Pin It

How to Spot 10 Warning Signs of Narcissism in Your Partner

by Evelyn on May 6, 2013

“Unconscious people – and many remain unconscious, trapped in their egos throughout their lives – will quickly tell you who they are: their name, their occupation, their personal history, the shape or state of their body, and whatever else they identify with.” – Eckhart Tolle

Someone with signs of narcissism is described as extremely self-centered. The narcissist is predominantly preoccupied with thoughts of “I, me, myself or mine”. Egoistical, he (or she) strives to be in a superior position. What differentiates narcissism from other forms of behavior is sadism. The narcissist tends to disparage and belittle others.

Like many other conditions, narcissism occurs in a spectrum. At its most extreme, it is known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This article covers content that pertains to individuals with narcissistic tendencies. For an accurate diagnosis, please consult with a trained mental health professional.

I was speaking to a client the other day. Michelle (pseudonym) has been feeling rather battered by her husband. From her descriptions, it appears that her husband is someone who has narcissistic traits. Of course, her sense of self-worth and self-love were not high to begin with.

Michelle is oppressed by her husband’s dominating behavior. It has taken her some years to see that she is in a toxic relationship. She only realized how unhappy she has been after being married for more than 7 years.

So while I am not a psychotherapist, I thought I would touch on the topic for readers who are in an unhealthy relationship with a guy. My interest is piqued as I suspect that I might have in the past, dated a few guys with an inferiority complex and who could have narcissistic traits too. I did some research to find out the common behavioral patterns.

Your Relationship With a Partner with Narcissist Traits

Without awareness, we may not recognize the signs. A guy with narcissistic tendencies is often very charismatic. You are not able to resist him. He is charming, successful and appears to have it all. At first, we are drawn to his winning “confidence”. He shares wondrous stories about being the hero, savior and knight in shining amour. Lapping up his wily stories, we come away impressed.

What we may not realize is that the narcissist is mostly of empty talk. His stories are grandiose. He desires to appear big. He seeks for approval and needs fans to constantly build him up.

It can be energy-depleting to be near a narcissist for long. Because he puts his needs first, you have to give in all the time. He is great at manipulation. Sometimes, it can feel as if you need to walk on eggshells around him. He throws a fit when he realizes that he is not the center of attention.

Learn to spot signs of narcissism. It helps to be aware of the challenges involved from being in a relationship with someone with such tendencies. So if you are dating one, you need to consider carefully.

It can be hard for anyone else to make the narcissist change his selfish ways, not unless he attains awareness himself. He is not likely to want to work on his issues since he perceives that he is not at fault. Sadly, a narcissist is very good with pushing blame to the people around.

How to Spot A Narcissist

You really want to be lookout on the following narcissistic traits: vain, egoistical and selfish.

Here are 10 warning signs on what the above description translates to:

1. His needs come first. You have to plan your life around his.

2. He takes more than he gives. You now realize that his show of attention on you at one stage was pretense. The honeymoon period did not last very long.

3. He talks about himself all the time. You can barely get a word in about your needs, concerns and ideas.

4. He can be manipulative, abusive and controlling. Your voice is reduced to a whimper around him.

5. He belittles you constantly. Your sense of self-worth has been shredded to pieces repeatedly.

6. He has lack of empathy for others. He is insensitive towards the feelings of his loved ones, including yours.

7. He strives to ensure that his stories of accomplishment are forever etched in your mind. You have heard the same overblown stories that happened years ago, multiple times.

8. He is always in the right. It is as if he can do no or little wrong. Even when he has a part to play, he will make it seem as if you are to blame. He is a world-class wordsmith.

9. He has trouble committing to a relationship. You have to give in to his demands for space; but you have to be on his beck and call.

10. His negative reactions are often excessive in relation to the issue. You are taken aback by his rage and punishing ways towards you.

What to Do Next

A guy with narcissistic traits usually bids his time before he shows his true colors. He knows how to make you feel on top of the world. For a while, you can be deceived into thinking he is your long lost soul mate.

