A couple of days ago, I was approached by a guy I semi-know from an open mic I attended back in 2019. He had been showing interest in me, despite me not reciprocating the energy at all. He was persistent but not persuasive.
I enjoy being single, I enjoy my peace and he barely knew me nor knew anything about me. Yet, he would keep hitting me up even if I didn’t reply. This sent my narcissism meter off the charts and here’s why.
This is how every single one of my relationships with narcissists began. I was picked when I wasn’t trying to be. These men weren’t on my radar. It wasn’t personal, my soul just didn’t stir for them. Still, they approached me first and did so persistently.
In every single case, they pulled out all the stops to pursue me. What was ironic was how all of them seemed to come in when I was newly single and at the stage where I was starting to glow.
They all caught me at the right time — but not this time. I’ve been single for too long now, and taking me out of that space isn’t easy for anyone to do, not even me. This guy would be no different.
His persistence was actually getting on my nerves and read more as a toxic trait I see in most narcissists who are in the love-bombing stage. But to make absolutely sure I was correct about my theory,
I asked him one question.
The Question Most Narcissists Can’t Answer
“What are your flaws?”
I went in for the kill with this question.
His first answer was that he’s a sex addict, meaning he loves making love. He was high and unfiltered so he then used this moment to express sexual interest in me, unprovoked.
I told him enjoying sex wasn’t a flaw.
He asked me to tell him what I consider toxic traits, and he’ll let me know if he has them. I told him no, I wasn’t going to do that because he should know himself.
I made it clear if he can’t figure out what his issues are then he’s a liability to anyone he deals with because no one is going to spend their lives trying to figure him out for him.
I then ended our communication, making it clear there was no chance for him because I genuinely was not interested in him in any way. But what stayed with me was him asking me to list traits for him,
Because it was very familiar.
This also took me back to my last relationship
I was dating a very sadistic covert narcissist and I got to a point where I got fed up with constantly being criticized, devalued, and smeared every time we weren’t on good terms with each other — or when he cheated.
So one day I finally looked at him and said what are your flaws? What do you think is wrong with you? and two very telltale things happened.
- He looked blank as if he was an NPC with no dialogue
- He then reiterated flaws I pointed out at an earlier time as if he was reciting them back to me in his own words
I was both, irritated and disgusted, that he was regurgitating my words. He was abusive, he was judgmental, and he did have problems communicating his real feelings unless he was blowing up on someone.
Yet, he didn’t seem aware of himself at all.
So, when I asked him what he felt he did wrong in the relationship there was a long pause before he broke the silence with my words. I would learn that this is common among narcissists.
The Guy That “Loved Too Hard”
There was a new guy in my building last year
We kept running into each other and each time we did there was chemistry. Eventually, we exchanged numbers and I couldn’t explain it but I didn’t like the way he texted.
He had weird texting habits.
Call me crazy but he used too many exclamation points (as if he was feigning overexcitement) and would always stop responding by 6:30–7 p.m.
I got the feeling he was in a relationship so I went in for the kill in our next conversation, when I asked him —
What are your flaws? Like, what are your toxic traits?
To which he replied —
I love too hard.
This was not only very corny, but it was also an immediate red flag. After telling him that’s not a flaw, but a trait that’s common in most people,
He then said —
Well, my exes would say I’m too friendly but I don’t know. You’d have to ask them.
This was problematic for two reasons —
- If someone tells you their flaws based on the opinions of others they aren’t doing the work that’s needed in order to grow as a person. They should know what’s wrong themselves.
- In this case, I could’ve taken him up on the second half of that statement because…
He was actually dating a girl in my building, a girl I know. He just didn’t know that, yet. Though we weren’t friends we were familiar with one another.
Not only was he dating her, but they also shared a daughter and he had started living with her — that’s why I’d never seen him before. I made this known and like a coward whenever he saw me, he literally ran to avoid me.
It wasn’t long before she caught him cheating (not with me) and kicked him out in a messy brawl that the entire building heard. At the time I was a smoker so I was actually lighting up on the staircase when I heard it happen.
Karma never misses.
A Collection of Colorful Responses
Feel free to highlight the ones you’ve heard
In the two years, I’ve been single, I’ve been approached by many narcissists. Because of my extensive dating history with them, I pick up on the red flags quickly.
Still, sometimes I humor myself when we engage in conversation (usually at their urging) and I almost always throw this question at them.
What are your flaws/toxic traits?
Watching them look for an actual answer is both, amusing and infuriating because this is when you really get to see how much self-awareness they lack or how strategic they try to be.
I’ve asked several narcissists this question and here are a collection of the colorful answers they’ve given me —
- I love too hard
- I care too much
- I give the wrong people my heart
- I’m too honest
- I’m a sex addict
- I’m an asshole (RUN)
- I’m a good guy/I’m a nice guy
- Tell me what you consider toxic and I’ll tell you if that’s me
- My toxic traits are in the past (“that’s the old me”)
One thing about most of these answers is that they’re positive.
It’s a business strategy I learned from The Office (thanks, Michael Scott) when interviewing for a job list your flaws as positives because it’s impressive.
Narcissists do this all the time because their initial conversations with you aren’t real. This is not about building with you, this is about winning you over — like a job.
Narcissists usually treat this question as an interview question
Which is why you’ll get an interview-like answer. This right here will unmask them. This is a good thing because when people show you who you are the cards are laid on the table.
The intent is clear, even if they think you’re blind to it — and they usually do because the predator’s prey usually isn’t aware they are prey. Why else do you think they usually approach you first? They think you’re clueless.
So, play clueless and do what clueless people do — ask questions. Asking them this question is a surefire way to gain insight into the likelihood of them taking any accountability within the relationship.
Many people are honest about what’s wrong with them, it’s possible for people to admit when they’re wrong.
But someone who never sees the flaws within their own character is less likely to see the wrongs they do to others. They are highly unlikely to change behaviors they see no real problems with either.
This post was previously published on MEDIUM.COM.
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