Dating red flags: 7 telltale signs you're in a relationship with a narcissist - Hindustan Times

Dating red flags: 7 telltale signs you're in a relationship with a narcissist

By, New Delhi
Apr 28, 2024 05:01 PM IST

Discovering you're in a relationship with a narcissist can be difficult. Here are seven clear signs to help you identify and address the situation early on.

In early relationships, it can be challenging to see the warning signals of narcissism, but with time, these symptoms become more obvious. You might label someone as narcissistic if they share too many selfies on social media or if they talk nonstop about themselves on a first date. However, narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a sign of a real narcissist. People who have NPD think they are better than other people and want to be treated and acknowledged as such. They might not be able to understand the needs and viewpoints of others, and they might minimise their issues.

Navigating a relationship with a narcissist can be challenging and emotionally draining.(Unsplash)
Navigating a relationship with a narcissist can be challenging and emotionally draining.(Unsplash)

"Feeling like you're always on edge in your relationship, worried about criticism or not living up to expectations? It could be a sign of being involved with a narcissist. Narcissism ranges from healthy self-esteem to extreme forms known as a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), influenced by various factors," says Clinton Power, Relationship counsellor and marriage therapist, in his recent Instagram post. (Also read: Is your partner not making you a priority? Here are a few things you can do, therapist suggests )

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How to Spot If You're Dating a Narcissist

1. You constantly feel like you're walking on eggshells

You feel like you might be summoned at any moment to discuss how you haven't met their expectations or have disappointed them in some way. Aggression is a common way for people to communicate their hatred and anger, and at its worst, it can manifest as physical assault. A narcissist frequently sees the people in their life as things that exist to satisfy their demands and expectations because they have such an inflated sense of self. Whenever they feel let down, they will frequently confront, accuse, and criticize you.

2. Your partner is obsessed with controlling all outcomes

Because of their grandiose view of themselves, they expect to be able to have people respond exactly as they want. This could manifest as something as minor as attendees at a party failing to react as the narcissist anticipates or even as you being late to an event that your partner is hosting. Your financial situation could also reflect this control.

3. Your partner never hesitates to confront you or others in social situations where he feels he has been wronged

The narcissist's first response is to confront, attack, blame, and criticise. The 'Tit-for-tat' style of communication is common with narcissists as they will finger-point and make accusations as soon as any issues are raised with them. There is often no filter on their thoughts, and they will not hesitate to make a scene in a public setting or with friends and family. It can feel like you're watching a toddler throw a tantrum.

4. Your partner is unable to feel empathy for you and has great difficulty appreciating the feelings and needs of others

As a partner, you may feel like discussions are all about your partner's feelings, but very little acknowledgement is made of your feelings. You may frequently be left feeling frustrated and misunderstood by your partner, and your needs have not been taken into account. You've probably also spent a lot of time trying to calm and acknowledge your partner's feelings and ensure their needs are met.

5. Your partner finds it difficult to sincerely apologise, refuses to admit their fault, and avoids taking responsibility at all costs

If your partner has a history of intense but short-term relationships with others or a history of cutting off contact with family members and frequent fall-outs with friends, this could indicate the struggle the narcissist has in sustaining a healthy relationship, feeling empathy for others and taking responsibility for their part in relationship difficulties. It is also indicative that for the people that are close to the narcissist, this is often an impossible relationship that is too painful to sustain.

6. Your partner can fly into spontaneous rages where he abuses you and others with no remorse

You know this has happened because it will be completely spontaneous with no warning at all. You are often left completely shell-shocked and shaken, while your partner will continue on as if nothing has happened. This can occur in a restaurant if they feel they have received poor service or in other social situations where they feel they have been wronged by another.

7. Your partner exploits others for personal gain or to achieve his own ends

This can show up in subtle ways, like trying to get goods and services for free or reduced. Alternatively, they could resort to yelling or screaming in public places like restaurants and stores in order to receive what they want—a financial or verbal apology, perhaps. Extreme narcissists can even take advantage of their coworkers by disparaging them or undermining others as they advance in the company.

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