The Perils of Dating a Narcissistic Victim

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An article written by Barry Herbach, LCSW

 “A narcissist is very flattering, very seductive. They would make you feel as though their world is very special and if they allow you into it, you’ll be very special, too. They fulfill our fantasies,” she said.

We all want to believe we’re going to find this special connection, this special person. When a total stranger, usually attractive, comes along and says, you’re it, the one I’ve been looking for all my life,’ even though you have some reservations it’s easy to say this is what I’ve been looking for and you go for it.”

Narcissists, she said, often have elaborate and rehearsed presentations about their life.

 If your boundaries aren’t clear, you’re not sure of your center, it’s easy to become involved with a person who seems to have absolute certainty of who they are,” she said.”

Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)  Wolf, Mark April 16, 2005

Many people I work with get involved with what I call “a narcissist victim.” You may be thinking how can a narcissist not think very highly of themselves? Well, it’s possible, but with a twist. First, most narcissists are extremely seductive as the quote states. What the victim does is make you feel like the special one who is the answer to all their needs. They build you up, they have open communication to the point it’s downright annoying. Because you are so special, you feel that they will never leave you and they really care. Women tend to get seduced more often than men by this type. I mean why wouldn’t someone want someone who worships her, is sensitive and loves to communicate. It’s a dream that can soon turn into a nightmare.

The following is an overview of a narcissist:

“1. All about me: It’s a character disorder in which a person tends to: have an inflated sense of self-importance; be preoccupied with thoughts of his or her great success, power, brilliance or beauty; believe that he or she is special, unique or better than everyone else; desire, expect or demand excessive admiration from others; have a sense of entitlement; exploit and take advantage of others; lack empathy and emotional connection to others; and be arrogant and act superior.

 2. Deep down: People with narcissistic personalities, in spite of their thoughts and behaviors, unconscious. They do not have ideas of great success, power, brilliance or beauty, but they can have all the resly feel inferior and inadequate. “

The Miami Herald. “5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER”, The Record (Bergen County, NJ), April 10, 2008

The “it’s all about you” is the sneaky part with these people. Remember it’s all about them, not you. So, as they get to know you and the fantasy goes away, they get angry. You are no longer feeding their inflated sense of self-importance. So now they remember every imagined slight. They are always telling you how you are not good enough at taking care of them. They are the victim, “you disappointed them”, “and you did not treat them with enough sensitivity”. They will always want to have talks and have open communication. If you listen carefully when you are in these discussions, you will realize all they are doing is telling how you weren’t good enough, because you didn’t make them feel good enough.

These talks can always seem to end with how it was your entire fault. You start to walk on eggshells because you don’t want to hurt or offend them. Or you just may not want to have another talk. Sometimes you will begin to feel ungrateful and make up in your head how they are still caring. In the end though the bottom line is this: they have gotten you to take care of them, while making you feel that they have taken care of you.

These slights and arguments are about how their narcissistic needs are not being met. If you are finding yourself defending a lot of behavior to a supersensitive mate who is angry for things that you don’t even know you did or even, make sense to you. Watch out, get out now.

This usually ends in one of two ways: You will get burnt out and afterwards, get out with a lot of drama. Or believe it or not they dump you, and never talk to you again. Suddenly you feel like you never existed to them. You will be asking yourself, “What happened?” The answer is simple. They realized that you will never fill their needs (no one can) and they moved on to a new sucker. They don’t acknowledge you because it was never about you, so now it’s the new love of their life. Or their new sucker.