I see red flags 🚩 immediately and know how to write ppl off quickly - anyone else experience this after being raised around narcs?

I see red flags 🚩 immediately and know how to write ppl off quickly - anyone else experience this after being raised around narcs?


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Yes and no. I do usually quickly spot the red flags of narcissism and manipulation. But I don't imediately write these people off or refuse to have a relationship with them. Typically that's when I start "testing the waters" so to speak. Are they aware of their behavior? Do they even realize how it is affecting those around them? Why are they acting this way? Is there a chance to set them straight or are they beyond my help? I think part of it is me taking the opportunity to say and do the things I couldn't as a kid and the other part is knowing I myself can inadvertently use skills (like manipulation) I learned from my parents without meaning any harm (most of the time.) Sometimes I do find people like myself who only act that way because no one called them on it or brought attention to it. Other times I can literally make them behave better at least when I'm around because I don't let them get away with acting like that. Then other times I do run up on a person who is a straight up proud red flag waving bundle of trouble. But like a little kid in a room full of bright red flashing buttons I can't resist gleefully pressing each and every one. (Again I blame my inability to do anything attack or defense wise as a kid) I'm so bad that my husband and his mom have straight up banned me from meeting certain relatives of theirs because of how they would react coming up against me. It's rare for me to find someone I will straight up refuse to deal with.




This bothers me soo much. Its double victimisation in a way. I had to suffer through it and I've BECOME that. My SO keeps saying I obsess over not harming others but LIKE HELL YEAH I WILL OBSESS. I HAVE learnt awful traits and unlearning them is a lot of effort and I would rather die than inflict myself on someone else. I HATE that I have these traits because my mother was a narcissist.




I am so grateful to read your perspective. Thanks.


I can relate.




Yes! This was the answer I was hoping to see. I think narcs are really just a fact of life. Sometimes you’re going to be confronted by Narcs in real life that you either need to have a relationship with either professional or otherwise. Hell, a LOT of successful people are narcissistic, but sometimes that can be beneficial. My mother was a crazy narc and an entrepreneur. But she also helped a lot of people with their career (and totally took credit for it on the DL) but, whatever! It’s not like she’s taking money or actual receiving additional credentials for the work she did. She said shit like that at home to her family to say “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!” In an attempt to make herself feel special. Those of us in the know will roll their eyes and “uh huh, uh huh” there way through a few conversations. As for some tips? You need to have strong boundary skills! If you meet a new narc that hasn’t really done anything to offend you, do not give an inch. Learn to/feel confident in saying “No.” and lay down that boundary right away and adjust as you see fit. Do NOT be at their beck and call. But like... There are some times when Narcs actually get the job done. Some of them have a positive impact on society. Like, my mother was terrible for me because I was exposed to her for so long and she viewed intimacy as threatening. But if you knew her for an afternoon, where you had a great interview over lunch to schmooze your way into a big company, she was charming, she could sell water to a whale. She more than likely helped you land an incredible job and you would probably remember her fondly as bubbly and intelligent... if a little self involved. Think “Real Estate Agent” types. They seem sweet, spunky and ambitious, but the fact that they’re getting a big juicy commission check is so utterly transparent that it gives the relationship this weird, dark vibe. Holy shit... I wrote too much. Anyway! Obviously learning to identify a narc, and then learning if there is a useful place somewhere in the fringes of your life is called networking. So like... go non-contact with the ones that abuse you, but like, do I care if my bestie’s like neighbour friend is a narc? No. I see her once a year, she’s hella fun out on the town because bartenders pay attention to her, she’s never really around to wilt your fun times with your homie because she’s chasing men, and you can always count on her to be the sober one, because she likes to lord her rides over you. Do I care? No. I see her once a year to party. She keeps to gin and tonics coming so that I can just laugh at her and her chaos. Then I get safely dropped off at home and she gets to be the hero like she wanted. Am I using her? Maybe? Is she using me? Yeah. Is it just casually and mutually beneficial enough to that I have nothing to fear? Sure! and we judge as we go. Win/Win. I say you pick your battles. Fuck... this was a god-damn novel and really vulnerable. I’m sorry in advance. Wow. Cringe. These people exist, sadly. If you’ve had a relationship with one? I’m sorry. It totally sucks, but now you understand the game they’re trying to play. Better yet, you know all the rules. Life isn’t a game to people like us, but it is to them... So... Play? Why not? If you know the rules... you might be able to win. :D


This is the way


thank you so much for this 💗


I do too. Saves me the trouble. One of my work clients is like this as well and we discuss it often. We can feel it in our guts if someone is only of self interest and will trample on you to get what they want.


