Narcissus - Stop Putting Things in My Cart

Narcissus - Stop Putting Things in My Cart

Narcissists - Relationships As Transactions Reading Narcissus - Stop Putting Things in My Cart 4 minutes Next Narcissus and Pets

Narcissists love to steal, and they find very odd (and often creative and unique) ways of doing so. My narcissist was neither creative nor unique, but he was a thief. 

One of the strangest things he did, from the onset of our relationship, was to put items that he wanted in my shopping cart.

The first time this happened, we were about a month into our relationship. We were shopping at TJMaxx. I grabbed a cart, and he got nothing. Foolishly, I assumed that meant that he didn’t want anything, not that he wanted to guilt me into buying stuff for him. 

We entered the kitchen aisle, and he began to hand me all the small kitchen items that he deemed necessary for my house for me to buy. I politely told him “I don’t think I want that.” Or “I don’t really need that.” Yet he continued to engage in this strange behavior. I thought it was just a little oddity of his, so I let it go – only to discover it got worse over time. 

During that first TJMaxx shopping trip, he found a hand moisturizer and said to me in a faux baby voice, “Little Harry’s (his youngest son) hands are so dry, will you get this for him?” I smiled and said “Sure!” Thinking it was cute. He lit up, as if he found the key to the treasure box, and tried that same move on half a dozen more products. I told him “No” but I did keep the hand moisturizer in my basket.

As soon as I checked out, he snatched it and hoarded it in his man purse like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter. Mind you, my narcissist was a tenured professor who made 2-3 times the local average salary, so this was not a poverty issue - it was an entitlement issue.

These antics only got worse over time, and he no longer asked me to buy him things, he just would sneak them into my shopping cart.

I would get up to the checkout, and he would offer to unload the cart for me onto the conveyor belt. I would be at the checkout ready to pay and I would see a pair of his shorts or some of his razors coming down the track to be rung up. After a while, I got wise and would take the things out of my basket myself. When I saw his stuff, I would say “I think you put your socks and underwear into my cart.” He would act like I was the pettiest and stingiest person in the world. 

After a few months of not tricking me into paying for his purchases, he developed yet another tactic. He would wait until I was just about to pay, run up to the register, and in front of the other customers and cashier say “Hey can you add these to the purchase?” I would either have to tell him no in front of everyone, or just buy them. You can imagine the look on his face when I flung his shorts back at him and said, “No, buy your own shorts, you cheapskate!”  

It took me over two years to stand up for myself and not allow him to guilt me into paying for his purchases. I plan on writing many blogs on how he abused me financially, but this was one of the more bizarre ways. 

My online community graciously shared their experiences regarding this phenomenon.

One person shared “I don't know a narcissist that isn't financially irresponsible in some type of way or aren't just outright thieves.”

Another person chimed in “Financial abuse."

Narcs have it in their heads that once they're in a relationship with someone, that person's money becomes theirs & can do with it as they please. They are very controlling of what does not belong to them.”

A couple more people responded with just a simple “yes, all the time”

– meaning that their narcissist ALSO put items in their carts to pay for. 

I often wonder if narcissists all read the exact same playbook on “how to be a jerk.”

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