Psychologist reveals seven signs you're dating a narcissist

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By stefan armitage

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Ever wanted to know if you're dating a narcissist? Or that you - in fact - may be a narcissist yourself? Well, a psychologist has now revealed seven signs (or red flags) that point to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

GettyImages-1756222530.jpgCredit: SolStock / Getty

Psychologist Dr. Kerry McAvoy - whose expertise spans over two decades with a focus on assisting abuse victims - has taken to social media to highlight these signs to help individuals discern narcissistic behaviors early on, potentially safeguarding themselves and their relationships.

Dr. McAvoy clarifies that Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is more than mere self-absorption or vanity — it is a clinically diagnosed mental health issue characterized by manipulative behaviors and a lack of empathy.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic describes NPD as "a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them. People with this disorder may lack the ability to understand or care about the feelings of others.

"But behind this mask of extreme confidence, they are not sure of their self-worth and are easily upset by the slightest criticism."

The distinction between selfishness and narcissism is crucial, with NPD posing significant risks to the mental well-being of those in relationships with individuals exhibiting these traits.


So, what are the signs you need to look out for when it comes to our cell phones? Dr. McAvoy's top seven can be seen below...

Immediate Expectations: Narcissists often demand instant responses to their messages, disregarding the recipient’s circumstances or priorities. Dr. McAvoy emphasized: “If you don’t [reply immediately], they want to know if you’re too busy for them."

They may also become annoyed that you don't respond promptly, and send messages like, "I need to talk to you," "Respond to me now," and "What are you doing that you can’t respond to me?"

A man holding a cell phone.Credit: FreshSplash / Getty

Mass Sentimental Messages: A narcissist may deploy cut-and-paste sentimental texts to multiple recipients, including past flames and new acquaintances. This tactic aims to garner widespread admiration and validation, crucial for their inflated self-image.

Dr. McAvoy claims that this is an attempt to "spread their love and attention far and wide".

Phone Obsession: Individuals with narcissistic traits exhibit an obsessive attachment to their phones, using them to sustain a constant stream of attention and affirmation from social circles.

Dr. McAvoy described this behavior as akin to being born with a phone in hand.

News.com.au reports that a 2023 study showed that individuals with narcissistic tendencies or characteristics specifically use their smartphones to scroll through social media.

Delayed Responses: While demanding immediate replies, narcissists themselves may delay responding to messages, asserting dominance and control in the relationship dynamic. Dr. McAvoy cautioned: "It may be minutes, hours or days before they bother to respond."

Early Explicit Content: Sending sexually explicit texts or photos prematurely is another hallmark of narcissistic behavior.

Dr. McAvoy explained: "They think it’s okay to send explicit text messages and photos, even before you know each other or the relationship has proceeded that far."

A man looking into a mirror.Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty

Anxiety-Inducing Messages: Narcissists often send vague or incomplete texts that leave recipients feeling anxious or unsure about the relationship’s status.

Dr. McAvoy says they will "send short messages without any follow-up, leaving you anxious, off balance or feeling confused about the status of the relationship."

Repetitive Sentiments: Consistently sending the same sentimental photos, songs, or videos serves as a tactic to maintain emotional attachment and validate their importance in your life. Dr. McAvoy warned that these are, "a way to remind you how special you are and to keep you on an emotional hook".

Understanding these nuanced texting behaviors, as outlined by Dr. McAvoy, could hopefully empower individuals to identify potential narcissistic traits early on and navigate relationships with heightened awareness.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), beyond vanity or self-absorption, involves manipulative behaviors that can impact the mental well-being of partners and loved ones.

GettyImages-1400692779.jpgCredit: Milamai / Getty

So, in a society where digital communication shapes personal interactions, recognizing these red flags can be crucial in fostering healthier relationships and protecting emotional well-being.

Featured image credit: SolStock / Getty

Psychologist reveals seven signs you're dating a narcissist

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Ever wanted to know if you're dating a narcissist? Or that you - in fact - may be a narcissist yourself? Well, a psychologist has now revealed seven signs (or red flags) that point to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

GettyImages-1756222530.jpgCredit: SolStock / Getty

Psychologist Dr. Kerry McAvoy - whose expertise spans over two decades with a focus on assisting abuse victims - has taken to social media to highlight these signs to help individuals discern narcissistic behaviors early on, potentially safeguarding themselves and their relationships.

Dr. McAvoy clarifies that Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is more than mere self-absorption or vanity — it is a clinically diagnosed mental health issue characterized by manipulative behaviors and a lack of empathy.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic describes NPD as "a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them. People with this disorder may lack the ability to understand or care about the feelings of others.

"But behind this mask of extreme confidence, they are not sure of their self-worth and are easily upset by the slightest criticism."

The distinction between selfishness and narcissism is crucial, with NPD posing significant risks to the mental well-being of those in relationships with individuals exhibiting these traits.


So, what are the signs you need to look out for when it comes to our cell phones? Dr. McAvoy's top seven can be seen below...

Immediate Expectations: Narcissists often demand instant responses to their messages, disregarding the recipient’s circumstances or priorities. Dr. McAvoy emphasized: “If you don’t [reply immediately], they want to know if you’re too busy for them."

They may also become annoyed that you don't respond promptly, and send messages like, "I need to talk to you," "Respond to me now," and "What are you doing that you can’t respond to me?"

A man holding a cell phone.Credit: FreshSplash / Getty

Mass Sentimental Messages: A narcissist may deploy cut-and-paste sentimental texts to multiple recipients, including past flames and new acquaintances. This tactic aims to garner widespread admiration and validation, crucial for their inflated self-image.

Dr. McAvoy claims that this is an attempt to "spread their love and attention far and wide".

Phone Obsession: Individuals with narcissistic traits exhibit an obsessive attachment to their phones, using them to sustain a constant stream of attention and affirmation from social circles.

Dr. McAvoy described this behavior as akin to being born with a phone in hand.

News.com.au reports that a 2023 study showed that individuals with narcissistic tendencies or characteristics specifically use their smartphones to scroll through social media.

Delayed Responses: While demanding immediate replies, narcissists themselves may delay responding to messages, asserting dominance and control in the relationship dynamic. Dr. McAvoy cautioned: "It may be minutes, hours or days before they bother to respond."

Early Explicit Content: Sending sexually explicit texts or photos prematurely is another hallmark of narcissistic behavior.

Dr. McAvoy explained: "They think it’s okay to send explicit text messages and photos, even before you know each other or the relationship has proceeded that far."

A man looking into a mirror.Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty

Anxiety-Inducing Messages: Narcissists often send vague or incomplete texts that leave recipients feeling anxious or unsure about the relationship’s status.

Dr. McAvoy says they will "send short messages without any follow-up, leaving you anxious, off balance or feeling confused about the status of the relationship."

Repetitive Sentiments: Consistently sending the same sentimental photos, songs, or videos serves as a tactic to maintain emotional attachment and validate their importance in your life. Dr. McAvoy warned that these are, "a way to remind you how special you are and to keep you on an emotional hook".

Understanding these nuanced texting behaviors, as outlined by Dr. McAvoy, could hopefully empower individuals to identify potential narcissistic traits early on and navigate relationships with heightened awareness.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), beyond vanity or self-absorption, involves manipulative behaviors that can impact the mental well-being of partners and loved ones.

GettyImages-1400692779.jpgCredit: Milamai / Getty

So, in a society where digital communication shapes personal interactions, recognizing these red flags can be crucial in fostering healthier relationships and protecting emotional well-being.

Featured image credit: SolStock / Getty