17 Red Flags That The Person You’re Falling For Is An Emotionally Manipulative Narcissist


1. You notice that they’re charming, but that they can be charming to an actual fault.
Narcissists are incredibly charismatic and draw people to them like a magnet. They’re the type of people who have that quality about them that makes you WANT them to like you, WANT them to pay attention to you, WANT their eyes on you. And that’s exactly their goal. They’re so charming, so fascinating, that it starts to distract people around them from the not-so-great things that they do in their day to day life outside of being a smooth talker.

2. They walk all over people in your life.
A narcissist is without question, all about what best serves them, what they want, and the immediacy of getting whatever that may be. This turns them, frankly, into total social pariahs. They’re rude to staff people, strangers on the streets, even your own friends and family. If a narcissist doesn’t see someone’s value in serving them — they simply do not care to treat that person with even an ounce of dignity.

3. Their confidence is unshakeable — even when they’re wrong.
Someone who is a narcissist never thinks that they could even be the slightest bit mislead or wrong. About anything. They would attribute Barack Obama quotes to themselves if they thought they’d get away with it. But in all seriousness narcissists are confident to a point of it being problematic. Confidence is great, self-awareness is better. And narcissists are only able to have one.

4. You’ve gotten to a point where it feels like even the slightest bit of attention from them is a blessing.
They are so charismatic and so charming that there is almost an overwhelming sense of euphoria when they turn their focus your way. If you hear yourself saying, “You just don’t understand it. I feel so different with them,” or anything close to that? You’re definitely in too deep with a narcissist.

5. Absolutely none of their previous relationships have kind things to say about them.
Narcissists live by the idea of “may the bridges I burn light my way” and leave mass amounts of wreckage in their wake. They hurt people with no remorse and are definitely the exes that come with “warning labels.”

6. They are the kings of flattery…but with a catch.
Narcissists only flatter people because they have an agenda. They’ll compliment you to get in good with you because you have something or access to something that they want. None of their compliments or flattery is ever 100% genuine, because it comes with a stipulation or a “catch” attached to it.

7. They’re completely selfish and lack a total sense of empathy towards anyone who is not them.
They only think about themselves — that’s who they are. They don’t worry about someone else’s feelings or their lives because they’re only consumed with how they themselves are feeling, how to get what they want. A narcissist is never able to fully love someone back or be there for someone because they’re only able and willing to actually love and be there for themselves. They don’t have room for anyone else.

8. All of their ‘joking around’ and ‘just playing around’ seems to be completely saturated with bitterness and negativity.
At first it seems like they’re just joking and their joking is usually judgmental or toned with sarcasm and biting humor, but then you’ll come to realize that it’s just plain mean. They’re always pointing out the bad, never the good. And they’re always able to form a negative opinion about seemingly everything.

9. They have a huge problem with being told what to do and authority in general.
Nothing sets a narcissist off quite like being told they aren’t in charge. They likely have problems with everyone at work, and are constantly in incredibly heated competitions to be the center of attention or the boss of everyone. And it’s not just playful banter – it’s something that actually upsets them. They have control issues. And it might be minor now, but eventually it’ll be a huge problem.

10. There’s no such thing as a healthy challenge with them, everything is simply about them winning.
Similar to how they have an unshakeable need to be in control, they also have an unwavering desire to be number one. To be on top. To be the winner. If they’re not always right, always first, always the star, they aren’t happy. And they’ll be sure to bring everyone down with them.

11. All of their compliments seem to come with a disclaimer.
“I rarely meet girls I admire or respect, but I’m always so impressed by you.”
“I never meet people who I actually think are smart, but you’re pretty intelligent.”
“Wow I’m usually never attracted to people like you.”

If all of their compliments come with a disclaimer, it’s because they’re A) baiting you and B) a narcissist. Compliments should be complete sentences, they should not need an addendum. But a narcissist will always have a “but” to anything they say that would’ve been genuine without it.

12. They don’t “do” feelings.
They claim to be above them, more “evolved” than people who wear their hearts on their sleeve. In reality they just view emotions as weakness and are too busy being obsessed with themselves to process basic human feelings. Whatever it is, it’s not a good thing. It’s a huge red flag.

13. Everything is about them and not about you two as a couple.
It’s not about what’s good for “us” or “both of us” or even “you” — it’s always about them. It’s about what makes them feel sexy, them happy, them comfortable. Sensing a pattern? Seeing the red flags? You’ll never have a balanced relationship with a narcissist — it’s, quite simply, impossible.

14. They genuinely do not believe that they are ever the problem.
They will always point fingers, place blame, and find reasons to scoot away from actually admitting that they aren’t entirely innocent when something bad happens. They will absolutely always find someone or something else that’s the problem because they’re unable to ever see themselves as anything less than perfection. You will never get an apology from a narcissist. Never.

15. Simply put, they talk over you.
Because it could never occur to them that anyone else would ever have anything of value to say.

16. They have a “squad.”
Narcissists have a constant need for validation and attention from other people. Because of this they surround themselves with “yes men” and with a clique of people who constantly build them up and constantly reassure them that they’re God’s gift to the universe. If their group of friends will defend them into the ground even when it’s painfully obvious that they messed up? They are a narcissist who has purposefully surrounded themselves with a squad. And it’s a squad of enablers.

17. They’ll flat out TELL YOU they are a narcissist.
Here’s the thing: they KNOW they’re a narcissist. They’re 100% aware. And if you ask them? They’ll admit it.

But unlike people who are complete, whole, self-aware, empathetic, and emotionally stable, a narcissist thinks this is a good thing. It isn’t. And you without question deserve better. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Kendra Syrdal


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