also defeat this crippling addiction…and once we had this under control we then married.
    I’m bit of an expert at perceiving body language now days (ie telling if someone is fibbing to me) and back then although I was pretty knieve I sorta knew when I was being lied to and when she was drinking I assumed that was just part of that package…and when we fix the alcohol abuse the fibbing should go away etc…
    However this did not happen…so as I would question her about things that just didn’t add up she would heavily focus everyone’s attention on either “how I found out or how I reacted emotionally to her lying” rather than admit or explain or take any responsibility for it.
    Naturally I was struggling to cope with this type of behaviour and early on in our marriage was thinking that she was exclusively and purposely targeting me which caused a lot of friction between us…I had confidential discussed this whole situation with my GP (whom has known me for more than 15years) and still regularly keep him up to date with our situation.
    It wasn’t until a few months ago completely fed up and just needing to know what the heck was going on once and for all that I bought her a new phone and pre-download an app that temporarily allowed me to secretly record and listen to her entire web of lies…once I had 3000 logs of conflicting evidence (including swearing on her mother’s and children’s lives that she was telling the truth even though I already quietly knew that she wasnt being truthful at all) it was only then that I knew for sure that she wasn’t just lying to me and when confronted with all this mass of evidence and she was still denying any wrong doing was officially the moment of truth when I knew she has got this horrible uncontrollable illness Compulsive Lying Personality Disorder but it’s neither her fault nor does she even realise that she has hurt anyone at all…but let me tell you that this is one of the toughest things that I have ever had to handle including finding out that our nabours family and friends and even my work colleagues have all been fed various fairly tails some harmless but some personal and highly embarrassing untruths in which naturally it so tough to continue to keep holding one’s head up…but I guess we all have to remember that we are not alone.
    Thank you for reading about and relating to our plight

  10. I think as a partner of someone living with CLPD or NPD it is very important to have supportive people to talk to whom have been in or are still in a similar situation as ours if only to help retain one’s self esteem and maintain each others understanding of our difficult and challenging plight

  11. this is truly what i needed to understand that i have been a victum for several years. I was begining to wonder if i was crazy,thats what my boyfriend of six year relationship keeps saying to people and of coarse myself. I have been drained of all my self esteem, and verbaly abuse on a constant basis,that i am not able to function anymore without having complete insecuritys about myself. I have given everything i had and now i have nothing. I am really mentaly & physicaly sick from this relationship,and im scared to go on. I need to get back my positive energy. thank you for helping me understand more about my situation with the man that i have loved for so long,knowing that he hasnt felt the same feelings towards me. I will miss him,but i cant keep fooling myself thinking that he loves me time to move on.Thanks again for your support.

  12. I am totally stuck in a relationship with a compulsive liar, nearly 3 years on and off, he has not been diagnosed with n p d but he totally fits the bill, each time I end it because of his constant lying he will persuade, pursue, manipulate means because I do love him very much I become week and give in, I don’t Understand my own head! he had a terrible child hood and endured abuse and some neglect, in care for a lot of his child hood, I’m overly aware of this and sensitive to it, and this isn’t his fault. he is a very charming handsome guy and claims to adore me, help I’m trapped I can’t tell people in my own life that I’m with him as they would be horrified because of his past lies and not to mention his bad behaviour, so hard

    • If you hang around long enough your love will die. Guaranteed. Your narcissist will systematically destroy it. You are only “trapped” because you’ve allowed it. The first step you must take is to see things as they are, not as you want them to be.

  13. Having been married to a narcissist for 28 years and only saving my life by leaving I urge no one to continue in a relationship with one of these twisted beings! Get out, and do no contact. Then work on yourself.

  14. Jane, is absolutely right. These people will never change, until they have sucked the last breath of hope out of their victim. I wished I had tried to gain the understanding of my ex years ago. After reading these sites on the predictible behavior of the guiltless greedy, and their endless lies of betrail. The term gas-lighting hit me like a brick. I always thought of her jumping time, while listening to all the
    crazy actuations, just to shake my head and
    Their is no hope for people in this mindset.
    I truly felt betrayed by my own heart.
    It’s not your fault, all the love, loyalty, and
    comited understanding in the world will not fix
    them. All they want is to drag good
    hearted caring people down into their black hole of misory, dental, & despair. Let them go, once & for all. Let go with love and smile on your face. Allow your spirit to soar again.

