Here’s a Checklist.
We might have been in the relationship for 1 week, 10 days, 10 years or more. The signs have always been there about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), just that we knew nothing about it. Even more, we did not know what to look for and as a result fought the same fights, were tossed around by the same crazy-making, landed on our feet, only to subject ourselves to some more.
Our personality is our unique style and reflects our values, feelings, thoughts and actions. A healthy personality enables us to face life’s interactions and challenges and react in ways that do not intentionally bring harm to others. But, when the thoughts, feelings and actions of certain personality styles display deliberate emotional and physical harm to others, then it gets classified as Personality Disorder.
One of the Personality Disorders is Narcissistic Personality Disorder in which the traits can go unnoticed to the untrained eye and appear as just ‘relationship issues.’ Partners of people with NPD may keep on thinking it is something they need to solve. In reality – the NPD relationship cannot be ‘solved’ and needs to be seen for what it is – abusive and depleting for the partner.
So here are some quick signs to show you that what you are going through is not a cute love fight anymore, it is psychologically manipulative and twisted and you need to see it for what it is and decide your next course of action that allows you to flourish and triumph and not feel restricted and sub-par.
All the effects that you have felt of constant arguments, restrictive behaviour, anger-issues, control over you, intense fluctuations of love and anger, now have to be re-assessed and seen for the symptoms of Trauma Bonding Behaviour (displayed by victims of NPD abuse) that has kept you stuck and frozen with a NPD person who will not change.
Here are the signs and red flags: Answer with a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’
1. Are there many fights?
2. Are your hurt levels very high with each fight?
3. Are you the one doing the changing, sacrificing and making-up most times?
4. Were you satisfied with the conclusion of the fights?
5. Are there 2 sets of rules – one for you and one for your partner?
6. Have you broken-up several times and made-up several times?
7. Is your behaviour stressful?
8. Have you been restricted from doing a lot of things – meeting friends, going out with them, other things you have been told to stay away from?
9. Is there a sense of superiority displayed by your partner?
10. Do they feel like the world owes them something?
11. Do they have an ‘image to the world’ that is very important for them to project or protect?
12. Do they exaggerate their achievements and talk about themselves often?
13. Do they fluctuate between a cold lack of emotions and high intense love?
14. Do you often find yourself confused and exhausted emotionally by this relationship?
15. Do you feel you receive as much as you give in this relationship?
If you have answered even 5 of these questions with a Yes, you are in need to assess this relationship with an NPD lens.
See these signs and red flags and do not get caught up in the martyr syndrome of thinking that you are saving them or yourself. Neither is the case.
After you have identified and accepted that you have been in a NPD relationship, you will need to re-build your original personality and self, which is very strong, bold and resilient. Do not stay in the past of ‘why did it happen’ and move on to reclaiming your own, beautiful self again.
This is a difficult time for you and you will grieve the loss of a relationship you felt was beautiful and real and your identity in many ways, even if you stay on with the NPD person. Accept what it meant for you and that it did not mean the same for your NPD partner due to the disorder that makes them lack all form of empathy. You will find yourself again. You will find a version of you that is your most highest potential.
Stay strong as you already are and take small steps every day to your recovery. For the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Steps (NARS) Program for Healing & Unfurling, go to
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.