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When we talk about a narcissist, what we don’t realize is that narcissism isn’t just a simple personality trait or about a person about whom you simply think about as self-absorbed. It’s a personality disorder that comes into its own separate medical category. And if you’re dating a narcissist or are in close contact with one, what profile traits should you be aware of becomes very important knowing about.

What it is like to date a narcissist
Dating a Narcissist. Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

How narcissism is different from a simple personality trait?

At the present time, medical science has already classified Narcissism as a personality disorder with a certain list of factors that are used by physicians to diagnose patients. NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder is very different from just being self-confident or self-absorbed. 

When a person you meet or know is someone who likes to talk about themselves or makes every conversation about themselves, then we can go ahead and call that person a one-off narcissist. 

But the term clarified by medical science as NPD, it’s a mental health condition for a personality disorder with an inflated sense of self, unsympathetic, and no consideration for others’ feelings. 

What red flags to look for in a narcissist?

When in a doubt about whether a person is just a one-off narcissist or suffering from NPD, Narcissist Personality Disorder, there are certain traits defined by medical science to identify the situation correctly. The list of those traits looks something like this:

  • A person placing a high sense of importance for themselves that’s almost unmatched. 
  • A person who always has a deep need for attention. 
  • A person who is completely unsympathetic towards others around him/her. 
  • A person with a sense of entitlement. 
  • A person with an excessive need for admiration. 
  • A person with a high sense of grandiosity. 
  • A person with superficial relationships. 
  • A person unable to handle any criticism.

Is it healthy for you to stay in a relationship with a Narcissist?

When you’re romantically involved with someone, you crave attention from them. At the same time, you care about them and want them to be healthy. If you’re in a relationship with someone who you think has NPD, it is recommended not to bring it up in casual conversation with them. 

If you think that the spectrum of the narcissism you are facing from your partner lies on the high tide, then check all the possible symptoms here to confirm your feeling and determine if what you’re experiencing is sustainable for you and your relationship in the long run. 

Though there are possible symptoms one can look at, still it is impossible to diagnose NPD without proper medical help, and is inadvisable to do so. 

What does science say about NPD?

According to the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are nine specific criteria to diagnose someone with NPD, but it doesn’t necessarily need a person to meet all of them to qualify as a narcissist. A person only needs to meet five of the nine traits to prove the diagnosis correct. 

Knowing these criteria still doesn’t make it easier for you to say for certain if a person you know has NPD or not. The advice of a medical expert is very much recommended. 

How to help someone with NPD (Narcissist Personality Disorder)?

Although it is difficult to know for certain about someone having NPD or not, there are still some pointers that you can understand and follow to care about and help them. 

NPD feel the need to always exaggerate their talents and accomplishments

There are certain tips that are given by medical experts that can help you handle certain situations with people with NPD. Read on to know more. 

  1. If you’re always hearing great things about them, from themselves only, all the time. As per medical experts, people with NPD feel the need to always exaggerate their talents and accomplishments. When facing such a situation, observe if they ever want to know about you, or try to engage you in conversation. 

Try to observe what does happen if you talk about yourselves. Are there any interruptions? What is their reaction? 

  1. Do you ever feel like they lack self-esteem? Like they’re always fishing for more and more compliments from you?

Medical experts emphasize the fact that people who are simply self-confident won’t feel the need to put you down, in order to feel good about themselves. Use this universal fact to observe and find out if the person opposite you is simply too self-confident, or actually a patient of NPD. 

  1. Does your partner listen to you speak about your day? Do they care if you’ve had a bad day? What do they do to make you feel better? 

Ask yourself these questions, to determine whether your partner is sympathetic towards you, your relationship, and even towards other people around you. Being unable to empathize, even if your partner is romantic, is a major sign of being a patient of NPD. 

  1. Are you always facing criticism from them about everything that you do? Does what you initially thought was a light teasing from them, now become a constant stream of putting you down or berating you for everything you do?

Check if you yourself are feeling confident when around them. Observe and find out if you’re confident and at ease being your true self around them. You could be facing emotional abuse at their hand in that case. 

  1.  Your partner if expecting you to provide them exclusivity. Say yes to all the rights that they want from you. Be it sexual, emotional, personal. But, when it comes to labelling the relationship, or you’re simply wanting to know for sure in certain words about where you stand with your partner, they keep avoiding it. That’s a red flag right there. 

You may be caused to feel that you’re causing rifts in your relationships with your need to define your relationship with them, but remember that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be certain about your relationships and your life. 

You deserve to be with someone who is sure about their full commitment to you and is concerned about what you feel and have to say. 

Having these traits does not necessarily classify someone as with NPD, but it does define to you the red flag that you should not be facing in any way without speaking up or doing something about it. You’re responsible for your own mental health and every right to look after it most diligently. 


Now that you’ve read about dating a Narcissist, you might also like Inspirational quotes to get you through tough times.

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