I have a question to ask you. “How narcissistic is/was your narcissist?” That may sound like a bit of a circular question but actually ponder for a moment, just how obvious are/were your narcissist’s narcissistic tendencies and mannerisms? After all, narcissists develop and foster shallow and self-serving relationships based on a solid foundation of deception and manipulation, all the while projecting a confident yet hollowly humbled facade, and for nothing more than the express purpose of bolstering and reinforcing the narcissist’s ego through external validation.
Therefore, a narcissist isn’t going to advertise they are a narcissist. In fact, they’re going to attempt to be just about as covert as covert can be, especially when they begin the arduous and time-consuming process of trauma bonding. Oh, sure. There will be signs, red flags, things you will notice but will more than likely turn a blind eye to because, let’s face it, when you’re in love, you tend to overlook your partner’s shortcomings and flaws, no matter how flagrant they may be, in favor of your feelings for them. In short, you choose to see the good in someone even when there is little-to-no-good in them. So what behavior/s have you seen in your narcissist that screamed, “I love me!” but you chose to ignore?
Aside from the constant adulation and adoration my narcissist, Julia, craved from her reverse harem, the one that really stood out to me was her incessant primping. And when I say, “incessant,” I mean incessant! Without exaggeration, I recall every single time we passed a storefront with a large glass window, if the reflection was acceptable, she would stop and check/fix/adjust her hair, makeup, and outfit. But this wasn’t merely relegated to once every 30-minutes or every hour. She would quite literally check her reflection about once every 2-3 storefronts as we walked along, as though something had somehow changed in the last 3-5 minutes and needed addressing. And if we passed a mirror in the store, she was sure to stop and take the time to grace its silvery surface with her lovely face. At the time, I told myself that she was primping and preening because she wanted to be beautiful for me. But I can see much more clearly now that she wanted to be beautiful for herself and herself, alone. I will admit, after several years of silently bearing witness to her incessant pretentiousness, it began to wear thin. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy going shopping with her. She always turned heads and, I’ll admit, I took pleasure in people knowing that she was my beautiful girl.
I remember one day, soon after we first met, I took her shopping for some summer dresses. While she was changing in the dressing room, three teenage boys walked over with their girlfriends. Admittedly, the girls were noticeably attractive with thin figures and stunning features. The girls took their clothes to the changing room and, while they were gone, their boyfriends seated themselves about 10′ away from me. They started cutting up, acting their age, being somewhat uproarious. It was about this time that Julia came out of the fitting room. The moment she walked out to where we were all seated, and those boys saw her, they fell completely silent and just gawked, slack-jawed. She stood in front of me, smiling as she spun around in her own little world, and asked, “What do you think?” She was glowing, absolutely radiant. I told her she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. And I honestly meant what I said. And from the stupefied and speechless jaws that had dropped to the floor next to me, I would say the teenage boys concurred. Now, you have to realize, here is my narcissist, nearly twice the age of those stunning teenage girls (at the time, 36), and she outshone them without even trying. Yes, she was that beautiful. And, yes, this is an actual picture of her that I took on the Riverwalk in May of 2015, wearing a dress I had picked out that day we went shopping.
(You can click it for a larger image.)
So, my beautiful, please share with the rest of the class, what behaviors do/did you see in your narcissist that are/were a red flag but you initially elected to ignore?