10 Signs Your Partner is a Narcissist
A narcissist is defined as “a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves” — and while this may ring true for many of us at one point or another, this is definitely not a personality trait you’d want to adopt long-term for yourself — or in your partner. Like anything else, narcissism can be excused in small doses — but when this self-serving trait begins to take over one person in a relationship, it may signal trouble ahead. We’ve enlisted counsellor and relationship expert Alyson Jones to share 10 red flags that your partner is a narcissist.
Narcissists will always make it about themMe, me, me! When everything is all about them, it’s no wonder you’re feeling short-changed in the relationship. Relationship expert Alyson Jones explains, “Usually the narcissistic partner will initiate conversations and want to talk at length — about themselves.” Understandably, this can leave the other partner feeling neglected and brushed aside, as Jones adds, “They are not very interested in understanding your world, and they lack the empathy to understand what it is like from your perspective.”
Exhibiting narcissist behaviour definitely falls under the category of things you (or your partner) should never do in a healthy relationship.
Narcissists expect you to adopt their opinions on everythingA relationship with a narcissist leaves little room for conflicting opinions, as your partner will assume they are right at all times. Alyson Jones advises watching for this red flag in your partners’ behaviour not only at home, but in social situations. “They may come off as loud, obnoxious, rude, and arrogant with you or your friends,” says Jones.
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Narcissists are easily offendedDoes it feel as though you are constantly walking on eggshells around your partner? If so, Alyson Jones advises to watch for this red flag: “An innocuous statement you make can send your partner into a tailspin of upset.” As a result of this hyper-sensitivity, Jones adds, “You will begin to feel like you cannot do or say anything right as a narcissistic partner may be offended by the slightest of things.”
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Narcissists expect you to sing their praisesFor the narcissist in your life, everyday is another opportunity to celebrate them and their accomplishments. Alyson Jones says, “They are looking for you to be their cheerleader and expect nothing less. He or she always wants to be shown in the best light and applauded as the best person.” Wondering what the result might be if the non-narcissistic partner were to fall short in their “cheerleader” role? “If their partner fails to do so, there may be sulking, temper tantrums and cold shoulders.”
An inability to share in the emotional support and encouragement of a relationship is surely one indicator that your marriage needs help — before it’s too late.
Narcissists believe they are the exception to the ruleYou might notice that your partner takes issue with everyday rules and behavioural expectations both in and out of the relationship. Alyson Jones notes, “Simple habits like following the traffic laws or respecting time commitments does not apply to them.” In fact, Jones adds, “Sometimes, they may even go out of their way to break a rule just to show that it does not apply to them.”
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Narcissists believe they are entitled to sex and attention whenever they want itMutual desire is of little concern to the narcissistic partner, who will generally assume that whatever needs they wish fulfilled, should be done so happily by their partner. “The narcissist has little sense or respect for your personal boundaries. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, they may ignore your need for space and quiet, and they may expect you to be grateful for their attention even if you are not in the mood,” says Jones.
Some narcissists will even go outside of the relationship for attention, and may even feel justified in doing so, if their partner does not adhere to their selfish expectations. It seems some celebrities can relate, as they reveal what it was like to be cheated on.
Narcissists have no respect for your personal belongingsTo the narcissist, their personal items are sacred, and you might notice how protective and possessive they are of these things. When it comes to their partner, however, these rules are off the table. Alyson Jones explains: “A narcissist will often take what they want from you and not take into consideration the fact that their actions could hurt you — things like borrowing your money or any prized possession and not bothering to return it.”
This goes beyond just material things, Jones adds, “This also applies to respecting your schedule, commitments and other relationships.”
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Narcissists have a preoccupation with looks and appearancesWhile this need for perfection may, in the narcissist’s mind, apply to both themselves and their partner, the ultimate focus still lies with them. “They will want you to look good as well, as you are an accessory to them, but you will always remain the secondary one in the relationship,” explains Jones.
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Narcissists believe life should be a fairy taleTo the narcissist, the world ultimately revolves around them and their ideals, no matter how unrealistic. Alyson Jones explains, “The narcissistic partner has a preoccupation with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, and even ideal romance. After a while, even their romantic actions will reveal themselves as a stage for their own fantasy, and you will begin to feel like a secondary character in the fairy tale.”
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Narcissists demand attention and admirationWhen dating a narcissist, the expectation will be that their partner should feel gratitude and elation for having the narcissistic partner in their lives. Alyson Jones says, “The narcissistic partner feels they have the status of a celebrity, and as a result, they are entitled to special treatment and adoration.” This kind of constant demand on your time and energy can be exhausting as Jones notes, “Their needs are insatiable, and it really is a full-time job trying to meet their needs only.”
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