It's easy to throw around the word "narcissist" around without really knowing what it means: Whether you're talking about Kim Kardashian's selfie obsession, Madonna comparing herself to Martin Luther King, or Kanye West, er, just being Kanye, it's easy to forget that genuine narcissistic behavior is a recognized mental condition.Sufferers of what's called narcissistic personality disorder aren't just vain; they're grandiose about themselves to the point of obsession, charmingly manipulative, and often have a sociopathic lack of empathy towards others.A child who truly has an interest in basketball will continue with the sport even after the disappointment of losing a few games.
Parents typically encourage their children to have positive self-esteem, but a narcissistic daughter will take this message to the next level.
Young people with narcissistic tendencies can have inflated egos and participate in activities not because they enjoy them, but because they love winning and the corresponding attention.
Dating a narcissist is basically a series of endless conversations where you express an opinion and they immediately jump on it.
(This is partially where the emotional abuse bit kicks in: in my case, my ex loved pulling apart my memories and challenging my view of reality, which is a technique called gaslighting.) Particularly if they believe they're intellectually superior, they get a kick out of dismantling your thoughts and showing off how smart they are. My ex once told me, "Of all the people I've ever taken classes with, yours is the only intellect I've ever respected." A truly spectacular compliment — and one I was bound, eventually, to fail to live up to. They think you might be perfect just like them, and want to impress you — but as it becomes clear you aren't, they become less and less interested.
Many kids go through phases as they learn and grow, and it can be difficult for parents to determine if they are truly dealing with a narcissistic daughter or just a young person who is testing the waters.
Counselors and psychologists have questionnaires that can be used to make a proper diagnosis.
Either way, understanding the origins of the disorder doesn't make having a relationship with a narcissist any more fun — and I should know.
My ex was most definitely a narcissist, and the signals aren't something to take lightly: narcissists have a strong reputation for emotional abuse.
Narcissism is often associated with adults, but the early stages of the disorder can begin in childhood.