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)
Need to control your schedule
Never apologizes or does so in a sarcastic, fake way ( my ex never apologized but when I brought up something that was bothering me he would say “I am always apologizing to you.”…
I would say “you are?” and then he would say “Yes and I am not doing it anymore. I am tired of you making me apologize to me.” …
And the funny thing was I was not looking for an apology. He jumped to that conclusion on his own. I just wanted to work on our communication.)
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
Complaining that the women at work do not treat him with respect
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
It happens to most all of us, who have been discarded by a narcissist or a psychopath. We lose hope.. We lose energy. ..We lose our very drive to go on…
The narcissist sucks out our life force. They cause us to see a dark side of humanity that people rarely see up close.
The lengths to which the psychopath will go to twist our reality is staggering. The amount of intention that the narcissist puts into breaking down our identity and forcing us to bow down to their every whim….is unspeakable.
It is unspeakable…and even if we speak of it….no one believes us. It is too surreal. We end up looking we are “playing the victim” and he ends appearing up clean and shiny.
He is absolved of all wrongdoing because he got to everyone before you did. He planned his escape and how he was going to destroy your reputation.
He was 20 steps ahead of you at all times. He set you up.
He has been telling people that you are mentally ill since he met you. He has been whispering tales of your mentally abusing him for months.
He has set the stage for you to appear to be the abuser.
The brain of a compassionate person can hardly contain these realities without breaking down and feeling that all the world is darkness.
Just know. ..it will get better. You won’t forget but your brain can heal.
Your soul was raped and your world has gone dark.
It is a gradual process of slowly and carefully assimilating the new reality. This new reality has been there all along.
It was all around us…even as we looked evil itself in the eyes.
Yet we could not bear the truth. We felt it many times in flickering moments of fear and disgust.
There were moments of red flags. They urked our being. They insulted our soul.
I remember listening to bouts of his screaming that the ghosts of the past were in the hotel room. Dramatic and disturbed moaning about abuse from invisible ghosts that once occupied the room we were supposed to spend a romantic weekend in.
As he yelled and cursed the hotel management, society, and the people who once slept in the room. He yelled out loud…into the room…But not to me…to himself. ..ignoring me…I sat.
I sat on the floor alone. I sat alone in a room with the two of us. I did not know that this was how it would always be.
I missed the irony of the foreshadowing, as he complained of being alone in the world. I never realized that he wanted to leave me alone and broken one day.
I listener to him blaming everyone. Blaming each and every thing that did not go his way…on someone else. Some from his present and some people from his past.
I sat on the floor of that hotel room waiting for the inevitable instruction. The thing that he wanted me to do.
The thing that I would do…in order to avoid hearing more of this screaming which he knew was driving me to near madness.
For there is always something. Always something that they want you to do, to serve them.
The current torment will stop…only when you comply.
“Yes, I will talk to that person for you.”
“Yes, I will fix that problem for you.”
Yes,…I will tell you that you are right…and all the rest of them are wrong….”
Anything to make the punishment stop.
I listened to him blame his employees for the business declining. I listened to him blame his mother for his constant state of misery.
I witnessed him screaming into the night…blaming everyone. ..everyone was abusing him.
His business partners, his ex girlfriends, his best friend….even his brother tortured him in the night, entering his dreams simply to intentionally torment and taunt him….to remind him who the black sheep was….and who was the chosen. ..the Golden Child.
I witnessed him scolding and demeaning taxi drivers, waitresses, and hotel clerks. I witnessed him blaming every mistake or error in judgement upon the nearest person. …many who were bending over forwards and backwards to help him….to save him from himself. ..and his rash, illogical actions.
I heard the mental illness that tortured his mind and made him hateful. ..full of contempt…for..everyone. …even me, but I did not accept it.
No, this cannot be reality of the perfect, sweet person that had told me he loved me…cherished me…
They could not be a cruel and heartless abuser. It is not in your circle of reality.
I heard him threaten to stab scissors through his jugular vein, because I had suggested he try someone new.
I heard him threaten to slam his head into furniture because I suggested that… he might have had an error about something…..that he could improve something he was doing.
He said to me that he needed help with the business. ..guidance.
But did he?
No, it was not advice, nor support, nor empathy that he was seeking. ..even though he claimed that it was.
It was not empathy. Not compassion. Not kindness or love.
No, the narcissist does not want your love. It insults their intelligence.
Love is for normal, day to dsy, boring people, that are beneath the narcissist.
No. What the narcissist wants is simple.
It is so simple that we don’t see it. It is so insidious that we deny the reality of their actions that are right in front of us.
We try to manufacture all manner of excuses for why they are behaving in ways that hurt us. We make up false intentions and project those intentions upon our abuser.
They must be confused. They must be tired. Perhaps frightened or even mistaken in their own perception of our efforts to help them.
It is all an illusion. The vulnerable victim of circumstance that we see before us. The one who claims to be codependent and that he is constantly manipulated by others.
This poor victim that we perceive with our rose colored glasses over blinded eyes…is not a victim at all.
He is not seeking a partnership as he once claimed, when he was setting our trap.
He is only looking for one thing from you.
Unless this is the life for you….get help..get out…go “No Contact! ”
You were not born to give up your life, your comfort, your rights and your dreams in order to be someone’s slave who thinks they are entitled to abuse you.
There is an old adage. Beware of wolves is sheep’s clothing.
This is a perfect warning against narcissists and abusers.
They appear to be kind and empathetic, at the beginning of the relationship. Then they come for blood.
The time they spend being nice to us, and acting like the perfect partner, takes a toll on them .
They soon tire of the game. Very soon, their mask will slip just for a minute. Do not disregard a dramatic change in character like that.
The other red flag to look for is the chameleon like behaviour. They will change personalities , and moods, on a dime, in order to fit into a different situation.
Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are out there and they blend in with the crowd.
But if you pay attention, you will see the signs.
Be careful and protect your hearts and minds from narcissistic abuse.