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Have you ever met or even dated someone who seemed to never be entertained or satisfied? As if you could never excite this person? According to Ramani Durvasula, PhD, a clinical psychologist, this person could be a narcissist. In a new YouTube video, Dr. Durvasula, better known as Dr. Ramani, explains this boredom phenomenon when it comes to narcissists and why it's not your fault if a narcissist chooses to leave you behind.
Dr. Ramani explains that narcissists tend to be reward-sensitive, meaning they live for dopamine rushes fueled by receiving any type of reward; healthier people are able to inhibit their reward responses in favor of their long-term goals (in other words, they can operate on delayed gratification). Due to their reward and novelty-seeking behaviors, Dr. Ramani adds that narcissists not only get bored easily with new things, but also new people. Her theory is that narcissistic reward-sensitivity may explain why narcissists can engage in impulsive, sometimes dangerous behavior—drugs, alcohol, gambling, unsafe sexual practices, overspending, or overeating. "They engage in pleasure first," says Dr. Ramani. "And then face consequences later, if ever."
Dr. Ramani shares an example of being invited to a Hollywood party where the guests of honor seemed bored extremely quickly despite the high supply of food, beautiful decorations, music, other guests, and effort put into throwing the party. She pegged them as potential narcissists, describing them as sitting and looking like "deflated balloons," rudely dismissing servers offering them appetizers.
Dr. Ramani relates the boredom factor associated with narcissists to the concept of love-bombing, where a narcissistic person treats you like a novelty, showering you with love, affection, and possibly gifts early on in a relationship, only to withdraw as the novelty fades. "It's not you, it's that you're new,"Dr. Ramani explains.
Dr. Ramani also theorizes that narcissists are more likely to be cheaters due to this behavior. "It is often why narcissists will often put their worlds at such risk," adds Dr. Ramani. "The next shiny thing that they meet is so compelling, and the narcissist's lack of empathy is so vast, that they don't think about what their indiscretion costs other people," leaving the person in a relationship with a narcissists feeling as if their relationship is never enough.
According to Dr. Ramani, having to constantly perform and feel exciting for a relationship or friendship isn't normal. "With a healthy person, your ordinary day is more than enough," she says. "But with a narcissist, you'll always feel like you're trying to entertain them. Unfortunately for a narcissist, she says, the next person will always end up being boring because time breeds familiarity, requiring the narcissist to look for something new. "They are always waiting for the next new thing," she adds. "You are not boring, narcissists are just bored with everything."
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