5 Common Traits Narcissistic Men Are Looking for in Women

What are the signs you are dating a Narcissist? 

I have been writing and speaking about charisma and the and their dangerous extreme narcissists for many years. 

This is the story for Verily I was asked to contribute to last week. You can also see more about who they are attracted to and more signs you are dating a narcissist by going to this blog post 

5 Common Traits Narcissistic Men
Are Looking for in Women


Experts say this is how to keep from being a
narcissistic man’s ideal.

Swept off your feet with compliments, fancy dinners, and generous gifts—you think you've found McDreamy. When you describe the surreal time you're having to friends, it feels like you're talking about a movie. Yet, as the dating continues, you start to notice that it’s really all about him. He constantly talks about himself, prioritizes his needs over yours, is overly sensitive to any form of criticism—and is obsessed with status (the fancy dinners dates at the exclusive restaurants are starting to make sense).
You find that emotional intimacy is impossible, and your relationship starts to fizzle— and you realize it’s happened again.
You dated a narcissist. Again.
Only 7.7 percent of men have a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), but you may have dated one, or maybe even several, as they often flock to a certain type of woman. If you’ve frequently dated guys who make it all about them, you might have noticed a pattern. After the intense wooing is over, he’s quick to criticize you and put you down if you express any sort of resistance to his need to put himself first. 
As a therapist, I've seen this seriously damage women's self-esteem and well-being. And over time, I've noticed that narcissists seek certain traits in potential romantic partners. So I spoke with other experts in my field to discuss trends and discovered that there are five common traits a narcissist looks for in a woman. 
Do any of these sound like you?

1. You’re outwardly successful. 
It can be tough to admit, but if you feel insecure about yourself even if you are attractive, put together, and successful, you may be advertising yourself as a great fit for a narcissist. “Narcissists tend to seek out people that will fill a template for what they believe will make them look good,” says Elizabeth Earnshaw, a trained Gottman Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. “In essence, [the narcissist’s] partner may be seen as an accessory,” she explains. A narcissistic man is attracted to someone who looks beautiful and accomplished—not because they like that person, but because her appearance and accomplishments fuel his ego. 
However, a narcissist also wants a woman who isn't too confident because he wants to run the show. So if he senses your insecurities, he will be all the more attracted to you because you won’t likely threaten his own success, whether it’s real or perceived. While it might be uncomfortable to acknowledge your insecurities, owning them and making a plan to increase your self-confidence can help. When a narcissist senses your strong sense of confidence, he’ll back away. 

2. You're a people pleaser (and can't help it).
Of course, we all want the guy we’re dating to be happy, but if it comes at the expense of your own well being, it’s unhealthy. A narcissist is looking for someone who will give him constant attention and emotional validation at any cost. Psychotherapist and author, Karen Koenig, says that individuals who attract narcissists often “don’t have a strong sense of who they are and what they want because they don’t believe it’s okay to take care of their own needs.”
A narcissist is someone who monopolizes the relationship and who never compromises. He just demands. Establishing boundaries so that your needs are acknowledged and met in a relationship could help prevent you from getting too deep and potentially trapped. 

3. You avoid conflict like the plague.
While few people are actually fans of conflict, if you avoid conflict at all costs, you might be making yourself more attractive to narcissists. Patti Wood, body language expert and author, says that narcissists tend to want someone “who is low in ‘harm avoidance’ and high in ‘cooperation.’" If you tend to give in easily to the wishes or demands of others at work or in your personal life for the sake of avoiding conflict, you might fit the ideal profile of a potential partner for a narcissist.
If you often put your needs and opinions aside for the sake of avoiding conflict in the relationship, you’ll more easily fall prey to a narcissist who thrives when others provide the empathy and attention they crave. Yes, being willing to compromise in a relationship is important but being a doormat isn’t compromising.

