The day we met I was minding my own business, enjoying time to myself before I had to be at work. I never expected to meet the man that would alter my life forever. Walking toward me on the beach that day, I couldn’t tell he was a narcissist. He walked like any other person on the beach, how was I to know? If I had known I would have pretended to be asleep until he walked past, our paths never crossing.
Fast forward 34 years later when he left me for someone half his age.
Left on my own, I tried to figure out what had happened. Only after googling a few personality traits of my soon-to-be-ex did the answer appear, he was a narcissist! All of a sudden my life with him made so much sense. He had made me feel like I was crazy so many times that I was beginning to believe that really I was.
I only wish that sometime in my long marriage that someone could have warned me, but narcissists are a sneaky bunch and so good at camouflage they can easily appear to be someone they are not.
My checklist for recognizing a narcissist comes from years of living with one. The most perplexing part is that when you are in the middle of a relationship with a narcissist it is very difficult to realize the situation you are in. Listening to friends was one of my major downfalls as they always tried to make me feel better by offering good explanations for what I was experiencing. I now know to listen to that little voice inside my head instead!
I am sure there are other signs to look out for, so many that I could probably fill a book, but these are the ones that bothered me the most. So, without further adieu:
My 11 Step Narcissist Survival Field Guide!
1. If you are speaking directly to them and their eyes glaze over, they could be a narcissist!
2. If you go to restaurants and you can never accept the first table you are offered, they could be a narcissist!
3. If you have something bad happen to you and it doesn’t seem to phase them, they could be a narcissist!
4. If they do something nice and expect to be thanked too many times, they could be a narcissist!
5. If they fish for compliments too many times, they could be a narcissist!
6. If you say something about them they don’t like and they freak out, they could be a narcissist!
7. If they say things about you to elevate their own self-worth, they could be a narcissist!
8. If they can never see your side of an argument, they could be a narcissist!
9. If you feel they never “have your back”, they could be a narcissist!
10. If you constantly feel stressed and not yourself anymore, they could be a narcissist!
11. If you start thinking you are the crazy one, congratulations you have identified a narcissist!
It is too late for me but if you are currently in a relationship with a narcissist I know there are ways to cope with their behavior and lead a happier life. There are many articles on how to survive and maybe even thrive, here is one that I liked. So take a deep breath, smile and know that you are not alone!