How To Spot A Narcissist Before He Can Hurt You

While it’s tempting to flippantly call a self-absorbed guy a narcissist, there really are guys out there who are totally selfish and have no empathy, potentially making them extremely dangerous and definitely not anyone you’d want to be around. To prevent getting your heart smashed by a narcissist, here’s how to spot him before things become serious.

  1. He loves himself too much. Self-love is a must, but the narcissist goes over the top when it comes to how highly he rates himself. This is the guy who acts like he should be worshipped by everyone around him.
  2. He loves the sound of his own voice. The narcissist loves to have the spotlight to himself all the time. That’s why he can go on and on about himself and his life without giving you a chance to speak much. It’s all about him, and this will show up early on in dating.
  3. He hates when you disagree with him. Things are fine when you’re on the same page as him, but when you disagree with his opinions or choices, then suddenly he’ll either ignore you or tell you that you’re wrong. How convenient.
  4. He loves to take risks. The narcissists lives to break rules often. This could include stealing something from his friend, speeding in his car way above the speed limit, and so on. He loves the thrill of getting away with things, but be warned: he’ll soon want to break your rules, like when it comes to overstepping your boundaries. He thrives on doing what he’s not supposed to and doesn’t care about how others will feel because of his actions.
  5. He sulks when he doesn’t get your attention. You’re on a second date with the guy when your friend comes over to say hi. You spend a few minutes chatting to her and that’s enough to piss off your narcissist. He wants to feel admired and loved by everyone all the time. If he doesn’t, he can become cold. Same goes for when you have to cancel your date. He might act hurt or angry. This is because it’s his way or the highway.
  6. He doesn’t react when you’re down. If you’re having a stressful day or something bad happened to you, a narcissist just looks blankly at you or looks as though it’s no big deal. Yikes, this lack of empathy is astounding. Imagine getting into a serious relationship with this guy!
  7. He throws on the charm. Maybe one of the things you like about this guy is that he’s super-charming with you all the time. But coming on too strongly is a warning sign that he could be a narcissist. How can he be in awe of you if he’s just met you? See, he’s trying to butter you up and make you fall for him so he can control you. Narcissists battle to be in successful, happy relationships, so they come on very strongly to try to fake those deep feelings.
  8. He puts his exes down. Every single one of his exes were self-absorbed, cruel, or nasty to him? Don’t fall for it. He wants to get your sympathy (more on that in the next point) or he’s mentioning his lousy exes as a way to compliment you. He might even say you’re better than them. It’s all part of his love-bombing plan to get you where he wants you.
  9. He’s always the victim. Listen to how he speaks about others on your first few dates. Does he always make it out to seem like everyone hurts him and he’s just trying to do his best? It’s him against the world. Ugh. Whatever. He just knows how to throw on the waterworks and play the sympathy card when he thinks it’ll suit him or put him in a more favorable light. Be wary of the guy who’s always in a rough patch but never accepts any responsibility for it.
  10. He makes you feel insecure. The narcissist is a pro at making you doubt your opinions, thoughts, decisions, and more. He’ll do this in sneaky ways, such as by asking you to repeat what you’ve said even though you’ve spoken clearly, or giving you half-compliments along the line of, “You’re quite attractive, even with that unflattering dress.” It’s all done to throw you off and make him feel more in control.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.