Narcissism is a term that is used quite often these days. We’re often referring to a person who’s self-centered and only concerned with their own needs and desires. Or someone who isn’t considerate of others feelings.

It’s possible for a person to display narcissistic tendencies without being a true narcissist, which is a real medical condition.

A true narcissist is unable to empathize with anyone, meaning they have no compassion. Nor are they capable of having feelings for anyone but themselves.

Narcissists are unable to have functional relationships due to the fact that they will not be able to return the affection and emotions that you show them. They have to be the center of attention and everything will be their way. There is no give and take with a narcissist, which makes them incompatible life partners.

Falling for a person who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder often leaves your life in ruins. It can damage a person so much that they spend years, if not a lifetime, trying to recover. I’m one of those people.

The problem with narcissists is that you often don’t realize that’s what they are until it’s too late.

They are skilled charmers. You’ll be swept off your feet with how incredible they seem. They really get you. You connect in ways you’ve never felt before. It seems perfect. And that’s when it all falls apart. My momma always said, “If it seems too perfect to be true, it probably is.” That’s what a relationship with a narcissist is like.

In the beginning, he’ll treat you like a princess. He’ll pamper you and constantly praise everything about you. All the “OMG he’s so sweet because …” things you see in movies, he’ll do. Love notes. Surprise visits. Flowers. You’ll feel loved. Worshiped. Desired. Unfortunately, it’s just a skilled technique narcissists use called love bombing. You get addicted to the adoration. And once he realizes that, the true torture begins.

A narcissist’s power lies in their ability to manipulate you. Because you’ve become so overwhelmed with his affectionate behavior, you begin to crave it once he stops. Like an addict, you’ll crave more. And you’ll lower your guard and give him what he wants in order to get it. He knows. That’s when you get to see who he really is. Before you fall for a narcissist, consider these three ways that it’s going to change your life in a bad way.

1. Devaluation

At first, it’s all praise and compliments. But once you’re under his spell, suddenly nothing you do will be right. Instead of telling you what they love about you, it’s now about everything they hate. Everything that you do wrong. Nothing will be good enough. You’ll find yourself changing everything about you to be who he wants. And you’ll do it because of how sweet he’ll become once he gets his way. Until he wants something new.

2. Gaslighting

In my 10 year experience with a narcissist, the worst thing I experienced was gaslighting. Gaslighting is the very harmful technique of manipulating a person into believing that they are wrong about something they should know is actually right. I don’t know how many times I let my ex convince me that I was wrong about the new chick I caught him talking to. I’m not sure how he did it but he really had me convinced that there was nothing going on, even when I saw the proof with my own eyes. It’s the scariest feeling in the world to have someone else be able to control your thinking. But a true narcissist can do it in the blink of an eye.

3. Triangulation

Triangulation occurs when a narcissist involves someone else in your relationship in an effort to change your behaviors. They are so skilled at manipulation that they can convince those around you, even your family and friends, that something you’re doing needs to be changed. Even if it’s not something that is true. This can lead to you standing alone in your own corner, with everyone siding with him. No one knowing the real truth. In a narcissist’s story, you will always be the bad guy. They are always the victim.