Red Flags: How to Tell if Your Significant Other is a Narcissist

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Imagine feeling that someone doesn’t get you. Imagine feeling that that someone doesn’t feel sad whenever you feel sad. Imagine that person talking about themselves all the time… or you start a conversation, only for that person to make that conversation about them instead.

Does this ever feel like your situation?

There is a clear line between self-love and narcissism. When you care for someone, it’s harder to recognize their toxic traits. Many don’t realize they are partners with narcissists, and this needs to change. When you are with an egotistical and greedy partner, your life may take a sharp turn. In order to identify a narcissist, you have to understand the warning signs of that personality disorder.

Here are red flags confirmed by psychologists that are indications of narcissism in your partner:

  1. Neglect

Suppose your significant other chooses not to hang out with you as much as before. Or, they’ve lost joy in being with you. That could be a sign of neglect.

It’s not normal for your significant other to rarely spend time with you. Unless they live far away, or have a hectic schedule, there is no reason for your partner to consistently neglect you. If this is the case in your relationship, your partner could be a narcissist. Neglect proves that your partner has little care for you, and they don’t feel like prioritizing your relationship.

  1. Always Talking About Themselves

What if your partner started bragging about themselves more than usual? Maybe they have a “better job” than you do. Maybe they “look better” than you. Or maybe they “have more money” than you do.

If your partner mostly talks about themselves, then that’s a clear indication of narcissism. Being proud of yourself should only go so far. Healthy partners ask you about your life, and balance out the conversation. If your partner doesn’t care about what you have to say, then it’s time to leave them because nobody deserves that treatment.

  1. No Empathy

Suppose you were going through a horrible, life-altering experience. Maybe there was a death in your family, for example. You’ve known the deceased for years. But what if your partner didn’t show a shred of emotion whenever you open up your feelings to them? Or, they care more about themselves, rather than take the time to comfort you? You yourself would respond with righteous anger, right?

Since narcissists only care about themselves, they lack empathy. For example, let’s say your meeting at work didn’t go well, and you were embarrassed due to being unprepared for a presentation. You describe to your partner everything that happened, and they have no empathy towards you. This reaction isn’t normal. When a partner goes through a tough experience, their significant other should comfort and support them. Even when severe events happen like a family death, a narcissist will still fail to empathize with you.

  1. Outside Appearance

Your partner could be charismatic and charming towards others, while being cold and heartless towards you.

For example, they might be a muscle builder or hot model; and then, out of nowhere, get attention from other people. When you ask why people are all over them, they might shrug it off as getting attention from their “fans.”

Narcissists tend to be popular and have thriving social lives. This is because they want the praise and attention of others for their own benefit. So instead of being a great partner to you, they will treat their peers nicely only to boost their own confidence. If your partner does this, don’t suffer through their egotistical focus to be charming on the outside.

  1. Insecurities

A huge factor that causes people to develop a narcissistic personality disorder is insecurities. Perfection is often the culprit for insecurities, because narcissists want to be “perfect.” Maybe they want the perfect body, or the perfect home or car. Or perhaps, they can’t live without a certain item or job?

The reason why narcissists want to have a wonderful reputation and self-worth is to combat the things they hate about themselves.

If you can tell your partner is battling against their insecurities, but takes their pain out on you, they are likely a narcissist.

  1. Manipulation

Finally, your partner might try to control what you say, and what you do. By restricting you from saying or doing things, narcissists are able to prevent their partner from realizing their true intentions. As a result, many people suffer because they are trapped in toxic relationships.

In order to tell if your partner is manipulating you, reflect on how they have treated you. Maybe they’ve accused you of doing something “wrong” in their eyes. Maybe they made you feel guilty about something? Maybe their “constructive criticism” has turned into ridicule, at some point.

Often, a narcissist will gaslight those around them. Gaslighting is a term that refers to convincing someone who is innocent that what they perceive is wrong. For example, a narcissist may start a fight over a simple thing like you going to hang out with a friend. Due to jealousy, a narcissist will try to convince you that you are selfish for wanting to hang out with your friend. They will continue to bash you and make you feel insecure. This shame causes many victims of narcissism to believe they were in the wrong. So, if you notice that a similar scenario happened in your relationship, understand that it was manipulation done by your partner.

Reflecting on Your Relationship

In reality, you can’t change a person who is narcissistic. It is up to the narcissist themselves to change their ways. If that never happens, then it might be time to move on.

Though, it is likely that you are wondering if your partner is actually a narcissist. If your partner has or is displaying any of these red flags on this list, it’s safe to say that they do suffer from narcissism. Of course, it’s up to you to confront them about your realization. If you don’t want to mistake them for having this disorder, reach out to a mental health professional. Keep your safety a priority, and don’t stay in a relationship where you are treated poorly.

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Project manager Christina Lee works at and Christina covers topics such as marketing news and technologies for services like

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