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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.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

J September 5, 2015 at 6:17 am

The phrase is beckon call, not beck and call.

Tommye September 26, 2015 at 4:40 am

I just ended a relationship (1 & 1/2 years) with a crazy man. A friend of mine told me she thought he had narcissist traits. He matches up with ALL the descriptions of these kind of people. The smallest things he would blow up, and not stop until I left cause I couldn’t stand it. He also thinks he’s the smartest guy out there. According to him his family ways always against him, that they were all jealous of him. That HE has done eveything, won at everything he’s done, just never shuts up. He has found fault with any and all members of my family and friends. One of my grandsons live in my town with his mom and dad. He is 14 now. I have taken him to school and picked him up since pre kindergarten. He’s a very quiet kid. Good in school, his teachers have away praised his good behavior. He has selected friends. They play basket ball and football. But my ex boy friend thought he should be in teams at school and should be forced to do it. He has been rude to my grandson at times. And once his parents would pic him up I would question him about his behavior…..oh man what an explosion. He has hurt me because I realized about a month before we broke up, he was seeing some else. He thinks he is all that always flirting with women, I do admitting to complimenting him as I could see he needs that. But I can tell ya he is not all that, short balding, old (70 years) and not good looking. But he can lure the women in, like me. It’s hard for me right now cause I’m lonely and hurt, but never will I go back to that. Thank you all for you posting it helped me realize what I was dealing with.

Last private person on earth ? December 1, 2015 at 12:10 am

Thank you so much for this article you were spot on! I can definitely be a expert on what it’s like to live with the Narcissist as I have lived with one for over 30years. I have checked with every single trait! I met him when I was very young and lacked any type of ego formation or voice and meeting him was a life-changing and at the time what seemed like an answer to my prayers. Ironically I was very shy when I met him and he was extremely gregarious and popular and excitement all the time. Eventually he became a drug addict alcoholic and miraculously he went into recovery and learned about his negative traits and have seen him Transform. The ironic part is that the extrovert was actually an introvert In disguise. The part about the Narcissist needing space but having you in his beck and call was very accurate. At this point of my life I do feel like I sacrificed too much for this person though I have done my own healing journey throughout the decades. Overall it has been a wonderful life with my children but also a very lonely life. I would recommend running from this tupe as quickly as you can and learn to become a strong independent person before bring anyone into your life. I mostly regret my inability to form close female relationships as any friendships were a threat And keeping him calm was a full-time job.

Last private person on earth ? December 1, 2015 at 12:15 am

The auto correct changed to beck and call ..ha ha ..good catch

Karen January 4, 2016 at 10:41 am

I think my sister is a Narcissist. She has all the traits. It breaks my heart. We can not have a relationship. Our dad passed away in March of 2014. My brother and her had a terrible argument in the hospital the night before he passed. She said he is the one who had the problem and they have not spoke since. I had planned on having my mom over New Year’s day and giving her a pedicure. She is a paranoid schizophrenic. My sister calls me New Years Eve says she is going to my mom’s and is going to cook dinner there and hang out all day. I said “Why don’t you pick mom up and come to my house?” She ask who will b at my house. I tell her my friend Emelie, whom I believe she is jealous of. She says OH you already have your plans and your friends. Well I already called mom and she didn’t say anything about you coming. I said maybe she forgot or she didn’t take her meds. Maybe something is wrong. Any way , my sister ends going to my mom’s house. They never came over to my house. Today is the 3rd. I haven’t heard from my mom or my sister. I called my mom and told her it hurt my feelings. I really missed her and my husband and Emelie missed her also. She said she was sorry. I don’t think my mom realizes. But my sister. She knows and she don’t give a flying flip!!!! I could go on and on, story after story. She says she wants a relationship with me and she loves me. I find that when I am away from her and I have no contact with her my life is so much better and my stress is so much better. However we are fixing to have communicate and I need to know how to deal with her. My older brother lives with my mom and he is taking advantage of her financialy and I am going after Conservator and Guardianship for my mother. I was going put my sister and Co Conservator but I am not putting my self through that. I have to tell her. Sincerely, Very stressed

haddassar January 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Thnx very much for the info.im such kind of a person and didn’t know until I read this post,Il do efforts to change and be good,can anyone help with ideas on how to overcome this?I didn’t know I had a problem,plz help,I really want to change

haddassar January 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Thnx very much for the info.im such kind of a person and didn’t know until I read this post,Il do efforts to change and be good,can anyone help with ideas on how to overcome this?I didn’t know I had a problem,plz help,I really want to change.

Anonymous May 2, 2016 at 11:08 pm

I can see these traits in all people….some more extreme ten others…yes there is the person that is way out of bounds. I agree….but we must also see that each one of these things can be caused by a reaction or response of the other genders behaviour. Examples: one mate lives with no rules apply to the relationship, causing the other person to gravitate towards questioning them all the time…this is not fair to call this person a narcissist. They are snared by the one that caused the response. So now they are a Narcissism.your controller because their trying to find out if someone is being honest in a relationship. Truth must be looked at, in all angles, on every subject you come across in Narcissism.your behaviours. Cause and effect comes into play big time, which can actually paint up the healthy one, to look like they have this very disorder, when the true narcissist is calling the other a narcisist…..it’s their lies to themselfs that they won’t face and start pointing at you for all their doings….it’s crazy but living around a person like this, can draw you in close to inspect and try to fix and point out the true issues just to get blamed for doing all the same things. Anger ect ect. Wanting it your way for example…maybe because you can see that their way or pattern is extremely unhealthy….but now your seen as it has to be your way or the high way…..can not healthy people have control over their own well being, and look at the health of the person that their with…without being narcistic….you tell me ?

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