“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” - Dr. Carl Sagan
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“A star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you. And then you have to put it back into the sky. And it's the most painful thing you'll ever have to do and that you've ever done. But what's yours is yours. Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands. And one day, it'll fall from the sky and hit you in the head real hard and that time, you won't have to put it back in the sky again.” ― C. JoyBell C.
How do you avoid people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Something to cheer you: narcissists pursue fantastic people who have diminished self-esteem. They have to, as only the most attractive, intelligent, caring, responsible people are:
Wonderful enough to feed their overblown sense of self;
Smart enough, and strong enough, to be able to handle all their bullshit, and
Insecure enough to believe that a narcissist is their best option.
So, if you’ve been the target of a narcissist, you’re generally a pretty terrific person.
The easiest way to spot a narcissist is by the amount of attention and gifts they lavish on you in the first weeks of a friendship / relationship (aka Love Bombing). If you are overwhelmed and flattered with attention, if the gifts flow like a river, if you suddenly seem to be spending every available moment with this person (at their insistence) — that should set off warning bells.
Narcissists are easy to get rid of: just set some boundaries and stick to them. Even a small, reasonable boundary will be enough to end the relationship. From my personal experience, somewhere early on a tedious road trip (that you’ll end up paying for) will be suggested. Not a fun day trip: something lengthy which only benefits the narcissist. A trip to see a relative (theirs, not yours). A trip to a marketing conference (again, some product that they’re invested in). A trip to a town or attraction that they’re interested in seeing (but you’re not).
More often than not, you’ll drive, pay for gas, lodging, and food, and be left to your own devices while the town is toured, the relative visited, or the conference attended. You’re just there as a prop, as window dressing. I always think of this as the “loyalty oath” phase of the relationship. How far can you be pushed? Will you handle it with a smile?
They insist that you drop everything, quit your job, and move to a new state (or country) where you don’t know a single person (or sometimes, even the language) because Reasons and Don’t You Love Me;
They insist that you become a business partner — frequently, in a pyramid scheme / MLM ‘company’ because This Is The Best $$$-Making Plan Ever and Don’t You Trust Me;
Whatever ridiculous request you’re presented with, say “no thank you, not interested,” and steel yourself for some major-league whining that will quickly escalate to screaming. Stand your ground, and you’ve shown the narcissist that you’re not a puppet, after all. You’ll get dropped like a hot potato, and they’ll move on to a fresh target.
Lastly, it’s not bad luck, or karma, or anything you’re doing, that causes you to encounter these people continually. Society creates these people by the bucketful. Starting with the Gordon Gecko “greed is good” generation of the 80’s, up to today’s selfie-stick-wielding, Instagram-account and youtube posting, always-have-to-be-in-front-of-a-camera, debt-magnet, product-sponge generation, we have made narcissism and self-indulgence a virtue. Good luck finding anyone who places self-sacrifice above self-love.
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