Narcissists – these manipulative and egotistical people are sweet, charming, and caring when they first meet you and woo you in the idealization phase. They act like they’re the kindest and most honest and loving people you’ll ever meet in life.
That’s the reason why it’s difficult to recognize when you’re dealing with one.
However, once their love for you turns into resentment, it’ll be hard to ignore their malignant traits.
You will know when you are dealing with a narcissistic individual because of not only the ways they belittle you, gaslight you, and guilt-trip you, but also by the way they make you feel around them – constantly going out of your way to please them, walking on eggshells for fear of provoking their anger, and ruminating over cruel things they said and did to you.
Although there are many negative traits you should watch out for in a narcissist, one trait that undoubtedly tops the list is contempt.
To be contemptuous means to feel like they’re better than and superior to everyone else. Narcissists are pathologically envious and naturally competitive people, so they’ll try to sabotage and undermine anything that can represent something better and bigger than them. They’ll undermine your talents, successes and accomplishments to make themselves look and feel better than you and superior to you.
Being with a narcissist is difficult and painful because it’s unsettling and heart-wrenching to know that the person who claims to truly love you, in fact, can’t stand seeing you successful or happy.
It’s unsettling to know that the person who claims to genuinely care about you is constantly searching for ways to sabotage your happiness, interrupt your inner peace, distort your perception of reality, and instill a pervasive sense of worthlessness in you.
It can take years to see the true colors of a narcissist, understand what’s happening, and how you’re being manipulated, and many of us refuse to believe that our partners that claim to care about us and love us are capable of such malice. So, never blame yourself for how long it takes to see the true face of the narcissist since it’s not your fault.
The sad truth is that no one is immune to these predators. Narcissists operate on the emotional level. They mess with your mind. They make you doubt your own perceptions, logic, and even sanity. They manipulate you into believing that you are the problem.
But you are not!
What you should always remember is that their lack of empathy, their disrespect, and their contempt aren’t about you. They’re about THEM. And they repeat this cycle of abuse with every victim they cross paths with.
So, never allow your narcissistic partner to make you doubt yourself, your perceptions, and your logic. Never allow them to make you think you are incompetent, weak, and worthless. Never allow them to convince you that they’re better than you and superior to you.
And last but not least, never forget that being powerful is not about minimizing or denying your victimization. Instead, it’s about recognizing the times when you were powerless. Only then can you call yourself a survivor.