Here is a list of red flags that may help you to see early on that you are with an abusive personality. If you are seeing a few of these characteristics then you need to assert some boundaries with them and see how they react.
If they fight you about having simple personal boundaries then you need to realize that you may be in an abusive relationship.
Tell them you have to go sleep early one night because you have a lot to do the next day. If they do not accept this, then there is a problem.
No one should give you guilt or shame you that you are not good to them, when you are doing simple basic things to take care of yourself.
It is not normal for someone to threaten to leave you or call you a bad girlfriend if you want to do things for yourself like take a class, do an extra assignment for school or work, or spend time with family or friends.
You should never feel manipulated by guilt, shame or fear. People that love you do not inflict fear or threats in order to get you to comply.
Here is a list that I have come up with from research and also from personal experience. There may be things that need to be added. Feel free to leave any ideas in the comments.
Keep in mind that narcissists are on their best behavior at the very beginning of the relationship, called the idealization phase.
Many of these red flags will not come up until the “honeymoon phase” is over in a couple of months. The best ones to look for early on are the ones that I put near to the top of this list.
Love Bombing and Pushing to be in a Serious Relationship Right Away
Constant texting, calling, stopping over (calls you the second you get out from work or during work/ calls you while you are trying to get ready for work/ calls you first thing on your day off and wants to be on the phone, texting, or see you all day on every day off you have / calls while you are out with friends and you told them you would be busy with friends/ texts you when you said you would be at the gym….never ending constant contact)
Angry or very upset when you do not respond to texts and voicemails right away
Never taking responsibility for their action – things are always someone else’s fault
Chameleon-like changeable personality – a different personality for different people and situations
They are always right and never make a mistake
They hate to be told they could have done something better or differently
Jealousy and Ownership of You
Isolating you from family and friends (discouraging you from spending time with them/ getting angry when you do/ saying that those people are interfering somehow in your relationship/ telling you that relatives that you have known for years are out to get you and you did not realize it)
They feel the Need to control your schedule
Never apologizes or does so in a sarcastic, fake way
Need to know where you are at all times
Telling you what to wear and how to look
Control of the money ( you need to check with them before you spend your own money/ they question how you spend your money/ shame you or make you feel guilty over spending your money on yourself)
Criticism and disrespect of women (this may not be directed at you at first since they put on their mask and are on their best behavior during the idealization phase – observe how they treat other women who they have nothing to gain from)
Making you account for your whereabouts
Making you ask permission or clear your activities with them
Name calling and demeaning you
Complaining that the women at work do not treat him with respect / also treating employees or people that are performing a service for them (like a waitress, a hotel maid, a taxi driver) with disrespect and contempt
Excessive monitoring and making you check in all the time
Extreme sense of entitlement
Unrealistic, and unreasonable demands
Lack of sympathy and empathy
Not interested in anyone else’s side of things
Accusing you of cheating when you are not
Blaming you for things that do not go his way
Excessive need for control in the house
Manipulating your friends and family to take their side in arguments
Getting angry if you have a different opinion than they do
Making you feel stupid and less intelligent than they are
Being disrespectful to you in front of your family and friends
Domestic Abuse, narcissistic abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse….all can cause PTSD . You will end up with emotional flashbacks that are triggered by certain things that remind your brain of danger or trauma.
For people into NLP triggers are called NLP anchors. The difference is that NLP anchors can be good or bad. They might be pre- existing from a past trauma or created to ease the effects of trauma.
They can be put into your mind intentionally to bring about a certain mood or mental state. This is a functional or a therapeutical use for them.
Back in the days of Pavlov, triggers were discovered as a tool for behavioral modification. You know…Pavlov’s dog.
Every time Pavlov fed the dog, he rang a bell first. After a while the dog salivated at the sound of the bell even without the food being presented.
This is how our minds create associations between certain triggers and a corresponding emotional response.
I have ring tones that I hate the sound of. There are songs I cannot listen to. I had such anxiety connected with my ex calling me or not calling me that the sound of my old ring tone makes my blood pressure rise.
