Any more traits lying around here?
Oh, ignore that. It sounds so negative. They don’t ‘exploit,’ per se, they just… ‘enjoy and don’t bother reciprocating.’
Let’s say you’re seeing a dashing, sensitive narcissist. You meet at the beach, have a picnic that you brought, you listen to his bitching and tell him what a masterful work of art he is; you walk back to your house, you make love; he naps, gets up and showers, and, with a kiss, of course, leaves and you don’t hear from him for a week. A normal guy might call, send flowers, ask you out the next night, take you to meet his friends, something boring like that. But a narcissist, he’s got things to do! People to see! PRIORITIES! If you say, “I need to see you more. I feel like you don’t take us seriously,” he’ll probably respond with a reassuring and comforting selection from the following, meant to end the discussion cold:
“I know. This is hard.”
“I just don’t know if I can.”
“Maybe you just need to decide what we have is enough.”
“But this is special. Like a summertime affair. We’re like kids again.”
“I do take it seriously. It just doesn’t seem that way to you. Maybe something’s wrong with you.”
“Sense of entitlement…”
Well, yes. When he’s the most special, unique butthole in existence, he has certain perks. One is that he gets to do whatever he wants, to whomever he wants, right at that moment. This is particularly so as applied to you, the one who loves him. He gets to flirt and not have it bother you. He gets to ignore you and have you gush with joy when you see him next, like some codependent Irish Setter. He gets to tell you it’s over and dump you and then come back to your open arms when he’s short on attention from other people. And, most of all, he gets to soak up the attention you give him, bask in it, and then sneer at you and go get more from someone else.
Now, some of these “medical criteria” can be a little vague; let’s see if we can be a little more experience-based about it:
If the most sensitive thing he’s said in six months is, “Your sister’s really beautiful,” or, “I mean, she’s REALLY beautiful,” he might be a narcissist.
If he’s so fake that professional actors walk away from him weeping openly with feelings of inadequacy, he might be a narcissist.
If the only time he gives you a gift of any substance is when he wants something from you or he thinks it will impress other people, he might be a narcissist.
If his idea of a close, intimate evening involves his telling you in front of a fireplace that he might be in love with someone else, or getting up and leaving early because he has “things he has to do,” and he drops these stink-bombs so often that you’ve come to expect them, he might be a narcissist.
If after sex you have the vague, persistent feeling that you should have been paid for what just took place, he might be a narcissist.
If he’s sitting at a funeral service and he whispers to you, “Aren’t they going to have SOME kind of entertainment?”, he might be a narcissist.
If he broke it off with you, sucked you back in, broke it off with you, sucked you back in, broke it off with you, and, when you resisted his sucking you back in he REALLY turned on the charm and pushed all your buttons and did everything humanly possible to suck you back in until you caved and you were sucked back in, and then he broke it off with you, he’s very probably a narcissist.
If within ten hours after your wedding he undergoes a shift that would make Dr. Jekyl jealous and acts like he can’t stand being with you, a demeanor that hangs around in varying degrees for the rest of your relationship, he’s very probably a narcissist.
And if he acts like a warm, devoted, responsive partner when other people are looking, and then literally drops his arm from around your shoulders after they’ve left and, when you try to elicit more attention from him, he blocks you, he’s definitely a narcissist.
If your narcissist throws you a crumb of attention, take it and savor it and deluge him with appreciation for it. Do NOT under ANY circumstances snort with disgust and drop his sorry ass to free yourself up for someone much, much better. Hang onto him at all costs. ALL COSTS. This won’t do you a damn bit of good, but it will help keep him away from the rest of us.