Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

It is difficult to identify a narcissist in the beginning of stages of attraction.

Why?

Because many of their narcissistic qualities can be misinterpreted.

In fact, their narcissistic tendencies may initially present as positive qualities.

Thus, further complicating the entire narcissistic riddle.
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For instance…

1. They appear to not sweat the big AND small stuff:

The narcissist doesn’t care and this appears to be a breath of fresh air especially if the person attracted to them is a worrier themselves. This apparent lack of worrying makes them appear confident and self-assured, maybe even risk takers. A person attracted to the narcissist may identify this as a strength. What a wonderful thing that their significant other doesn’t care what people think. How inspiring that they aren’t bogged down by societal boundaries or norms.

2. They don’t get bogged down with emotion:

The narcissist doesn’t have time for emotion. In the beginning of a relationship a person dating a narcissist may find this refreshing. How great that their partner doesn’t bicker with their family (ever) or get their feelings hurt. This may imply a lack of being overly sensitive and therefore, seemingly a strength.

3. They don’t need people:

The narcissist may enjoy people socially but have little need for people in general. They may live away from their own family and friends yet rarely initiate regular phone calls or visits. It may take their spouse to make that contact happen. The spouse of a narcissist may believe this demonstrates independence. They may also somewhat enjoy the fact that their significant other doesn’t pull them in many directions.

4. They are driven by their career:

The narcissist may look like a workaholic. All that matters to them is their job and they have little time for much else. To their spouse, this is a mark of success. A strong work ethic which provides an excuse for their investment in the relationship and family. The spouse of a narcissist mistakenly believes they have married a driven personality. When in fact, even driven individuals are caring and empathetic enough to make more than enough time for those they love.

5. They let you do your own thing:

Some narcissists let their significant other live their day to day life with little interruption. Their spouse can do whatever they please as long as their own schedule is not disrupted. A spouse of a narcissist may believe this is the sign of an open-minded, confident person who allows them great freedom. It may take a significant amount of time before they realize the lack of interest in what they do and what is important to them is not the result of a laid-back partner. It is indicative of a narcissist who doesn’t care how their significant other spends their day as long as their own needs are met and life is running according to their overall plan.

Narcissism is complex.

None of the aforementioned in exclusivity is an indicator of narcissism. However, these combined do demonstrate the type of detachment that narcissists possess.

Remember that true narcissism is a lack of empathy. A developmental stage individuals receive during childhood. It is not just a workaholic who doesn’t seem to have time for their spouse or an ego-centric person that is selfish. A true narcissist has an overall lack of interest in anything but themselves in pretty much all areas and relationships in their lives.

These individuals do not get overly attached to anyone though it may appear that they do. They have the ability to live happily in their own world even when surrounded by others.

Unfortunately, in the initial stages of a relationship, it is hard to detect the trouble ahead. Even harder for an overly caring, sensitive, worrier who is the opposite of the narcissist because they see the narcissist as compensating for their weaknesses.
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(Photos courtesy of Pexels)
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