However, once you spot a sign or two as described above, start to make more detailed observations about his behavior. If there are more than three ticks to the above signs, he could be leaning towards narcissistic tendencies. Hence, avoid being in a rush to commit into a relationship. Instead, tune in to your intuition and find out if there is any discomfort that you are experiencing.

If you are already in a relationship with one, you can possibly find it hard to persuade him to go for therapy. By all means, try but don’t get your hopes too high. He is likely to believe that you are the one with the problem, not him. A consideration on how best to handle the relationship and what to do next may become necessary. As mentioned, you may wish to consult professional advice, in cases of trauma.

Under all circumstances, you must not lose self-respect.

Always love yourself and uphold healthy self-esteem.

Definitely, seek assistance if you find that you are stuck or in repeated patterns of unhealthy relationships.

Love and Abundance Always,

evelyn lim signature

Life Coach. Energy Healing Practitioner.

Related article: How to Handle Toxic Relationships

Share Your Story

Know anyone with narcissistic traits? Do share your thoughts or story about narcissism in the comments below.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Clive May 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Thank you for the article. This is valuable information.

sam May 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Thanks for the post.

People with Narcissistic traits can be so destructive to relationships and the people around them. The sad thing is they really don’t feel empathy like healthy people, so they simply don’t understand (or care) about how their actions effect others. It takes a lot of healing coming out of a toxic relationship with a narcissistic partner, its a long journey.

Kristin May 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm

This describes my ex to a T. He proves it with every conversation we have in which he blames me and acts like I’m the predator. He won’t take fault for a single thing. I feel like I took the steps necessary to protect myself, but he certainly doesn’t see it that way. In his eyes I’m the awful one. I don’t think he’s affected my self-worth; however, I’ve had to take a step back from the situation and make some changes to myself in order to ensure someone like him – another narcissistic sociopath – doesn’t enter my life. I don’t know if they’re all bad, but my ex is downright horrible! Never again! He has never truly cared about me and I know he never will, and I’m okay with that. I’ve moved on (though he tried to use that against me too; everything I say or do is a weapon in his eyes, though he fails to realize he’ll never win with me).

April May 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for the article, I agree with Sam, once you leave a narcissistic partner it is a long journey to heal. The journey is worth it and I would encourage everyone to take steps to heal yourself. You are worth it, no matter what you have been told. I was with a person like this for 28 years and was basically a shell of nothing by the end. I managed the strength to leave after finally awakening to the effect it was having on my children in their early adult lives. Narcissistic people have no regards for anyone but themselves and don’t care who the hurt, even their own children. I’m thankful every day that I moved on, because all of us deserve to be in a healthy relationship. I know if people like you continue to inform us, less people will fall victim to narcississtic personalities.
Thank you.

Harleena Singh May 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Hi Evelyn,

Informative post indeed – I had absolutely no idea that these are the traits of a narcissistic person, and we do find them so similar to a lot of people we know. I guess you need to keep a check on these warning signs and take timely measures.

Thanks for sharing :)

Birdie May 7, 2013 at 2:46 am

The article makes it sound like this is a male trait, there are just as many females with narcissistic traits. As you point your finger at others be sure to check around your own doorstep too.

Freedom | Rethinking the Dream May 7, 2013 at 3:29 am

We recently came to the realization that my father has some extreme narcissistic tendencies. We’ve always just dealt with it and ignored the bad behavior as best we could. That all changed about a year and a half ago when his behavior began to affect our young daughter.

She was extremely shy, and my father (her grandfather) didn’t like it. He expected to be greeted with a hug and a hello during each visit. He also wanted her to talk to him, but she was unable to do it. I finally had to sit him down for a discussion and tell him that we could no longer tolerate his demands and expectations of my daughter. After our talk he basically treats us as if we no longer exist, and we have mostly severed ties with him.

