How to Avoid Relationships with Narcissists

The difference between a healthy and an unhealthy amount of narcissism is like  comparing a calm, blue sky to a class 5 tornado. If only it were that easy to  spot a pathological narcissist before getting entangled with one. Narcissists  can be fascinating, fun, confident, decisive, charismatic and popular. As they  position themselves to be the center of the universe, they seek attention,  affirmation, approval and admiration. The best way to avoid getting involved  with a person who has this disorder is to know how to identify it.


Stories related by narcissists help boost the image they want to portray.
Stories related by narcissists help boost the image they want to  portray.

Notice that when a narcissist relates a story, it’s as if no one else is  involved, unless the others are portrayed in minor roles. He is the star. He may  state that he gets no help at all from the people he lives or works with, when  in reality, the opposite is true. He is so convincing that you may never catch  on to his deceptions. The narcissist puts down the abilities of those around him  and seeks to gain sympathy for the hardships he faces or admiration for the  self-sacrificing good he professes to do for those undeserving others.


Unlike Sir Lancelot, knight of the Round Table, narcissists' boasts aren't true.
Unlike Sir Lancelot, knight of the Round Table, narcissists’  boasts aren’t true.

Look for a grandiose sense of self-importance, often without much to back it  up, although narcissists can hold high positions. Clinical psychologist Linda  Martinez-Lewi states that narcissists assign and direct roles to those in their  inner circle. The roles are enforced by conditioning role players with rewards  and punishments.

A good way to avoid attracting a narcissist is to have your own role — a  diva — since narcissists are not interested in people who won’t try to please  them.


Everyone is small compared to the narcissist.  Everyone is small compared to the  narcissist.

Listen for a preoccupation with fantasies in conversations he instigates  regarding his success, appearance, power, brilliance and ideal love. Any attempt  to bring truth into the picture can trigger a negative response from the  narcissist as he tries to maintain the false reality he has created. A  narcissist  chooses people to associate with that reinforce his fantasies of  being special.


A narcissist can't get enough praise.
A narcissist can’t get enough praise.

A narcissist requires excessive admiration. In fact, giving praise and  flattery are the best ways to motivate a narcissist to do something you need to  get done. You can avoid relationships with narcissists by refusing them their  narcissistic supply.


Special treatment is expected by a narcissist.
Special treatment is expected by a  narcissist.

Recognize that a narcissist has a sense of entitlement and can be easily  riled when she doesn’t get what she wants. Strong personal boundaries can help  you avoid getting deeply involved with a narcissist.


Narcissists will figuratively stab you in the back to reach their goal.
Narcissists will figuratively stab you in the back to reach their  goal.

Expect exploitative behaviors. The narcissist takes advantage of others to  obtain what he wants, and he does it without caring if it hurts anyone. He will  not play fair and has no remorse. He will often try to make you feel guilty in  an attempt to manipulate you.


Understand that a narcissist may be envious of you and wants to believe that  you are envious of him. For example, to prove he is a genius, he will make a  point of being right about a subject while pointing out your mistakes or  perceived faults.


Trust that she will be arrogant, haughty and patronizing. This behavior can  be confusing to someone in a romantic relationship with a narcissist because she  initially places her “love object” on a pedestal and idealizes him, proclaims  his perfection to her and all those around and may ply him with gifts. If the  relationship seems too good to be true, chances are that’s the  case.

Posted on June 28, 2012, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This article perfectly describes my little sister and ex husband. I am greatful for the clear written piece as it gives me some closure about why both of those relationships are not meant to work out for me. I have found more peace and serenity through having emotional and physical distance from both above mentioned parties.
    Thank you for opening up my eyes to the insanity I was previously engaged in.
    I’m sure this article will speak to others on a similar level.
    Bless you.


  2. Heather Curtis

    My sister turned me on to this site, Very interesting stuff. The hardest thing for me is the narcissist in my life is my own mother. I recently cut the cord in a not so nice way, of course I felt like crap BAD. Counseling and taking care of myself has helped a lot.


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