  15. I had been a faithful husband to my wife for 32-years. About 8 years before we separated, someone my wife worked with, advised me to ‘start paying attention to what my wife was doing’. Until that time I had trusted my wife implicitly. Within a week I discovered her multiple affairs with men and women, lies and the backstabbing rumors that she had been spreading among my family and friends. I was heartbroken. When confronted with the evidence she told me that I was ‘imagining things’, I was ‘crazy’ and she accused me of having the affairs. My son was 16 years old at the time and I did not want him affected by this in any way but of course he had already been affected as he was in our home while I was away on business and in the hospital and he had seen first-hand what was going on but was afraid to say anything to me. I do not blame him. In his position I would have done the same. Unlike me, he knew what she was capable of.

    I got my kid out of there and told my wife that it was either time for therapy or time to divorce. She agreed to couples therapy. Lied continually while in couples therapy. Went to individual therapy where, I later learned, she spent her time in session complaining about me. Three therapists in all plus a Psychiatrist advised me in no uncertain terms to get the hell away from her and fast. NPD and BPD patients are extremely difficult to treat successfully even when they acknowledge the problem which my wife never did.

    I am living alone now. Happily. My son is doing well. We are close. He has little feeling for his mother which makes me sad but staying in that situation would have been the worst choice possible. People with NPD do not relate to the world as we do. After you break up they are not going to be gazing at your picture and wondering what might have been. They are not going to remember your kid’s birthday. They do not have the capacity to love as you do or empathize or feel regret. A big part of them is dead inside. It always has been. That will be the hardest realization for you to get over. Do not resent them. Do not dwell on the overwhelming sense of betrayal you will feel. Love yourself and move on because no matter what your future holds it will never be as bad as what you just escaped from.

    • Hello … just read up article, I really feel for you. I’ve just escaped from a very bad relationship where I found that my ex fiance is a pathological liar, sociopath and narcissist. He married divorced five times. Numerous affairs. I’m struggling to get over this.

  16. I have been married to a man that manipulated my family with his passive behavior. Everyone thought he was “a nice guy”. My own mother was so deceived by his charismatic personality that when I separated from him, (after he broke my ribs) she invited him to Thanksgiving Dinner! I was horrified but we had been married 15 years and I could excuse my mother for doing it because I fell for his tricks and I knew him better than anyone. Fast forward 5 years later and after 20 years of marraige, I ended it for good and lost alot of friends because he charmed them. My mother let him move into her house when I threw him out. I have warned all my friends andfamily to watch out but they think Im just angry because my marraige is over and I want to punish him by exaggerating “simple problems that every couple has” because that is what he tells everyone. He told my boss I was in a mental institute getting treatment for chronic hallucinations when I took a two week vacation. I was fired. He told my children that I was lying to them about various things while they were growing up and told them “never talk to your mom about this because she is sick and it isnt her fault”. CPS emergency removed my grandchildren from my son and his wife and put them in foster care because he reported that they had a meth lab in their house. It took my son and his wife six months of enduring a CPS investigation and 1 hour a week supervised visitation with their children, both under 3 years of age. Meanwhile, he is getting all the sympathy from friends. IF YOU HAVE A NARCISSIST IN YOUR MIDST. RUN. NOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

  17. The narrctius I know has custody of my children. He went behind my back told my parents things no man should tell his wife’s parent. Told them I lost custody . I was going to be arrested kidnapping. They believed him came and took my kids to him. My life has not been the same since.As long as he is in control and dictating the rules things are fine. If I show I’m upset or angry about something he uses the kids against. Tells them when he won’t buy things they want no can’t afford because your mom left.Unfortunately I learned to late.

