There is so much attention given to spotting a Narcissist and whether, or not, you might be involved with one. But there is a much more accurate barometer, and that is – our own behavior.
When you’re involved with a compulsively dishonest, egomaniac, their behavior sets off a chain reaction, which causes us to behave in equally unhealthy and neurotic ways.
Trying to maneuver through all the curves and road blocks of a Narcissistic relationship, puts us constantly on edge and in a perpetually confused and anxious mental state. This negative state clouds our judgment and hinders our ability to analyze situations properly and make logical decisions.
When we start behaving in a manner that is out of character for us, that is a huge glowing, flashing red flag that something is seriously wrong. The behavior we exhibit at any given time, is generally based on whatever emotional state we are in. When we are constantly off balance, how we react, our choices and decision making skills, will reflect that negative emotional state.
Many years ago, when I was dating my boomerang Narcissist, my behavior and my common sense echoed all the turmoil that was going on in the relationship. When he first started to blow cold and began showing interest in other women, I actually thought that he was doing that because he just didn’t know how to behave in a relationship. I’d get mixed signals and I thought I had to teach him that that was unacceptable behavior. I even believed that I couldn’t leave him because he needed me. I became an excellent detective, trying to keep tabs on him and what he was up to.
As I look back on it I realize how ridiculous my mental state was. Of course he knew that by acting that way it would upset me and cause me to back off. Of course he knew he was killing all chances of having a relationship with me. He was behaving that way because he didn’t want a relationship with me. He was acting like him and his behavior was making me act nuts.
I was rationalizing and minimizing and I was desperately trying to hang onto someone that I could feel slipping away and I even found myself trying to convince him that I was best for him and that he should stay with me. I felt like Will Ferrell in the movie Anchorman, “I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I’m kind of a big deal.”
What he wanted was to lower my expectations. He wanted to create friction and drama that would drive a wedge between us and create distance, because I was getting too close. And Narcissists don’t want close – they want distance.
When someone we care about tries to pull away from us, it’s a natural reaction to want to cling tighter, to stop them from leaving. And believe me Narcissists know this. More to the point they like you in this state. It’s a huge ego boost for them. Imagine having several women pining for you all at once and knowing that you have managed down their expectations so drastically, that you can just throw them bits of attention now and then and they will give you all that you want, whenever you want it and expect nothing from you. This doesn’t happen by accident – this happens by design.
How Your Behavior Tells You You’re Involved with a Narcissist
When other people come to us with their problems it’s usually quite simple for us to spot the obvious and recommend a solution, mainly because we have nothing invested and our emotional state is neutral. But when it comes to our own situations the answers are not so simple. The best way to know if our relationships are healthy and good for us is to judge how we are behaving.
If you find yourself engaging in any of the following behaviors, there is an excellent chance that your relationship is unhealthy and you may be involved with a Narcissist:
You act completely desperate: You are hyper-vigilant about being available 24/7 for any type of contact. You check your phone constantly for any signs of communication. You make mountains out of molehills of attention, putting way more stock into a few nice things he does and ignoring all the horrible things he does.
You act like a drug addict: The relationship is on your mind constantly. You can’t get enough of him, you think about him all the time. You talk about him all the time, so much so, that your friends are sick of hearing about him. You listen to messages he has left on your phone over and over again, you reread previous text messages, or emails, basking in the glow of earlier attention. You keep looking at his pictures, trying to stave off withdrawal. You can’t stop fantasizing about how you want your relationship to be. You keep wondering what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with.
You keep trying to convince him that you are worthy: You are constantly jumping through hoops trying to please him. You’re basically jumping up and down saying, ‘pick me pick me.’ You’re giving way too much, in an attempt to prove that you are better than other girls and have more to offer him.
You become an expert detective: You are constantly on the hunt for clues that will tell you what he’s up to. You check his phone, computer or email for any signs of foul play, every chance you get. You check his pockets for phone numbers. You do drive-bys past his house to see who’s parked out front, or you do the stake out and keep him under surveillance. You stalk his Facebook and all social media, for any suspicious activity. You even go on dating websites to see if he has a profile up.
You act nuts: You become completely neurotic, defensive, easily irritated and high strung. You overreact to even the slightest criticism by well-meaning friends. You’re constantly on edge, anxious and nervous all the time. You start to resemble Smeagol from Lord of the Rings, “my own, my precious.”
You retreat from your friends and loved ones: Deep down you know that your relationship is unhealthy and you need to end it, but you can’t because you’re addicted. You don’t want to hear the advice of your friends, because you’ve heard it before and it’s not what you want to hear, so you withdraw from them and other activities that you would normally engage in.
When a relationship is healthy and good for you – you aren’t doing any of these things. Trust, kindness, reciprocity and respect it’s all there – there’s no guess work.
When a man pulls away from a woman, when he acts like he can’t make up his mind, when he is disrespectful of her feelings and walks around like this is all ok, you have one course of action – you leave. Because if you are searching for clues that your guy actually wants to be with you and you’ve become obsessed, it’s already too late, your relationship is doomed and all you can expect is more heart ache in the future.
There is no sense sticking around waiting and hoping that he will change, or make up his mind. When a man wants a woman, he acts like it – not just when it suits him.
Understand that a Narcissist’s behavior is completely neurotic and if you continue to engage with them, your behavior becomes equally neurotic.
When you are doing things that are beneficial to your well-being you know it, because it feels good. So when your behavior starts to feel out of control, it’s time to give up the Narcissistic drug and kick your habit to the curb.
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