In my case, I developed a very close romantic relationship with an emotionally manipulative and histrionic narcissist.
Sharing accounts of this nature is a difficult thing to do — there's a heart-warming sense of vulnerability mixed with a chilling sense of shame.
If you're in a relationship with a narcissist, or someone who you suspect might be a sociopath, it can be difficult to explain what's happening.
For example, day-to-day in the relationship you may feel alone but not quite understand why.
But in fact speed dating is a sweet way to study attraction: Even when you control conditions (as the researchers made sure men and women had no non-dating interactions), it allows for pretty genuine interaction between people.
And since self-reports about attraction, dating, and sex are less than reliable — consider any time you’ve asked or been asked about the lifetime number of sexual partners you or someone else has had — speed dating provides a pretty sound methodology. To gather their daters, Jauk and company found people on social media and through the University of Graz website.
You may feel like you're always saying the wrong thing and making your partner angry, but you have no idea what set them off.
Without the right words, everything can seem confusing, especially if you haven't read about personality disorders before.
Then, as one does in Ancient Greece, he comes upon a still pond, sees how outrageously good-looking he is, and looks at his reflection until he metaphorically and literally dies of his vanity.
If you've ever had a partner who flirted with other people right in front of you, chatted up attractive strangers and tried to make you feel like you couldn't measure up, well, maybe you were dating a narcissist. New research suggests that people who have a high level of narcissistic traits strategically induce jealousy in their mates as a way to meet certain goals: Control, in some cases, or a boost in their self-esteem.
"There is some element of normality to narcissists, in that they pursue goals much like everyone else does," said study author Gregory Tortoriello, a psychologist at the University of Alabama.
Psychologists and the online community of survivors of narcissistic relationships use several terms to help make sense of what happened to them, such as why they fell for a narcissists charm, why they were targetted, or what made someone they loved treat them this way.
Because once you start to be able to talk about it, you can start to realize the way you were treated wasn't okay.