Thought Catalog

21 Toxic Clues That Prove Your Ex Was A Covert Narcissist

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God & Man

Falling for a covert narcissist is a toxic cycle of emotional abuse. In the relationship, you don’t see the negative effect it has on you. But narcissists drain anyone of any good energy or any good intentions one might have.

This relationship could be the thing that completely destroys you and by the time you’re ready to walk away the damage is done.

While it’s hard to end a relationship with someone like this, the real challenge comes in healing after the fact and looking back as you wonder how you ever dealt with someone so intolerable.

You looked at who you wanted him to be rather than who he actually was. You saw the relationship not through accurate lenses but rather where you thought it would go if you invested enough time and energy into this person.

These relationships last a long time because you become almost addicted to wanting the outcome to be in your favor.

You walk away realizing all the love in the world can’t change someone. And giving someone everything you have doesn’t mean they will love you back.

1. Every conversation came back to him.

If you counted how many times he used the word I, you’d roll your eyes. These types of guys care about one thing and one thing only and that’s themselves. Your appeal is that you loved him as much as he loved himself and that’s the only real thing you had in common.

2. Things always had to be his way.

There was no negotiating or compromise what he said went and there were no questions asked. And while you liked that a first, you soon realized no matter what you said or how many times, he never heard it or cared enough to listen.

3. He manipulated and controlled you.

It was the little things he said and how he said them. He knew exactly what to say to you, to get under your skin or get you to do something. He knew exactly how you’d react and he got entertainment out of watching. He was like a puppeteer pulling every one of your strings.

4. The rules never applied to him.

He was above that. He thought he could get away with anything. And most the time when someone has that attitude they do because no one cares enough to stop them.

5. He cared a lot about his reputation.

He cared about what people thought of him. He liked controlling the narrative. And if any part of a story didn’t highlight the type of wonderful person he was, he’d change it. He would lie to protect himself. Lie to protect his reputation. And he didn’t care who he hurt if it meant making himself look good.

6. He constantly blamed you for things.

Nothing was ever his fault. When he lost it on you screaming, it was because you did something to cause it. Had you not done whatever you did, he wouldn’t have reacted that way. If ever you made a mistake he’d come back saying, “if I did it.” But it was easier to play the blame game then take responsibility.

7. He was entitled.

He deserved things because of who he was not because of how hard he worked. And with that pompous attitude, he often got everything he wanted taking it with a coy smile.

8. He thought a little too highly of himself.

If you straight up asked him he’d say something like he’s, is the best. Most people reserve those thoughts and keep it to themselves but he walked around looking down on everyone truly believing he was better.

9. He thrived on negativity.

One conversation with him (which was probably about him) wasn’t one you walked away motivated. But it drained you. That’s what narcists do, they take any positive energy you might have and fuel themselves turning you negative.

10. He had two very different sides to him.

He was charming and charismatic when you were out with groups. He always knew how to sell himself and he did it well. But behind closed doors, once the night ended his personality changed.

11. He was overly sensitive when it came to any criticism.

He could tell you how to improve. Often giving advice you didn’t even ask for. But the moment you try and dish it, he won’t listen because he truly believes there’s nothing he needs to change about himself.

12. He always made up excuses for his behavior.

He was the king of making up excuses. He couldn’t be here because of XYZ. But he needed you to drop what you were doing at that moment and give him your time or attention. He never understood the word no.

13. With him, there was always drama.

There was always this cloud of negativity around him and around you when he was in your life. Nothing was ever simple or easy but exhausting.

14. He constantly needed to be validated or needed to prove himself.

Validation was achieved through accomplishments and getting somewhere. Narcists have a lot of enemies and a huge chip on their shoulder wanting nothing else than to prove to people who doubted them that they made it. His motives weren’t pure and wanting to do well for himself but rather to brag about what he did.

15. He strived for perfection.

There is no such thing as failing. He never allowed it. This made you feel inferior trying to keep up but always feeling like you weren’t good enough.

16. He lacked empathy and understanding.

When you tried to tell him about something that upset you he couldn’t relate. He had the inability ability to see things from your perspective. Even when you were the one in need, he somehow made the conversation about himself. It was almost like he couldn’t hear you.

17. He pushed you away when you got too close.

A narcissist has such high walls. But wasn’t all their fault, he turned out the way they did but with that came an inability to show one’s vulnerable side. He learned at a young age that’s a sign of weakness. So that’s why he took off every time you thought you made emotional progress in understanding him a little better. Narcissists will never let you get that close out of fear of getting hurt.

18. He knocked you down just to build you back up.

The person who broke you can’t be the one to fix you. But he got some sort of enjoyment out of playing both roles. He’d scream at you and makes you feel horrible then he’d change and hold you in his arms saying he’s sorry and he loves you.

19. He always brought up the past.

Even when he said he forgave you, he’d bring up something from so long ago. There is no seeking forgiveness from a narcissist because they remember everything and don’t know how to let it go. They hoard blackmail inside themselves ready to use it at any point they feel like.

20. He was emotionally abusive.

No one realizes how bad an emotionally abusive relationship actually is. Not when you’re used to it. Not when you think you love this person. You begin to make up excuses for this behavior. You begin to justify it. You blame yourself and really start to believe some of the things he tells you. And this relationship is a sick cycle that doesn’t end because he doesn’t allow it too. He thrives from your weakness. And every time you’ve walked away, you’ve always come back.

21. He changed what you thought love was.

He made you believe he was the only one who would love you. But his definition of love was someone simply loving him without having to reciprocate it properly.

They fail to know what love is themselves because they don’t have the ability when they push it away. You can’t find love without empathy and vulnerability. And when someone blocks these two things out of their life the only relationships they find themselves is the one they have with themselves. TC mark

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