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Ever since there has been a Little Red Riding Hood, there has also been a wolf hunting her. Wolves cannot get past our red armor unless they disguise themselves. So they do so with glaring ease: they disguise their big, hungry eyes with eyes of soulful empathy. They cover their gaping mouths with words so sweet and slick they taste like sugar coated candy. They mask their fangs with promises for the future.
They devour us with their disguises, each one crafted masterfully to ensnare and charm us. If we want a long-lasting partnership, they pretend they are searching for the love of their lives, all while their real partners pine away for them at home. If we want a fairy-tale romance, they bring out the glass slippers, hoping we won’t notice the precarious glass houses upon which their lies are built. If we want the ravishing allure of a lover, they seduce us and abandon us. Their touch is heroin and poison, a drug they know we won’t want to detox from.
It’s common knowledge that manipulative personalities tend to engage in a great deal of pathological lying and deceit. Yet there are common lies narcissists and sociopaths tell their victims that, if translated to the truth, would expose the reality behind their actions. When expressed by a predatory personality in the context of manipulation, the following statements carry a far different and darker meaning.
Here are twelve of the most common lies narcissists and sociopaths tell us, translated into what they actually mean.
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Have you ever encountered a dating partner who swept you off your feet, courted you persistently and made over-the-top declarations about the way they felt about you – only to discover they had a girlfriend or boyfriend all along? How about the ex who kept “checking in” with you over text while in bed with their spouse? Or the shady significant other who always seemed to disappear for days, only to return with excuses about their whereabouts?
You may have come across a narcissistic or sociopathic personality type. Narcissists and sociopaths are notorious for engaging in both emotional and physical infidelity. Not only are narcissists players and pick-up artists in the dating world, they are also serial cheaters in relationships. In fact, a wealth of research suggests that narcissism is positively correlated with having extramarital affairs and more sexually permissive attitudes towards infidelity, even when there is satisfaction in the present relationship.
It’s not always easy to spot narcissists. They can be very charming and alluring at the onset, presenting a false mask to the outside world. Research indicates that narcissism is rising in the population, especially among the younger generation. With the rise of dating applications connecting us to people we wouldn’t normally have access to, it’s even more likely that at some point you will encounter someone on the narcissistic spectrum.
Yet how can you tell in the early stages of dating that you’ve met someone toxic? Although there is no foolproof way to immediately confirm whether someone is a narcissist, there are red flags of toxic people that we often mistake for intimacy.
These dating myths can cause us to believe that our dating partner is the soulmate we’ve been looking for, when in reality, they can indicate someone who lacks empathy, exploits others and feels superior to those around him or her.