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Identifying a narcissist: 8 red flags to recognize in your relationship

Identifying a narcissist: 8 red flags to recognize in your relationship Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

British relationship expert Tina Wilson has identified 8 signs that indicate you might be in a relationship with a narcissist. These individuals are selfish, possessing an unjustifiably inflated sense of self-importance, and have a desire for attention and admiration. Narcissists often disregard and fail to understand their partner's feelings, causing them emotional distress.

The 8 signs of a narcissist are detailed by RBC-Ukraine, based on the Daily Mail report.

They're overly attentive
According to the expert, narcissists are usually so charming that it seems too good to be true. They skillfully manipulate and understand people, offering what their victim needs to lure them in.

"This includes being attentive, caring, slightly jealous and always present or thinking of you, even answering texts and calls whenever you need them. Beware though, this doesn’t last long," warns Tina Wilson.

This behavior shouldn't be confused with the "honeymoon phase" when partners want to be constantly together and communicate without interruptions.

"If things appear too good to be true, don’t ring the alarm bells straight way but pay extra close attention to their actions to see for sure what direction this is going in. I am not saying dump them just yet but keep your guard up and proceed with two eyes open," advises the consultant.

They're always self-absorbed
These people often claim they are good (smart, skilled, beautiful, strong, etc.) and tell stories about how amazing others consider them.

"My boss says I'm the best," "People love me," - these comments are made to strengthen their belief system because they sincerely believe that after voicing such words aloud, everything will become that way.

Try sharing your achievements and someone's admiration for you. If the conversation suddenly shifts the partner back to the spotlight or they start mocking your accomplishments, it's a clear sign of narcissistic behavior.

They're never wrong
Stop and pay attention if you find yourself doubting your own beliefs or versions of events. A true narcissist never admits they're wrong.

"If anyone questions what they say; it will be met with an attacking or spiteful response, usually putting you down, in order for them to feel better," Tina adds.

She notes that healthy relationships should bring out the best in you, not bring out feelings of insecurity or a lack of harmony with yourself.

They make you doubt yourself
Narcissists will try to convince you to rely on them because their inflated self-image makes them believe that their attention will protect you.

Then they start showing their true self and begin criticizing your behavior or how you dress to make you doubt yourself.

"If you were to dare bring one of these conversations up they would deflect it back to you and say they never said that or you’re too sensitive. In the dating app world we call this gaslighting," warns the expert.

If you feel the situation is turning towards gaslighting, communicate it, set boundaries, and see if there are positive changes. Trust your friends and family, don't isolate yourself from them - their support will be crucial.

They seem to live in a fantasy world
Narcissists often tell incredible stories about their work or connections. These stories sound plausible and real, but sometimes you wonder, why would they lie?

"But then if you question the authenticity of such claims it gives an explosive reaction that is not appropriate. Manifesting hopes and dreams is one thing but living a fantasy life that proves to be fictitious is big cause for concern," recommends the expert.

Sometimes the questions you ask might expose the narcissist, and they'll either start stumbling in their answers or take a defensive position.

They turn everything against you
Projection is a clear and direct sign you'll notice right away. A narcissist accuses you of being cold, insensitive, or lacking attention at a time when they are demonstrating all these behaviors towards you.

"If they keep accusing you of upsetting them when in fact there is no basis to their accusations, then you are likely dating a narcissist and should walk away. You can never change them as they see themselves as perfect," warns Tina.

They're the king/queen of the castle
Their ego is off the charts. While many successful people might have slightly inflated egos, narcissists have a god complex. They believe they're special and that no one will ever reach their level.

They'll act through their partner, and when the partner no longer serves their purpose, they'll search for a new one who won't question their lies.

"Find out if you are at the end of a long line of people they have dated. If they keep churning through partners because they clearly can’t keep their ego in their back pocket, accept you are number two and ultimately be prepared emotionally for when they likely cut you off next," explains the expert.

You've stopped listening to your friends
If you show signs of being closed off, your friends will notice it, as narcissists often make us doubt our behavior and ourselves.

"Remember, a classic sign of narcissists is their encouragement for you in any way they can to pull back from your friends or loved ones, all to their own advantage," the expert states.

"'It's normal, especially in early relationships, to spend more time together as a couple as you get to know each other, but have you stopped listening to sound advice from those around you? Have you shut them off? Feel your own behaviour is changing? These are clear warning signs. Friends know us best and if they are true friends only want what is best for us," advises Tina Wilson.

Earlier, we talked about the negative habits that ruin us every day.