The escort industry naturally attracts clients who may exhibit narcissistic traits or have the full-blown personality disorder. Because clients who seek out escorts are often looking for gratification of their own self-esteem or have driven away other romantic prospects, providers are often subjected to their behaviors. However, escorts who can avoid narcissistic clients will surely benefit.
But why would an escort want to turn down a narcissistic client or one with similar tendencies? What makes them so bad? Several aspects of their personalities can be very unpleasant to deal with. From simply being rude or unfeeling to reacting with angry outbursts and violence, narcissists usually surprise their victims with hurtful and negative actions that leave them surprised and shocked. While typically charming upon initial first impressions, they eventually demonstrate that they are much more trouble than they are worth.
According to Kim Seltzer, LCSW, narcissists don’t respect others. “They will do pretty much anything they want to get their way,” Seltzer told The Huffington Post in March 2013. “Lying, crossing boundaries, rudeness, lack of empathy, angry outbursts and placement of blame on others is only the beginning when you get into a relationship with a narcissist.”
Seltzer cautioned that it’s easy to get wrapped up with a narcissist without even knowing it. “They are very charming and, usually, attractive,” she explained. “And, they know it. They use their appearance and charisma to reel you in…”
As an escort, you have to make decisions about which clients you will take based on very little information. Even when you implement the very best screening methods possible, the details you have will probably not give you enough to determine if your client is going to be a possible long-term risk. Even though many escorts have a sixth sense, so to speak, about whether a client is a good bet or not, it’s difficult to predict that you’re dealing with a narcissist right off of the bat.
Numerous articles and self-help publications address issues relating to complications that result from becoming involved in relationships with narcissists. From the workplace to the bedroom, narcissists leave negative wakes behind them, damaging the people in their paths. Despite the fact that you are not going to be involved in a personally intimate relationship with your client, it’s best to avoid the drama created by one of these individuals.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists several traits that narcissists regularly demonstrate. Experts who have contributed to this long-standing clinical diagnosis agree that individuals who exhibit at least five of these behaviors may have the personality disorder:
- Grandiose sense of self importance: It’s fairly common for a client to have a strong opinion of himself and to share it with you when he calls to set up an encounter. (This is especially true, because many clients feel they must impress an escort by their status, position or wealth. In order to do this, they may greatly exaggerate their position in life.) A client may talk excessively about his success, power or good looks. While this is a classic sign of narcissism, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a client is a risk. It could just mean that he wants to impress you. However, if combined with other traits, an escort should proceed carefully.
- Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love: It’s fairly common for clients to be obsessed with the “perfect” relationship or ideal woman. They may also be chasing the brass ring. Clients who are highly motivated for success are often the most powerful entrepreneurs, but they are also often narcissistic people. If you notice that your client seems to be more motivated by status, power or other demonstrations of being elite, he may be someone to avoid. However, many clients are simply shallow and don’t qualify as having narcissistic personalities.
- Believes he is special or unique: Some clients call escorts, because they feel they deserve attention from a more beautiful woman than they are able to attract in their day-to-day lifestyles. Often, they seek out escorts they believe to have elite statuses; these high-end escorts are the only ones good enough for them. Due to a client’s (imagined) special qualities, he may feel that he can only be understood or appreciated by others who are as elite or extraordinary as he is. They look for the best in all things, because that’s the only way they will be satisfied. A client who seems overly consumed with the perceived quality of things may be someone to beware of.
- Requires excessive admiration: Narcissistic clients often have fragile egos, despite their overt actions otherwise. As a result, they need constant reassurance that they are special, great or excellent. They seek out compliments about their lovemaking skills, appearance, intelligence, sense of humor, etc. Despite the fact that they attempt to intimidate with their confidence, they are actually seeking consistent reinforcement of their egos. It’s fairly common for escorts to get clients who are seeking similar ego boosts, but these types of clients overwhelm with their neediness for justification. Instead of simply expecting a compliment or gratitude, they expect your admiration and worship.
- Sense of entitlement: Until a client understands how the industry works, he may have unfair expectations about how an escort conducts business. Many clients assume that when they are willing to pay an escort, she has to agree to any and all acts that they request. However, once they realize that escorts determine what activities are included during an encounter and establish certain ground rules for the relationship, they happily oblige and go along with them. However, narcissistic clients don’t. They feel that due to their special status, they are entitled to exceptions. Rules don’t apply to them, because they are privileged. If you’re not careful, accepting a client who constantly challenges your established procedures and policies will result in encounters where your boundaries are constantly crossed.
- Manipulate others: Narcissistic clients will take advantage of anyone in order to get what they want. They will plead, lie and negotiate in order to benefit. They will play on your emotions, lay blame and guilt and use whatever means necessary to get you to change your mind or allow them to get what they want. Escorts should be weary of clients who won’t take “no” for an answer or always have a sob story to share. They will exploit any weakness or vulnerability you have in order to get what they want. In severe cases, they will threaten to out you to family and friends or victimize your loved ones. Stay away from any client who seems the least bit manipulative in the beginning of your conversations with him. If he attempts to convince you to do something other than what you’ve agreed on, steer clear of him immediately.
