“Narcissist” is a term we tend to throw around to describe a person that’s overly vain, arrogant, and selfish. The actual personality disorder is much more profound and can be devastating to experience within a relationship.

The most common traits are entitlement, grandiosity, and dismissiveness. Someone with a narcissistic personality tends to grow jealous and resentful when others are in the spotlight and have outrageous expectations for how their needs should be met. 

If any of this sounds familiar, read on to learn about how to recognize these traits in your relationship:


  • They "love bomb" you. One of the most effective ways of manipulation, love bombing, is the practice of showering a person with excessive affection and attention to gain control or significantly influence their behavior. The love bomber's attention might feel good. Still, in particular, narcissists are known for their skills at manipulation. They may use praise, charm, and attention as means to appear as if they're the perfect partner.  Narcissists move swiftly to avoid exposure, so the more someone tries to flatter you into obedience, their motives should be explored more diligently.


  • They feed off your compliments. They may come off as overly confident, but someone with NPD lacks self-esteem. They need a lot of praise. If they don't get it from you, they'll get it from wherever they can. That's why they're continually looking at you to tell them how great they are. Narcissists feed off of empathetic people. They rely on them to supply their sense of self-worth. Confident people won't rely on you or other people to feel good about themselves.


  • They lack empathy. Lack of understanding, or the ability to feel how another person is feeling, is one of the hallmark characteristics of a narcissist. Narcissists cannot validate and understand you. They don't understand the concept of feelings and is often the reason why their relationships fail. 


  • They gaslight you. A form of manipulation and emotional abuse, gaslighting is a hallmark of narcissism. Narcissists may blatantly lie, falsely accuse others, and make you feel like you're crazy.

Signs of gaslighting include the following:

  • You feel more anxious and less confident.
  • You question if you're too high-strung or sensitive.
  • You feel like you're always in the wrong.
  • You start to question yourself. 
  • You're often apologizing.
  • You make justifications for your partner's behavior.

Narcissists flourish off of power and being worshipped, so they use manipulation tactics to get you to do just that.

  • They’re never wrong. Arguing with a narcissist feels impossible because they think they’re always right. Narcissists refuse to compromise or take any responsibility because they rarely, if ever, think they're wrong. 

Getting help

Remember, these signs aren’t meant to diagnose your partner. It's meant to outline unacceptable behaviors and help you identify if your partner's actions are a sign of NPD.

If you determine you are struggling in your relationship, contact us today to learn more about how you can cope.