9 Signs You're A Victim Of Narcissistic Abuse (& Stuck In A Toxic Relationship)

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9 Warning Signs Your Partner is a Narcissistic Abuser
Self, Heartbreak

Watch out for these red flags.

You know that icky feeling you get, following yet another high-drama argument with your narcissist partner on the same issue for the thirty-seventh time and you just know, deep down in the pit of your gut, that something is terribly wrong with this person?

People often have this gut instinct early on in a relationship but will try to talk themselves into ignoring it. Big mistake. That deep-seated feeling is your wise inner voice that says, this relationship isn't normal, this person refuses accountability for their actions, and how can I possibly be to blame for everything?

RELATED: There Are 3 Types Of Narcissists — Here's How To Spot Each One

"Narcissistic abuse" is a form of emotional and psychological abuse inflicted by a person with character traits consistent with Narcissistic Personality Disorders (NPD), or other related personality disorders (Borderline, Anti-Social, Psychopathy).

While people may not fit all of the criteria for a true diagnosis of narcissism, they may still display a number of narcissistic traits. 

Here are 9 signs you're dealing with narcissistic abuse in your toxic relationship.

1. Your partner lacks empathy and is extremely selfish.

If your partner seems to habitually disregard your needs and feelings there is a good chance they just don’t care about you, because their only true goal in life is, "what can you do for me?"

Low empathy goes hand-in-hand with the ability to use others for personal gain. If behaving in a kind and generous way toward you results in some kind of benefit for them, they will do it.

This contradictory behavior undoubtedly leaves you feeling absolutely bewildered because you come to the realization that they do, in fact, know how to behave, but are deliberately choosing not to.

2. Your partner is arrogant and egotistical.

If your partner has the expectation that they are viewed and treated as superior — with or without accomplishments — it’s pretty likely there’s something not right there. They might exaggerate their achievements or even make their hero stories up altogether.

Interestingly, they may seek out other people who they believe are equally exceptional because anything less would be unworthy of them and all of their self-aggrandized supremacy — all the while seething with resentment toward them.

3. Your partner has an insatiable need for approval and reverence.

If you notice a pattern of your partner needing you to constantly stroke their ego and tell them they are genius, smoking hot, and are, of course, more talented than everyone else at everything, it is quite likely you have wondered, could you remember this ego boost for longer than twenty minutes before you need another compliment?

It is quite likely that they are also fixated on illusions of power, status, authority, intellect and other externally focused qualities because they need to feed their hollow need for significance.

4. Your partner asserts power and dominance.

Narcissists have a fragile sense of self and because of these deep-rooted feelings of weakness, they overcompensate by being power/control freaks.

They often seek jobs and relationships in their life where they are in a position of power, where they can justifiably force others to do things their way, or have influence over situations, as a way to reinforce their continual need for proving their self-importance.

Sadly, they may seek out partners who are strong, enjoying the challenge of "breaking" them down.

5. Your partner has an overinflated sense of entitlement.

Does your partner demand and expect they deserve immediate, unquestioning and automatic compliance? Do they feel slighted if they perceive life as difficult, as if they were owed something special? Do they feel entitled to respect, love and compassion but don’t feel responsible to extend the same courtesy to others?

If this is the case — it’s not just a bad attitude, it’s an attitude that has turned malignant.

RELATED: 8 Signs You're In Love With A Narcissist Who Specializes In Deep Emotional Abuse

6. Your partner feels resentment and envy at the success of other people. 

This follows along with their entitled outlook on life. They may see another person’s accomplishment as a threat to their superiority and feel competitive toward them. They are often petty, childish and jealous because they see other people as competition.

Due to this faulty mindset, they also believe others are jealous of them.

7. Your partner is vindictive, aggressive, and moody.

When individuals are resentful and entitled and have a corresponding immature emotional development, they tend to behave in predictable patterns of unpredictability. Like Jekyll and Hyde, their behavior fluctuates widely (and often quickly) between normal and outright reprehensible.

They’re often passive-aggressive, moody, whiny, see themselves as the victim, and busy themselves with plotting and exacting revenge on others, and enjoy lashing out. All of these traits lead back to your inner voice screaming in your head, what in the world is wrong with this person?

8. Your partner is defensive and hypersensitive.

Narcissists are unable to accept criticism and they tend to view any feedback as threatening and insulting.

If you notice your partner is overly upset when you offer the slightest suggestion contrary to what they have said, are overly annoyed if you give them feedback, or even fly into a rage if you outright disagree with them, you know you are dealing with someone who is undeniably toxic.

9. Your partner has a shifting personality.

This is the basis of a poorly formed sense of self and is usually displayed in behavior such as kindness followed by cruelty and shifting opinions.

If you’ve experienced the utter frustration of being with someone who presents themselves as having solid (even over-inflated) opinions that are presented as true convictions one minute, but then present a contradicting opinion hours or minutes later, you know this character deficit is truly extraordinary.

Their chosen persona is often based on the situation, in terms of the company they are in, what their goal is (admiration, stirring the pot, or sounding educated) and how they are going to benefit from the "character" they take on at that given moment.

If your partner has any of these nine traits, warning bells should be going off in your head. You're in a toxic relationship and a victim of narcissistic abuse.

Listen to these warning bells and get out. This is your survival instinct that refuses to allow your self-worth to be shattered into a million pieces. Tell that narcissistic abuser in your life to pound sand before it's too late.

RELATED: Your Answers To These 50 Questions Will Reveal If Your Guy Is A Narcissist

Joanne Brothwell is a therapist and creator of the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Course, a program to heal the shattering trauma of toxic relationships.