Narcissists are characterized by a penchant for grandeur, a yearning need for attention and a general lack of compassion and empathy towards others. They tend to be self-centered, manipulative and convinced of their superiority – not exactly the sort of traits of a guy you’d want to bring home to meet your parents. Despite these repugnant traits, narcissists tend to be quite charming and charismatic up front, making it hard to realize you’re being sucked into a toxic relationship. Don’t be fooled by these masters of manipulation: if the narcissist in your life tells you they love you, this could be what they really mean.
They love the attention you give them
Narcissism is a personality disorder where the narcissist generally suffers from a low self-esteem (despite feeling that they are instinctively better than everyone). They usually compensate their lack of self-esteem by seeking out companions who stroke their need for attention and offer them unbridled admiration. In a relationship, it’s all about the narcissist and the other person is often reduced to an object or possession that’s only there to enhance the narcissist’s ego. This is accomplished by taking advantage of the other person’s kindness and by exploiting the vulnerability they share in a relationship.
They love the power they hold over you
A common sign that a person is in a toxic relationship with a narcissist is they often feel like they are losing their mind. This is because a narcissist will twist your words and downplay your emotions. They bully and play with your emotions until you are reduced to a codependent “partner.” It thrills them to see how far they can push you while you are unable to fight back or escape. They have you almost completely under their control and they love the sense of power they get from seeing you in that position. The feeling they get when you put them on a pedestal while they treat you like dirt gives them a perverse sense of satisfaction because it reinforces their belief that they are above you.
They love seeing you struggle
Perhaps because they struggle so much with their own feelings of self-loathing, a narcissist loves watching you doubt yourself. They get a kick out of your insecurities and feel pride in watching the seeds of self-dissatisfaction grow because they put them there to begin with. As you realize how they devalue you, they love watching you devalue yourself.
‘I love you’ means ‘I love me’
When it comes down to it, if a narcissist is telling you that he loves you, he really means that he loves himself. He loves having a permanent spectator who will go to great lengths to please him. Really, it’s just a boost to his ever-inflating ego. This relationship was never meant to be a partnership and everything he does is to suit his agenda. He’ll say whatever he needs to in order to get what he wants and really, it has nothing to do with you at all.
Psychology Today. (2018, March 06). Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Retrieved March 20 2018, from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder
Staik, A. (2017). What It Means When a Narcissist Says “I Love You”. Retrieved March 20 2018, from Psych Central: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationships/2016/03/what-it-means-when-a-narcissist-says-i-love-you/