How can you tell if you are dating a narcissist?

In college a friend of mine had shared with me that her boyfriend was very upset with her because she showed up at a party that she was invited to by him, apparently she was not supposed to be there at the party. When she reached there she was welcomed with cold vibes and passive aggressive behavior from him. After the party she encountered rage from him because she chose to attend the party. Anyway, this left her feeling hurt, confused and to some extend she blamed herself thinking she should have known better.

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We have all come across people with toxic behavior and narcissistic traits, but might not have categorized them as one. Here are a few reminders, remember that guy you went on a date with who could not stop talking about himself. By the end of the date you knew his life story but he knew nothing about you, because he never asked or showed interest in knowing about you. And that relationship where you were scared of expressing your needs and true feelings to your partner as they were always turning them into you being needy and not supportive of them.

In a healthy relationship there is a sense of safety and security. There is a sense of predictability, boundaries are respected and both individuals make space for each other in their lives. They have conflicts and disagreements, are not scared of expressing themselves and their needs. Maintaining a relationship is not easy and requires hard work, dedication, trust, loyalty and veracity. A healthy relationship helps you grow and embrace yourself for who you are.

Relationship with a toxic person in the opposite of a healthy relationship, it’s very unpredictable. It leaves an individual feeling anxious. These relationships come with a lot of chaos. There are highs and lows of emotions. You feel like you are losing your sense of self. You have no awareness of what you like or dislike anymore. Somehow it becomes about meeting the needs of the narcissistic partner. I have found people asking questions like, “what happened to me?, How did this happen? How did he change so much? Sometimes it’s so great with him,I wish it was always like that, Some say, I didn’t want to come across as the crazy girlfriend.”

It’s difficult to just rely on people’s traits to tell if the person you are interacting with has a pattern of toxic behavior or not. The one person you can rely on in this situation is yourself. Being attuned to your feelings, listening to your intuitions and not allowing your brain to find excuses for their behavior.

Try to be mindful of the following question:

Do you feel like this person has a constant need for attention, needs to feel admired and flattered?

Do you find yourself feeling that you don’t get much attention in the relationship and even if you do the intensity of attention is much less than the kind you provide?

Do you find yourself making sure everything is done the way they want to, to avoid conflict?

Do you feel like you cannot stand up for yourself or express your needs, every time you do that it’s somehow turned against you?

Do you feel like there is a disconnect between what they say and do?

Does interaction with this person leave you feeling confused and make you doubt yourself?

Do you find yourself thinking, where do you stand in this relationship?

Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells around your partner?

Do you feel exhausted from the amount of energy this relationship requires, do you feel drained?

Do you feel disappointed and withhold your opinion as you know they will not be valued and your partner will always differ from your opinions?

Relationships are reciprocal, we receive and give love, attention and care. A secure relationship makes us feel like someone has our back. We feel safe, we can be our authentic self and feel accepted for who we are. It’s important that we are cognizant of our instincts and listen to what our emotions are trying to communicate to us. Believe in your inner wisdom.