How do you spot narcissistic women while dating? People often throw around the word “narcissist” when describing someone who has an inflated sense of self-confidence or acts cocky. The term “narcissist” is most often associated with men, but true narcissism does not discriminate.
Narcissistic personality disorder can occur in both men and women. Narcissism is about much more than ego and pride. If you are dating someone who is truly a narcissist, the relationship is often fraught with pain and confusion. It can also take a serious toll on your self-esteem.
If you’re concerned you may be dating female narcissist or simply want to recognize the signs, take a look below.
#1: Pay Attention to How She Talks About Her Professional Life
In my article, 10 Ways to Know if You’re Dating a Sociopath Woman, I touched on some of the ways that sociopaths and narcissists differ. There are a lot of similarities between the two, so it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate.
In short, narcissists may work hard (particularly in places of employment) to be respected and admired and become frustrated when their hard work goes unnoticed.
Sociopaths aren’t so concerned about being recognized as they are using colleagues to do their bidding. With a sociopath, life and people are a game and the way they choose to play this game is through manipulation. Think of a cat toying with a mouse — that offers a generalization on how sociopaths deal with people and everyday life.
Narcissists are often those people at work you see taking credit for other people’s ideas and getting angry when someone else is praised. A narcissist is the WORST (and I mean the absolute WORST) boss you would ever want to have.
To put this in perspective, think about a really, really good boss you had. Or, if you can’t recall any boss that you think of fondly, think of a good teacher you had. One thing that makes a boss one to be admired and respected is that they not only knew what they were doing, but they empowered you to do your best. And they gave you accolades when accolades were due. Moreover, their leadership probably made you want to work harder because their respect meant a lot to you.
With a narcissist, it’s quite the opposite. A narcissist will take credit for your work, condescend and demean you, and will become combative if you ever so much as tread into a territory that makes them feel like you are challenging their authority.
When working for a narcissist, you feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells, because you know that your boss doesn’t have your back.
But unless the narcissistic woman you’re dating happens to be a co-worker (and, if she is, please take a look at these 7 Rules to Follow When Dating a Coworker), you’re not going to be getting a front seat to her narcissistic behavior on a professional level. So how are you able to see these red flags?
Think about conversations you’ve had about her work. How does she talk about her colleagues? How does she talk about her own performance? Being proud of her work is not a sure sign of narcissism. In fact, it’s a good thing if she takes pride in what she does. But consider this:
- Does her boasting about her performance dominate your conversations at times?
- When she talks about her work, is she the star of the show?
- Does she say things that indicate she believes — or wants you to believe — her company would be completely lost without her?
- Does she talk negatively about her colleagues? Does she refer to them as “morons” or does she have other unflattering, choice words for the people she works with?
Plenty of people have things they love about their job and their performance that they want to talk about with a significant other. Conversely, there are plenty of things that come with any profession that can be frustrating, and it’s understandable that someone you’re dating would want to vent. But there’s a difference between being annoyed and degrading.
Pay attention to the way she speaks about things on a professional level. Does it make your stomach lurch a bit? Then you may be dealing with a narcissistic woman.
#2: You Can’t Get a Word in Edgewise
Do you feel lonely when it comes to this woman, even when she is sitting right next to you? Do you feel like you are constantly listening to her but sharing anything about your day, your stress, your accomplishments, your life is off limits?
A healthy relationship should involve a give and take, but narcissistic women aren’t equipped to participate in such things.
In a narcissist’s mind, the world revolves around them. A narcissist will love to talk and talk and talk about themselves — often in exaggerated, grandiose terms — and expect you to listen without being given an opportunity to talk about yourself.
In fact, if you ever bring up the fact that you are not being listened to or attempt to vent about your day at work, the narcissist woman may actually fly into a rage.
#3: Sudden Fits of Anger
Narcissistic women don’t take well to anyone disagreeing with them, attempting compromise, or even simply doing things that don’t revolve around their personal fulfillment.
