One Christmas in particular stands out: “I love to have friends and family around me during the holidays, and so I had invited one of my best friends over for Christmas Eve dinner,” she says.
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What’s more, “nothing you did or said would ever be enough, and if you dared to take care of yourself before the [person with NPD], you would have the wrath of God heaped on you,” she says.
That doesn’t mean every relationship with a person with NPD is doomed.
“At least I had validation—even for a brief moment—that I wasn't crazy or a horrible person,” she says.
“The drama and ‘it's all my fault’ conversations were really wearing on my sanity, to say nothing of the tattered threads of my self-esteem.”Talk about drama: Jamie recalls one morning in which her husband greeted her, but she didn't hear him ask how she slept.
Research published in 2013 in the may shine a light on why narcissism isn't always easy to spot at first.
The findings suggest there are two different dimensions of narcissism, and they can affect relationships differently over time.
While most people grow out of this neediness by adulthood, narcissists “are insatiable with regard to having care and attention on demand,” Raymond says, adding that this is often rooted in neglectful parents or those who prioritize their own needs instead of their children’s.
According to data sourced from a study of more than 34,600 adults, about 6 percent of the U. population has NPD, with rates greater for men (7.7 percent) than for women (4.8 percent).
"I did not believe it at first because, after being with someone for that long, I wanted to believe that he was a good person and I had invested in something that was real," she admits. I just felt relieved."Dating a narcissist can be a confusing, miserable experience that slowly erodes a person's sense of self-worth.
But it's not always easy to tell whether the person you're dating simply has certain personality flaws or is an actual narcissist.
The first seeds of narcissism are sewn in infancy, Raymond says.