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Signs of a narcissist: 5 early warning triggers you need to be aware of

Image credit: Shutterstock - By Iakov Filimonov

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

Nobody wants to date a narcissist.

They’re self-serving, arrogant and won’t hesitate to manipulate you to get what they want.

But if what they want is you, then they’ll do whatever they can to charm your socks off and blind you to the reality of their intentions.

So, what can you do? How can you look out for signs of narcissism early on to avoid future pain?

It’s important to recognize the signs of narcissism so you can learn how to deal with a narcissist.

In Psychology Today, psychologist and author of Rethinking Narcissism, Dr. Craig Malkin, uses his experience and expert knowledge to explain the 5 most common early signs of a narcissist or evil person.

Here they are:

1) Projected feelings of insecurity

According to Craig Malkin, narcissists are very insecure. And they’ll want to pass these insecure feelings onto you.

So in order to do that, they’ll say and do things, subtle or obvious, to make you feel less smart, less accomplished and less competent.

They’ll appear like they’re know-it-alls and they’re constantly “teaching” you information. They’ll aim to dim your light to make their own light shine brighter.

2) Emotional-phobia

All humans have feelings, and we tend to have many of them during social interactions. But if you’re experiencing feelings when you’re with others, it also means that they have some influence over you.

Narcissists hate lacking control in anything, so to admit any kind of feelings means that something outside of them is influencing them.

So, when feelings come up, they’ll often to try to change the subject as they need to be in complete control. Even when they’re angry, they’ll never admit they’re angry.

3) A fragmented family story

Dr. Craig Malkin believes that narcissism seems to be born of neglect and abuse, both of which are notorious for creating an insecure attachment style.

And the fact that narcissists are deeply insecure makes for an easy way to spot them. They won’t be able to talk about their childhood very accurately and their stories will be contradictory and riddled with gaps.

They’ll attempt to carry around the perfect family story, but it won’t make any sense. As Dr. Craig Malkin says, “the devil is in the details”.

4) Idol worship

According to Dr. Craig Malkin, most people aren’t familiar with the narcissistic tendency of idol worship.

Narcasists love to put people on pedestals. If they find someone that they think is perfect, they’ll place them as an idol and believe that their perfectness will rub off on them.

So, how can you spot this? Look out for any pressure to conform to an image of perfection, no matter how lovely or magical the compulsive flattery might feel.

5) A high need for control

This is where a narcissist manipulation comes from. They can’t stand not getting what they want and being at the mercy of other people’s preferences.

They hate asking for what they want because it gives the other person a choice. So, they’ll instead create stories and events to orchestrate their desired outcome.

These efforts of control will be more subtle than you think. Be on the lookout for someone who makes you feel nervous about sharing your preference.

Narcissists have a way of making certain choices appear completely off limits.

Now, none of these signs prove definitely that someone is a narcissist. But if you see a lot of them, a lot of the time, then it’s time to sit up and take notice.

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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