Narcissism: Dating a self-centered person-Gloria Thomas
By Gloria Thomas
Dan, stepped into the sitting room gleefully, a bottle of red wine in one hand, car key in the other, dancing as he did. He took off his backpack and placed it on the couch, dropped his car key and wine bottle on the center table and picking the remote to his home theater, he turned on Fireboy’s Champion and really got engrossed in his slow dancing as he moved to the dining area and picked a wine glass…
Dan is the Marketing Officer of the organization he works with and he has just landed the company a contract worth millions of dollars for the first time in 2yrs, after so much threats of sack, demoralizing tongue lashing and humiliation from his boss. his joy knew no bounds and so he danced and sang along to “I am a motherfucking champion, remember this….” at the top of his voice as he sipped away at his wine……
If only he had thought of the fact that his ‘domestic boss’ could be at home at the time, he would have kept his celebration low key or maybe not celebrate at all
Kemmy, had been on a phone call, when the music from the parlor came carrying loudly into her ears- -she wasn’t aware of anyone else being at home since she returned, so quickly, she ended the call left for the parlor to check.
Halfway down the stairs, anger began creeping into the floor board of her mind, like thick foggy smoke, chocking her as it formed a knot in her throat, just as she sighted Dan dancing…
Quickly, she darted down to the center table and picking the remote she turned off the music- his cloud nine euphoria dwindled in the twinkle of an eye, once the music died; his back was to Kemmy, his head thrown backward, eyes shut, wine bottle in one hand, wine cup in the other hand as he danced- he had been ‘in the spirit’ – it took him few seconds to realize the music had died, he slowly stopped dancing and shook his head as he jolted back to reality……
‘Ah! Ah!’ he exclaimed ‘wetin do my music’ he said as he opened his eye and turned in the direction of the home theater. He was momentarily frozen in shock to see his girl friend standing right before him stone-faced and ready to spit venom at him for making so much noise.
‘Kemmy!’ he blurted almost jumping out of his skin ‘Jesus Christ you scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know you were home. When did you come home?’
‘Oh lord not again’ he said to himself, as dread of her words to him captive
Kemmy grew angrier at his queries, stepping forward, her face menacingly contorted in anger. She said ‘how will you know I am around, when you are here drinking this hot afternoon and dancing shamelessly about like a puppet on strings, ehn tell me?’ sizing him with her hand ‘After you will be addressing yourself as a man, but see how rambunctious and irresponsibly boyish you are. You just unrested the whole neighborhood within seconds of returning from work’
Dan’s heart jumped right into his mouth mortifying him. As he stared at her hostile face, every ounce of victory and pride he felt misted away, shame and self-doubt quickly taking their place.
‘Ke…ke’ he stuttered ‘Kemmy, Haba! Kemmy, you didn’t even greet me or ask me why I am happy. You just jumped right into scolding me like an errant child. Why are you always so haughty?’
‘Haughty kill you there!’ kemmy said, spreading her palms and pushing his face with it.
‘kemmy… calm down nah. You should even join me in celebrating, I just won a contract worth millions for my company’ emphatically he added ‘millions of dollars o, not even Naira’
Kemmy eyed him over and then bursts into a wild laughter clapping her hands ‘look at this long time looser! So it’s the contract that you supposedly won that is blowing your head up?’ she began to laugh again.
‘Supposedly kwa!’ he retorted. ‘this is not a thing of supposedly Kemmy, I am saying I won the contract; I submitted the proposal, I was invited along with representatives from other organizations vying for the same contract, I was even the last person to give my pitch and you needed to be there, it was awesome! I was offered the contract right on the spot!
‘Hehehehehe! Mr. Pitch! that is the only thing you know how to do with your Sugar-coated tongue’ holding her waist she continued ‘let me tell you, before you start taking glory that does not belong to you. that contract was all me! I got that contract for you’.
