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how to Spot a Narcissist

Do your conversations feel one-sided? Are you questioning your own recollection? Do you think he may have a little Ted Bundy in him? (Or Dee Dee Blanchard in her?)

Knowledge is power. Join us for this week's episode and learn how to identify and protect yourself from a narcissist.

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References below the episode.

Story By: Lacey Ramse | Hosted by: Lacey Ramse & Alex Brenan

Want to drink along at home?

Try our Weekly Special Cocktail crafted by our own Lacey Ramse!

Cocktail Recipe

1 part

  • Ginger Beer

  • Sparkling Brut

  • Grapefruit Juice

½ part

  • Creme de violette

  • Maraschino liqueur

2-3 Mint Leaves

Muddle mint in juice. Add ice & all ingredients. Stir & double strain into coupe. Add grapefruit and mint garnish.


Mocktail Recipe

1 part

  • Violet syrup

  • Nonalcoholic sparkling brut


  • Sour cherry syrup

2-3 Mint Leaves


Muddle mint in juice. Add ice & all ingredients. Stir & double strain into coupe. Add grapefruit and mint garnish.

How to Protect Yourself from Narcissists


Be aware that you might be a target. Empaths are a narcissist’s dream. If you are highly attuned to other people’s feelings and a good listener, a narcissist knows that you will be able, and likely willing (at least at first) to meet their need for attention. Empaths have great emotional presence, and they make people feel seen. All narcissists want is to be seen and recognized. They will try to use your feelings of wanting to be helpful and kind to get you to be a devoted emotional support person for their needs. 


Do be suspicious. If someone seems too good to be true, very quickly over the top romantic, or even very initially flattering in a friendship, where it feels weird, back off. See that for the red flag it is. We all want to feel seen and loved, but that has to develop over time. Any person claiming to truly see and love you very quickly almost certainly has an agenda. 


Strengthen your relationship with yourself. Spend time doing things that help you connect with yourself, like journaling, or art, or listening to music. Strengthen your own internal voice so that when the narcissist tries to talk you out of your beliefs or perceptions, you are not so easily swayed. 


Pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after spending time with people in your life. If you are consistently drained after spending time with a friend, consider the possibility they are taking much more in this relationship than they are giving. It is perfectly acceptable to back off from relationships that do not feed you emotionally. 



So You Think You’re Dealing with A Narcissist 


Realize their behavior is much more about them than it is about you. Narcissists are experts at dodging accountability. Nothing is ever really their fault in their minds. So, they do not accept responsibility in relationships. A narcissist will try to make you believe everything wrong in the relationship is your fault. They will blame their manipulative behaviors and lack of emotional engagement on your faults. Since narcissists are always gathering evidence that they are the best and everyone else is the worst, they will have a lot of ammo against you to try and get you to buy that you are the only problem. You gotta resist believing that. 


You have to set boundaries. Decide what you are and are not willing to do, and stick to it. Even people who aren’t narcissists sometimes struggle when others set boundaries. It can feel like a rejection when someone says, “I have limits to what I’ll do for you.” But while a healthy person may protest or not like it, a narcissist may be totally unable to tolerate boundaries and may insist or attempt to manipulate you into breaking the limits you’ve set. What are your values? What will you not do for another person? These are valid questions to ask to help you set boundaries. 


If the narcissist is your boss, or someone you must deal with like a coworker or ex, boundaries are still important. It may also be helpful for you to avoid being directly confrontational with them. Don’t confront them in a group, or they will do whatever they can to save face and make you look bad.  


What if your parent is a narcissist? The same boundary setting applies to your relationship with them. It can feel more complicated to negotiate a relationship for a narcissistic parent who makes you feel responsible for them because, as parents age, we may feel a natural responsibility for them. It is important for you to stay connected to your own feelings and boundaries and to protect yourself emotionally. You have to remember that their behavior is largely about their own issues, and not a reflection on your actual value. You get to decide how close you will be, how frequently you will speak, and for how long. You have a right to make yourself emotionally safe. 


If you’re dating a narcissist, recognize that nothing is ever good enough for them, including you, and including themselves. Build up a support system of friends that actually listen to you and care about your well-being, and as Dan Savage, DTMFA, which stands for Dump the MotherFucker Already. Kristy Lee Hochenberger, on Psychology states, “Love is not romantic to a narcissist; rather, the partners are merely there to fill a gap and complete the narcissist’s image. They don’t just want arm candy for a party or a handsome face alongside theirs in their social media posts; they need it to complete the image of perfection. This is why it is so easy for a narcissist to ghost a partner or love bomb a new date: There are no actual feelings involved for the narcissist. There is no affection behind the flowers, words, or actions. Everything a narcissist does is simply a means to an end.” I would add, and that end is to prop up their inflated self-image. 


Dr. Angela Grace, clinical psychologist states, “You cannot change a person with narcissistic personality disorder or make them happy by loving them enough or by changing yourself to meet their whims and desires. They will never be in tune with you, never empathic to your experiences, and you will always feel empty after an interaction with them. Narcissists can’t feel fulfilled in relationships, or in any area of their lives, because nothing is ever special enough for them. The best thing you can do is cut ties. Offer them no explanation. Offer no second chance. Break up with them and offer no second, third, or fourth chance.” 


Because a narcissist will most likely make attempts at contacting you and harassing you with calls or texts once they’ve fully processed the rejection, it may be wise to block them to help you stick with your decision. Strike a match, and burn that bridge, baby! 

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