Who Are the Narcissists that Lurk About Us?


Narcissism and Relationships/Breakups: Part 2 of a series

Narcissists are difficult to spot because they wear numerous differing masks throughout their lives as they draw in the various people they groom for varying purposes. They must hide the empty spaces inside themselves, those vacuums normally occupied by a heart and soul. They passionately cover their self-loathing which they eventually project onto us, their victims. (Either they were born that way or life experiences in their younger years tragically shaped them. They are somehow victims themselves.) The emptiness they hold within compels the constant replenishment of nourishment via the emotional energies of others. That same emptiness that does not allow them to truly love.

Narcissists are expert at hiding their true identity while they groom their new victims.

Clever, Narcs exhibit characteristic charming personalities when in pursuit, operating behind near perfect projections that many of their targets find difficult to resist.

Narcs veraciously consume all the love and adoration they can extract from others, leaving the victims drained and devastated. A Narcissist’s need in this regard is insatiable.  A Narc can never sincerely reciprocate in kind with the precious emotional commodities they determinedly seek.

Once victims’ precious fuel is successfully depleted.

The Narc unceremoniously discards them and attention moves to the next victim … a new treasure chest of nourishment for the Narcissist to ‘hoover’ in order to fill the emptiness. Be sure, a Narc always has one or more potential victims being groomed in the wings, being cultivated to fall for counterfeit charms. The Narc will move on, neither holding us gently in their thoughts nor harboring regrets, continuing to use the energy sources that others supply. Amazingly, a Narc often will attempt to return to the dismissed victim for yet another cycle when other fuel sources are low.

Very few things in human emotional life are more exhilarating than being pursued by a Narcissist. Not many experiences in life are more devastating than being devalued and discarded by one who we thought truly loved us. A rollercoaster ride with a Narcissist leaves us emotionally gasping for life … having had our sacred inner and outer selves sucked away. Our self-esteem? Crushed.

Other metaphors can be applied to such an experience.

One is the vampire who preys ruthlessly on others. Like the emotionally drained victim of a vampire, we may be so vulnerable and wounded ourselves that we want and even consciously allow the Narc to return to repeat the ravaging cycle.

As we draw closer to someone we hope for love, truth, honesty and respect in the developing relationship. With a Narcissist, though, there should come a time when we must nudge ourselves to think and think again. As we fall more and more under control, we must wrestle with ourselves and walk away once the signaling behaviours morph into a cohesive set of red flags. Learn to recognize Narcissists:

  • They show little regard for the feelings of others
  • They are arrogant, aggressive and controlling at times
  • They are grandiose
  • They have a self-perception of being unique
  • They have a sense of entitlement to special treatment
  • They need admiration
  • They are withdrawn and mysteriously unavailable at times
  • They are critical of us
  • They insult us
  • They become angry when they are questioned about their actions
  • They have a fragile ego
  • They tell lies and manipulate us
  • They lack empathy
  • They must always be right
  • They blame others
  • They are unaware of their hurtful behavior
  • They cannot apologize sincerely, if at all

When we consider such signs we cannot imagine loving someone who exhibits them.

But somehow many of us have managed to. The narcissistic mask had been cunningly crafted to draw us in. We now must determinedly walk away, push through the pain and heal. For most of us the time will again come to seek a new relationship.

Perhaps a valuable lesson has been learned: No relationship is worth repeated, emotional, and often physically attendant pain. Unfortunately, considerable wounding may occur before the Narcissistic mask slips. Truly, ‘no relationship’ is better than one with a Narcissist.

Joan Barrett
Seasoned Single Joan Barrett navigates the tricky, exciting and challenging Singles lifestyle. Her passion for SINS (her playful term for Singles INternet Dating Services) inspired her to create her category best-selling book Candyland S.I.N.S. to encourage other like-minded Singles who are not about to roll over alone and sit out their remaining years. Life loves people who live it with passion. As an active participant Joan enjoys a deep and broad enough engagement to know the game, how the game is best played and … how not to be played! Yes, ‘online dating’ is the only real game in town.


  1. Stephanie 3rd August 2016 7:02 pm

    I really love this article 1 & 2. I would love to know more. I recognize all signs above. I have to add to my personal problem being married to a Narcissist for 16 yrs, but also having to deal with “I’m not an alcoholic” which he was in a rehab for a 6day detox with intentions of no Therapy. He is considered AMA, No IOP’s or AA meetings that were suggested by the Doctors. Alcoholism is highly genetic in his family. With that being said, I think I need more help on rebuilding my self worth from the daily Brow-Beating of emotional and verbal attacks everyday. Worse on weekends.
    If you offer any help, please contact me. I know this is not normalcy and I need to better myself and not be labeled as “Victim” or let our 3 children endure the psychological problems repeat with them.

    Thank you for posting these signs. I am saving these signs.
    Munford, TN

    • Joan Barrett
      Joan Barrett 4th August 2016 2:10 am

      I am so sorry that you are in such an untenable position, Stephanie. Cut and paste this link
      https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=victims+of+narcissists+support+groups to find support groups.
      to seek the help of the nearest support group. You now clearly see that you are not the damaged partner. Narcissists like you to believe this. But you are actually a victim of someone with a certifiable and classified disorder. So many have suffered silently from abuse by narcissistic partners. There is help out there. Please reach out. JB

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    Awesome blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

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      Joan Barrett 21st September 2016 7:02 pm

      Thank you for your interest in a pertinent topic in relationships and breakups. I recommend The sites Knowing the Narcissist https://narcsite.wordpress.com written by an actual narcissist … well-written. It gives you insight into the narcissist’s mind. And Google Narcissism. You will find a lot of good information. JB

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      Thank you Concetta… i do not know anything about websites. I am pleased you liked my article. And that you found it clear and helpful. JB

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    • Joan Barrett
      Joan Barrett 22nd November 2016 12:36 pm

      These issues are quite common in a society that in itself has encouraged narcissism. A true narcissist is very difficult on the people surrounding him/her. Experts say to walk away if you can. Be strong. Best of luck. JB

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      Thank you for your comments. Yes, narcissists do lurk about us. It is amazing how many you see once you become aware of their modus operandi. JB

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      Joan Barrett 18th December 2016 1:16 am

      Thank you Laura … so many of us have suffered with a Narcissist in our life. Being very aware that they do exist and what to look for helps us defend ourselves. JB

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      Joan Barrett 31st December 2016 3:23 am

      Thank you for your kind comments. If you really want more of an in depth study of narcissism I recommend Knowing the Narcissist by H G Tudor … a Narcissist himself. It is very realistic as to what one faces with a Narcissist in one’s life. A real eye-opener and reality check as to our future. At the moment I am writing a TV pilot about online relationships based on my book that features a Narcissist. Look for it if it reaches TV … presently titled Candyland. JB

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