I get a lot of emails from people that are confused about the mixed signals they receive from men in relationships. The hot and cold behaviours usually leave them unsure as to whether or not they are actually involved with a Narcissist. We have to be careful not to paint everyone with the Narcissistic brush, as even healthy relationships do have their ups and downs, but there are some pretty easy telltale signs.
You know you’re involved with a Narcissist when they exhibit several of the following behaviours:
- What they say and what they actually do are two very different things
- They are incredibly selfish
- They lack empathy – they repeatedly show you that they don’t care about your feelings or how their behavior will affect you
- You’ve caught them in many, many lies/stories
- They minimize their involvement or responsibility
- It’s all about them – everything is always on their terms
- They require excessive amounts of attention and admiration
- They blow hot and cold and tend to get bored easily
- Their head seems to be on a swivel always looking for opportunities to obtain more Narcissistic Supply
- There are usually a string of women in the background that he calls ‘friends’
In my blog entitled What Walks Among Us, I describe how Narcissists fear intimacy and that their primary goal is to extract attention and admiration (Narcissistic Supply). This need for admiration is all consuming, it is their drug and they will say and do whatever is necessary to obtain it. What this means is that if your feelings get hurt, or you are left feeling used and like such a fool, then that is an acceptable loss that the Narcissist is willing to take. These guys are skilled users and manipulators. While it may be hard to wrap your head around why someone would be so deliberately cruel, the best way to explain it is to compare them to a crack addict. Just like a crack addict would step over their own mother for a hit, so too, will a Narcissist walk all over you to get their fix.
I recently had an experience with my ex-narcissist that really drives this point home. A few months ago I accidently responded to a text message, after I went eleven months of ignoring his attempts at contact. Within the first few days I was treated to lines such as:
“I will always love you”
“I’d marry you tomorrow,”
“I think about you all the time.”
He even offered to move me into his house rent free. He laid it on really thick and then once he was convinced that he had successfully secured my affections again, he blew cold and off he went. Because I knew what he was all about I wasn’t left devastated like I was the first time around, but I decided to call him on it and as per usual, he minimized his responsibility and claimed that I had misunderstood. I brought up his declarations and here is how he translated (explained away) these phrases.
“I will always love you – you’re my bro, my buddy”
“I’d marry you tomorrow – I’m attracted to you”
“I think about you all the time – I think about you once in a blue moon, a few weeks might go by though”
By confirming that I was still into him, he was able to ascertain that I was still an option for him, should he have a need for me down the road. And that was pretty much all he wanted from me. Ego stroke obtained – check.
While most people would have a really hard time disrupting the life of their ex, re-engaging with them, stirring up old feelings only to pull the same con again, Narcissists have no consideration for anyone’s wants, needs or feelings but their own. If you feel like you’ve been had or burned every time you engage with these sorts, then you have been – trust your instincts.
These types love to play the friend card, because it gives them an all access pass to your life, while at the same time making sure you have absolutely no expectations of them. Natalie Lue explains, in her blog Baggage Reclaim that, “this friend card allows them to keep a foothold in your life. They can’t commit to being with you and they can’t commit to leaving you the hell alone. It also stops you from being able to move on.“
My ex-Narcissist is a somatic Narcissist (obsessed with bodily beauty) which means he practically lives at the gym. Almost daily I would receive nude or scantily clad pictures of his sculpted body, with the phrase, “I miss you.” (This is what buddies do right?) There is only one other set of three letter words that causes more trouble and confusion.
I Miss You
I miss you…it seems to be the catch phrase of the Narcissist. What does that even mean? I wish I could be with you, but something is preventing it? (Like me) I’m thinking about you? (But only at this minute) The truth is- it means nothing. It’s one of those phrases that women give way too much importance to. What it means is, you’re on my mind for now and I’m looking for a way in, but I’m not willing or prepared to seriously do anything about it and it’s just ambiguous enough to free me from any responsibility or expectations you may have.
I’m sorry is another one. I must have received enough I miss you’s and I’m sorry’s to fill a library. I’m sorry allows the user to wipe the slate clean from all previous wrong-doings, even though they will likely not be sorry and will probably do the same thing again.
“Words are the least reliable purveyor of truth”
-Neale Donald Walsh
Irrespective of what words and phrases are being tossed around by your mate the only true sign of sincerity are actions. Actions do speak louder than words and if your partner’s actions are not respectful, not loving and not consistently so, who cares if they’re a Narcissist or not. The truth is there are lots of sweet talkers and con men running amok in the world. If your mate says, I love you ten times a day and then treats you like garbage, it’s the actions that you should be focusing on.
It’s really easy to say I love you, it’s a lot harder to prove it. So if you’re confused about your guys true intentions, always follow their actions – how they treat you on a consistent basis is indicative of their true feelings and tells you everything you need to know.