The desperation to get married is still as strong as it was over two decades ago however now there seems to be a rise in the Nigerian dating society of men and women suffering from the narcissistic personality disorder.
The term narcissism was originally coined from the Greek legend in which a hunter named Narcissus was known for his outer beauty and disdain for others. Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in the water. Not knowing the beautiful image was his own and needing to possess it, he eventually drowned. (Source: Psychology Today)
People suffering from this disorder are usually described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also concentrate on fantasies (e.g. their own success, beauty, brilliance) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. They believe they are superior or special, and often try to be friends with other people they think are equally unique or gifted in some way. This friendship enhances their self-esteem, which is typically quite fragile underneath the surface
The problem is most people cannot tell when they are in a relationship with narcissists because they are often too caught up in the euphoria of being in a relationship or they just don’t know the signs to look out for.
Here are a few narcissistic signs to look out for:
- They exaggerate their importance – They spend too much time trying to convince you of how important they are, who they know or maybe where they have been. They are professional name droppers and quick to tell you of their plans and projects. In the workplace, they always think they are being undervalued and in relationships, they can never be wrong.
- They lack empathy to the feelings of others – By this I mean they cannot think of anyone other than themselves and how they feel. People with narcissism like to show their superiority by treating those they see as weak or inferior with disdain. Some people with narcissism will even find pleasure in other people’s discomfort. This isn’t because they take pleasure in misfortune, but rather because it reinforces their own sense of superiority.
- They have a fragile self-esteem – Here is a scenario: Woman (who is into healthier lifestyle) lovingly suggests a more effective way, to do sit-ups, since she knows the man wants a toned physique and knows he is doing sit-ups in the way that will not deem him the results he wants.
Man replies, “What are you talking about? I do them perfectly and besides, I don’t even need to be doing them at all. I look great for a guy my age. Look at you; you could start to lose some weight yourself!”
Again, here we have someone who, rather than respond in a way that would show interest and/or show gratitude for the assistance, the narcissist responds in a critical, hurtful and demeaning way.
This is classic narcissist behavior.
- They care about what people think – a narcissistic person cares about how they are seen or the impression people have of them more than anything else. So they will invest in their looks or would over ‘package’ themselves and will always strive hard to please everyone around them. In cases of dispute, instead of addressing the cause they would rather go about to tarnish the image of the other party so they could appear to be ‘better’ or ‘innocent.’
- They are entitled – In a relationship with a narcissist, your partner will often feel as if they “deserve” something that they haven’t earned. Instead of pulling up their pants and getting to work, they’ll feel that’s beneath them and insist on someone else doing it.
Also, if you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, he or she will often seem like a child that throws tantrums to get attention. If they’re not feeling like they’re getting enough attention, money, support, love, etc. they’ll display eccentric and selfish behavior in the attempt of getting what they want.
There you have is, a few sure narcissistic signs to look out for. Being in a relationship with someone who suffers from this disorder can be one of the most emotionally and mentally draining experiences. In a country like ours where most psychological issues are not talked about, it is up to us to look for these signs and offer some sort of help…even if it is prayers from afar.