If narcissists are so self-absorbed and use people to boost their self-esteem, you may wonder: Am I no different than the narcissist, since the excessive love-bombing that he or she used was so effective on me?
The tactics that they used to love-bomb you are intentionally designed to make you vulnerable and will psychologically elicit love, appreciation, trust and a sense of obligation from anyone. They used they on you to elicit that love from you for themselves.
They are the same tactics used by cults to indoctrinate. In fact, the very term “love-bombing” was originally used by the Unification Church (the “Moonies”), although they insisted it is genuine and it was critics of religious “love-bombers” who insist there are ulterior motives.
Either way, you are not a narcissist for responding psychologically to the way tactics such as “mirroring” naturally entice someone to like you. There is even a popular book out now called The Science of Likeability that discusses some of the same techniques that narcissists happen to use and why they work.
Narcissists use them during the idealization phase of the relationship under intense conditions in a very short period of time to encourage strong bonding. The fact that you were susceptible to them does not make you a narcissist– it makes you human.
In contrast, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a disorder in which the criteria indicate that narcissists have a sense of entitlement and expect constant, excessive admiration. People who have this disorder have a need for this admiration which drives them to deceive and manipulate in order to receive it.
In addition, you actually loved him or her, or at least the person they presented to you. You likely put all of your trust, commitment and care into the relationship and your feelings were real.
Narcissists do not love people– they love how people make them feel or what people can do for them. The narcissist implemented these tactics with the goal of getting you to return the emotions so they could feel self-validated. You had no ulterior motive or goal.