And when you end up in an argument with a narcissist, the end result can leave you confused and deflated. Narcissists will often use emotionally abusive tactics to keep the upper hand during a disagreement. Some examples of this include:
- Yelling, belittling and bullying behavior
- Threats and intimidation
- Withholding of things like money, sex, communication or affection
Gaslighting is one of the most insidious tactics that a narcissist — or any master manipulator — can use. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that is intended to make you question your own reality. This form of manipulation often starts off slowly and builds over time, which is why it can be extremely hard to spot at first.
Someone who is gaslighting will use denial, lies, and guilt to manipulate their victim. Some examples of phrases a gaslighter may use include:
- “I’m not yelling at you. I never yelled at you — I don’t think you even understand what that is.”
- “I can’t believe you would accuse me of that. That never happened and you’re a complete psycho for even thinking I would do that.”
- “I only get upset because you make me upset. Why do you always make me do these things?”
Do arguments with your significant other (or woman you’re dating) leave you with more questions than answers? Do you find yourself feeling guilty even when you weren’t responsible for any wrongdoing?
Keep in mind that these exhausting times will also be punctuated with positive reinforcement. You may suddenly come home to your girlfriend praising you or being extremely kind. This is not a change of heart or a sign that she is “not so bad” — this is intentionally designed to throw you off balance so she can continue to have a hold over you.
#4: She Wants to Make You Jealous
Does the woman you suspect to be a narcissist make a point to chat up other men in front of you? If you point out the inappropriate behavior does she accuse you of being crazy, only to continue to openly flirt when you’re around?
She may be a narcissist.
According to research, many narcissists have been found to induce jealousy as a strategic way to feel in control over their partner.
#5: She Dresses and Acts Provocatively
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with showing off what your mama gave you. Progressive times have women feeling more empowered than ever — and that’s fantastic!
We’re all entitled to wear what we want and take as many selfies as we’d like to show off how awesome we look. But narcissistic women will have a tendency to dress and act very provocatively. There’s a difference between walking with confidence (because you look damn good tonight) and having a preoccupation with every aspect of your appearance, as well as deriving attention from others based on your appearance.
Does the woman you’re dating tend to spend more time taking selfies than actually engaging with you? Is she in full makeup and wearing a slinky barely-there dress to your cousin’s baby shower or your grandmother’s birthday party?
She may be a narcissist.
An exaggerated version of this can be seen in the Evil Queen from Snow White. If you’re going around asking mirrors to confirm that you’re the “fairest of all,” there’s a REALLY HIGH chance you suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder.
#6: She’s a Terrible Friend
The way that a person treats their friends is a big reflection of their overall personality. Is the woman someone who tends to have a lot of frenemies? Does she act sweet and charming to her friends’ faces only to demean and ridicule them behind their back?
If the way your girlfriend or dating partner treats or talks about her friends has seriously rubbed you the wrong way, it’s possible that she’s a narcissist.
#7: She Love Bombs You
Love bombing is a manipulative technique where a person you start dating (or have been dating) will shower you with things like gifts and affection to earn your trust.
In the early stages of dating, a person who is love bombing may attempt to accelerate the seriousness of the relationship by saying “I love you” very prematurely, describing the two of you as “soulmates,” and talking about how they’ve “never felt this way before.”
While these may seem like clear red flags to an outside observer, when you’re infatuated with someone during the “honeymoon phase” of dating, it can be difficult to see this behavior as Machiavellian because the hormonal releases that accompany infatuation can make you see the other person through an intoxicatingly lovesick lens.
Narcissistic Women Wrap-up + Finding the Right Fit
If you’ve dated or been in a relationship with a narcissistic woman, it can be an extremely taxing and traumatic experience. Because of the manipulative tendencies and lack of empathy that comes with a narcissistic personality disorder, the pain one feels as a result of that relationship can continue long after the relationship has ended.
If you feel that the effects of the relationship are detrimental to your everyday life, consider booking a therapy appointment. I also invite you to check out my tips on healing from a broken heart.
And when you’re ready to reenter the dating world, I’m here to help. Book a 1-on-1 Skype session with me today to get started. During our session, we’ll discuss your dating goals, roadblocks and create an action plan to help you find the perfect partner.