On one of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk episodes, the show hosted renowned psychologist Dr Ramani Durvasula, who spoke about the different kinds of narcissism – and scenarios women find themselves in.
Dr Durvasula explained the different types of narcissists. “A lot of people think a narcissist is someone who is just into themselves. But, it’s the opposite of self-love because they’re deeply insecure. These are people who have no empathy for others; they are grandiose, deeply entitled, arrogant, hypersensitive to a point of being paranoid, and can’t deal with frustration. Classical narcissism is the common one that people are aware of – grandiose behaviour. These are people who suck up all the oxygen, and we’re drawn to them because they’re charming. But, covert narcissists are the dark knights, and we miss them because they come off as victims and are angry at the world for not seeing how great they are. Malignant narcissists are charming and grandiose. They are dangerous because they’re willing to manipulate, exploit, lie, cheat, and steal to get their way. Lastly, there are noble narcissists – they do a lot of good things, are charitable and donate money, but the reason they do is to get validation.”
This begs the question – how do you know if your partner is a narcissist? Zwane explains it like this:
1. You will start doubting your own reality. This is called gaslighting. What it means is the narcissist will deny things they have said to a point that you feel it necessary to record conversations or have witnesses during your conversations with them.
2. They are very entitled. They always have a list of things you must do for them to be happy, but they never see your efforts and the list never ends.
3. They take credit for every good thing you do for them, because of their arrogance, and will shock you when you first notice this behaviour.
4. They’re deeply insecure and always seeking validation. Their image and how the world sees them means everything.
READ MORE: Five relationship mistakes to avoid
5. They demand special treatment that they can’t give in return because they are only loyal to themselves, and no one else.
6. They are experts at making you feel guilty for standing up to them.
7. They throw temper tantrums and can’t regulate their emotions. It’s almost as if you are supposed to make them feel good.
8. They lack empathy. They are mean and get pleasure in the misery of others.
9. They can’t take criticism, but are very quick to dish it out. They are emotionally sensitive as well. They are masters at playing the victim, and will stop at nothing to get justice.
READ MORE: Signs your vagina is unhealthy
10. They can’t be dumped, but they reserve the right to leave you when they feel like it. If you leave them, be prepared for hell.
Zwane sums it up. “Narcissists are made, not born. It is a by-product of their upbringing. They can change and learn to be empathetic, if they get professional help.”