  18. I have a sister in law,that this describes to the T! She thinks she is so,beautiful and she has constantly cheated on her husband for years. She has absolutely no relationship with her children. She blames everyone else for her horrible behavior. She is 50 years old and acts like she’s 25. Is addicted to plastic surgery and Botox. She’s has openly flaunted an affair for over 5 years and her boyfriend actually sends texts and pictures of her and her boyfriend to her husband. Sadly her husband is so weak that he just takes it. I makes me so sick to see,her treat her family like this. She doesn’t trust anyone especially family. She would rather try to impress strangers than have anything to do with her family. She doesn’t even speak to,her mother or sisters. Her husband has filed for divorce but she lost a job she had for 12 years because she has been written up,for harassing younger women she works with and also leaving on the clock to go have sex with her boyfriend. So now she’s saying she,wants to work it out and I know for a fact she’s still cheating. She just don’t want to leave due to not having any money and he’s too stupid to see it. I see her almost everyday and I’m basically the only one in the family she’ll talk to because I don’t take her crap.

  19. I disagree that only a professional can diagnose a narcissist. Is that statement designed to generate business? Most narcissists won’t go near a therapist. The nature of the beast is that they don’t see anything wrong with their behavior, so why go for therapy? Those who do, perhaps against their wishes, are very adept at being able to convince the therapist that their mate is the one with all the problems. (I had this happen to me.) I am absolutely convinced that the only way to “diagnose” a narcissist is to live with one for a period of time. An hour a week of talking to a stranger won’t cut it.

  20. My 4 months on / off relationship with my ex narc convinced me to go no contact with him. The lies just rolled out of his mouth like God bless you. In the beginning he was the most adorable man you would ever wish to meet. Over the next few weeks he became the polar opposite of what he was in the beginning. Then came the devalue and then the discard. He done this to me twice. I have a lot of self respect and will not allow it to happen a third time. I don’t care if he crawls up my driveway begging forgiveness he is gone. He is mentally ill because no one should behave the way he did towards his supposed girlfriend..

  21. Most of the above comments address romantic relationships. My situation is different and inescapable: I have recently realized that my son has narcissistic personality disorder.

    I confiscated his phone after busting him (for the third time) for marijuana possession (which he is apparently selling, having obtained a fake ID) and found countless texts, private tweets and emails FULL of unbelievable lies. Ridiculous lies that serve absolutely no purpose. It was like realizing I had been living with a complete stranger, yet he is my son. I had caught him in a few lies over the past few years, but I had no idea how deep the problem went. Sadly, I made this discovery a little too late.

    Unfortunately, my son just turned 18 last month and I can’t force him into therapy. Our life is at a standstill. I’m at a complete loss. And, to add insult to injury, apparently this disorder is all my fault. I wasn’t hard enough on him, or I said too many nice things…that’s what all the textbooks are telling me, anyway.

    Sigh…what’s a mother to do?

  22. I was raised by a narcissistic sociopath. He was my step father but I didn’t know that until just a few years ago. I have gone “no contact” with both he and my mother. She has been his partner in crime for 62 years. She doesn’t realize what he is. She just supports him. I tried communicating with just my mother for a few years after I knew what he was but he was constantly manipulating our conversations either by phone or letters. I am the oldest of 3 children and my brothers and I are discovering how awful our childhood really was. We were constantly being manipulated but as a child you don’t realize you are being manipulated. It seems normal to you. But the problem now is, since I have gone no contact, they are trying to get to me through my sons, who are both in their 30s and have families of their own. I have been totally honest with my boys about their grandparents but this man has such a hold on them. He was always the “fun” one and they gravitated toward him. I hate this but they are grown men. All I can do is warn them like I have and they have to make their own decisions. I just hate to see them hurt as I and my husband and my brothers have been by these people. Now he is luring them in by telling them that he has several illnesses and that they need to help him. He is lying. He has no such illnesses but he should win an Academy award for his performances. This is terribly difficult for my family and my brothers and their families. But they, our parents, don’t care. As long as they get what they want. That’s all that matters to them.

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