Narcissism is like a fanny pack: it’s everywhere these days. Everyone is labeling their ex or their mother in law as a narcissist. But while it’s a term we often hear, what does it really mean?

At its extreme, narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a constant need for admiration, a lack of empathy for others, and a grandiose sense of one’s own importance. People with narcissistic personality disorder often manipulate others and have an inflated sense of their own self-worth. More than 70 million people worldwide meet criteria for pathological narcissism.

There are so many real and fictional examples that help us understand this personality disorder even better. We’ll discuss real-life figures such as Ted Bundy, Adolf Hitler, Madonna and Kanye West, and we’ll delve into fictional characters such as Cersei Lannister, Don Draper from Mad Men and even… Michael Scott from the Office (gasp! No, not Michael!), analyzing how their traits align with narcissistic personality disorder.

All of this introduction is necessary because narcissism is not what you think it is: so then how do you know if you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist? We’ll explore the red flags and warning signs that can help you identify a narcissistic partner. From their constant need for validation to their tendency to belittle others, understanding these signs can empower you to protect your emotional well-being.

In Part 2, we’ll tackle the crucial question: What do you do if you find you’ve f***ed a narcissist?

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