A narcissist is someone who has narcissistic personality disorder. This is a mental illness that causes an excessive sense of self-importance at the expense of everyone else.
This condition arises because the narcissist had a difficult childhood and became wired in the specific way that has led them to become a narcissist.
People who have narcissistic personality disorder resist change, blame others when their own behaviour has created issues, and are overly sensitive to even the smallest criticism.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition of low empathy. Narcissists have an addiction to feeling special and an inflated sense of entitlement.
They project an image to the outside world which can be polar opposite to how they are feeling inside. They require external validation to protect themselves from their own low self-worth.
Narcissists require something known as ‘narcissistic supply’ to maintain their false persona. This can come from the adoration of others, but also negative things like drama, conflict, and instilling fear in others.
All of this means that they are abusive towards others and exploit them for their own gain.
When trying to spot a narcissist, there are several key traits that are common to all people with narcissistic personality disorder.
In romantic relationships, initially narcissists can be extremely charming. They create a false personality which reels a person in, often using a tactic called love-bombing to make their partner feel truly loved.
The partner gives them what they need in narcissistic supply – love, adoration, acceptance.
The charm then ends, and their true character is revealed.
Narcissists will often project their own insecurities on to their partner and this can have damaging long-term effect. The narcissist will often blame their partner for problems of their own making, which can have detrimental impacts on self-esteem and mental health.
Narcissists rely on narcissistic supply, so taking that away from them when the relationship ends will unmask the deep-rooted issues the narcissist has.
Leaving a narcissistic partner can be extremely difficult. The most important thing to do is seek specialist help.
It is important ensure that you don’t call out the narcissist for being a narcissist as they will simply turn this against you.
There is support available, and specialist counsellors with expertise in narcissistic personality disorder. Finding out your legal rights is a good first step, which you can do by speaking to one of our legal specialists.
Submit your details, and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation callback at a time to suit you. Please note that we cannot offer Legal aid.