There's having a decent level of self-confidence, and then there's just being too full of oneself.
If you stumble upon this article, chances are you're wondering if the person you're dating is just a tad bit too insensitive and boastful at times or if they are, in fact, a true narcissist to the bone.
Fortunately, there are several signs that a person has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) that you can easily observe.
Generally speaking, people can be considered narcissists if they believe that every other person is inferior to them.
Does your partner seem too self-absorbed and overconfident all the time? Do they seem to have a superb sense of self-importance? Do they point out that they are entitled to almost everything, including your undivided time and attention?
While you can never be truly sure if someone is an actual narcissist or not unless diagnosed by an expert, there are obvious signs that someone is or can potentially be suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder.
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That being said, you are advised never to attempt to diagnose whether your partner is a narcissist or not based on your assumptions alone.
However, to help you figure out if the person you're dating can potentially be a narcissist, here are several signs to look out for.
Signs of a Narcissist
1. They purposely project an ethereal version of themselves at the start of the relationship
If you just started the relationship, note how they show affection towards you. Do they project a dreamy version of themselves?
Do they always tell you how perfect you are for each other and how they think they have fallen for you regardless of the short time you've known each other?
Coming on too strong at the beginning is also often called "love bombing." This can either be done through over-showering a person with compliments and attention, as well as showing extreme signs of affection too early in the relationship.
This can be problematic as a narcissist usually does it just to get your trust. But as soon as you make a mistake, they quickly turn on you.
2. They always direct your conversation toward Them. They just can't stop talking about Themself
Does your partner always talk as if the entire world revolves around them?
The conversation is seldom about you or the two of you. They only prefer talking about themselves and how 'great' they are.
If there's no significant reason behind this behavior, and if they do it all the time, then it may be a reasonable cause for concern in the relationship.
To have a healthy relationship, communication must be balanced, and both parties must be willing to express themselves as well as lend an ear if need be.
3. They always fish for compliments
Narcissists like to hear people praising them, which is why they will try their best to fish for it if they feel like you are not giving them enough compliments.
Narcissists typically surround themselves with highly empathetic people because they are generous givers of compliments.
Narcissists naturally have low self-esteem, which makes their egos more easily wounded. The reason why narcissists tend to fish for compliments is to feel more self-worthy.
While this can be something any normal person may be guilty of sometimes doing, what sets people with NPD apart is that they have the tendency to use compliments about them to drag people down.
4. They are insensitive to other people's feelings
Anyone can be insensitive sometimes, especially if our level of awareness towards how other people are feeling is not well developed. But a narcissist's insensitivity and lack of empathy are on a totally different level.
For people with NPD, the only emotions that matter are their own. They make you feel like you're not genuinely listened to.
A narcissistic person will immediately get bored if you begin to open up to them about a thing that frustrates you. They may even try their very least to hide their boredom.
5. Their friendships are always short-lived
Another way to tell whether you are dating a narcissist or not is by the way their friendships work.
Do they have any long-term friends? What about the quality of relationships that they share with their friends?
If their friendships are often short-lived and lack any significant depth and meaning, a narcissistic person tends to lash out at their partner whenever they spend time with friends.
Complaining about not spending enough time together or spending more time with friends than with your partner are common claims of a narcissist.
6. They purposely make you feel inferior
Does your partner often give teasing remarks that turn meaner by the second? Do they make you feel like nothing you do is right, from your choice of clothing to your chosen career in life?
A narcissist will purposely drag your self-esteem down, making you feel inferior to them.
Moreover, reacting to their unwarranted opinion and insensitive remarks will further fuel this behavior.
Experts explain that getting a reaction from other people will make them feel more powerful because they have control over someone's emotional state.
7. they emotionally manipulate you
Does your partner often lie? Would they always falsely accuse you of something you haven't even done? Do they have a habit of distorting reality in their favor?
Adding to the list of signs you are dating a narcissist is that they also gaslight you most of the time. Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulation that typically occurs in an abusive relationship.
Because of their emotional manipulation, you would always apologize, believing you're wrong or insensitive or try to make excuses for how your gaslighting partner behaved.
All of these, along with other mental and emotional effects of being gaslighted, is detrimental to your self-confidence, self-worth, and sense of security in the relationship.
8. They constantly avoid committing to the relationship
Have you been seeing your partner for a while, and you mostly act like a real couple, but whenever you bring up the topic of committing to the relationship, they would try to avoid having this conversation as best as they can?
Taking note that your partner is not polyamorous, having your partner display this kind of behavior is an obvious red flag.
Narcissists, being the greedy and selfish persons that they are, would only be in it to reap the benefits of having a relationship, such as emotional, physical, and sexual fulfillment.
They also tend to flirt without hesitation, even if you are around. As soon as you call them out for their behavior, they will use the gaslighting technique to put the blame on you.
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9. They never think they are wrong and refuse to admit their faults
A narcissistic person will fail to see their mistake and would often refuse to admit their faults when called out for them. You would hardly find them compromising and taking some of the blame whenever the two of you have disputes.
This unapologetic behavior can be evident from simple matters such as showing up late for a date to big things like planning to meet with your friends and family and then unreasonably canceling at the last minute.
While one can be entitled to a bit of self-righteousness sometimes, it is better to humbly admit one's fault whenever one does something wrong than to deny that one had any fault in the matter blatantly.
10. The moment you try to break up, they love-bomb you and sugarcoat Their way to make you stay
Once you get all fed up with your narcissistic partner's behavior and try to break things off with them, they will beg you not to. A narcissist will typically overexert affection and attention towards you to change your mind.
Moreover, they may go as far as to make you believe that they have changed for the better just so you would stay, but you'll eventually discover that it was all just a performance to keep you from leaving them.
If you have found yourself in this loop with your narcissistic partner, the best thing to do is to end the relationship as soon as possible.
A narcissist may seem like they can't live without you, but the moment they spot someone they think is so much better than you, they will eventually leave you without hesitation.
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11. They get Very Angry when you break it off for real
Once you decide that you are done with the relationship for real, a narcissistic person will surely make you feel bad for it.
This is a typical reaction from a person whose ego has been severely wounded. For a narcissist, nothing is ever their fault.
He may typically do so by displaying aggressive behavior, such as lashing out at you or blaming you for choosing to end the relationship.
Expect that they may also lousy mouth you for ending it with them and tell you countless times that they were such a loss. They may also try to make you feel jealous by immediately finding your replacement. But this is more so to heal their wounded ego.
What to do if you are dating a narcissist?
Just imagine how emotionally and physically abusive a relationship can be if you are dating a narcissist who checks out all the signs mentioned earlier.
The best advice most experts could give for someone who finds herself in a relationship with someone with NPD is to end the relationship for good.
Further, they advise against trying to "make the relationship work" because it will surely be too draining on your end.
Despite any effort you give to making people with NPD feel loved and cared for, you can't avoid needing to change yourself to satisfy their selfish needs.
After reading through this article, you now have more idea if the person you're dating is a possible narcissist or not. If you're more convinced that you are dating one, you must emotionally and mentally prepare yourself for what's coming.
Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.