Have you ever felt as though something in your relationship is ‘off,’ but you can’t quite put your finger on the problem? Have you tried to address this situation with your partner, only to have them either get upset, lashing out or simply discredit everything you said and shrugging it off as if you are reading too far into things? With narcissistic abuse affecting over 158 million Americans, know that you are not alone!

Narcissistic abuse can be hard to spot, as a narcissist is skilled in manipulating the situation in order to paint themselves in a good light and making you question whether your concerns are well founded or not. Learning to identify the behaviors associated with narcissism will empower you to identify this type of toxic relationship early, freeing yourself from its grasp.

9 Subtle Warning Signs That You Are Dating A Narcissist:

#1 – Demand/Withdraw

If anytime that you make a demand to your partner, for example, asking for more affection or more of their time, they respond by withdrawing from you and the relationship completely this is a big red flag. This includes putting up psychological barriers, folding their arms, or any other behavior designed to drive a wedge between you at that time.

#2 – Pulling You Back

If you do notice that something is a little off and try to create space, you will notice that a narcissist is quick to pull you back into their web of lies. For example, they may call you pretending to be heartbroken that you are at odds, promising to change if you give them another chance. The truth is that they are just saying what they need to so that they don’t lose their victim.

#3 – Machiavellian Characteristics

A narcissist will go to extreme lengths just to maintain control of their victims. If they feel as though this control is slipping away they will do whatever it takes to maintain their carefully constructed web of manipulation. This may mean being whoever they need to be at any given moment to ensure that they get their way.

#4 – Emotionally Hot and Cold

You would think, as you enter into a relationship, that you would be able to identify just how your partner feels about you. When you are dating a narcissist, this may not be true. They are hot one moment, showering you with love and affection, and cold, ignoring you, the next. The narcissist will use this yo-yo technique to keep you guessing and on edge.

#5 – Gaslighting

This is one of the techniques most often associated with narcissistic behavior. When a situation isn’t working out their way, for example, if you are actively pointing out an error that they made or a way that they have hurt you, they will spin the facts in order to make you question what actually happened. Slowly, but surely, they will make you think that you are crazy, gaining control over you as you stop trusting your own recollection of events.

#6 – All Talk, No Action

If you notice that the person you are dating is quick to talk a big game, offering you incredible promises, but they never follow through with them then you may be dating a narcissist. They will often say whatever they have to in order to convince that everything is great, but they don’t really have any intention of following up on anything that they have said.

#7 – Playing Victim

We all encounter our hardships in life, but a narcissist has learned the art of using these scars to draw the pity and sympathy of everyone around them. In doing so, they can manipulate nearly any situation in order to ensure that they get their way. Pay attention if you notice that this is a go-to approach when things aren’t quite going how they would like.

#8 – Abandonment

A narcissist will only keep someone in their life as long as they feel that you are useful. If your relationship is no longer serving a purpose, and they don’t believe that they are going to benefit from keeping you around, they will be quick to abandon the relationship entirely and without hesitation. This will happen in a way to cause you pain, such as humiliating you in public or cheating on you.

#9 – Triangulation

If a narcissist is trying to convince you of their point of view and they notice they are struggling, they may choose to bring a third party into the mix to ensure they get their way. Whether it is an ex-lover, a mistress, a relative, a friend or a complete stranger, they refer to that person’s thoughts and opinions, sharing those that support their own way of thinking in order to validate their opinions to others.

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