This part of my Narcissists & Psychopaths series is about how to protect yourself and not be the narcissist’s next victim. I’ve broken it down into seven early warning signs that you can look out for, to help you stay away from narcissists. If you haven’t read the other parts of this series you can check it out here Part 1 and Part 2.
For those who prefer to watch, or listen to videos, please skip ahead to the bottom of the page where you can hear me chat about this topic and give you some pointers. If you prefer to read the information, then please keep going 🙂
These are things that you can watch out for in the very early stages. I thought the most helpful thing for most people would be to catch it early before you get too invested in the friendship, or in the relationship, so that you can get out before you get hurt.
Sign #1 – Narcissists have a tendency to keep redirecting the conversation back to themselves. They may allow you to talk a little bit, but then they’ll jump in, or interrupt and bring the conversation back around to themselves. They won’t ask you questions about you, and they will always be talking about themselves.
Sign #2 – They can be very flattering. This is actually not genuine, it’s a ploy to get you to fall under their spell, and if you are an HSP, you will be able to pick up on this. Your gut instinct, or your warning bells, will be going off. You will be able to tell because one of HSP’s unique skills is being sensitive to subtleties.
Sign #3 – They are always name dropping, they are always bragging and they always need to be the center of attention. When they’re bragging, it isn’t necessarily about things they’ve achieved. It might be about things that they are going to achieve. This one should be quite easy to spot as well.
Sign #4 – Narcissists don’t have any empathy, so they’re kind of the polar opposite of HSPs because we have a lot of empathy. A good way to discover this is to get them to tell you a sad story, or you tell them a sad story, and pay close attention to their reaction.
Sign #5 – Rude and arrogant. They will often walk ahead of you, and they don’t listen. Again, should be quite obvious to you.
Sign #6 – The relationship probably feels very one-sided and you will often feel used or manipulated. If you start feeling that something is off – trust that. Don’t ignore it, trust that your intuition is picking up on something.
Sign #7 – Watch how they treat members of society that they potentially feel are below them. For example waiters, secretaries, people in the customer service profession. You’ll find that they are probably quite rude to those people.
These are seven early warning signs to look out for. I also want to mention the two best protection mechanisms you have.
Number one is to trust your gut. Don’t ignore it and don’t make excuses. The main reason that HSPs often get caught up in a relationship with a narcissist is because we ignore our gut.
Number two is to build and maintain healthy boundaries. If you have healthy, strong boundaries in place, then you are less likely to fall victim in the first place, or you will pick up things pretty quickly. This will help you get out before things go too far in the friendship, or the relationship and you get hurt.
Today’s challenge to try and help you implement this information is to have a look at some of your previous relationships, go through the list of warning signs and ask yourself were they there in that relationship? What did you do? Did you ignore your instincts? Did you make excuses for the narcissist?
It would be great if you could share your findings with the Bright Sparks group, so that we can all learn from each other.
Here’s the link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/highlysensitiveextrovertswithjennt/