5) Control and manipulation.
Narcissists put their needs first. They may manipulate you with flattery, belittling, or threats. Their lack of empathy may show when planning a date. Time and place might be a difficult negotiation or on their terms, especially if they sense that you’re interested in them. Initially, they may want to please you to win you over, but once they’ve made their “catch,” they want to please themselves. It’s the chase, not the catch that motivates them. Once they’re victorious, they can lose interest, and move on to the next conquest before it gets too emotionally intimate. If not, they’ll be emotionally unavailable and keep you at a distance, because they’re afraid if you get too close, you won’t like what you see.
Listen to what your dates say about themselves and past relationships. Do they take responsibility or blame other people? Pay attention if they admit to serious shortcomings, commitment issues, infidelity, criminality, addiction, or abuse. Equally important, notice if you feel anxious or uncomfortable, pressured, controlled, ignored, or belittled.
Learn about narcissistic relationships, why narcissists are codependent, and why they’re drawn to codependents and vice versa. In recovering from codependency, you’ll build self-esteem, your estimation of your worth will rise, and you’ll expect to be considered, listened to, and treated well. You’ll convey an expectation of respect by maintaining healthy boundaries, by being assertive about your opinions, feelings, needs, and wants.
Learn about Dealing with a Narcissist.
©Darlene Lancer 2018
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Written by Darlene Lancer JD, MFT
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