There’s a lot more that I could say, and I’ve written about it on my blog in a Toxic Grandparent series. Toxic relationships aren’t limited to spouses, it can be any member of the family, and the results can be just as bad.

Angela Artemis|Powered by Intuition May 7, 2013 at 9:05 am

Evelyn,
This is a great topic! I had a relationship with a narcissist. It was the worst time in my life. I’m so glad I finally pulled myself out of that relationship.
Thank you for bringing people’s attention to this important topic.

Vishnu May 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Thanks for covering this topic Evelyn – good note to be on the lookout for with others and good way to keep tabs on ourselves hahaha.

I know the people who talk about themselves ALL the time. Used to wonder if they were just egomaniacs but with the additional characteristics you described, I think I have a better understanding of their personalities and behavior now.

So how do we deal with one besides just running far away from that relationship and suggesting therapy, as you point out.

Joan Harrison May 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm

“As with the six adaptations, everyone’s personality includes the borderline and/or narcissistic structure” p225 Personality Adaptations,Vann Joines & Ian Stewart. The Narcissistic personality requires excessive admiration and this is learned during childhood and as ‘Birdie’ said it can be prevalent in all relationships. The problem can when narcissistic behavior becomes excessive, so whilst we observe people we are in relationships with, it is beneficial to look at the part we play.
I believe that we attract everyone into our life for a reason and it helps to alleviate my own hurt if I understand the lesson they have taught me.

Steve May 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Hey Evelyn, this post struck a huge chord with me because I know someone like this. He was only a friend, but he had all of these qualities. Your description is spot-on. The lack of empathy, the self-centeredness, manipulation, the grandiose stories (many of which were embellished to the point of lying).

What I’ve noticed is that you have to be really careful around these types of people. Even the slightest criticism will get them really angry. That goes along with what you said about walking on eggshells.

The guy doesn’t realize he has this problem. In fact, he often pointed the finger at me (and everyone else around him) for his difficulties. It might not surprise you, but I don’t talk to him anymore.

Hiten May 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Hi Evelyn,

This was a very interesting post on the characteristics of a narcissist guy. As you pointed out, such a person is highly manipulative and is so insecure, he probably doesn’t even realise it.

Thanks for sharing.

DeepSand7 May 20, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Evelyn,
Thank you for the information. I just broke it off with a Woman that I thought I knew. We had a previous dating years ago and it was wonderful, and that is what brought me back to her. The 1st 7 months of our relationship was a dream and then reality set in. We saw a movie one night with some of her friends. I did nothing out of the ordinary and we all had a great time. She was quiet in the movie and I asked if there was anything wrong. She said that she was so angry…should wanted to kill me.
I responded with apologies and anything else I could say. She remained mad for 3-4 days. I see now that this was the beginning of it all. I asked her about some lingere that she had in her suitcase that she never wore for me. She told me that I was crazy and it did not exist. And of course she had a sympathy for animals that was off the charts. She asked me for vast sums of money when she found out my net worth. For no reason she would break out in rages and blamed it all on her ex husband. I walked on egg shells for 2 1/2 years. I still love her…but I do know the relationship had to end. I wish her well and pray that she seeks professional help.

Mike May 31, 2013 at 1:56 am

They can be women too. I was married to one. Every descriptive passage in this article uses the pronoun “He.” If it is changed to “they” it would be more accurate.

DeeGee June 7, 2013 at 2:00 am

I have learned the hard way to use my selfish ego driven and narcissist friends, men or women for the once in a while “over the top situations”, like birthday parties, new years eve, booty calls, dance clubs, etc. (high ego energy that i don’t care to have) situations. But never real caring relationships, just hit and miss, kiss kiss, superficial fr-enemies or friends w/benefits.

Tom Roberts June 18, 2013 at 9:16 am

Why are narcissists portrayed as men in this article?

Jenn June 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Hello!

