In the world of healing from toxic relationships, you will likely hear the term "red flags" often. When it comes to Narcissists, these red flags often don't show up until later in the relationship, if at all.
I didn't notice many of these red flags until much much later into the relationship when I was already in too deep. In fact, looking back on my feelings, I can say that I did notice some of these, but chose to ignore them because I was blinded by love.
My goal for this post is to help you, my readers, in spotting these red flags. My hope is that you will take this information and keep it handy.
So what are these red flags that you won't notice until later? They are listed below, in no particular order.
This is something that I did not see until he discarded me. Five years after we started dating and subsequently got married.
You see, in a Narcissist's eyes, isolating a victim must happen gradually. When we started dating, my NX and I lived in one part of our home state. Then two months into dating, we moved to the southern part of the state. Then, nearly two years after that, we moved across the country.
A year later, we moved several states closer but still very very far from my support system.
2. Anger issues
I saw minor glimpses of his anger early on, but I remember brushing it off. Arguments were nasty and quite volatile. Screaming until he was beet red in the face. Punched a hole in the wall once.
If you're like me, you brush it off and chalk it up to "he had a bad day." But it never improves. In fact, it only gets worse. These "bad days" happen more frequently.
Narcissists don't let their rage be seen right away when the relationship begins. They are too busy lovebombing you. Then, when they have you hooked, they slowly begin to unleash their wrath.
3. Tries to "fix" or "improve" you
This one creeps in extremely slowly. It will manifest as "helpful" suggestions on how to dress or what foods to eat so you can be healthier.
I look back and I realize this happened with my NX right from the start. I just didn't see it. My NX would suggest what clothes looked better on me because of my "figure." It was a very subtle way he used to shame my body.
4. Comes up with excuses not to help with housework
Oh my NX used this one almost daily. (Once again, this seeps in slowly. By the time I noticed this one, the abuse was well established.) The "I had a hard day at work" speech, so why couldn't I be more understanding. He'd undress in the living room and leave his work clothes there. I'd get yelled at if I dared to ask him to pick it up and hang it up.
And don't even think about asking a Narcissist to help with other chores like taking out the garbage or doing laundry. They'll give you a hundred reasons why they can't help.
5. Boundary erosion
Narcissists test your boundaries much in the same way the velociraptors tested the electric fences in Jurassic Park. They do so systematically. One boundary here, another there. They will wear you down slowly. Once you make small allowances in any one of your boundaries, they know they can get away with it again. Ever hear of the saying "give them an inch and they'll take a mile"?
This is a subtle tactic that is used from the start, but likely will not be noticed until later. I had never heard of this term until well after I was discarded. Looking back, I can see so many instances when my NX used this tactic.
The Narcissist will use a third person, or even several people, to create additional attention and affirmation. Narcissists use the "everyone agrees with me" or "even my parents think so" ploy. In May 2016, when I talked to my daughter on her birthday, he used his NS to do my daughter's hair while I was on the phone!
7. Dangling the carrot
Narcissists often will tease you with things they know you want or need. They dangle the proverbial carrot in front of you, only to yank it away at the last minute. They will make promises just to get you to do what they want, then they break that promise.
8. Covert operations
Narcissists abuse covertly. More often than not, you won't know you've been in an abusive relationship until it's over. You may have suspicions, but nothing concrete. Narcissists build you up quickly, only to tear you down slowly. If you reveal your observations to someone, they may see you as silly because the Narc is "such a nice person." The subtleties of the abuse will continue behind closed doors.
These red flags do not appear in normal healthy relationships. The red flags are reserved for the Narcissists who like to swing on the volatile pendulum.
Have you noticed any other red flags that showed up later? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you sharing your stories with me.
Like the FFNAEA Facebook page by clicking the icon below!
Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
The Top 10
Here you will find my most popular posts for easier discovery.
How Narcissists Make Sure You Never Solve Problems In A Relationship
The Fake Apology
How I Lost My Identity
Effects of Emotional Abuse
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Tightening Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Why You Should Never Defend Yourself Against The Narcissist's Smear Campaign
Going No Contact: A List Of What To Do And What Not To Do
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
The Great Manipulator
©2016-2018. Freedom From Narcissistic And Emotional Abuse. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (in full or in part) without the express written consent of this blog's author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Freedom From Narcissistic And Emotional Abuse with a link back to the original content.
The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.