Today, I want to talk to you about some early warning signs that you’re dating a narcissist that you want to be aware of and you definitely do not want to ignore.
Now here’s the thing, narcissists don’t show up in our lives wearing a sign saying: “Hi, I’m a narcissist”, “hi, I’m a sociopath“, or “hi, I’m a super-sociopath.” It doesn’t work that way. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to exploit us for our time, our attention, our energy, our money, or any other resources that we have that they want. It wouldn’t work very well. Rather, they tend to show up very charming and very attentive, initially.
Now, although it’s true that anyone can be on their best behavior in the early stages of a relationship, I’ve found that people typically tell us and show us who they are early in the game. The signs are always there. It’s our job to pay attention to what we’re seeing, hearing, and feeling, and more importantly, tell ourselves the truth about what we’re seeing, hearing, and feeling. That’s the trick.
Now, regardless, sooner or later the mask is going to drop. Sometimes that’ll be shockingly abrupt, like who the hell is this person, and other times it’s more bit, by bit, by bit, as they test out our tolerance level for their bullshit behavior.
So, let’s talk about some early signs that you’re dating a narcissist that you want to be aware of. And again, you do not want to ignore.
1. They move way too fast.
They come on strong. Even covert narcissists are predators. Within a few weeks, if not days, you’re the one, their soul mate, they’re in love. Overnight, you go from just having met to being in a full-fledged hot-and-heavy, fully committed relationship, and the truth is you don’t even know this person.
2. You find yourself making all the effort.
Very quickly you’ll find yourself being the one making all the effort, and being criticized or shamed for not being quite enough. Not doing it quite right. Whatever it is, you’re just not getting it right, doing it right, you’re not right. Somehow, someway, you are not quite good enough.
They’ll start criticizing, maybe shaming, dropping little hints, making comments, jokes that aren’t so funny about all the ways that you could be better, do better, things you should change about yourself, things you should improve. If it’s the early stages of the relationship and you’re already feeling insecure, less than, not good enough, unworthy, huge, huge red flag.
3. You feel like you’re being scrutinized.
You feel like you’re under a microscope, being scrutinized. This can show up in the way they look at you, scanning you like you’re a piece of meat, leaving you wondering if you’re measuring up. They want to know all about you, your family, your past et cetera, while disclosing very little about themselves. This is not the same as genuine interest. You get the sense that they’re actually gathering data that later they’re going to use against you. And if you’re honest with yourself, you can feel the difference.
4. They talk about themselves incessantly.
Alternately, they may talk incessantly about themselves, working really hard to sell themselves to you, while showing very little genuine interest in who you are as a person. Big red flag.
5. They play games.
Leaving you hanging, keeping you waiting, not calling when they say they’re going to call, running hot and cold, coming on really strong then acting ambivalent and nonchalant towards you, being evasive and secretive, building you up with great anticipation and expectations, then letting you down and enjoying the confusion and discomfort that they’re inspiring in you.
6. They lack boundaries.
For example, wanting sex way too quickly, and getting pissed when you say no. Showing up unannounced or uninvited, at your home, place of work, or somewhere else where you may be. Telling you they’re separated, divorced, or nearly divorced, when in fact they aren’t. Talking about ex-relationships in great gory detail, while demeaning and demonizing their ex, going on about how they were victimized, and how hard done by they were in the relationship.
Going on and on about those sorts of things early in the game of a new relationship is not a good sign; clear lack of boundaries. They’ll also tell you deeply personal things about others, whether that’s their ex, their friends, or their family, the kind of things that any decent human being would never disclose, and would absolutely keep in confidence.
Friends, these aren’t just early signs, these aren’t just red flags; these are deal-breakers for healthy people. So what do you do?
Well, in my opinion, learn to go slow and trust your instincts. Learn to pay attention to what your body is telling you, and trust what you feel. Pay attention to the signs. Take your time with people. Work on your own healing and recovery… learn to set boundaries and learn to enforce them. Learn to trust yourself. Learn to pay attention to what you’re seeing, hearing, and feeling, and tell yourself the truth.
Now, here’s another point I really want to drive home. When someone really cares about you, they’re going to care about your wants, your preferences, and your needs. Those things are not seen as a barrier to what they want, but rather, honored because they value your comfort, and genuinely care about your well-being. So ask yourself, if the person you’re with isn’t displaying that kind of care and concern for your comfort and your well-being, do you really want to spend the rest of your life defending your feelings, your preferences, your wants, and your needs? Probably not.
Now, here’s what’s true. If you have a history of attracting one destructive narcissist after another, always finding yourself on the receiving end of emotional and psychological abuse, the truth is you have some work to do in the area of codependency and narcissistic abuse recovery. What most people don’t like to hear, but I got to tell you, it’s the truth, nothing changes if nothing changes. If you don’t do something about what’s going on inside of you, that keeps attracting this type of individual into your life, nothing’s really going to change. And if you want to know more about the qualities that attract narcissists, read this article here.
Read More: 11 Ways to Recognize a Covert Narcissist.
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