Narcissists take excessive interest in themselves and manipulate people, playing mind games. They become a part of your life when you’re at the peak of your career and become your favourite person by helping and complimenting you, making you dependent on them. But narcissists take advantage of your dependence on them. They isolate you from the rest of the world as they become a close friend to you, learning your strengths and weaknesses to use them as a weapon against you. Narcissists start dictating your actions. Once you disagree with them, they reveal their true colours. They start being indifferent towards you, distancing themselves from you. When you question them, they blame and guilt-trip you. You make efforts to patch up with them, becoming their emotional slave. They will contact you – perhaps beg you to forgive them, and promise to never desert you again. They will try to control you by giving mixed signals – sometimes being kind and other times indifferent hoping you would feel guilty and return Narcissists will feed on your getting emotionally disturbed by their attitude, because they enjoy getting attention. Narcissists also make you feel less about yourself, especially when they feel threatened by your abilities. But narcissists never leave you, always keeping a check on your life. They will contact you – perhaps beg you to forgive them, and promise to never desert you again. They will try to control you by giving mixed signals – sometimes being kind and other times indifferent – hoping you would feel guilty and come back. But you need to be smart and let them go. Remember that if someone continues to hurt you, it’s time to move on. Don’t lose hope when a narcissist leaves, because someone better might enter your life, or perhaps God will make you strong enough to stand on your own. Learn to enjoy your solitude, because once you do, you have combated the fear of being on your own. You have to learn how to stand alone, without falling apart. And for that, you need to start loving yourself. The writer is a medical student of Dow International Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences in Karachi Published in Daily Times, September 21st 2018.