If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a Narcissist, you know how psychologically damaging it can be.
Interactions with a narcissist are not only stressful. They can lead to depression or anxiety, or both. Think you were insecure before, stay too long with a narcissist, and your insecurities will skyrocket. However, once you commit to a narcissist, it may be too late. Know what warning signs to look for, so you can prevent this from happening. In this article, I’ve outlined six warning signs for you to pay attention to. Together the signs spell DANGER. Recognize these six signs sooner to save yourself the heartache and your sanity.
How to Spot a Narcissist:
Natashia thought that she was done with her last Narcissist. She swore this time would be different. And she thought Sean was different; it was only after Natashia asked for support and comfort that she saw Sean’s true colors. Once Natashia learned these warning signs, she didn’t make the same mistake again.
Warning Signs of a Narcissist:
DEFENSIVE: Most narcissists don’t take feedback lightly. If you ever disapprove of them, they will most likely become defensive and protect their position. Don’t expect them to say, ‘thank you for the feedback’; instead, they will discredit you and shut you down. Any negative feedback goes against their fragile, albeit grandiose view of themselves and the need to be seen as perfect. In addition to being defensive, they will make you feel bad and discredit you, calling you names and insulting your position. The Narcissist is going to protect themselves and block you, it’s part of their insecurities.
ATTENTION seeking: The Narcissist feels most comfortable talking about themselves. At the start of your relationship, they might Love Bomb you- come on strong with exaggerated displays of affection or gifts. Naively you think, – Wow, this guy must really like me. But their behaviors are more about winning you versus pleasing you. Don’t be fooled. Think of a narcissist like the Wizard of Oz. Like the Wizard- that pretend that they are all-knowing and powerful. But in reality, they are the little insecure man behind the curtain trying pushing all your buttons.
NEGLECT: Being with a Narcissist can feel lonely. You’re lonely because you have a partner who doesn’t share much with you. Everything takes precedence over you. The Narcissist prioritizes their work, fitness, and their image; even the family dog gets more attention than you do. While the narcissist might show up at opportune times or when things matter to them to sustain a long term deep connection, they are not wired this way. When it comes to nurturing a relationship, they don’t know-how.
GASLIGHTING: a psychological term that refers to manipulative behaviors. Manipulation happens through lies and exaggerations. Lies are repeated until they sound like the truth. When you confront them based on the lie, they will deny reality and sound like your fault or problem. You walk away, questioning your own sanity, scratching your head. Certainly, you can’t trust someone who reacts in such a harsh, abusive way to any feedback.
EMPATHY failure: Empathy is necessary to make any relationship work. Empathy is the ability to imagine how another person might feel. One of the hallmark signs of a narcissist is their lack of empathy. No one taught the narcissist how to gauge other people’s feelings when they were young. As adults, they have no clue how other people feel because they are cut off from their own feelings. Be careful, because hurt people, hurt people.
REBOUND: quickly. Don’t expect your ex to pine over you or stare at your photo with regret. Same thing for how they talk about their exes. They might tell you how horrible their last partner was that they were ‘crazy or demanding.’ All of this is to look good in your eyes to gain sympathy and or in a sick way to make you feel better compared to their ex. When things don’t work out with you, they will be back on the dating scene before your car leaves their driveway. They are motivated to get their self-esteem boost from the next person. Expect that they will then either deny how significant your relationship was or exaggerate it, whichever story makes them look better to their next victim.
Sometimes, you have no words to describe how you feel when you are with a narcissist. It’s more of an unsettled feeling, or the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You might be simultaneously attracted and intrigued by a narcissist; it happens to the best of us. On the outside, they look so charming, charismatic, accomplished, smart, and confident. But if you start to feel more insecure, unsure of yourself, anxious, or dependent upon this person, it’s time to plan your exit before it’s too late. The best way to move on and heal is to block them. Don’t imagine that you will get anywhere by bringing up your concerns or having an adult conversation with them. Even if they are sorry and promise to do better, it won’t take long for them to resort to their old ways.
The quicker you can respond and block the narcissist, the better. You might have to say whatever you need to escape. Make the reason you are leaving something about you, not them. This way, they won’t argue or try to convince you to stay. Essentially playing dead is an actual strategy and might cause you less harm in the long term. If you confront them, they will only gaslight you and make it about you. Acting fast avoids more conflict. Getaway quickly and have NO contact, block them, unfollow them, and lose their number. Don’t think that by being “friends,” that you can help them or save your relationships. The sooner you see them for who they are, empty, and shallow but also dangerous, then you will be able to act more quickly.
Prevention is key:
On some level, recognize how you might leave yourself vulnerable to the narcissist. Do you have a desire for attention? Is your self-esteem low? While you don’t seek attention the way a narcissist does, you have a deep wound. Perhaps one of your parents was unavailable. You developed a pattern of working too hard to get someone’s attention. This pattern feels familiar, so therefore it feels like love. Does this new person make you feel alive? To break the cycle as Natashia did, take ownership of your own healing. Seek validation from yourself or healthy others, so you are less of a target.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
From all the talk of #narcissistrecovery, you might think that there are a large amount of Narcissists. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual DSM for psychologists, only 1% of people meet Narcissist Personality Disorder or NPD criteria. However, many more people are covert narcissists, they are better at hiding it, and many also have an avoidant or anxious attachment style. They are self-centered.
Dating is hard enough; many things can cause you anxiety, much less fighting to get attention from someone who is unavailable. If you need more confidence, get more tips here. You don’t have time to waste on a wrong partner, much less a narcissist who will make you question your sanity. Protect yourself from danger by trusting your gut, get educated, stay vigilant about the warning signs, and establish good boundaries. Once the narcissist realizes that you won’t buy what they’re selling, they will move onto the next victim. de