New relationships are exciting. Chemistry is intoxicating and addictive.
The temptation to throw caution to the wind and dive in headfirst is powerful, but may not be the best idea. Taking things slow and ensuring a new partner is true blue may save a person from a traumatizing relationship.
Often it is impossible to tell whether a person is narcissistic initially. Most people want to make a good impression at the outset of a new relationship, so appearing caring and attentive is common. Yet, as the months pass, several signs may illuminate a partner’s toxic levels.
It is critical to note that alone and isolated, these 10 tendencies are easily excused and swept under the rug. People who are understanding routinely give a partner the benefit of the doubt, saying for example, “He’s having a bad day.” Although this extension of grace and empathy is important and necessary, if the empathy is rarely reciprocated and a person’s feelings are continually ignored, a red flag may exist.
If a partner routinely exhibits 7 out of the 10 habits, it may be important to recognize that he or she operates in an egocentric manner. Often a partner with a fragile ego unconsciously employs overactive defence mechanisms to protect a fragile sense of self. This may be deceptive because a partner acts confidently.
Yet, he or she may be compensating with inflated and unconscious defence mechanisms, such as narcissism, deflection, projection, victim stance, denial, idealization/devaluation, and projective identification.
Defence mechanisms are normal and necessary, yet when a defensive structure works to keep out anything that threatens a partner’s self-esteem, like accountability, remorse, self-awareness, empathy, humility, selflessness, and insight, the system is overbearing.
Like a force field, the defences work in unison to ward off any emotion which threatens the core. Unfortunately, this overarching defensive structure may be rooted in a person’s character and not easily altered.
Ironically, an impaired partner may be able to display some of these capabilities in situations outside of the relationship. For example, at work, a partner is accountable. Yet, within the context of interpersonal relationships, the partner is unable to take responsibility for himself or herself.
This may be confusing and tempt a person to blame himself or herself. Yet, this type of partner may have learned the dire consequences of avoiding accountability at work.
Thus, he or she is attempting to mitigate repercussions. He or she may not actually feel true remorse. Within the context of a relationship, however, the partner may unconsciously realize there are no “real” consequences because they can control and manipulate the person.
Observing the presence and theme of these 10 relational tendencies may unveil the true nature of a new partner.
Sadly, these characteristics may be entrenched and not easily remedied. Assessing a partner’s motivation is critical. A partner’s openness to counselling may be an important determining component.