Narcissism is a real personality disorder that seems to be affecting more and more people as the years go by.
The problem though, is that it can be hard to tell a narcissistic person from someone who just has a lot of confidence, well it is, at least at first.
However, over time a narcissist ends up giving themselves away, through their behaviour and their apparent lack of empathy.
Don’t forget that a narcissist is someone who worships himself or herself, someone who thinks they’re the best at everything, so of course, you are going to be able to pick up on it very soon.
16 signs you’re in a narcissistic relationship
If you’re worried that you might be in a narcissistic relationship with your girlfriend or boyfriend, or even your spouse, then here are 16 signs to see, and a few questions you need to ask yourself.
#1 Do you feel like you are being used?
A common symptom of being in a narcissistic relationship is feeling like you’re being used. You might feel like you are underappreciated by your partner, or that they use you as their step up.
This is so common in narcissistic relationships because a narcissist’s number one priority is themselves, nothing else even comes close. This means they will always make sure they are okay and they will do whatever it takes to feel good about themselves, but they won’t go to those same extremes for anyone else. This often will leave the other partner feeling used, because essentially, they are being used! [Read: Should you make someone a priority when you’re only an option to them?]
#2 Do you feel like they overvalued you at first, but then you quickly become undervalued?
By this I mean, did they at first treat you like the world revolved around you? Did they make you feel like you were really special? Then after a while, did this change? Did they start to treat you like they were doing you a favour by being with you? These are all common occurrences in a narcissistic relationship.
A narcissist surrounds themselves with people they consider to be special and above the rest, but over time these people disappoint the narcissist as it’s impossible to live up to their shining standards. Once you have disappointed them, you become much less interesting to them. [Read: 16 reasons why people find it so easy to take you for granted over time]
#3 Did they get under your skin?
Narcissists convey a huge amount of confidence, far more than the average person would dare to have, and because of this, it can be easy for them to get under your skin. If a person conveys that much confidence, then it tricks your brain into wanting to find out why they have this high sense of self-pride.
They must be really great if they are that confident, right? This is how narcissists work, they trick people into thinking they’re brilliant, they make people want to get to know them, and they make sure the world revolves around them.
#4 Do they take hourly selfies of themselves?
A really easy way to pick out a narcissist is to look at their online profiles on social media. How have they talked about themselves, do they post numerous pictures of themselves every day, that are clearly taken by them? People always want to present their best sides online, but a narcissist takes it one step further, they aren’t just telling a few white lies, they make themselves seem perfect in every way, several times a day!
#5 Do they spend a lot of time at the gym?
Okay, not every gym addict is a narcissist, however you can normally pick out those who are. The narcissist doesn’t go to the gym to keep fit, they go to make sure they look better than everybody else. They will take any chance they get to show off their hard work and if the situation doesn’t arise, then they will make it.
They will often bring up in conversation how many sit ups they did, or how far they ran for, just so they can be complimented by the listener, and feel better about themselves.
#6 Do they always turn the conversation onto themselves?
Everyone likes to talk about themselves on the occasion but a narcissist takes it to another level. It doesn’t matter what you are talking about, they will always manage to turn the conversation onto them, and their own issues.
For example, if your friend is going through a break up, your narcissistic partner won’t ask your friend how they are doing, instead they will talk about a bad break up that they had. If you are thinking about skydiving for charity, then they won’t ask you about it, they will instead think of something equally as awesome that they did, and they will tell you about it. [Read: 10 signs to recognize a selfish person and 5 steps to cut yourself off of them]
#7 Do you feel like you have ever had their empathy?
This is a really good way of telling if you are in a narcissistic relationship or not, because a narcissist is incapable of empathy. That really isn’t a joke, they are incapable of putting themselves into anyone else’s shoes but their own.
Ask yourself this, the last big challenge you had to face, did your partner support you through it? If the answer is no, then there is a good chance you are in a narcissistic relationship. [Read: 5 lessons to deal with judgmental people with no empathy]
#8 Are they always focused on themselves?
