Narcissism, a personality trait often cloaked in charisma and confidence, can be difficult to identify, particularly in a romantic partner. This article will help you discern the subtle yet persistent signs of a narcissistic partner, providing you with 10 red flags that might signal a need for concern.
Understanding these signs can help protect your emotional well-being and ensure a healthier relationship dynamic.
They’re Often Self-Absorbed
Narcissists often talk excessively about themselves and their accomplishments. They rarely take the time to consider anyone else’s perspective and are often very self-centered. Also, they are unwilling to compromise or even acknowledge other people’s needs, making it difficult for those around them to feel like their opinions or feelings matter.
Is your partner oblivious to the needs of others and lacks empathy? Do they expect you and others to constantly focus on them, give them attention and validation, and cater only to their needs? Then, they may be narcissistic.
They Lack Empathy
Having difficulty understanding or expressing empathy is a significant trait of a narcissist, which can make it difficult for them to understand your emotions and needs. They are often unable to recognize how their actions may impact you and are mostly unwilling to respond compassionately when you struggle.
These behaviors might make it hard for you to feel supported and heard in the relationship, as you often feel neglected, verbally abused, and insignificant. If you do nothing to help the situation, your self-esteem can be reduced to zero. This is a toxic relationship and you should consider leaving.
Manipulation is a tool narcissists are experts at using. They use tactics such as gaslighting, guilt trips, and verbal abuse to get what they want from their partner or manipulate them into thinking a certain way.
Narcissists seek to control and are jealous, often trying to isolate their partners from friends or family so that they have more power over them. This separation can make it challenging for the manipulated person to recognize what is happening and even harder to break free from this toxic behavior.
If you feel your partner uses guilt-tripping, emotional blackmail, or other tactics to get their way, it is important to speak up and stand up for yourself. Seek professional help if needed, as this can help you understand what’s going on and give you the knowledge and strength to leave the relationship if necessary.
They Need Constant Attention
Craving attention and validation from those around them is one of the signature acts of a narcissist. They will go to extreme lengths to ensure they’re constantly adored, complimented, and admired by you. If they feel like you are not giving them the attention they want and need, they try to manipulate and control you.
If you are in a relationship with someone who needs constant attention, be open with them. Explain your boundaries and make sure they respect them. Additionally, keep your family and friends updated on the situation so they know what’s going on and can provide support if needed.
They Put You Down
Another sign you are dating a narcissist is they often put you down to make themselves feel better. They do this because of a lack of self-esteem, and tearing you down is the only way they can feel good about themselves. This act not only invalidates your feelings but also makes you feel insignificant.
They might do it in a passive-aggressive way, like making subtle jokes about you or belittling your successes, or they may be more direct and say hurtful things that can seriously damage self-esteem. This behavior can make you feel worthless and vulnerable. Stay away from such a person and spend more time with family and friends who appreciate you.
If your partner continues to put you down, strongly consider getting out of the relationship. It’s not healthy for either of you and will only lead to further hurt.
Narcissists believe that their physical appearance and material possessions define them, so they are obsessed with maintaining perfect images of themselves. They try to make themselves appear superior by buying expensive things or having the latest trends.
The need to be seen as perfect can cause them to become overly sensitive and take offense even at the slightest critique. They may also try to manipulate you into believing you are not good enough for them or their lifestyle. If these define your partner, it’s time to reassess the relationship and decide if it’s worth it.
They Make Unrealistic Demands
Another way to know that you are dating a narcissist may be the unrealistic demands they put on you, expecting you to agree and do as they say. They try to maintain power in the relationship at all costs, so they trick you into complying with their unreasonable requests by making you feel guilty if you don’t meet them.
The grandiose expectations of perfection can make you feel inadequate and create low self-esteem in you. You may feel like you can never measure up to what is expected of you, and this is a sign that it’s not a healthy relationship.
They Undermine Your Emotions
Narcissists struggle to validate other people’s feelings, so they reject or invalidate your emotions by deeming your perspectives insignificant. They do this by interrupting or talking over you to redirect the attention back to themselves. This behavior is destructive because it erases your identity and makes you feel unheard, disrespected, and unimportant.
If this happens in your relationship, recognize that it is not okay and know you have the right to be heard and respected. No one should make you feel inferior and you deserve to be loved.
They Gaslight You
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation narcissists use to make you question your memories, thoughts, and feelings. This behavior can be very confusing as they make you believe that your perceptions are wrong and that their version of events is the only one that matters.
This expert twisting of conversations or situations in their favor can lead to moments of temporary insanity, which, if left unchecked, can cause lasting psychological damage. If you experience these patterns in your partner, address them immediately.
They Have a Fear of Intimacy
Fear of genuine intimacy and deep connection is key evidence of narcissism. A narcissist struggles to open up and trust you, thinking you will hurt them if they get too close. As a result, they create an invisible wall around themselves that makes it hard for you to get through.
This fear of intimacy can lead to a pattern of distancing themselves, leaving you feeling neglected and unimportant. If you sense that your significant other is constantly unable to express feelings or actions of intimacy, this could be a sign of narcissism and it is time to rethink the relationship.
More From Inspired by Insiders
Whether it’s learning a new language, taking up painting, or writing stories, there are plenty of fun activities to explore. Here is a list of productive hobbies that will help keep your brain sharp and allow you to express yourself creatively.
12 Boomer Trends That Millennials Desperately Want to Go Extinct
One thing is certain: Millennials are impatiently waiting for some outdated trends favored by Baby Boomers to go extinct. From fashion choices to career paths, here are ten boomer trends millennials can’t wait for their parent’s generation to abandon.
15 Worst Decisions You’ll Ever Make in Your Life
We all make mistakes in life, but some decisions can have a more significant impact than others, and bad decisions can cost us time, money, and even our self-esteem. This article covers the 15 worst decisions you can make and why you should avoid them.
12 So-Called Healthy Habits That Are Actually Really Bad For You
You’ll be surprised to learn that some of the habits you have adopted to stay healthy are, in fact, bad for you. After reading this, you may want to rethink your daily routine and make small changes for the better. Here are some bad habits you don’t know are bad for you.
12 Habits You Must Give Up if You Want to Be Successful
Achieving success is all about making the right decisions and avoiding bad ones. To help you reach your goals, we’ve compiled a list of 12 habits that can impede success. Make an effort to break out of these bad habits and watch your progress skyrocket!
This article was produced on Inspired by Insiders.