He builds himself up by putting you down, questions your ability to do even simple task. He’s jealous of your accomplishments and goes about the task of undermining you by planting seeds of doubt. He lies when the truth would serve better. He is pompous, arrogant, and behaves as though he is more intelligent than most, and he is jealous of those who seem more intelligent than he.

 If this sounds familiar, you could be in a relationship with someone affected by Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD). People with NPD have inflated views of themselves, and they are literally so full of themselves there is no room for anyone else. Those with NPD display an entitlement attitude, they see themselves as being more important more handsome, and they lack empathy. However this is a mask to hide feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and his stunted emotional growth.

To feed this illusion, the narcissist needs admiration from others like a junkie needs drugs. The narcissistic supply is what fuels his need. This could be a mate, children, job, and an organization, or a combination, just to name a few. He will feign magnanimity if the results will feed his narcissism. When a source no longer feeds his insatiable need, the narcissist will prey on another source and discard his supply as easily as tossing away used napkins, leaving a trail littered with emotional distress. Empathy is a stranger to him, thus leaving the injured party confused and wondering what happened.

The narcissist seems to have a sixth sense about those who would make good targets. He senses vulnerabilities, and he then decides the best way to exploit them.

With the narcissist behaving as he does, why would anyone want to become involved with him? He is a master of deception. He is a predator. If he showed his true self, the relationship would be short-lived. In the beginning, he may show you an inordinate amount of attention, sending you flowers, buying you gifts, and calling you several times a day. He overwhelms his target. This is his lure. Once locked into him, he will test you to see how far he can go. He might cancel a date at the last-minute, telling you he wants to just stay home and relax. When you protest, he will turn it around: “I didn’t know you were so selfish.” You then spend the rest of the conversation attempting to convince him you’re not selfish. You apologize for coming across that way, and he doesn’t have to explain why he’s so insensitive and inconsiderate. At this point he might as well say to you “Gotcha!”

If narcissists are so cunning, how do you lessen your chances of becoming his prey? Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, pay attention to it. Don’t dismiss those uneasy feelings. Don’t ignore the obvious because he has been so kind and attentive. Respect and love yourself. Realize you deserve better and don’t accept a relationship that makes you feel less than who you really are. Repel the narcissist with confidence.