Dan was lost ‘please excuse me what do you mean? You got which contract for me?’ he asked
‘Hahahaha look at him, Olodo! Go and wash you eyes and your ears so you can see and hear well. Muturu! I am saying I was the one who spoke to Mr. Welsh to try out your company, when he told me they needed to outsource some jobs to another construction company, because I was sick and tired of watching you whine every looser-day of your life about not being able to win a contract for your company, regardless of your seemingly awesome pitches!’
Dan was taking aback briefly, tears caressed the corners of his eyes, but he couldn’t give in to such emotional response now or Kemmy would gloat at him joyously ‘oh ok… now I see. Wow! I had no idea’ he muttered ‘thank you very much babe, thank you, I really appreciate you going to such lengths for me, and look! we won! that calls for a celebration doesn’t it?’
‘Look at this one’ she said sizing him with her hand, her face clothed in disgust ‘I am talking and he is saying “we won”. My dear there is no “we” here’ pointing to herself ‘I won. Me! I am the one who have been landing contracts for my company non-stop and on top of that I just won a contract for your sorry ass. You’ve been a BSc. Holder for how long now? 10 years? You keep coming up with the lame excuse that your work doesn’t give you time. But me, I am doing the same kind of job as you are and look what! I already have two MSc’s, several certifications and counting. I……I am a power woman. So, quit celebrating an undeserved victory here and behave like a grown ass man that you barely are!’ she snapped and walked away.
Dan stood there, his self-esteem deflated, lost, empty. And right there he decided he couldn’t continue with the relationship it was OVER!
Dating a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can be a constant uphill climb. You never know what to do to please them.
If you didn’t know how to identify a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) then here it is; people having this psychological disorder, are often high-handed, insatiable, unimpressionable and extremely self-important people in relationships. These are the kind of partners that love to constantly be in the spotlight and have all the attention on them, regardless of what it might cost to achieve it, even if it might cost other persons their reputation or even something as important as a Job.
When you get into a relationship with this kind of people, it is often very sweet at first and then gradually turns sour as the relationship grows, most especially when you have been hoodwinked by their initial charm and have fallen in love; because these people are very manipulative, they will downplay themselves in the beginning so that you feel relaxed and let down your guard for them by revealing your weaknesses- these weaknesses which will in time be weaponized against you. In the case of Dan and Kemmy, she obviously observed that hurting words easily gets to him, so each time she sees him happy she employs undeserving verbal harshness to deflate his self-esteem and turn the spotlight on herself.
Ironically these set of people are not as confident as they come across to those who don’t know their ploys and scheme. Instead, they are rather insecure beings who derive high-self-esteem and pleasure in downplaying other people’s self-worth. So, if you are in a relationship with them, they don’t want to find you in a happy moment, without wanting to take credit for it. And if there’s no way to link themselves to your happiness, they try to tie it to an unfortunate event e.g let’s say for example you came out first position in a competition, instead of congratulating or being genuinely happy for you they’ll say “You know they really just awarded you that first position, because I put in some good words for you” or if they were not involved in the process in anyway and can’t claim any credit, they’ll say “I feel if contestant B had put in more work they would have won instead”…… so in other words you didn’t win out of sheer hard work but as a result of another person’s misfortune. The point is they never really let you enjoy the glory of any of your achievement.
And if you even tried to react or stand your ground against them, they blast back at you, blame you for everything, and make you feel worse than you already did.
They don’t want you to breakup with them or leave the relationship, because if you did, there would be no one to maltreat to feed their self-worth and they would die out of that kind of emptiness.
And if you do succeed in leaving, they’ll work on making everyone blame you for the failure of the relationship.
Kemmy is only one example of persons with Narcissistic Personality Disorder; the characteristics of these kinds of people are wide and this article can’t accommodate the listing. But I hope that if you do find yourself in Dan’s position or the resemblance of it, that you do find the courage to take the decision he took.
Thomas, a motivational speaker , writes from Kano