4. You’re ignoring red flags.
One big red flag that signals narcissistic behavior is never taking responsibility for any negative events in one's life. Narcissists are known to play the victim when things don’t go their way, explains Patti Wood, and they will often blame their exes, bosses, and friends for anything negative that’s happened in the past. Don't make the mistake of ignoring this crucial red flag. If you are quick to explain away your date calling his ex “evil” or "crazy" saying his boss was “out to get him," you are sending signals that you are okay with him blaming others for his mistakes. Yes—we all make mistakes but when someone refuses to take responsibility for his role in the event ever, you’re risking your own happiness and well-being down the line because soon he’ll start blaming you when things don’t go well.

5. You are swept up in the romance on the first date.
It's easy to allow yourself to be infatuated after the first date, especially when you are dating a narcissist (they're so attractive and charming at first!). Even though it typically takes some time for a narcissist to reveal his true colors, there are some subtle signs that you can look out for on a first date to help you steer clear of the second. Look past the "love bombing" and the overwhelming flattery and ask the following questions:
·         Is there any back-and-forth in the conversation, or is it total domination?
·         Does he accept your opinions even if you disagree with each other? 
·         Does he act entitled to certain things, or expect special treatment?
·         Is he rude to the wait staff or bartender? 
·         Is he over-the-top on the first date? 
·         Is he invading your space? 

If it's a resounding "yes" to one or more of these, it's a sign he does not deserve a second date, even if it occurred at a Michelin-starred restaurant. A narcissist thinks he’s the sun, and he’s looking for someone to orbit around his world and make him look good without causing too much trouble. Being confident in yourself, standing up for your needs and opinions, firmly enforcing boundaries, and not being afraid to say no and walk away, will help send the message to your narcissist that you aren’t going to fit in his self-obsessed world. 

If you truly want to understand how smart warm wonderful women are targets of Psychopaths read the research of Sandra Brown:

“The seminal aspect of the research was in detecting these women's unique and astounding elevated 'super traits' of temperament, personality strengths and weaknesses. These proved to be an amazingly compatible match for the strengths and weaknesses of a psychopath and brought a natural 'balance' to the honeymoon aspects of the relationship.”

“While the uncovering of her innate traits and conditioned behaviors explained much about this dangerous relationship and has brought huge intellectual and emotional relief to the victims, it does not seem to have gone very far in modifying the public misperceptions about psychopaths or their victims. On a recent radio show, after describing the huge elevation of some of the victim's temperament traits and explaining how it could affect her patterns of selection and even tolerance in these relationships, the host said, "That's a crock of crap! You're telling me that a few temperament traits can do that? I don't believe it. She picked him, she stayed, she needs to own it and she was probably abused as a child." These simplistic answers are what have been, and continue to be, at the core of the abysmal lack of public psychopathology education.”

“As mentioned, my research has revealed that women who love psychopaths (and other Cluster B personality disordered individuals) possess rather unique and extraordinary 'super traits' of temperament that make them the perfect target/victim of the psychopath. While the following does not cover all of her traits, these were the ones most highly elevated and were thus likely contributing factors:

Here is the research by Sandra Brown on what psychopaths look for in a romantic partner:
§  Extraversion and excitement seeking (Psychopaths are also extraverts and excitement seekers.)  In other words, these women started out being the least dependent types on the planet!
§  Deep Investment in all relationships (The victim gives great emotional, spiritual, physical, financial investments in any of her relationships, not just the intimate ones.)
§  Sentimentality
§  Attachment – Deep bonding capacity (She has a deep bonding capacity.)
§  Competitiveness – stand ground – not codependent (She is not likely to be run out of relationships – she will stand her ground.  Again, not the co-dependent type at all.)
§  Low Harm Avoidance – does not expect to be hurt (She doesn’t expect to be hurt, sees others through who she is.  In other words, not a person looking to recreate an abusive relationship of childhood.  In fact, more often than not, these women were never exposed to abuse of any kind as children.)
§  Cooperation
§  Higher Empathy – can be genetic
§  Responsibilty and Resourcefulness

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.