If The Person You Love Has These 5 Personality Traits, You May Be Under The Spell Of A Narcissist

Photo: Getty Images
man with tattoos on bed

It's devastating when you've been happily dating someone new, only to slowly reach the difficult realization that this exceptionally charming person you're falling in love with is hiding darker personality traits, characteristics, and behaviors you now fear may be signs that he is a narcissist.

If you suspect your new boyfriend or girlfriend may have a narcissistic personality type, whether or not it rises to the level of a true mental health disorder, it's important to be aware that relationships with narcissists put you at high risk for domestic violence and emotional abuse.

While narcissists will do just about anything necessary to let you in on the truth of who they are, they also frequently leave plenty of warning signs "hidden" in plain sight. It's up to you to learn how to look for and decipher these behaviors in order to protect yourself to the best of your ability.

RELATED: What It Means When A Narcissist Says 'I Love You'

In order to spot narcissistic personality traits before it's too late, start by asking yourself a few basic questions:

What do you think of his family?

Many believe narcissism runs in families. Someone who grows up to have narcissistic traits may well have been raised by a parent with similar issues.

In their early years, narcissists typically lacked positive attachment to caregiving figures like their mother or father, leaving them feeling frightened and vulnerable. As a result, they will feel intensely alone, even as they mature into adults, wrapped in a dysfunctional world dominated by their own projections.

Did you grow up with a narcissistic parent?

If you grew up with a narcissistic parent, you may feel at home pandering to a narcissist within a codependent relationship, one in which one partner tends to take all of the attention and the other gives it in order to remain in the narcissist's good graces.

It may seem as though the narcissistic person is in love, but it only appears that way. Rather than falling In love with an individual who is their partner, the narcissist becomes temporarily caught up in one of their own fantasies, which no one will be able to fulfill to their complete satisfaction for long.

Are you doing most, or even all, of the giving?

When you first begin a relationship with a narcissist, you're likely to believe you've found your perfect partner. Then just as quickly, they either leave you behind to search for a more satisfying experience elsewhere, or they launch a campaign of abusive behaviors like gaslighting — turning the tables to make you feel as though you are crazy when you confront them for mistreating you — in order to bring you in line with the vision they have of how you "should" be behaving with them.

Whether they leave you behind feeling confused and heartbroken, or keep you extremely close by to serve whatever needs they have, you'll be in the position of having thought you'd found love, only to feel worse off than before you met them.

And it's this very reason it's vital you learn to spot these 5 narcissistic personality traits before you fall in love with someone new:

1. They're hypersensitive.

Narcissists are highly sensitive to being overlooked and very sensitive to being slighted. They will react badly when they feel this is happening.

2. They're attention-hungry.

Narcissists suffer from disturbances to their self-image and they are particularly sensitive to any possibility that you are ignoring them or not taking them seriously.

They constantly require your attention and efforts to make themselves feel better.

RELATED: 20 Extremely Brutal Signs You're In Love With A Narcissist

3. They're excessively needy

A narcissist's need for love is inexhaustible.

You bring them a gift, and everything is fine. But seconds later, they may be reacting to a sense that you aren't paying them enough attention.

4. They're energy-consuming.

Narcissists drain their partner's energy and life. When you fall in love with a narcissist, the experience is so powerful it may feel like the most intense and authentic relationship you've known.

This quickly starts to change, however, as you find yourself having to do more and more to soothe and repair their insecurities, leaving you feeling drained.

5. They're obsessed with social media.

Narcissists may become absorbed by social media, posting endless pictures of themselves. Conversely, they might avoid it like the plague, proclaiming that they're "not like those trashy people with nothing better to do than post updates all the time."

If these personality traits sound familiar and you believe you may have fallen for a narcissist, here are three important tips to keep in mind.

  • Stay alert for signs you are becoming worn out by your relationship. Love is meant to make you feel good, not wear you out.
  • Stop apologizing for the things you have apparently done to upset your partner. Narcissists crave all of the attention, but you need to put yourself first.
  • Check-in with yourself to see if you feel listened to. Do you get to do any talking in the relationship or do you spend all of your time listening to them? You need attention, too.

RELATED: 9 Signs He's A HUGE Narcissist (And Whether You Should Leave Or Stay)

Toby Ingham is a UK-based psychotherapist, supervisor, writer, and speaker with over 20 years experience of working with people who are trying to transform their lives. Contact him on his website to find out more about his work.