If you’ve never interacted with a true narcissist, consider yourself lucky. The narcissist is a completely self-absorbed individual, with no empathy for others, who manipulates individuals for her own gratification. Once you allow her into your life, she will wreak havoc — so beware.
Research psychologist Jean Twenge of San Diego State University reports that Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) affects about 6% of the population and is on the rise, especially in young women. Since few people with NPD seek treatment, it is important to arm yourself with the skill-set to identify the disorder. This will save you a lot of time, energy and pain.
A narcissist can be hard to spot at first because when she targets you, she will shower you with love for period of time, sometimes even years, in order to lure you in. She can be highly charismatic and treat you exceptionally well, but don’t let these things fool you – it’s all a big trap. This is not her true self.
Below are 5 tangible, easy-to-spot traits of Female NPD. Keep in mind that a narcissist may not display all of these behaviors, and any single one is a red flag.
1. She Has Delusions of Grandeur and Unrealistic Fantasies.
Not only does she think she’s superior, the narcissist thinks she is magnificent, and believes others cannot live without her. Her talents and accomplishments are often highly embellished. She seeks power and fame, and believes she, or her children, should and will achieve it.
2. She Has an Overwhelming Sense of Entitlement.
The narcissist is the center of her own world and believes she deserves special treatment. She thinks others should serve her without giving them any respect or consideration. In her mind, it’s okay for her to break the rules because they don’t apply to her. She takes no responsibility for her mistakes.
3. She Dominates and Steamrolls Conversations.
The narcissist constantly talks about herself and hogs the conversation. It’s hard to get a word in. In her world, she is always, ALWAYS right.
4. She Constantly Craves Attention.
The narcissist is always on stage and portrays herself differently depending on the audience and situation. She believes she deserves constant admiration from those around her, and if she doesn’t get it, she can be quick to anger and show her true self.
5. Her Appearance is of Utmost importance.
The narcissist places extreme significance on her physical appearance for any situation. Her appearance is about status, and she buys nice things, whether she can afford them or not. She is overly confident about her attractiveness level. She may not be viewed as beautiful, but she believes she is more appealing than other women.
Why Does She Target You?
The self-serving narcissist wants to associate herself with you for your status, whether it’s social, economic, cultural, professional, or what have you. You represent something she wants, and if you are lured into her circle, she believes she will acquire your status. She collects individuals as status symbols in order to convey a false persona. She uses you as a tool to build her identity, and when she thinks she has achieved that, or you don’t meet her needs, you will be discarded.
How Does She Make You Suffer?
Just when you start to trust the narcissist and feel comfortable, the trouble starts. She has successfully manipulated you into a toxic social circle that you depend upon — and now she has you. This is when the narcissist starts to show her true self, and it’s a scary thing. In this phase of the relationship, you will be constantly tested with demands to serve her, you will be made to feel inferior and clingy, and will be subject to an environment of ongoing negativity. If you don’t perform as requested, you will be humiliated, perhaps even publicly, or given the silent treatment. Even if you perform well, she will only use you as long as she needs you. As soon as your contribution to her status has run its course, she will drop you.
How to Get Out?
The only solution is to leave the group and cut off all contact. Don’t answer phone calls or texts, and delete group members from all social media. The narcissist will likely lead a smear campaign to portray you as an unstable person – she doesn’t want your exit to make her look bad. Her campaign also keeps the remaining group members on their toes – they don’t want this to happen to them. Any targeted negativity can be difficult to ignore, but it will pass. Know that you are leaving a toxic relationship and a dysfunctional group on your own terms. Others may stick around for a long time before the narcissist inevitably cuts their cords. You, on the other hand, are now free to lead your own life and focus on what is important to you. Be thankful you have the courage and self-esteem to do that.