- Lacks empathy: Clients who clearly have no feelings or consideration for others are giving you a big warning sign! Narcissistic individuals are unwilling to recognize that others have emotions. They can’t identify with or accept the needs of others. They are overly consumed with their own needs and wants. When you establish a working relationship with a narcissistic client, he will have no empathy for you if he hurts you during an encounter. Additionally, he will not understand if you have to cancel for any reason. His concerns are centered solely around himself. These signs are fairly easy to identify and should be heeded from the beginning. He won’t become more sensitive the longer you know him.
- Envious of others: These kinds of clients are always envious of your other clients, assuming that you give them better experiences or more fun encounters. They presume that you reserve your best moves, lingerie, etc. for other clients. They may become so consumed with these perceptions that they get angry easily and accuse you of these actions. Conversely, they may think that other clients are jealous of them, because you give them preferential treatment. They may convince themselves that you have feelings for him, liking him much more than your other clients. Either way, these clients are somewhat delusional about their relationships with you. This can lead to several complications down the road and, even, disagreements and angry outbursts.
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes: Clients like this look down on others and belittle them, suggesting that they are superior to the vast majority. They act with arrogance and obnoxious attitudes that are simply unpleasant and disrespectful. They may say derogatory things directly to you, criticizing you and your abilities directly. They show no remorse for their comments, nor do they realize how inappropriate their behavior may be.
While these are the basic signs that you’ve encountered a narcissistic person, they are not the only descriptors that will tip you off. However, it’s incredibly difficult to determine that your client could be this type of individual in the very first few encounters you have with him. He may come across as romantic, caring and excited to be with you. He will shower you with compliments. He will do his very best to make a good impression, so that you will give him what he needs and wants from his encounters. (While this is much like any other client you will come across, his motives are much more sinister than the basic client.) After awhile, his charming personality gives way to a much less likable persona. Much like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this client snaps quickly and becomes someone you don’t want in your professional life.
“Other signs are fairly common, too,” according to Leon Seltzer, Ph.D., “These signs are a result of working independently with those involved with narcissists—whether their distressed children, spouses, parents, friends, or business associates—who repeatedly express enormous frustration in trying to cope with them.” He suggests in Psychology Today that these other criteria may be even more telling than the traditional signs.
- Highly reactive to criticism: Clients who find any small criticism to be a major attack on their talents and abilities may be narcissists. “They interpret any comment as negativity about their personalities and react in extreme ways,” explained Seltzer. A simple comment may set off a client with narcissistic tendencies. He may react to a facial expression, body language or anything else he perceives to be commentary about his skills. Additionally, these clients are highly sensitive to any criticism about their romantic talents.
- Have low self esteem: It’s pretty obvious to determine that they have little self confidence when they require so much reassurance and praise. Clients who fish for compliments and ask about their performance or appearance may be cueing you that they fall into this personality disorder. (However, they could simply have egos that need some boosting due to bad romantic experiences.) Use caution when applying this standard in your determinations. While it can be a good identifier in some situations, it can apply across the board to many kinds of clients.
- Self righteous and defensive: In order to protect their fragile egos, they never admit when they are wrong. If they are late to an encounter, it’s your fault for telling them the wrong time or giving them bad directions. If they can’t perform sexually during your visit with them, it’s probably your fault for being too ugly or not arousing them in the right manner. They won’t apologize or admit fault. This is a classic trait of narcissism. Most of these clients have the “my way or the highway” approach. (It’s probably in your best interest to allow them to send you down the “highway” if a confrontation occurs.)
- React to contrary views with anger or rage: Narcissistic clients (or those with tendencies for these personality traits) will lash out at you in frustration or fury when they feel challenged by you. If you have presented an argument or opinion that doesn’t follow along with theirs, they will belittle your intelligence and reasoning skills. They may turn the argument around and insist that YOU are the one with a problem or weakness. They usually refuse to deal with any constructive criticism, choosing to believe that your suggestions or comments are flawed. Any client who reacts with an outburst when you call him out for making a mess in your bathroom or arriving late is one to block in the future. Things will only get worse between the two of you.
- Project onto others quality and traits they can’t accept about themselves: When flaws or weaknesses are pointed out to them about themselves, these clients will focus on negative things about you. You will never win an argument, because he will always change the subject on you, directing negativity back toward you. He will validate himself, by making you seem worse than him. It’s always a smoke and mirror approach to deflect the blame or fault by making you feel that you are somehow the cause of the problem. Any client who attempts to manipulate you in this manner is going to continue to do it throughout your professional relationship with him. If you want to eliminate this kind of drama from your work life, you have to get rid of these clients.
- Have poor interpersonal boundaries: Narcissistic clients regard others as existing only for their own needs. Even though you are an escort and are working for him during an encounter, you have other roles, too. However, he sees you as simply an escort for his pleasure. He doesn’t recognize you as anything more, such as a woman, daughter, sister or mother. Additionally, he assumes that he can tell you anything and be void of judgment. He may boast about inhumane treatment of others or ask overly intimate questions. He fails to display any tact, because he really doesn’t care what you think about him at all.
Escorts who see narcissistic clients often experience violent outbursts, violation of privacy and unfair expectations. Clients will consistently push and exceed boundaries. Additionally, most clients of this type will verbally abuse an escort and cause her to feel negatively about herself, in the long run.
Keep in mind, though, that when a client exhibits one or, even, a few of these traits, it doesn’t mean that he has a full-fledged narcissistic personality disorder. However, any of these traits can be unpleasant to deal with. As an independent escort, you have the privilege to deny seeing any client you choose. In order to keep your work life happy, it may be best to avoid clients who fit any portion of this profile.