Some triggers are related to incidents and some are related to specific poem. Some triggers are related to time periods or ongoing abuse. Others are related to break ups from our ex.
There are some triggers that we are well aware of where they come. Other ones may be related to trauma from our past from when we were very young or even infants.
There may be triggers that create emotional flashbacks for you that are from periods of time that you have blacked out from your mind…or I should say that your brain blocked them out in order to protect you.
The first few weeks to months after an abusive relationship can be filled with startle responses and severe physiological responses to triggers that remind you of the abuse.
Although every so often I am out somewhere and a stranger’s phone rings with the very ring tone that is now taboo on my cell phone.
There are times when we suddenly feel severe anxiety and have no idea what caused the onset. This can sometimes be an emotional flashback to a trigger we are unaware of.
That is a very tricky one to figure out. You would have to write down all the sights, smells and circumstances that were around at the time of the anxiety attack.
You would have to keep a log of those things each time you had an unexpected, unexplainable anxiety attack. Then look for anything in common between them that was never part of your environment when you are calm.
To make it even more complex, triggers can have more than one component to them. It might not be candlelight or the smell of roses individually that triggers you. It could be the combination of the two of them that does it.
Certain emotional triggers can be healed or at least the effect can be lessened through NLP techniques. Other ones may be harder to deal with than others.
The ones that we cannot identify or do not know what they were caused by are the worst ones in a way. At least as far as there being any hope for treatment.
The more severe the trauma, the more severe the pain from being triggered
Talking about your triggers or unexplained emotional brain attacks is the first step to healing or at least lessening the feeling of alienation or isolation due to PTSD or Complex PTSD.
Know you are not alone. There are others of us that understand.
I have heard many people mention weird dreams or nightmares occurring in the first few weeks following the realization that they had been in an intimate relationship with a psychopath or a narcissist.
Some people have said that they dreamed of their ex in ways that represented missing them.
Other people dream of things being the way they used to be, prior to the dawning, shocking realization that the relationship was an entire deception.
Personally I had the most terrifying nightmares I have ever had before that. I guess you could call them night terrors, because when I awoke I felt like something evil had followed me out of the dream and into the darkness of my bedroom.
I had to start sleeping with the lights on again, which I had not done in years.
In the dream I would be walking in some building either alone or with other people. Out of no where it would feel like this evil entity, dressed as a man, would enter my dream and invade my mind.
The evil creature would grab me from behind in such a shocking way that it disturbed me to my very core.
It was the way he appeared out of nowhere in the dream that was so terrifying. One minute no one was in the hallway and then he would just materialize and grab me.
I swear when I woke up I could still feel his hands around me. I felt as though whatever it was did not belong in my dream.
I had not given it permission to be there. It was like it was entering my mind from the outside.
Did any of you have dream experiences?
This is a very potentially triggering video. Do not watch it if you feel it will be retraumatizing for you. It is about the Philpott case where the father set the house on fire that his children were sleeping in.
If you are not sure about how dangerous being in a relationship with a psychopath can be, this video will give you the possible worse case scenario of what a psychopath is capable of. They have no feelings of love for their children.
You can watch about how narcissists and psychopaths see their children if you look up that topic on Sam Vaknin’s YouTube channel. They basically see children as a threat to their getting enough attention (supply) for themselves. The children are only valuable if the narcissist , psychopath or narcopath is able to find a use for them, that will generate supply for themselves.
Children are either abandoned. beaten, sexually molested or treated like pawn, or objects. If the children are used for generating supply, they will be severely punished if they do not comply to the wishes of the narcissist.
This video is about the 6 children who were murdered by a psychopathic father who no longer saw any value to his children. He set the house on fire intentionally and then had planned to save the children from the fire in order to appear as the hero.
He had a hearing that was scheduled for the day of the fire with his ex girlfriend, the mother of other children of his. It appears that his intention was to accuse her of starting the fire and then to appear like the more suitable parent for those children , because he would save the children that he had in his house.
