Man Having Argument With Woman

If you’ve ever been in an abusive relationship, you’re well aware that it can be both physical and emotional (even financial). Unfortunately, for many women (and men), we often don’t see the signs until it’s too late. In fact, what lies behind a mask of ultra-attractive confidence, lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism – and highly dependent on admiration. So, how does one differentiate between a narcissist and one displaying overt confidence? Here are 7 tell-tale signs you’re dating a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

They’re extremely charming.

According to Psychology Today, narcissistic personality disorder involves “arrogant behavior” and is often described as cocky, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. A narcissist is convinced they “deserve special treatment.” So, it’s likely they charm the pants right off of you. They are the true definition of a “sales man,” knowing exactly what to say and when to say it, in order to get what they want.

They shower you with compliments…at first.

You’re the best thing since sliced bread in the beginning. They’ll build you up to gain your trust. But, behind all the sweet nothings, is a hint of “what’s in it for me?” His/Her restless praise (delivered charismatically, of course) may begin to make you uncomfortable and have you questioning their motives.

They lack empathy.

Don’t waste your time expressing your opinion. A narcissist will simply shoot you down, as they’re incapable of understanding that feelings exist (outside their own) or why you may be hurt. He/she may be bold enough to call you “sensitive,” or “weak” and advise you to “learn how to take a joke.”

On the flip side, his/her ego needs to be stroked at all times. Neglecting to do so is like stealing candy from a baby – expect one hell of a tantrum!

They thrive on control.

They’re a control freak. Don’t bother making plans for dinner, dates, holidays, or life in general. A narcissist is likely to talk you out of anything and everything that doesn’t meet their needs and/or wants.

Rules are to be challenged; boundaries broken.

They are above the law in every way and have a real issue with authority. Whether at work, in-home, or school, their innate sense of superiority means they regard boundaries as a challenge and find joy in manipulating the restrictions placed on them. In other words, “no” is not part of their vocabulary. So expect a fight around each and every corner.

Everyone either loves them or is jealous of them.

The opposite sex finds them irresistible or is viewed as below them. Either way, if you don’t adore them or accept their advances, then you’re a hater! Sometimes the narcissist will punish their naysayers by spreading rumors or trying to embarrass them publicly.

They have a long history of infidelity or bad break-ups.

Nothing is ever their fault. They have a lengthy history of infidelity – onset by a lack of control, desire for constant affirmation they’re God’s gift to the world, or simply because their better half won’t bend to their will. Often times they may voice that their previous relationship failed because their ex didn’t “pay enough attention” to them or there were “trust issues.” But don’t expect him/her to be forthcoming about said unfaithfulness. Chances are you’ll stumble upon it before he/she comes clean.

It’s Confirmed: Now What?

If you find yourself in a relationship with someone with narcissistic personality disorder, don’t hold you’re breath waiting for them to change. Trying to appeal to their sense of reason likely won’t work either. There are various coping strategies you can employ to manage being with them, but ultimately, it’s in your best interest to leave this toxic relationship.

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