emotional abuse, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, red flags of abuse

Red Flags You are With an Abusive Personality

Here is a list of red flags that may help you to see early on that you are with an abusive personality. If you are seeing a few of these characteristics then you need to assert some boundaries with them and see how they react.

If they fight you about having simple personal boundaries then you need to realize that you may be in an abusive relationship. 

Tell them you have to go sleep early one night because you have a lot to do the next day. If they do not accept this, then there is a problem.

No one should give you guilt or shame you that you are not good to them, when you are doing simple basic things to take care of yourself.

It is not normal for someone to threaten to leave you or call you a bad girlfriend if you want to do things for yourself like take a class, do an extra assignment for school or work, or spend time with family or friends.

You should never feel manipulated by guilt, shame or fear. People that love you do not inflict fear or threats in order to get you to comply.

Here is a list that I have come up with from research and also from personal experience. There may be things that need to be added. Feel free to leave any ideas in the comments.

Keep in mind that narcissists are on their best behavior at the very beginning of the relationship, called the idealization phase.

Many of these red flags will not come up until the “honeymoon phase” is over in a couple of months. The best ones to look for early on are the ones that I put near to the top of this list.

Love Bombing and Pushing to be in a Serious Relationship Right Away

Constant texting, calling, stopping over (calls you the second you get out from work or during work/ calls you while you are trying to get ready for work/ calls you first thing on your day off and wants to be on the phone, texting, or see you all day on every day off you have / calls while you are out with friends and you told them you would be busy with friends/  texts you when you said you would be at the gym….never ending constant contact)

Angry or very upset when you do not respond to texts and voicemails right away

Never taking responsibility for their action – things are always someone else’s fault

Chameleon-like changeable personality – a different personality for different people and situations

They are always right and never make a mistake

They hate to be told they could have done something better or differently

Jealousy and Ownership of You

Isolating you from family and friends (discouraging you from spending time with them/  getting angry when you do/ saying that those people are interfering somehow in your relationship/ telling you that relatives that you have known for years are out to get you and you did not realize it)

Need to control your schedule

Never apologizes or does so in a sarcastic,  fake way ( my ex never apologized but when I brought up something that was bothering me he would say “I am always apologizing to you.”…

I would say “you are?” and then he would say “Yes and I am not doing it anymore. I am tired of you making me apologize to me.”  …

And the funny thing was I was not looking for an apology.  He jumped to that conclusion on his own.  I just wanted to work on our communication.)

Need to know where you are at all times

Telling you what to wear and how to look

Control of the money ( you need to check with them before you spend your own money/  they question how you spend your money/ shame you or make you feel guilty over spending your money on yourself)

Criticism and disrespect  of women (this may not be directed at you at first  since they put on their mask and are on their best behavior during the idealization phase – observe how they treat other women who they have nothing to gain from)

Making you account for your whereabouts

Making you ask permission or clear your activities with them

Name calling and demeaning

Complaining that the women at work do not treat him with respect

Excessive monitoring and making you check in all the time

Extreme sense of entitlement

Unrealistic, and unreasonable  demands

Lack of sympathy and empathy

Not interested in anyone else’s side of things

Accusing you of cheating when you are not

Blaming you for things that do not go his way

Excessive need for control in the house

Manipulating your friends and family to take their side in arguments

Getting angry if you have a different opinion than they do

Making you feel stupid and less intelligent than they are

Being disrespectful to you in front of your family and friends

15 thoughts on “Red Flags You are With an Abusive Personality”

  1. Yep, met him, love him but still dumped him… I didn’t know the name of his disorder but I respect myself too much to allow it in my life.


      1. It’s easy for me to love but revoking love once given is much harder trick to pull off. I seldom can manage it. Besides he has lovable qualities as well and there’s a big difference between loving and being in love. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you are right. I still love my last partner also. But he is a deceitful person who intentionally mislead me to get what he wanted.

      We have to protect ourselves. They have chosen to live the way they do. We were there for them and they could have chosen to love us, but they did not.

