Narcissism: Trait or Disorder


photo of couple hugging during dawn

Photo by Jessica Lewis on

What is a Narcissist? And is My Boyfriend One?

You’ve known him a few months and had started dating seriously two weeks in.  He charms your friends and can’t wait to meet your family.  He constantly tells you about all of his successes, convincing you that he is successful in everything he does.  He surrounds himself with friends who think he is wonderful, giving, a real helper or go-to guy when you are in need.  Pursuing and drawing you in every step of the way, persuading you that this is “the real deal” and you have found the “one.”  He is always boasting about the past and how good he was or how he was admired for his achievements.  Always looking for the next big windfall: hitting the lottery, gambling, or betting pools.  And, appearance is everything.  He has to decked out for all occasions to be noticed and admired for clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.  The best of everything in every situation must be had or achieved through charm and guile, not hard work.  But you are thrilled with his attitude of success and the idea of more in the future.  He is always is happy to be the center of attention, having to be and being the “one” to be around.  It is exciting to be with someone who seems to have it all and who is going places.

However, he is also expecting you to cater to his needs: emotionally, physically and financially.  Relying on his charm to win you over to his way of thinking.  Leaving your feelings and needs second to his in every situation.  Easily manipulating you to feel that you are needy or clingy when you express your feelings in any situation.  Not having your wants or needs considered as important or accessible.  Convincing you that he knows best.  Making you feel small.  You start to realize his promises of future success and past accolades are just that “promises.”  You are seeing that he is not producing on his goals or treating you with the showering of love and respect that was showed in the pursuing stage.  Everything is your fault when things don’t go as planned.  You are criticized and demeaned when you suggest ways to help.  And, then he gets bored. It’s over.  No warning, no second chances.  No explanations.  No looking back from him.  He moves on leaving you bereft and desolate.

Sometimes you cycle through the stages or try and become what you think he wants…most of these types of relationships are short lived…if it made it a year or more you have given up parts of yourself.  Usually this type of relationship has some type of addiction and abuse (psychological, emotional, physical, and verbal) involved.

Recovery is achievable.

You are not at fault.

You could not have changed the outcome.

This was his doing.

Seek out support for any abuse.

Seek out treatment for any addiction of your own.

Remember who you were before you met him and be her again.

*This was written from a female perspective, but it could just as easily be a girlfriend from the male perspective.

And, what if this was your Mother/Father? Children of narcissistic parents are manipulated into feeling unworthy and a whole host of things that therapeutic counseling can help uncover and overcome.

I think this is a Disorder.