He would have allowed his ex girlfriend to take the rap for starting a murderous fire , knowing she could go to jail and they it would ruin her life. He did not care what effect this would his mutual children with her. He only wanted to take the children away from her as a punishment for her having left him and then filed restraining orders against him.
Family members and others saw some warning signs about his behavior prior to the incident. They tried to get the wife to leave him but she did not.
After the fire, the police suspected the parents of setting the fire because both of the parents were outside when the fire dept was called, and all of the children were inside the house in bed.
The complete lack of empathy of a person who lives to use people any way they want to, can lead to the injury and death of the people closest to that person. This is an evil that is hard to believe you could ever have been close to. People that know the false self that the psychopath displays for them, never see the true evil within them.
They appear to be just like everyone else.
When you are in a relationship with a controlling manipulative person, who strips away your reality and your identity, you do not know how dangerous they really are. You do not know how far they will go to ensure that their will is complied with by their harem, minions, girlfriends, wives or even their children.
You have no way to know of your narcissist had anti-social personality disorder as well, which would make them a psychopath capable of illegal and immoral acts. You have no way to know just how dangerous they are.
You are better to get away from them as soon as you are able to do so. The ex that left this man did the right thing. She took her children out of harm’s way.
It can be very difficult to get away from an abuser, when you have children in common with them. If you have to stay, please keep your brain as clear as possible and do not allow them to confuse your reality.
If you have to stay with a narcissist and you cannot figure a way out at this time, then get a support system of a few people that will listen to you in order for you to be able to keep your reality in tact. Once the narcissist alters your entire sense of reality, you can no longer understand what is real and what is not real.
Keeping your ability to perceive reality correctly will help for you to make proper decisions and protect yourself and your children. In the mean time, be thinking and looking for some opportunity in the future that you can work a plan to leave them.
Do not try to deal with them alone, with no outside support, even if you have to contact someone on the outside without the knowledge of your partner. Isolation by a psychopath will leave your reality completely in their hands to manipulate.
This is your only protection if they eventually turn more evil than you have previously seen. Not all narcissists are psychopaths but some of them are comorbid with psychopathy, otherwise known as anti-social personality disorder.
There are narcissists that also have anti-social personality. What the extra element is, if you were dealing up close with psychopathy, is that they get an elevation from being sadistic.
Anti-social personality is what the accepted term now is for psychopath. The other term people mix around and interchange with these is sociopath.
Pick your poison, you are dealing with someone who intentionally inflicts pain, be it physical, emotional or psychological.
The narcissistic psychopath inflicts pain just to see you suffer. They feel powerful when they can make you suffer with no other reason that to do it.
Narcissists inflict pain in order to make you fear feeling that emotional pain, because this makes you more compliant. If you suffer through their emotional punishments like silent treatment or dissappearing from your radar for days or weeks on end, then you will do anything to avoid those punishments in the future.
Once the narcissist has trained you by inflicting emotional pain on you, then you become more compliant with what they want, or ask you for. You fear disagreeing with them, joking with them or doing anything but wait to find out what they want.
The narcissist trains you with punishment. Their training is painful. They threaten abuse, in order to keep you compliant also.
But the narcissist that is co-morbid with psychopathy will cause you mental injury, emotional pain, because they like to.
If your ex seemed to cause pain to you, or if they broke up with you in a way that was cruel and unusual. ..did all they could to make it as painful for you as possible…even though there was no strategic gain for them..it did not get them any additional narcissistic supply….
Then it is possible that you were with someone who was far darker and more dangerous that you thought.
This should be a very good reason for you to stay no contact. You very well may be underestimating the danger of the person you were with.
If you are with someone that fits these criteria and has these behaviors, please find a safe way out. Then stay no contact. It is not worth the risk you are taking to stay.
These people are insidious and live in the dark world in their minds. I do not want you anywhere near them.
Blessings and wishes for your peace of mind and safety,