      Thank you for you comments and I am glad to know there are still forgiving, compassionate people in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I a glad you know to recognize them. I did not know any of this last year. Then I learned some of it but not well enough, because I ended up with a really insidious one. There wont’t be a next time. I want to warn other people who might be in a relationship and not realize what is happening.
      Thank you for reading,
      Annie ❤


  2. Is am checking of a bunch. And even for myself. I feel ashamed that my own behaviour is similar at certain times. I suppose I am a little bit of an abuser. But is that because of him or myself?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Narcissists do not worry of they are abusive to people and they would not read a blog like this one. If you are asking this question then I would say that NO you are not a narcissist.

      If you grew up in an abusive family , or had emotional trauma like divorced parents, moving a lot, alcoholic parents, or any kind of ongoing emotional abuse, then you could possibly have developed some borderline traits. I do not know enough about you to say. Borderline people are very afraid of being abandoned by people they love….do you have this?

      If you developed some borderline traits then you might have some behaviors that could create some checks on this list because you are afraid that people will not love you enough and will leave. But I would have to talk to you more to get an idea.

      I really cannot diagnose you because I have not finished my psychology degree and am not officially licensed to do that legally. But just for brainstorming as a chat, we could talk more to see what might be happening.

      I still have one space open for free coaching before I end the offer and go to paid coaching. You can see the info page at the top of this blog page that says Free Coaching.

      After next week, I have to change the free coaching to paid, but the first session will be offered for free. Then it will be by the week.

      Otherwise, I would say that if you have been with an abusive partner then it is normal to feel like you are the abusive one. They like to make you feel that way. You also could have picked up some traits that bled over onto you from the abuser.

      This is not to say that you will stay that way. Once we are away from a narcissist then we might have a few traits for a short time, because they rubbed off a little but they will go away.

      This is my email if you want to do a couple of coaching sessions with me, to talk about possibilities as to why this is coming into your mind that you are worried about being an abuser.

      I hope I have helped a little. You can look up borderline personality disorder just to check if you have things on the checklist. The main things are the fear of abandonment to the point where you might make relationships end just not to get abandoned, and also difficulty regulating your moods, Moods can go up and down quickly,,,but the tricky thing is that bipolar disorder also has that in a similar way, but not quite the same.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. To this I want to add that much of what you describe is the woman’s experience of the aftermath of abuse. Male trauma victims will find many of these same characteristics in women. The primary difference is really social. In our culture women are still perceived as more vulnerable so make trauma victims may find themselves in an abusive relationship and surrounded by people who view the perpetrator as the victim.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Men that are abused will often be accused of being the abuser because the authorities will quickly assume the male is the manipulator. Narcissistic women are just as manipulative, cruel and threatening. I am also aware that this narcissistic abuse occurs in the gay and lesbian communities. Narcissists use the same tactics.

      If situations of abuse in general, the narcissist can usually appear calm and sane when the situation gets to court, lawyers or therapists that are required by the system. The narcissist is not the one who is broken and in a state of mental trauma so they are calmer and look sane.

      The poor victim is so broken that they appear to the mentally ill, unstable one and the lawyers and therapists think they are the actual abuser.

      The narcissist will lie and portray the victim as confused, mentally ill and abusive to them. They play the victim and say that they tried so hard to help their partner and to tolerate their behaviors …out of the kindness of their hearts.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So true…when I was more symptomatic I could escalate from zero to a hundred in less than five minutes and the narcissist is sitting there with a look of fake concern in her eyes which would only make me more volatile…

        The other thing they do is voluntarily enter my life so they can “suffer” from me.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Am trying to think of very early warning signs, but there weren’t many the first few months. But a major red flag came after about 5 months. When I noticed his online cheating, he wouldn’t accept he had done any thing wrong. In fact he only bland me, for having looked at his computer. I was in shock, not only about the cheating, but about his complete lack of accountability and remorse. I should’ve left then and there. So my major red flag warning is, if someone treats you badly in any way and refuses to be sorry about it, please get away from them. Their behavior probably is a sign of worse things to come.


    1. Yes that is right. Normal people would at least acknowledge that they were in the wrong. And he was lying and doing things behind your back which is also not normal. These are all red flags. The fact that he would not apologize and that he blame shifted onto you for seeing his computer is classic narcissist.
      Thank you for mentioning this.
      I had similar things happen.
      I am sorry you had to go through this. It is such a painful and humiliating thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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