They seemed smart, attractive, and charming at first, but as things progressed, you realized they’re a bit self-centered. You might have initially brushed it off and thought, “everyone likes to be the center of attention from time to time,” but what if they have a highly grandiose and superior image of themselves, seek constant admiration, lacks empathy for others, but fly off the handle at the slightest hint of criticism?
If this rings a bell, you’re likely dealing with a narcissist. But identifying a narcissist can be tricky because they can often throw others in the dark. They may seem very friendly and charming on the outside, but their behaviors often contradict who they present themselves to be.
So, what are some telltale signs you’re in a relationship with a narcissist? Let’s take a look.
1. Extremely charismatic
In the beginning, they might feel like everything you ever wanted. They will show grand gestures of love, and it might even feel like your relationship is moving too fast. They will be quick to say, “I love you.” If you think that your relationship is moving too quickly, it probably is. Be aware. Such behaviors are a facade to hook and lure you in.
2. Abusive behavior
Once you fall into their love traps and get attached to the person, they will slowly start showing their true colors. You will begin to experience abuse, whether it’s emotional, physical, verbal, or other types of abuse. Sometimes it is indirect. It is often passive-aggressive and can make you feel as if you’re losing your mind.
3. It’s always your fault.
They take zero accountability for their actions and show little to no empathy. If you try to call them out, they will deny the accusations and make you feel like it was your fault. They will manipulate you into thinking that you are crazy, and will never take the blame for their actions while doing precisely what they are accusing you of doing.
4. A saint in the eyes of others.
They will try to be as best as they can in the eyes of others to ensure that even if you call out to your mutual friends for help, they won’t be able to confirm their poor behavior. They will switch personalities at the drop of a hat. In private, they will do cruel and untrue things, while in front of others, they will act like a sweet and caring person.
5. They try to cut off your support system.
Narcissists are highly possessive, and they will want you only for themselves. They may do everything necessary to sabotage your ties with close friendships and family, so you can’t go to others for help if you wanted to. They will do everything to make you more dependent on them for every need, so they can manipulate and use you in whatever way they want to.
6. If you try to break up, they panic.
When you stop giving attention or try to leave them, they will start acting charming and extra loving again just to win you back. They will pretend as if they have changed, but as soon as you get back with them, they will go back to being manipulative and cruel. If things still don’t work, they will do their best to damage you emotionally and might even start dating someone else just to make you feel jealous.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be extremely challenging. Many people don't realize they are in one until they've experienced years or even decades of abuse. The nature of this abuse can make you feel confused, guilty, ashamed, and questioning your reality. Therapy or coaching with an experienced professional who understands both trauma and narcissistic abuse is important to help you heal. If you're interested in working with me, you can book your free consultation call at any time.