I’m wondering if maybe you have advice or comfort for me… I have a dear friend who has been I’m a relationship with a narcissistic woman for about 6 months now. He is very much the noble knight personality and she is very good at destroying his mood with sudden and violent accusations of mistreatment and then flipping the switch and whimpering about how terrible a person she is for being so mean. My father is a tried and true narcissist so I recognized the signs right away but my friend love the idea of being able to fix people. Is there anything I can say or do to help him see what her behavior is without looking like I have alterior motives?

lisa August 12, 2013 at 4:14 am

I met a man, who fits a lot of the signs without the aggressiveness. Sneaky with his phone, immediately was in love, love bombing is what I believe it is called. His come on lines were excellent. Very early on in the relationship he told me he was sick of hearing about my ex’s yet I found out he was still talking to at least two of his. All his contacts were mostly women. I started noticing he was always very aware of every woman”s presence, and had quite a way of subtly flirting that you might not even notice. Just seemed like such a nice helpful guy, but I noticed just a bit too attentive and sincere towards every woman. I am no fool, when I questioned it, of course I was just jealous. He would say things like I got 6 to 12 women who want me, but I only want you. He told me he only got in relationships he believed would last, yet tried to go to bed with me right away. He also carried a to go bag in his vehicle, contact lenses, razor, rubber, ect. I lived in another state and when he took me to the airport he told me, he loved me and would wait for me. I sensed that the reason he said that was he wanted to cement that promise from me. I was home for 3 weeks and found out he had been visiting with another woman. I found out because he thought the call he was answering was from his Buddy who had just told him he would call with his new phone number. He lied to her about where he was and then lied to me about how he knew her. He said she stole his number, then changed the lie to eventually be that I didn’t tell him I loved him when I left, to eventually he just missed female companionship and of course nothing happened. To shorten the story, there just always seemed to be women thrown in my face or ignore me and go to bar or sit out in yard chatting and drinking with buddies. I believe he is an amorous narcissist. He does not physically abuse, nor yell and call you stupid. Most of his ammo seemed to be to make you insecure through being so hot all the women wanted him. Of course he is absolutely innocent and it must just be his hotness. He is 5’8,” not really good looking, on the small side, lives with his mother, and makes 12.00 pr hour and pays child support. I am not sure if he is a narcissist or not because I haven’t seen the aggression. It is all very subtle. I know he abused his Daughter sexually, did not raise his children, doesn’t seem to have had any long term relationships, and moves on to focus on another instantly. I think he is the scariest kind of creep because it is all so subtly done. Do you think he is a narcissist and should I attempt to warn his new victim?

Levon August 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Thank you…..however my situation is the other way around. I am a man married to a woman with Narcissism or very close to it. I can check many down the Narcissism check list about her. We have been married for just over a year and it has been the hardest year of my life. When they say the honeymoon is over…its over. Last week she threw a iron at me….yes an iron. She said she was upset because I didn’t talk to her. She did not say she was sorry but blamed the devil for making act that way. It was not her. Its hard too because she is deeply into the church….she acts so nice there and so different at home. I don’t know what to do.

Henna August 25, 2013 at 1:17 am

Hi… I got married 2.5 years back and in relationship from 6 years. My partner used to abuse alcohol and smoke a lot whenever He used to be angry with me. Later he would put it as my fault since most of the times as per him I was culprit. Infact I agree I used to initiate issues …but his anger n related drama used to be so huge. I many a times wonder is his reaction right for what I did. Last 4-5 months he is not into alcohol abuse etc.. But our fights still happen atleast 2 weekends in a month. He is extremely nice to me whole week. But on weekend if something happens e.g. I ask to Call parents, help in household, waking him up from sleep, me getting upset because he didn’t like some veggies etc for dinner. He gets so angry…he shouts..bangs stuff..car. Sometimes leaves me alone for whole night and he goes n spends time at friends house. When we don’t fight he is gud towards me but on arguement days…he makes me feel guilty of initiating problems..he speaks cuss words…he speaks of depressing stuff..n then I retaliate and even I speak non sense. I always feel he reacts way too much for these things I did. I have also seen that he lacks empathy and he has grand plans for buying stuff like Cars etc…living on 30 th floor so that others look like ants etc. However it is me who talks a lot in our relationship. Also he always tells me during these arguements that how much he is doing for me..which is true. He does lot more work than me. But I dont comparison and also I dont like bringing in old n other old issues in current arguements which he often does. Is this narcissism?

