It’s straight out of Twilight or a show on HBO. Just like the sexy vampire of fiction, the narcissist is alluring, devastatingly attractive, and deadly. Cue scary music. You spot him across the crowded room. He’s hard to miss because he’s good looking and a bevy of beautiful women surround him, hanging on his every word. You work up the courage to approach him and you barely have to speak a word before he takes the lead in the conversation, letting you know of his many accomplishments and world experiences. You’re flattered that he’s taking an interest in you so you ignore the fact that in fifteen minutes he hasn’t once asked about you or your life, or that he is constantly checking himself out in the mirror across from the bar.
What is this supernatural magnetism that draws you to this man who seems to have it all? The pull you are experiencing is not the fates giving you some sort of sign that you are destined to be together, its fight or flight. Your body recognizes on a visceral level that this person is a master manipulator and it’s telling you in no uncertain terms to leave immediately. Its like your life is a horror movie and the audience is screaming to “get out now!”
If you’re like most women you are going to be convinced that these butterflies in your stomach must mean something spiritual and deep. Those of us with the caregiver mentality, and that’s most double x chromosomes on the planet, want nothing more than to roll up our sleeves and go to work because the narcissist, while being confident on the outside, is notoriously insecure on the inside. We see that and it pings our inborn need to nurture. We don’t listen to the little voice in our head or that feeling in our gut. It should also be noted that for purposes of this blog piece we are focusing on the male narcissist, but in reality this pathology does not discriminate between genders. Guys, this is for you too.
According to Psychology Today (August 2011), “Narcissists will be thrilled to hear that as a group they are rated as more attractive and likeable than everyone else at first appearance.” The operative words being “at first appearance.” Those women surrounding our blood sucking hero in the first scene? He’s only just met them. Narcissists are notorious for cycling through people and tossing them aside when they get too close and become too hip to his selfish and self centered ways.
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