Has your partner ever focused on something that didn’t directly involve them? Have they ever reached out to help someone, when there was nothing in it for them? If the answer is no, then you should know by now that you are likely to be in a narcissistic relationship.
The fact is that a narcissist only focuses on himself or herself, and if they do something for someone else, then it’s because they are getting something in return!
#9 Does your partner seem picky about his or her friends?
A narcissist surrounds themselves with only people they think are worthy. In a way, they only become friends with people they deem special enough, and this means that they will be picky over the people they chose to spend their time with. You might find as well that all your partner’s friends look up to them, in a way that feeds your partner’s ego.
#10 How does your partner react to their pride being hit?
Most people don’t deal well with their pride being hit, but a narcissist can’t deal with it at all. You see, underneath all the confidence that a narcissist spews out, there isn’t a confident person. That’s why they go to such extremes to make sure they surround themselves with people who stroke their ego.
And that’s why they always talk about themselves, to protect themselves from the truth. In a way, they are trying to trick themselves into believing that they really are that great. [Read: 15 types of toxic relationships you need to watch out for]
#11 Has your relationship ever been threatened because of your partner’s pride?
Really think about it, think about all the arguments that you have had with your partner. How many of them have been because you had stepped on your partner’s pride?
Perhaps, you made a joke that they took offense to or perhaps you might have told them that they did something wrong. A narcissist needs to be around people who feed their egos, and if they don’t feel like you are doing that, then they will feel there is no choice for them, but to leave you. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t even know it!]
#12 Do they tend to take things further than most?
Again, this is similar to the last question. When you argue with your partner, do they tend to take things further than you would? Are they always threatening to leave unless you see things from their side, do they always make sure that you are left in the wrong? These are typical signs of a narcissist, and it is not healthy for a person to be made to feel wrong when they are not.
#13 Can your partner accept responsibility for things they have done?
If your partner does something wrong, can they accept responsibility for it? Often, you will find with narcissists that they cannot accept when they are in the wrong, they are convinced that nothing is ever their fault.
They will twist and contort situations in any way they can to make sure that they escape the blame. And the scary thing is that they won’t realize they are doing it. To them, they really are the innocent party! [Read: 12 subtle signs you’re being manipulated in your relationship]
#14 Can your partner become volatile when challenged?
There will always be bad fights in a relationship, but how bad do yours get and how easily do they get there? It’s quite common with people who have a narcissistic personality disorder to easily flip off the handle.
I don’t mean that they will get overly violent, but you might find that they punch walls or throw things when they feel like they are losing the argument. They will also be able to give you several excuses once they have calmed down, as to why they thought it was okay to behave in such a way.
#15 Does your partner always play the victim?
Is your partner always the victim, no matter what? This is again another really common sign of narcissism. It’s the inability to accept that they are not perfect.
They will go to extremes to explain why they were the victim and although sometimes they might seem unbelievable to you, your partner will believe them fully, and may find it annoying that you can’t see from their perspective. [Read: 16 signs your partner or a friend is an attention whore]
#16 Is your partner controlling and demanding?
If your partner tries to control what you do or demands that you do things differently, then there is a good chance they are narcissistic. A narcissist believes that their way is best and anything else is just wrong! [Read: 16 ways to deal with a controlling partner in the most efficient manner]
So are you dating or married to a narcissist?
If your partner has some or many of the signs I have highlighted above, then there is a good chance that you are in a narcissistic relationship. Your next step is up to you and the only person who can know whether you’re happy or not is you.
You do however need to consider whether or not you can live with a person like your partner on a long term basis, because it won’t be them that changes, it will be you.
[Read: The 12 real signs of true love in a relationship]
You need to remember that a narcissist lover isn’t necessarily a bad person, they just love themselves and care for themselves above and beyond everyone else. So if you do see these signs in your relationship, you need to ask yourself, can you spend your life around such a person?
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