5 Signs Your Partner is a Narcissist
CONTENT ADVISORY: This article mentions and refers to domestic abuse.
So, you think your partner may be a narcissist?
Before we jump into the signs and red flags that your partner is a narcissist, let’s clearly define what and who a “narcissist” actually is.
According to Healthline,
“Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which people have an inflated opinion of themselves.”
There is a difference between someone being selfish and someone being narcissistic, it’s important to clarify because narcissism is a personality disorder that is diagnosed by a trained psychiatrist.
This article is not intended to diagnose anyone with NPD, rather I’m going to talk about things that may be signs that your partner has toxic narcissistic traits.
5 SIGNS YOUR PARTNER IS A NARCISSIST
YOUR RELATIONSHIP STARTED OFF AMAZING
Have you heard of the term “love bombing”? BetterHelp explains that love bombing happens when, “an individual is subjected to an excessive amount of grand gestures, signs of affection, and various acts which are supposed to convey appreciation and gratitude.”
Did your relationship start off amazing? Did your partner shower you with grand gestures, kind words, signs of reflection and more?
Is that no longer the case, and do you longingly look back at the beginning phases of your relationship and crave what was?
It’s possible that your partner was love bombing you. They may have been trying to develop a deep relationship with you quickly and it may not have been as genuine as you expected.
Narcissists love bomb at the beginning of a relationship so that you will develop a dependency on them. They like to know that they are in control.
If you’re early in a relationship and you feel that your partner is being overly affectionate too soon, it may be possible that they’re love bombing you. It’s important to trust your intuition early on and note signs of the honeymoon state wearing off and being replaced with control, coldness or criticism.
THEY ARE “ALWAYS” RIGHT AND CONSTANTLY DEFLECT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Is your partner always right?
No matter what you say, you can’t reason with them.
There’s no compromise, no willingness to discuss… they’re just right.
It can feel impossible to argue, fight, or even converse with a narcissist because they’re unwilling to budge on their opinions. New excuses, deflections, or scapegoats pop up like a whack-a-mole leaving you confused and not trusting yourself.
According to Business Insider “Narcissists tend to be incapable of something called ‘object constancy.’ This means they struggle to have positive feelings at the same time as negative ones.” This may be why in an argument a narcissist may say unkind or cruel things, because at that moment they can only feel anger, and they lack empathy.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THEM
Narcissists are stereotypically known for being selfish, but there’s so much more to it than that.
Many narcissists will take any chance they can to talk about themselves, and they’ll thrive off of compliments. They’ll likely need constant praise and affirmation, and they’ll become angry and manipulative when you don’t say what they want you to say.
Narcissists want to hear about how great they are, and they’ll do anything to get that praise.
THEY’RE REPEATEDLY UNKIND OR CRITICAL OF YOU
If your partner is a narcissist, they won’t care about how you feel or how their words and actions impact you. The only thing they care about is themselves. They lack the empathy and understanding to recognize how their words and actions may hurt you.
They only want control.
They may say things to you to bring you down because it will lift them up and keep you in a place of submission. If you share something exciting, they may feel threatened and this will result in them trying to bring you down, rather than sharing in your excitement.
Rather than validating your feelings or sharing in your joy and accomplishments, they’re more likely to gaslight you and make you feel like you’re crazy for experiencing emotions or that you’re bound to fail. They’ll make you feel like you need to apologize for something that they did, or they may make you feel like you’re too sensitive.
THEY WON’T LET YOU BREAK UP WITH THEM
If you’ve come to the conclusion that your partner is an abusive narcissist, it’s possible that you’ve tried to break up with them, but they didn’t let you. Most narcissists can’t bear the thought that someone wouldn’t want to be with them, considering they’re so amazing. They may manipulate you into staying with them, they’ll swear that they’ll change only to revert back to the same abusive patterns.
If you try to leave them, they may become even more verbally abusive and they could become physically abusive. They will do anything to make you stay. Some may even threaten that they’ll take their own lives in an attempt to keep you connected.
Now what if these signs your partner is a narcissist are true?
As we said at the beginning, this article isn’t intended to diagnose your partner with NPD. Rather, this post is intended to help you ask yourself the question: “is my partner a narcissist?”
It’s possible that your partner has narcissistic behaviors, but wouldn’t be diagnosed with NPD. No matter whether they are or aren’t an official “narcissist,” if your partner is exhibiting the signs above, then your relationship is unhealthy and you deserve so much better.
No matter what— if your partner is emotionally (or physically) abusive, you need to get out. It is exhausting to be constantly belittled, gaslit, and manipulated; no one deserves that treatment. You need to set firm boundaries and foster an environment where you can thrive.
Not sure where to start? Take a look at my 5 Simple Boundary Scripts for FREE and get the language you need to stand up for yourself with more confidence and power.
May you find and love someone who sees your inherent worthiness, appreciate you, and collaborate with you on this messy journey called life! Stay wild and aware, love!
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