In the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist, it can be hard to look back and blame yourself for not recognizing the red flags in time.
And despite them being in plain sight, you wonder how you did not identify the gaslighting or the love-bombing.
There are, however, difficult to notice signs that narcissists will exhibit at the start of a relationship. Once you have been in contact with such an individual, it is easier to spot the red flags as long as you are paying close attention.
But what are the not so visible signs that a person could potentially be a narcissist?
1. They don’t accept criticism
Narcissists think they are on top of everyone else so they are not going to accept any advice from anyone, even if it is their boss at work. They cannot be schooled about how to do their job properly, or anything else for that matter, because they already know, or at least they think they do.
Even though narcissists want to be in charge, they always avoid taking responsibility for their actions – unless of course, everything works out for them. When things don’t go their way and they are called out on their actions, the narcissist puts the blame on you. It just has to be somebody else’s fault. Sometimes the blame might take a more general turn – all cops, all managers, all teachers, all Conservatives, and so on. However, most often, the narcissist will blame the person who is most emotionally close to them – namely you. In order to keep their cover of perfection, narcissists usually blame someone or something else. You are the safest bet because you are least likely to reject them or tell them what they don’t want to hear.
3. They lack empathy
The inability to put one’s self in another person’s shoes is one of the trademark characteristics of the narcissist. They lack the skill to make you feel understood or accepted because they cannot grasp the concept of feelings.
Basically, the don’t deal with emotions that don’t belong to them. Their inability to empathize is the common reason why most narcissists’ relationships, eventually fall apart, both romantic and non-romantic.
4. Emotional reasoning
You’ve most likely made the mistake of trying to reason with a narcissist in order to make them understand the hurtful effects their behavior has on you. You think that if only you can make them understand how much pain they’ve caused you, they’ll change. However, your efforts are in vain, because the narcissist is only aware of their own thoughts and feelings. And even though they may say they totally understand you, in reality, they don’t. Hence, they make all their decisions based on how they feel about something. They always look for anything but themselves to solve their needs and feelings.
5. A strong need for control
Instead of expressing their needs or preferences, narcissists often arrange events (or maneuver people) to orchestrate the outcomes they wish for. This controlling behavior can even manifest in abuse.
Be wary of anyone who leaves you feeling anxious about approaching topics or sharing your own viewpoints. Narcissists have a way of making certain things feel off-limits without showing any visible anger – a disapproving facial expression, a last-minute breakdown of plans, or chronic lateness whenever you try to arrange a night out.
None of these individual signs proves that you are living with a narcissist.
But if you see more than one of them manifested in your partner it is best to stay alert.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you enjoyed the read.