DATING RED FLAGS: 🚩 🚩 HOW TO IDENTIFY AND AVOID NARCISSISTIC PARTNERS!
AVOIDING NARCISSISTS WHEN DATING
If you've ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you know just how damaging the experience can be. It's a painful journey that leaves scars both seen and unseen, but it's also a journey that can be prevented with the right knowledge and awareness.
In this blog, we'll explore the tell-tale signs of narcissism, offering you the tools you need to spot these people before you get too involved with them. Having experienced being involved with a narcissist myself, my hope is to raise awareness about the importance of recognizing narcissism in the dating world. This knowledge will empower you to make healthier, more informed choices when dating or looking for love.
WHAT IS NARCISSISTIC ABUSE?
Narcissistic abuse is a form of manipulation and emotional abuse. It can involve many toxic behaviors including gaslighting, emotional abuse, control, isolation, invasion of privacy and abusing other boundaries. It can be difficult to spot that you’re being abused until you’re well and truly in the midst of it. An analogy often used to describe narcissistic abuse is that of a frog in boiling water. If you dropped the frog straight into the hot pan of water it would certainly notice and jump straight out. However, if you put the frog into a pan of tepid water and slowly increase the heat, the frog will stay there.
THE CYCLE OF NARCISSISTIC ABUSE
The first stage of this type of manipulation is often love-bombing. Be very wary if your new partner is charming, charismatic, seems to like all the same things you do and tries to move very quickly into a full-blown relationship. Take everything at your own pace and be watchful. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
A typical cycle of narcissistic abuse typically starts with the love-bombing and often also moves to gas-lighting, blame-shifting (they do something wrong and then blame you or accuse you of exactly what they did!), isolating you from others in your life and withholding love or attention when you don’t do what they want you to do.
WHAT CAUSES NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER (NPD)
Generally people with narcissistic traits will have experienced a negative impact from childhood. Either parents or caregivers excessively built them up to believe they are special and unique and superior to others. Or they may have suffered neglect, trauma or abuse causing them to have very low self-esteem inwardly. Because of this they may turn the criticism onto others to make themselves feel better.
OVERT OR COVERT NARCISSISTS
Narcissists can be either covert or overt, the main difference is that an overt narcissistic person will appear to be more confident, flamboyant and extroverted. The covert type will be less outwardly confident and will prefer to stay out of the limelight. But both covert and overt narcissists tend to want to exploit and control others and both can be equally selfish, self-entitled and manipulative, although the covert type will be harder to spot in the room!
HOW TO SPOT A NARCISSIST WHEN DATING OR IN A NEW RELATIONSHIP
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is now a diagnosable personality disorder, characterized as someone who has an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others and who often has troubled relationships.
Look out for these characteristics as they are signs of narcissism. People with narcissist tendencies:
Believe they are superior to others
Have a lack of empathy for others, may talk badly about others: “My ex was an idiot.” etc
Can be very manipulative in order to get their own way and throw tantrums or get abusive if their tactics don’t work
Have a sense of entitlement
In the first stages of dating can present as extremely charismatic, charming and caring
Narcissists often do not have many friends of their own
Play the victim, always blaming others for their situation (claiming their ex is crazy or nasty for example)
Have very black or white thinking, it’s their way or the highway
May try to become ‘everything’ to you very early in the relationship (this is in order to isolate and manipulate later in order to get their own way)
Pay you excessive compliments at first and may compare you to others favourably. They may say things like: “I’ve never met anyone as amazing as you. My ex was no way as perfect for me as you are.”
May be overly interested in your past experiences (particularly negative relationships or situations), this information may be used against you later
Twisting facts when they behave badly and blaming others. Instead of saying sorry for their actions, they may say: “You’re being overly sensitive!” or “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
RELATIONSHIPS WITH A NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY TYPE PARTNER
If you suspect you may be dating a narcissistic person my advice would be to create a bit of space and take your time getting to know them, do not jump straight in to a full-blown relationship quickly!
Keep contact and confide in friends or family members that you trust and do not allow yourself to become isolated! If you notice that love bombing is taking place be wary!
If you start to experience any manipulation and/or abuse get out as soon as you can. These people rarely change and it's often because they actually can’t admit that there is anything wrong with them.
If you need any support there is some great information here.