This Is How A Narcissist Will Target You

This Is How A Narcissist Will Target You

So you’ve met someone who seems almost too good to be true, showering you with attention and compliments?

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While it’s flattering, it’s important to be aware of the tactics a narcissist might use to lure you in (and what they’ll do to keep you there). Here are some of the biggest moves in their playbook so you can recognize the signs and protect yourself.

1. They love bomb you.

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At first, a narcissist might overwhelm you with affection, gifts, and constant attention. They’ll make you feel like the center of their universe, the most special person they’ve ever met. This intense “love bombing” creates a powerful bond and makes it hard to resist their charm.

2. They mirror your interests and personality.

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Narcissists are skilled chameleons, adapting their personalities to match yours. They’ll share your hobbies, opinions, and values, making you feel like you’ve found your soulmate. This mirroring creates a false sense of intimacy and makes you feel deeply understood.

3. They offer excessive compliments and flattery.

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Narcissists are masters of flattery, showering you with compliments and praise. They might tell you how beautiful, intelligent, or talented you are, even if they barely know you. This constant admiration can be intoxicating and boost your ego, making you crave more of their validation.

4. They play the victim.

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Narcissists often have a sob story about their past relationships or difficult childhood. They might paint themselves as victims of circumstance, misunderstood geniuses, or sensitive souls who have been wronged by people. This can evoke your sympathy and make you want to “rescue” them.

5. They create a sense of urgency.

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Narcissists might pressure you to move quickly in the relationship, pushing for commitment or intimacy before you’re ready. They might use phrases like “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before” or “You’re the only one who truly understands me” to create a sense of urgency and make you feel like you’ll miss out if you don’t act fast.

6. They isolate you from your support system.

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Narcissists often try to separate you from your friends and family, subtly criticizing them or making you feel guilty for spending time with them. They might try to convince you that they’re the only person you need in your life, making you more dependent on them.

7. They test your boundaries.

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As Psych Central notes, narcissists will push your limits to see how far they can go. They might make unreasonable demands, ignore your needs, or dismiss your concerns. If you don’t stand up for yourself, they’ll take it as a sign that they can control you.

8. They use intermittent reinforcement.

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Narcissists often alternate between affection and distance, keeping you on an emotional rollercoaster. They might shower you with love one day and then ignore you the next, making you crave their attention and approval even more.

9. They belittle or dismiss your feelings.

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Narcissists often struggle to understand or care about other people’s feelings. They might dismiss your concerns, minimize your pain, or even blame you for your own struggles. This lack of empathy can make you feel emotionally isolated and unsupported.

10. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance in your life.

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Narcissists believe they’re better than everyone and deserve special treatment. They might brag about their achievements, exaggerate their talents, or demand constant admiration. This inflated ego can make it difficult for them to have healthy, balanced relationships.

11. They get jealous of you all the time.

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Despite their outward confidence, narcissists are often deeply insecure and jealous of other people’s success or happiness. They might belittle your accomplishments or try to sabotage your goals, feeling threatened by your potential.

12. They start demanding more and more from you.

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Narcissists believe they’re entitled to special privileges and expect people to cater to their needs. They might demand your time and attention, expecting you to drop everything to accommodate them. This sense of entitlement can be exhausting and draining for those around them.

13. They manipulate and exploit you.

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Narcissists are skilled manipulators, using charm, guilt, or threats to get what they want. They might exploit your vulnerabilities or use your emotions against you to control your behavior. This can leave you feeling used and manipulated.

14. They blame you for things they did wrong.

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Narcissists rarely take responsibility for their mistakes or apologize for their hurtful behavior. They point the finger, deflect criticism, or even try to gaslight you into believing that you’re the problem. This lack of accountability can make it difficult to resolve conflicts or build a healthy relationship.

15. They devalue and discard you.

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According to Verywell Mind, once a narcissist has gotten what they want from you, they might suddenly lose interest or devalue you. They might criticize you, withdraw affection, or even end the relationship abruptly. This can leave you feeling confused, hurt, and abandoned.

Originally from Australia, Emma Mills graduated from the University of Queensland with a dual degree in Philosophy and Applied Linguistics before moving to Los Angeles to become a professional matchmaker (a bit of a shift, obviously). Since 2015, she has helped more than 150 people find lasting love and remains passionate about bringing amazing singletons together.

Emma is also the author of the upcoming Hachette publication, "Off the Beaten Track: Finding Lasting Love in the Least Likely of Places," due out in January 2025.