Most of us never see this coming. Especially when a people are in love, they go instantly blind to everything that might endanger their happiness—call it conscious denial.

Sadly, we become aware of what has happened to us only when the damage is already done. Then suddenly, something opens our eyes, and all the things we have lived through suddenly look horrible.

The truth is, they were always horrible, but we chose to make them pretty. That’s what happens when emotional abuse sneaks up on you. You never see it coming; you only feel the consequences.

How can your mind be ready to deal with something that you thought has happened all of a sudden?

I know, it’s impossible.

Then, you’re faced with one of the greatest challenges of your life—healing.

First, you look back, and you keep asking yourself how could you have put up with so much bullshit he has given you. You cannot believe what he did and how you reacted. You cannot believe how many things you’ve found an excuse for. From where you’re standing now, it’s absolutely ridiculous and sad at the same time.

But there is an important lesson you’ve learned. You cannot change someone who doesn’t want to change. You cannot force someone to love you by loving them back.

Here’s the lesson each of you needs to learn if you’re dating (and probably suspecting) he is a narcissist in disguise.

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1. It is only ‘I’, and no one else

He only cares about himself. There is no sentence that doesn’t contain the letter ‘I’ in it. You’ll notice when you’re out with your friends, all he talks about is himself.

The whole conversation revolves around him. Even if someone starts talking about something else, he’ll use that to take the focus back on himself.

2. It’s his way or the highway

He never takes other people’s opinions into consideration. When he decides something, it has to be his way. It’s like you don’t even exist in his world. You can talk and beg; he won’t give you the time of his day.

3. He manipulates you

He knows your every move; he knows your every reaction. Because of that, he can manipulate and control you to do exactly what he wants you to do. And at the end of the day, you’ll have the feeling you’ve done what he wanted willingly. That’s how good of a manipulator he is.

That is not the worst part. No, the worst part is, he enjoys seeing you dance to the music he plays. He is proud to have a nice and well-behaved puppet who will do exactly what he likes.

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4. He has double standards

When it comes to your life, there are more rules than anyone can imagine. You have to take steps through life carefully, making sure you don’t take the wrong one (according to him).

But, when it comes to him, different rules apply. All the things you’re not allowed to do, he is. When he makes a mistake you’d be punished for, it’s not such a big deal.

5. Other people’s opinions matter to him a lot

He cares deeply about his reputation. He would always talk himself up because he had to be the most delightful and kindest person you’d ever met. He wouldn’t stop until he provoked that feeling in someone new he met.

If talking himself up meant putting another down, he’d still do it because he doesn’t care who he has to run over to appear the best.

6. You’re the only one to blame

The blame game was his favorite to play. It was never his fault for anything. If you are in bad shape, it is because you did that to yourself. It was never him.

He is the angel, and you’re the devil. He probably called you ‘evil’ and ‘manipulative’ a few times although you both know he is the evil one and not you.

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7. He is the best one out there

He is always bragging about how he’s the best, how he does everything better than anyone else. If you ask him, he is the master of the universe. He will admit it without any shame.

You know how people who have really accomplished something never brag about it. They keep it to themselves, and only if you insist they tell you, they will. Well, you never have to ask him anything, he will brag about everything without any initiative.

8. He feeds on negativity

Whenever he feels a positive energy, he will come as close to you as possible to drain it all out. In those moments, he even pretends to really love you. He fakes that he wants to make you happy.

So, naturally, after every conversation with him, you feel emotionally drained. Your positive energy is sucked dry, and you’re left with only the negative one.

9. He has a double personality

When you’re out with other people, he’s so charming and positive. Everyone who gets a chance to talk to him likes him instantly. He’s a peach.

But, when only two of you are left alone, his personality changes. He becomes dark and cruel with no compassion and zero respect for you.

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10. He can’t handle criticism

He is a pro when it comes to criticizing others, especially you. He acts like he knows everything, and he pretends he genuinely wants to help you.

When the situation is another way around, except for the fact you really want to help him while he only fakes it, he won’t listen. He won’t take your advice because he truly believes he is perfect the way he is.

11. He is full of excuses

He expects you to drop everything when he needs you, but when you need him, he always has something better to do. He always has an excuse to not do something you want.

12. He is a drama queen

Nothing is ever simple with him in your life. You even probably sometimes ask yourself whether you are in a Spanish soap opera because all the situations are so similar. There is so much drama going on.

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13. He needs constant validation

Narcissists have this need to prove themselves, especially to people who doubt them. This is something that bothers them constantly, and almost everything they do is to prove to everyone around that they are perfect—that they have made it in life.

What he does is not because he wants to be a better man. It’s not because he wants to prove to himself he can, but it’s because he wants to brag to everyone around how great he is.

14. Perfect is the only way to go

He won’t stop until he gets what he wants and in the way he wants it. So, nothing is good enough until it’s perfect.

This is a pretty bad personality trait, and it’s characteristic for narcissists because seeking perfection means getting what you want at all costs—even if that means running over people, they don’t care. They will do whatever it takes.

15. He doesn’t understand empathy

You’ve probably tried talking to him about something that bothered you. You probably got nothing in return. Your misery and your suffering don’t mean anything to him because they don’t concern or affect him directly.

He only understands empathy when it has to do something with him. When another person is in pain, he doesn’t give a shit. He will even stir the conversation you’re having with him back to him being the topic to speak about.

16. He has a defense mechanism

Believe it or not, there is a reason why all narcissists are evil and cold. There must have been a trigger that made them that way, probably when they were still young. A narcissist will run away if you accidentally manage to crack them and understand why they are acting the way they are.

They have huge emotional walls built around themselves, and they won’t tear them down for anybody’s sake. They have learned that vulnerability is a sign of weakness which they cannot allow anyone to see.

17. He breaks you and fixes you right after

It’s like a hobby of his. In the normal world, the person who caused you pain, the person who broke you isn’t allowed to come back into your life. That person doesn’t have the right to help you heal because they are the reason you have to heal. The logical thing to do is to get away from that person, and deal with the things happening to you.

Well, that’s not the case when you’re with a narcissist. A narcissist will break you and then come back and comfort you.

You’ll be confused, but at the time when you’re broken, consolation is all you need, so naturally, you take what you can get. That’s the game he’s playing.

18. He never lets go of the past

Never. He remembers what you fought about a year ago. It’s like he’s keeping a diary of all the things you said or did wrong, and he makes sure you never forget them either. Whenever you start a new fight, he brings up the past.

There is a reason why he does that. If you noticed, if you’re winning the fight and he has nothing to say back at you, he pulls out something you did in the past and opens a Pandora’s box of arguments which never end.

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19. He emotionally abuses you

When you love someone, the chances of realizing that that person is emotionally abusing you is very slim. After being treated badly for some time, you kind of get used to it. That behavior becomes normal to you. After a while, you start making excuses for your partner.

You start justifying his behavior because you still love that person, and you’re hoping badly it’s all just a phase. and it will go away. He is aware of the fact you love him, and he takes advantage of that by doing whatever the hell he wants to you because he knows you’ll come back as you always do.

20. Love is no longer what you thought it was

He has convinced you with the way he treats you that love is a one-way street—you give and get nothing in return. He has made you believe that is what it is supposed to look like. Well, it’s not!

Narcissists are unable to love anyone but themselves. Because in order to love someone, you have to love yourself first.

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