The “red flag” you should never ignore.

red_flag

When it comes to narcissism, there’s a lot of talk about red flags: behaviors that are associated with narcissistic abuse, such as lying, gaslighting, lack of empathy, grandiosity, and refusal to admit wrongdoing.

But there’s one red flag that’s underrated because it’s so subjective: your own intuition.

When you first meet a narcissist, they may seem like the nicest person you ever met. You might not see any of the usual “red flags” immediately. Before you know it, you’re involved with a person who only has ill will and will make you feel like you’re going insane. When you finally realize what you are dealing with, they may have already wreaked havoc in your life–stolen your time, your patience, your trust, your money, your self-esteem, your job, your spouse, your sanity, your identity, even your soul.

Pay attention to the way you feel around someone you just met. If you feel inexplicably on guard, intimidated, wary, or feel like you’re walking on eggshells, if the person comes off as insincere or smarmy, or you just get the heebie jeebies around the person, don’t dismiss these feelings as only your imagination. Your unconscious mind is picking up signals you may not be consciously aware of and is warning you. Listen to your feelings and if possible, get away from this person. Or at least watch them carefully.

It’s easy to dismiss intuition as irrational and a product of an overactive imagination. You’re a nice person and want to give your new acquaintance the benefit of the doubt. If you’ve been a victim of narcissistic abuse in the past, you may have learned not to trust your own feelings. But these early feelings can serve as warning signals before you see any actual red flags. Don’t question them. They are trying to tell you something.

14 thoughts on “The “red flag” you should never ignore.

  1. Or if you’re intuition seems to be taking a siesta and you’re feeling all swoony and stuff, you might wanna take a listen to what others are saying…something we tend to also ignore when we’re “in love” if it’s anything other than positive.

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        • I ignored both my intuition and the advice of my friends and family…I always had this nagging feeling that something was not quite right and that he would probably break my heart at some point. In addition to that, my friends and family both told me I should better try to let go as it didn’t seem as if he could offer me commitment and stability. In the end, I listened neither to them nor to my intuition and got my heart ripped apart as punishment. Thank you for your post! It’s so true…We should trust more in our intuition.

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          • I hear you. I could have avoided my heart being broken so many times if I’d listened to my own red flag. It makes me sick to think I myself could have avoided it.

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  2. Perfect. I’m not need even going to rant like usually do. Nothing much to say other than you’ve hit the nail on the head.

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  3. This is difficult, because it can so easily devolve into cynicism… and if there’s one thing I did NOT want to be when I grew up, it’s a cynic. In my misspent youth, I tended to be more of a Pollyanna, and as a result I was constantly being bamboozled by people who I should have known were trouble, if I’d been paying attention. Now that I’m old, I can see how much grief I could have avoided if I had paid more heed to those annoying red flags, instead of just ignoring them.

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    • Bob, join the club. I have exactly the same problem. I’m too optimistic and want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt even when there’s a flashing red sign that screams “narcissist.” All too often I see it but think it’s my imagination or paranoia or something. More often than not, it’s 100% correct. I can’t tell you how many times ignoring that inner red flag has gotten me into worlds of trouble.

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      • My default position has always been to think well of people until they give me good reason to think otherwise. I think my mistake was trying too hard not to be cynical and suspicious, and going too far in the other direction. (At least I’d rather think it’s that than just that I was hopelessly naïve.)

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