We might joke about someone being a bit of a narcissist if they come across as vain and obsessed with their appearance but true narcissistic personality disorder is serious and can be highly toxic in a relationship.

A narcissist will have an inflated sense of their own importance, a longing for constant attention from those around them and, by contrast, a distinct lack of interest in the needs of others.

So how do you spot a narcissist?  Here are just a few traits that might mean you are living, working or having a relationship with a narcissist:

  • They seem super keen on you right from the start, texting lots and insisting on seeing you all the time. They might even tell you they love you before you feel you’ve got to know each other properly.
  • They look for constant praise and attention and don’t take well to criticism.
  • They seem too good to be true, sharing stories of their own success while putting down the achievements of those around them.
  • If you’re talking about yourself, they don’t seem to engage and quickly try to bring the conversation back to themselves.
  • They come across as confident and successful but underneath it all they usually lack self-esteem.
  • They rarely have true friends, tending to have acquaintances instead, most of whom they criticise behind their backs.
  • Teasing behaviour towards you might start gently at first but become meaner and more persistent over time.
  • If you seem happy or are doing something you enjoy, they will try to sabotage it.
  • They may gaslight you to make themselves feel superior. This is a particularly nasty form of emotional abuse which involves undermining your confidence by making you believe you are inadequate or even mentally ill.
  • They insist they are right all the time and will never compromise or accept responsibility for something that hasn’t gone to plan. At the same time, they will make you feel as if everything is your fault.
  • The most sinister side of a narcissist is likely to come to light if you try to end a relationship with them. Not content with hurling insults, blaming you for ruining everything and perhaps even becoming violent, it is quite possible that they will also tell lies about you to your friends and try to turn them against you.

If you are stuck in a relationship with a narcissist and don’t know how to get out or if you have already left a narcissist but are struggling to reach an agreement with them over divorce, finances or children, we are here to help.

To speak to one of our friendly solicitors for a free confidential chat give us a call today on 01423 594680.

Laura Mounsey is a family lawyer with experience of working on cases involving properties, trusts, businesses and pensions.  Laura is a dedicated and talented lawyer who has been recognised with a “Safe Pair of Hands” Award.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and this article is provided by way of general information only and must not be relied upon.  If you require legal advice on a family law issue, please feel free to contact us by emailing enquiries@harrogatefamilylaw.co.uk.