Could Mr. or Ms. Wonderful Actually be a Narcissist?

What Are the Red Flags?

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You are a caring, compassionate, kind-hearted person. You may work as a healer, teacher, nurse, caregiver, or another helping profession.

All your life, you’ve longed for a loving relationship but haven’t found it, yet.

You may have been raised in a dysfunctional family. Maybe when one or both of your parents reprimanded you, they might have said something like, “I am only doing this (spankings, removing privileges, or withholding love – silent treatment) because I love you.” As a result, as a young child, the love/abuse signals got cross-wired in your brain.

You’ve just found someone who sweeps you off your feet. Maybe you met online or maybe s/he’s someone you met in your daily travels. They might be a neighbor; someone you know and trust. They are charismatic, sexually attractive, and love excitement. They are thrilling to be with, and best of all are 100% into you!

You click immediately. They say they have the same interests as you. They agree with you on many different things. Just like you, they have either had a tough childhood or a string of bad relationships. In hearing that, you open your heart wide and take them in. You enjoy the attention – the constant texts, calls, and video chats. Before you know it, you are together every day. When they are away from you, they want to know where you are, and what you’re doing at all times. But they may not be as forthcoming. You don’t think anything of it. You are happy to have finally found someone who is ‘into you’. It’s refreshing. And you enjoy the constant attention. At least in the beginning.

Before long you may begin to feel this behavior is a bit stifling and a little controlling. When you mention that you need some space, or try to keep your whereabouts private, they criticize you with phrases like, “You don’t love me as much I love you.” Or, “Oh I see, that’s how it’s going to be.” Then they pout. Or, they may go silent. Maybe they withdraw completely for weeks. You are left confused. You may reach out desperately trying to figure out what happened. They don’t respond. When they reappear, they say they needed to get their head clear to be with you, the one they love with all their heart.

You try to make it better by giving in to their needs, wants, and desires.

You make excuses for their behaviors – if they are angry, withdrawn, or give you the silent treatment you tell yourself, “They’re having a bad day,” or “They’re adjusting to this deep soulful relationship we have,” or “Their job/ex/child/family (whoever/whatever) is hard on them, and I just need to be better, and easier to be with, and love them unconditionally.”

As time goes by you may notice gaps in their stories. Something doesn’t sit right. Your gut tells you something is off. When you question them, they give you an answer that seems valid enough, even though your intuition continues to nag you.

These may be behaviors of a narcissist.

Beware of the Two Types of Narcissists – Overt & Covert:

Did you know there are two types of narcissists? Yes, there are! And, they operate entirely different. If you have ever experienced an overt narcissist, you may think you know the “Red Flags” of narcissists. Not so quick!

Knowing the behaviors of one type does not mean you will notice the red flags of the other.

The ‘overt narcissist’ – comes on strong, is charismatic, is a great lover, needs to be with you 100% of the time. When their mask comes off, they show their controlling, manipulative, argumentative, and abusive side.

The ‘covert narcissist’ is the “nice guy/girl” that everyone loves. They tell great stories and make everyone laugh. However, behind that bubbly, nice-person exterior, they are deceptive, calculating, and cunning. They study their target and pounce when it is least expected. They may steal from you, and may even plan to kill you – all while smiling and appearing to be in love with you.

Both types of narcissists may abuse physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and/or financially.

What to Do If You Have or Are Experiencing Narcissistic Abuse:

1) Know you are not to blame for their bad behaviors. Nothing you did or did not do is the reason for their behaviors. Read that again.

2) Know that they stole your innocence. You believe in the goodness of all people. And they took advantage of that. It’s not your fault.

3) You are a good person who was targeted by a person with narcissistic tendencies (whether or not diagnosed). You did not attract this, you were targeted.

4) You believed in their potential. You saw the light of their soul, not their flawed personality. It’s not your fault.

5) Know that no matter what your experience and talents are – you might be a psychologist, you cannot fix them.

6) They will never return to being the nice guy/girl they were at the beginning of the relationship. It’s not your fault.

7) You deserve to be treated better.

8) You deserve love. Start with you. Self-love is the key to experiencing loving relationships with others.

9) Do what you need to do to keep yourself safe. Find help.

Call the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Or visit their website: www.thehotline.org


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