How to Spot a Narcissistic Personality Disorder Before the First Date – Online Dating

It’s hard.

Email might give you some clue, but odds are good he or she is on best behavior so you won’t see the signs.

Phone might give you some clue, but odds are good that he or she is on best behavior so you won’t see the signs.

That said, here are some pink flags that will probably turn into flaming red flags if you’re interacting with an NPD:

1.  There’s a lot of use of “I” and “me.”

2.  She or he states they feel completely comfortable with you; like they’ve known you for years.

3.  You feel completely comfortable, like you’ve known this person for years.  Odds are you have – in your last relationship or marriage, through a parent, or even through friends you might have.

4.  There is a great deal of emphasis on this person’s accomplishments followed by self-deprecating “humor.” (fishing trips)

5.  The individual seems to present as a victim of circumstance.

6.  The individual will be all OVER you in email and phone.

7.  The individual will rush you; he or she will make statements that lead you to believe they’ve developed a serious interest in you.  (you haven’t even met yet, remember?)

8.  If you have to reschedule your first meeting due to a legitimate conflict in your schedule the individual pushes you to meet them on the original day, anyway.

9.  The individual’s profile reads like “extreme” goodness, empathy, compassion, etc.  He or she has “extreme” interests, and their listed interests have more extreme high-brow and obscure literature, film and music references than you would expect.

10.  The first email from the individual isn’t introductory, rather; the person has zeroed in on only one aspect of your profile and then proceeded to ask questions as though they are an expert on the subject.

11.  The individual shrugs off your opinions, or becomes argumentative.  Usually up front, they will shrug off your commentary and very adroitly and charmingly turn the conversation back around to themselves.  This is a sign they don’t want to hear about you.

12.  There is little flow to the conversation.  Your input is generally negated (but in a passive and gentle manner – for now!).

13.  When you ask a tough question, they won’t answer it.  The subject will be changed.

14.  Most importantly:  Listen.  You will hear yourself being repeated back to you.  What you think is warm, loving, giving, compassionate, witty, or socially graceful conversation will likely be the N pulling from the storehouse of information he or she already has about you.  They are very perceptive people, superficially.  They have to be, since they can display no emotion that is truly theirs other than rage.  You will find this person wonderful because you are being reflected back at you.  The N has no capacity for empathy and has no real feelings of his or her own.  The wonderful person you think you are talking to is yourself.

There are more flags, but this is enough for now.

Remember – READ those profiles.  Get a friend to read them with you, particularly if you are contacted by someone who is easy on the eyes, charming, witty, and does NOT send an introductory email – but sends one zeroing in on only one aspect of your profile.  Anyone who is truly interested in YOU will comment on most, if not all, the aspects of your profile that they found admirable or interesting.  They will send a well-thought-out and well-written email, not:

“Ay!  Do you do large metal sculpture in the style of (someone they’ve searched on Wiki)?  Are  you familiar with (something they’ve searched on Wiki).”

Beware of any email that begins “Ay!” (snort!)

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5 thoughts on “How to Spot a Narcissistic Personality Disorder Before the First Date – Online Dating

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  2. Borderline personality disorder and bipolar are often mistaken as being the same thing. They are also often misdiagnosed, one for the other. This is because the symptoms for both illnesses are startlingly similar.Borderline personality disorder is actually less common and less known than bipolar. Borderline personality disorder accounts for only about twenty percent of hospitalizations for mental illness each year, while bipolar accounts for about fifty percent of hospitalizations. Borderline personality disorder is most common in young women, whereas bipolar is equally common in both men and women, as well as all age groups.*

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  4. I disagree with “zeroing in on a specific thing in your profile” being a bad thing. The reality is, if you do a lot of online dating, you should know that the first email needs to be short and sweet to confirm mutual interest. It’s actually off-putting (to me, anyway) to receive a long-winded introduction letter from someone I don’t even know! I agree someone manipulative could Google some simple facts to appear interested, but… come on, you have to start somewhere.

    The rest of the list is good, especially #2.

  5. When dealing with a Narcissist online, they (obviously) can be thrilling. At the same time, you feel like gasping for air. They slip in references to, for example, Big 3 Unis, magical thinking, and an impression that they and they alone will rescue you from your sordid, miserable little life. Nothing shuts them up faster than confidence, significant expertise in the area they claim to be an expert in, and the knowledge that your life, however disappointing, is of your own choosing. And you like it that way.

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