“Always trust your instincts; they know what they’re on about even when you don’t.”
So many of us will say. I attract narcissists, Or I’m staying single. If that’s genuinely what you want, then stay single, only the other day, my eighteen-year-old asked. “How long were you single after, dad?” It was for five years. I was truly happy and planning on staying single. The ex-husband was what I would personally class as a lower scale narcissist, and then I met the narcissistic sociopath. Mostly from me listening to the words of others saying, get back out there, you’ll meet someone, I’d met a few I just didn’t want to date, then the ex narcissist sociopath came into my life and literally swept me off my feet, my son then asked. “How long have you been single for now?” It’s been two and a half years. My son replied, “being single suits you.” Now that was a compliment I can take as yes it does, yet he did follow with, “perhaps next time don’t take on a toddler in an adults body.” which is also somewhat accurate when referring to a narcissist. I’m happy and grateful to be single, I’m whole, I’m loved, yet I would never say never. So if you want to stay single, stay single. If you’re going to date, then date. It’s your life for you to live how you want to.
First, have an idea of who you are, your standards, values, beliefs, boundaries, hobbies and dreams. Don’t drop them just to be loved by someone else, love who you are. If someone you meet can compromise, that’s perfect. It means they are not a narcissist. You then don’t have to drop them. You can, however, compromise with them. After all, a relationship is give and take if that’s 50/50, then 80/20 so long as it goes back to 50/50 or then 20/80 depending who needs what, so long as it is give and take, finding the compromise.
Red flags don’t have to be a deal-breaker. If you spot one or two, it doesn’t mean they are a narcissist. You don’t need to run for the hills. People can have a trait or two and not be a hurtful, manipulative, narcissistic person. Some people do one or two of these things as it’s simply who they are, some of us at times might do one of these things in a moment, all it means is you might be entertaining the danger zone, so just wake yourself up, be aware and observe their other patterns of their behaviour.
The narcissistic personality disorder is a disorder where people have an exaggerated sense of their own self-importance, a need for admiration and a lack of empathy towards others, and it is on a spectrum. Some are more challenging or harder to spot than others. So here are a few signs.
The biggest red flag is you saying “no” that’s one of the best ways to spot a narcissist, their reactions when you simply don’t want to go out as you’ve got plans, or you don’t want to do something they want you to. I’m not saying say no for the sake of saying no. I mean a genuine “no.” ” sorry, I can not make it tonight; I’ve made plans with a friend.” Be honest. Genuine people will appreciate your honesty, nor let them down consistently. If you’ve made plans with them, be reliable. Narcissistic people will try several things. ( people who don’t have the personality disorder might try “please, it’ll be fun, or how about.” Yet, they’ll not push you, a narcissist will most likely push and push and push. They will as they feel entitled to do what they want when they want with whoever they want. They feel entitled, Important, and they want to control. They want you to give in, So when you say “no”, they will do one or all of these things ask, and ask again, Beg, Manipulate, Bribe, guilt, promises things, sulk, to get what they want, Not usually early on but some might, Silent Treatment (ghosting.) throw things. Most will not let it drop. Even if you stick with your no, they seem just not to let up. This is a big red flag to take the relationship real slow. Like some people who are not narcissistic struggle with the word no, just pay close attention to how they behave in other areas.
You just feel off around them, or on edge around them. Yes, this could be due to past experiences, so you might write those feelings off, override your instincts because of your past, yes this could be down to your history, so what can you do, listen to how they talk about others, listen to the conversation do they continuously want personal information about you, do they want to know all your insecurities and vulnerabilities or are they genuinely interested in you, do they quickly once they have the information they wanted then start to talk about themselves constantly? Are they rude to the staff at restaurants? Again some people are impatient, yet if they make you feel uncomfortable with the way they treat others, you can not change them. It’s who they are, and they are not for you, narcissistic or not, walk away. If they are treating you special yet all others around you poorly, that behaviour will one day be directed towards you. If you just have an uneasy feeling, yet they are kind to all others, take it slow and watch for anything else that makes them narcissistic.
Declaring their love for you, or soulmate status fast, yes two people can meet and fall in love quickly, still, take it slow, if they are right for you, they’ll wait for you, if no other flags showing and you like them date them. If you are just simply not ready, don’t, you’ll know when you are.
Rushing you into sex, or touching you inappropriately, just let them know you don’t like it. Genuine people will respect you for it. Narcissistic people will not let up and keep pressuring you. If they keep pressuring you, it’s time to walk away. Even if there are no other red flags, you should always feel respected. They have a right to want sex, and you have every reason not to until you are ready.
Your social media gets plastered with things from them, either how special you are, photos of what you’re up to, whatever it is they are putting something, some might not do this, depending on who else they are with, or how many they are with, how many social media accounts they actually have. If you meet someone who does, they could genuinely mean it. Without the other traits, just watch for patterns in behaviour.
Flattery, constantly messaging, flattery is when they make a generalisation about you, not really knowing you. They are extreme in the compliments they pay you. Messaging all the time, so we become reliant on these messages, songs, “this is our song.” that song then just goes round in your head, when it all stops we then question why? Some people enjoy complimenting others, and it’s usually done to make others feel good, not meet their own needs, or having “our song.” So don’t panic if someone does these things without any other red flags. Again just take it at a pace you feel comfortable with, genuine people will walk with you.
Speaking very poorly of all the ex’s, especially the parent of their children, resentment towards ex’s or family members, parents or siblings, now most of us can all have a negative ex or two, when every single ex was crazy, drama, or all the ex’s fault, it’s most likely not the ex’s with the problem, you’re now dating the problem, some of us do have toxic parents, but watch how they speak about negative people in their past if they blame them or are resentful towards them, show no respect for them, this is a red flag, it could be they’ve not truly Healed especially if it’s only one person from the past they are resentful towards when there’s a few, there’s a problem. They can say things like my parents, and I don’t get along, they did their best, and I respect them for that, I just prefer to love them from a distance, or my ex and I were just not right for each other if they are full of anger, resentment. It’s all their fault woe is me, especially towards ex’s, start paying very close attention to how they speak of others. Are they jealous? Full of self-pity? Do they admit to any part they played?
Putting others down, or putting you down. Not always in obvious direct ways. Sometimes point out what you’ve done that others have also done. Things like ”can you believe they were so stupid.” or ”that’s a dumb move.” Then if questioned, saying things like. ” I was only joking.” or ”don’t be so sensitive.” narcissists have very low self-esteem. Not that they want others to know this, they feel better about themselves by putting all others around down, to lift themselves up. Now some great caring people have low self-esteem most of these people try to raise others up as they know how it feels, as a narcissist is all about self they don’t care for how someone else would feel only themselves, some people might make the mistakes of the odd remark, but they’ll not criticise anyone and everyone they can. If a narcissist gets criticism even if it’s meant with good intentions, or even if you didn’t mean to criticise them at all, they could not handle it. Narcissistic people hate criticism towards themselves as they believe they are above all others. Most people can say things that get taken out of context by another person from time to time. If this happens to ask the person what they meant if they are willing to discuss, help, explain it was a genuine error if they project, blame-shift. Turn it onto you, change the subject you’re most likely dealing with a narcissist, look at how they speak about others. If you unintentionally criticise someone or offer advice, watch how they handle it, switching it onto you, sulking etc. We can all have our feelings hurt and not know what words to say. Good people, when ready, will be willing to discuss. Narcissistic people will be waiting for you to beg, plead and do all you can to make it up to them.
Drama, when they blame all others for the drama within theirs lives, drama with family, with friends, at work, with ex’s, most likely these are the very people creating the scene and carry it into all areas of their lives and they will bring toxic drama into yours. There’s always some form of drama, and it’s never ever their fault. Those who never admit fault are those you don’t want to be around. Some people find it hard admitting fault, without other traits if you can live with that for the rest of your life date them it’s your life if they don’t push the blame onto you or others, then they just don’t like admitting to their faults, side note, they will not like you pointing them out either.
When they seem too good to be true, and everything is perfect. Not everything is ever perfect, yet they make you feel like it is, and your instincts are just telling you something feels off. You’re not sure what. You cannot put your finger on it, yet something just isn’t right. Always trust your intuition.
Drugs, alcohol, gambling or major addictions, if they can not control themselves and are reliant upon drugs, alcohol, etc., you can not help them, raise your standards and walk away. They will only bring you down, and you have to have superpowers in strength to be around these people.
If they are always letting you down, rescheduling things and leaving you feeling disappointed, this is who they are, and you’ll spend your entire relationship feeling let down and disappointed. Breaking agreements or arrangements with you or those around them, not showing up on time, now people that just run late, run late, without other behaviours it’s who they are, it’s not meant negative or nasty, they just run late, if you can accept them for who they are, knowing it’s precisely why they do then that’s great if someone continually lets others down or you, that behaviour will continue and is going to frustrate you further in the relationship don’t accept that relationship.
Build up your own self-esteem. After being around narcissistic people, our own self-esteem and self-love can take a massive hit, often from the constant negative words being planted in our minds from the narcissist, those seeds of self-doubt that, with added words, they’ll help us grow them our confidence is slowly driven out and shattered. Building ourselves back up to shield us from further invasion of narcissistic people helps. Being confident and building up your own self-esteem will not solve all situations in life. It’ll definitely help you move through them and walk away from those who serve you in negative ways, people who do have good self-esteem still have bad days and moments.
Most people don’t like learning to be more confident after a narcissistic relationship, believing that they are turning into a narcissist, often putting ourselves down to avoid becoming the type of person that put us down because we know it hurts.
Being confident doesn’t make you a narcissist.
A narcissist is arrogant, and they have an exaggerated sense of self and their abilities.
Confidence, faith or belief that if you try your best, the potential is there. You can learn and develop your own skill sets and abilities.
Confidence isn’t something you just have, it’s something you create. It’s not to put others down, that would be arrogance, and what narcissistic people do, they put others down and are arrogant, self-serving people. Inner confidence is to raise yourself up and help raise those around you.
Narcissistic people will put others down for how they dress to feel better about themselves. Confident people dress how they feel good and compliment how others dress. Even if it doesn’t match their style, they can recognise it looks good on someone else.
Narcissistic people put down other achievements and exaggerate their own.
Confident people help others achieve know they are not perfect and do their personal best to achieve.
Arrogant, narcissistic people believe they know it all.
Confident people don’t believe they know it all. They feel no matter what the situation, they’ll be able to learn from mistakes to achieve the desired outcome with good intentions towards themselves and others.
Creating your self-confidence and building your self-esteem isn’t a must, so narcissistic people no longer take you down with them. Confidence helps you attract the right people and avoid the wrong people.
If you doubt your own abilities, which most of us do after being around narcissists, it limits our beliefs within ourselves, confidence isn’t going to come easily, yet if you work on it, you will achieve it. Believing in yourself, accepting and learning from mistakes helps you grow, knowing we all make mistakes and it’s ok to learn from them and go again, believing that so long as you keep going to get the desired outcome and focus on the outcome, you have the ability to find a way.
Changing your inner thoughts, so when you think you can not do something, start telling yourself you can, look for those things you are good at and have achieved.
Dress to make yourself feel good, walk tall, smile more, make eye contact, visualise your goals and outcomes, switch the what could go wrong and focus on what could go right.
Be who you want to be, good intentions there’s no wrong way or right way, just your way.
The more you create inner confidence, the more you believe in yourself and the easier it becomes.
When you are having doubts in your own abilities, look for a time in your past you made a choice to go and do something, and you achieved it. Remember that you are capable and bring it into your present moment.
Change one thing for you, and it can change everything for you
Most of us a taught to love others, few of us are taught to love ourselves, we need it’s a must to love ourselves first. When on that plane, you are instructed to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, this isn’t to be negative or selfish, and this isn’t to save yourself and leave others to it. This is so you’re at your best possible version of yourself so that you can give the best possible version of yourself to others.
Once you create who you are, love who you are, taking care of yourself and your needs in positive ways, trust your intuition, trust your inner voice, what is it really telling you, you’ll adapt yourself in ways you never knew where possible. When you see what is possible, you’ll keep on growing, keep on learning and keep on giving the best of you to those who deserve you.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
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