Henna August 25, 2013 at 2:25 am

Hi, I wrote question above regarding my husband…now I am doubting myself!!
1. Feeling of Grandiosity: Often narcissistic people have this false sense of grandiosity wherein they believe in their head that they are superior than everyone else.

2. Fantasies: Most of such women have these explicit and strong fantasies of power, perfect love and extreme beauty regarding self, which makes them feel superior to others.

3. Exclusivity: They have this belief that they are very special and unique and must mix and gel with like minded people and not with just any other person out there.

4. Dominating: This is one of the most common sign to identify these women. They fail to believe that they could go wrong anywhere and always find faults with the other person and impose their opinions forcefully on people around them.

5. Insensitive: These women lack empathy. It gets impossible for them to even think of a situation from any point of view other than their own. She never understands the pain of the other person as she would be so self involved and trying to get things done the way she wants.

6. Abusive: Most of such women are abusive, if not physically then emotionally for sure. They blame the partner for almost everything that happens and put him down all the time, but when he attempts to leave her, she would beg that she still loves him.

7. The Jekyll and Hyde sign: if you notice that at one moment a woman is all sweet and understanding but the very next moment she turns rude and vicious, without much of a reason and this happens repeatedly, there is every chance of her being a narcissist.

8. Craving for attention: Women like attention and admiration by nature, but if it seems to be of an extreme degree that turns demanding also, the woman in question could be a narcissist.

9. Control Freak- Most of such women are major control freaks. They can not tolerate to forego the control of everyone around them and in a bid to do so, they might even resort to manipulation.

10. Arrogance: This is yet another common sign. Arrogance which has no reason or basis and is of extreme degree, such that even minor issues become irksome should be considered a sign.

Henna August 25, 2013 at 2:33 am

I read above article at http://www.islandcrisis.net/10-signs-narcissistic-woman/
And I can identify with grandiosity that is feeling superior to my close friends as i studied more than them… and dominating ..which I feel whenever I am having conversations..I talk a lot. Rest all I don’t identify with.
However I wanna ask u something..I am from India and am from family who has been very hygiene oriented..e.g. Washing hands with soap if u touch shoes or come home from outside or eating food etc etc; similarly I am having strong extended family ties with my uncles, aunts, cousins. I m also vegetarian n like clutter free home. Again I eat whatever is cooked at home by my maid or myself and do not fuss about it.
My problem is when I ask my husband to adopt these value systems except vegetarianism…he gets angry n as I wrote in first post…lot of drama happens.
He says I am dominating. I really want to know am I dominating if I ask to adopt that value system? Am I narcisstic? I m so confused.

RRM February 1, 2014 at 5:32 am

I can attest to female narcissists being equally damaging and sadistic.

They major difference is that our society tends to look favorably on male narcissism (business, politics, etc) rewarding a take-no-prisoners mind set. Women on the other hand, tend to covert, relying much more on manipulation, feigned naivete, and gaslighting. Overtly aggressive women don’t square well with society so female narcissists tend be experts at feigning social grace.

Most female narcissist tend to be unmasked when they become the perpetual hostile ex in divorce and custody disputes that they drag on unnecessarily for years. Conflict has no end with a narcissist. Sadism and exacting pain is narcissistic supply.

high search engine ranking optimization October 4, 2014 at 6:32 am

I don’t even know how I finished up here, but I assumwd this submit used to be good.
I do not know who you might be but decinitely yoou are going to a well-known blogger when you are
not already. Cheers!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: