Realizing your partner is a narcissist is a terrible experience.
It tears your heart apart between the feelings you still have for them, and the shocking realization you need to get out of this relationship as soon as possible.
However, sometimes the situation can turn out to be fixable. That’s where the hardest part comes – figuring out whether your partner is a real narcissist, or just has some narcissistic features that can be overcome.
Here are 10 signs your partner is a narcissist.
If you have seen the majority of these signs in your partner, chances are you are in a relationship with a narcissist.
1. It’s all about them.
Narcissists love to talk about themselves. They are masters of turning every single conversation in a monologue about their personal life experiences. It’s most probably a result of their constant need for attention and admiration. Being coupled up with such a self-centered person means that every single conversation, decision, opinion, choice, is going to be about them or based on their own preferences. And if your partner is a skillful manipulator, which most narcissists are, they would often convince you it was your choice too, even though you may have wanted exactly the opposite.
2. They are charming in the most toxic way.
At first, they appear to be the most adorable, considerable, thoughtful human beings on Earth. They shower you with compliments, support your ideas, and make you believe that anything is possible. They lift your spirits like no one else before. But this affection eventually turns into indifference, especially when you refuse to give them something they want. The second you choose not to play by their rules, all the tenderness fades away and gets replaced by apathy. It almost feels like they have different personalities. One minute, they could treat you like the most special person in this world, and the next, they could act as if you don’t even exist. That’s a classic case of split personalities.
3. They know no boundaries.
Narcissists tend to break rules and cross boundaries just for fun. They perceive life as one big game where the rules are meant to be broken, and limits are only in people’s imagination. Sadly, this attitude has nothing to do with pure bravery and a lot to do with low moral values. Their reckless behavior often includes breaking promises, which is detrimental when it comes to relationships.
4. They isolate you from your friends and family.
As already mentioned, narcissists are experienced manipulators. One of their most-used manipulative tactics is isolation. They would often force their partners to cut off all of their other contacts, including close friends and family members. That way, they assure themselves they would get all of your attention, and your energy will be entirely focused on no one else but them.
5. They don’t care about your feelings.
One of the most common traits of narcissists is that they almost never take your feelings into consideration. On the rare occasions that they do consider your emotions, it’s only because it suits their plans. Even if they sometimes appear to be caring, and insist on listening to your problems, this behavior is provoked by nothing but their need for attention. Simply put, they want to be wanted. So, if listening to you sharing things they couldn’t care less about will make you crave them, they would absolutely do it. However, they would still make decisions based only on their personal preferences, even though you’re a couple.
6. They find it extremely hard to open up.
Fear, insecurity, shame, anxiety – these are all emotions that lie underneath a narcissist’s shell. Letting someone in and showing them their true colors is one of the most difficult things these individuals can imagine. That’s because they have a severe need to feel superior to others. Breaking the walls around their real feelings and emotions will make them vulnerable and weak. Or at least, that’s what they’re convinced in. While they do crave attention, the second you get too close, they push you away.
7. They never take responsibility.
Somehow, whatever you argue about, even when they have started the fight, or they have done something wrong, narcissists always know how to get away with it. Whether it’s going to be blame-shifting or another dishonest strategy, these toxic beings have no problem twisting your reality so they would turn out innocent.
8. They make you doubt yourself.
If your partner has a narcissistic personality, they are probably often making you believe you’re crazy, or you didn’t fully understand a certain situation. This way, they make you doubt your own thoughts and beliefs, which eventually breaks your whole reality into pieces. Also known as ‘gaslighting’, it’s a slow process where the initiator plants seeds of doubt and patiently waits for them to grow until they gain full control over your mind.
9. They are disturbingly attracted to money and power.
Narcissists don’t only want attention and admiration – they want to have it all. Money, power, admirers, status, success are only some of the things egocentric beings are obsessed with. So, if your significant other is one, most of their goals and dreams will be about leadership, control over large groups of people, and earning insane amounts of money.
10. They would pull and push you as they please.
At first, they would pull you into their world with an unimaginable force. They would draw all of you into their reality and will use every single bit of your energy, making you believe they have deep feelings for them. But the second they get bored of you or have no use of your attention anymore, they would just as easily push you away. However, if you choose to let go of them before they make that decision, they would use every single tactic they know to get you back.
How to deal with a narcissistic partner?
To begin with, the first and most crucial step you need to take if you have found out that your partner is a narcissist is to educate yourself. You need to learn how their mind works and what makes them behave that way. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to determine your next move.
After you gain enough knowledge on the narcissist’s psyche, it’s time for you to decide whether you’re going to stay with them and try to help them change their behavior, or you’ll let go of them and move on. Convincing a narcissist they need help is going to be extremely challenging, but it’s not impossible. The same thing goes for leaving them.
Finally, whatever path you choose to take, you will need to be prepared for the consequences. Just remember, you always have a choice.