Narcissism is a personality disorder. It stems from childhood abuse. When children decide that the world, and the people in it, are bad and that they are good, they have a skewed vision of life. They see the whole world as revolving around them. They see others as objects to gratify their needs. They lack compassion for others. In general they are incapable of maintaining a healthy relationship because they have to be in control all of the time.

Often, narcissists are very charming in order to seduce people into liking them. Their ability to seduce people is amazing. They appear confident and therefore exciting. They want you to fall in love and bond with them so they can finally emerge as their true selves without being abandoned.

If you keep your eyes open, you can detect a narcissist’s need for control and his or her self-centeredness. If you make a mistake they will be critical and unsympathetic. They will hold you to a high standard and exhibit disdain for what they consider weakness or vulnerability.

Both men and women are narcissists. When it comes to relationships, they usually fear engulfment and they:

⋅ Fear losing their identity.
⋅ Fear dependency and avoid bonding.
⋅ Create rigid personality boundaries (can't get close).
⋅ Are sensitive to everything that leads to bonding.
⋅ Lose interest in sex that leads to bonding.
⋅ Seduce and withhold to avoid bonding.
⋅ Minimize feelings that lead to bonding.
⋅ Get nervous when things go well or bonding occurs.
⋅ Pick fights and create uproars to avoid bonding.
⋅ Want more space or have to run.
⋅ Can't make a commitment.
⋅ Are indifferent to others.
⋅ Feel entitled to be taken care of their way.
⋅ Won't put up with discomfort.
⋅ Have complete control of the schedule.
⋅ Say to their partner “Just stay put while I come and go.”

Narcissists can also be love addicts. O.J. Simpson was a love addict. He had affairs and did want he wanted until Nicole divorced him and then he went nuts. While it may seem that narcissists are only men, this is not true. Many women narcissists seduce codependent men. There is really no difference between male and female narcissists. Female narcissists used to be called black widow spiders. The male narcissist is Don Juan or a Casanova. Women can also be as physically abusive as men. Love addicts should go on the internet and learn as much as they can about narcissists so they can see through their charm in the early stages of the relationship. The most common toxic relationship is between the codependent love addict and the narcissist love addict. Opposites attract and love addicts are vulnerable to charming people.

Author's Bio: 

Susan Peabody has been helping love addicts since 1985. She is the author of Addiction to Love: Overcoming Obsession and Dependency in Relationships, and The Art of Changing: The Secret to a Better Life. For more about Susan and how she can help you see her website: