5 Signs of Narcissism in Relationships

Narcissism has been the topic of conversation for many people in recent years. While most people believe they know how to spot a narcissist, looks can be deceiving. There are some individuals who appear to be quite charming, charismatic, and ultimately desirable when seeking a significant other, however, their behavior behind closed doors paints an entirely different picture. Fortunately, there are a number of ways a person can spot and identify a narcissistic partner before it’s too late. Read on to find out more about the top five signs of narcissistic behavior in relationships.

1. They May Be Quite Charismatic and Charming

There are several types of narcissism, with malignant narcissism being the most dangerous type when it comes to relationships. Upon introduction, malignant narcissists can be quite charismatic, even appearing to be the “life of the party”. They are usually outgoing and tend to be the center of attention during social situations. For those who are in a relationship with a narcissist, this can be distressing, as what they know behind closed doors is quite the opposite. A person does not knowingly enter into a relationship with a narcissist, rather, they may have been initially attracted to their partner while meeting them in a social situation, where they were drawn to the narcissist’s “public personality.” They are quite different when they are in a relationship “behind closed doors.”

2. They Will “Love Bomb” Their Partner in the Beginning

Narcissists tend to “love bomb” their partner during the first few months of courtship, often showering their partner with gifts, lavish dinners, trips, and affection. They may appear to be the “perfect catch” for the first few months. Slowly, this façade starts to wear away, and the “love bombing” stops once they get their partner to commit to the relationship. This is usually a gradual process and is therefore not obvious to their partner right away. This process may occur over a matter of months or, with married or long-term couples, years.

3. They are Expert “Gaslighters”

The term “Gaslighting” is a relatively new term, however, it goes hand-in-hand with narcissists who are in a relationship. While narcissists can gaslilght their co-workers, family, and friends, the ones who usually bear the brunt of gaslighting tends to be their partner. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation and occurs when a narcissist continuously makes their partner believe that they are losing their mind. This can be through the omission of guilt, turning disagreements around on their partner, lying about the facts around an incident in question, or outright denial. The end goal of the narcissist is to make their partner eventually question their sanity.

4. They Believe They are the Most Important Person in the Room

A narcissist has an overwhelming sense of grandiosity. They will always believe that they are the most important person in the room. Their feelings of superiority suggest they will never apologize for their actions, even if they are in the wrong. Taking accountability for their wrongdoings is impossible, as a true narcissist will never acknowledge fault in any situation. According to a narcissist, anything that goes wrong is the fault of other people, whether it’s at the workplace or in their personal relationships.

5. They Will Isolate Their Partner From Their Family and Friends

When involved in a relationship, narcissists will exhibit abusive tendencies, whether it is emotional, physical, or both. One of the ways in which they are able to exert their dominance over their partner is the purposeful distancing of their partner from their support networks, such as their family and friends. This could entail the physical relocation to a state far away from their partner’s family, or simply controlling their access to transportation by physical or monetary means. This manipulation makes it even more difficult for their partner to reach out for help, or a way out of the relationship.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is one of the most difficult mental health conditions to rehabilitate, according to the DSM-V. For this reason, it is important that people who are looking for a relationship are able to identify the early warning signs of narcissistic behavior. Once a person finds themselves in a long-term relationship with a narcissist, it can be incredibly difficult to leave. By educating oneself self on these behaviors, one is better able to identify a narcissist and spare themselves from hurt and heartache.