Yes it's so true! I call it the NOPE. And at work I consciously avoid what personal details I tell them so they cannot throw me under the bus. I keep getting told to 'be vulnerable' and to 'trust' but I am like NOPE. I would rather have 2 real friends than 200 fake-os. Bad chi.


Very true! I used to be envious of people who had hundreds of good friends. Then, I started spending more time around a few people like that, and I realized that a lot of these "good friends" seemed kinda crappy. Like, overtly racist, chauvinist, selfish, flaky, not-so-great people. I guess it's easy to have a huge circle of friends as long as you keep your standards low.


That really does seem to be what it comes down to, low standards. I get really down about how long it’s been since I’ve been in a relationship, but I’ve realized that my issue is that I don’t enter into intimate relationships with people (platonically or otherwise) until I know them well enough to determine that they’re “safe”. Which, I guess really isn’t an “issue”, but it sure is lonely haha


Whoah YES. You put my exact same situation into words perfectly. Its lonely, but id prefer it to being surrounded by low quality people.


Omg YES on the “trust more” and be “vulnerable” with people. But as soon as you let your guard down, they will use that info to bring you down. Ugh. No thanks.


for sure.. the world is filled with narcs sniffing for the good people to destroy them. sounds dramatic, but it's true. OP I can relate to having a sixth sense for narcs. once i knew the patterns of behaviour and get that sinking feeling like i cant be myself or trust this person, Im out.


"Be vulnerable" lmao spoken like someone who has never been abused.


I actually just had a conversation with my best friend about vulnerability and how it's a bullshit of an idea. It wrecks people.


You are missing opportunities because there are a lot of successful narcs out there who can benefit you. The narcs at my office are demanding but see me as an ally. I credit my parents with teaching me how to deal with narcs.


Do you just keep it vague and grey wall or grey stone or grey skull or whatever that is?


No, grey rock is for pushing narcs away. I share and commiserate and affirm them, which is what all narcs want. I just treat them as allies not close personal friends. I never share fears or insecurities for example. I actually sometimes do my best impression of a narc’s #2 lieutenant. I always make sure the narc knows how valued they are and how this place wouldn’t be the same without them and how they are a big part of why we can recruit so solidly. In turn, the narc has my back with everyone. They praise me to management etc.


Oh damn the lieutenant move! Nice I will have to try this if I’m backed in a corner — thanks!


I *wish* I could be vulnerable and trust people the way others seem to naturally do. But all I can hear when they make promises, even minor ones, is lies lies lies. What angle are they playing? What are they trying to get out of this interaction? How might they use this against me? Ugh. Btw “Narcology” might be the best thing I’ve heard all week, thanks for that lolol


This is the crap I don't miss. Working was good but the endless committees, teams, mandatory classes I had to take. Tell us about yourself? SHARE SHARE SHARE. About 10 yrs in I started to made stuff up. Pets become children, something I'd done once become a hobby.


My friend has a go-to: she runs a hermit crab rescue and rehabilitation facility in her free time… cracks me up


I am so tempted to do this at times.


When we were sick we had a slip to fill out, date, hours missed & name of someone who was home with you. Well I lived alone so I put my dogs name Charlotte relationship daughter. Immediate supervisor knew it was bogus but I still turned it in.


😂 This gave me a good laugh, thank you, and your daughter!


I’m borrowing your “nope” name for that feeling.


Speaking of which why are you still with that boyfriend? I don’t mean to judge from reading a few sentences but he seems kind of insensitive.


I think the best way to describe it is that after an argument we realize we both are saying the damn same thing just in very different ways. Like even just now I mentioned something that had happened and he’s like “Geez that’s awful and really Fucked up sorry that happened” - so yeah he’s not insensitive but thanks for asking.


I see. Then again it’s understandable. The way I see it, experiences from narcissistic abuse are kind of like a house that people who haven’t experienced it cannot enter. They can look at pictures of the interior and infer its interior from people who can go in, but they can never get a full understanding of the interior since they can never go in. The best they can do is listen to those who have been inside.


Oh that’s a beauty of an analogy.


Very good metaphor!


I think a lot of people haven’t experienced enough negative interactions with humans to believe someone would actually trample on you to get what they want, which is why they don’t see the dark traits in others. Like they see it as the kind of thing that only ever happens in tv shows, or rarely enough to regular people that it’s irrelevant. But dark personality traits are incredibly common, they don’t only show up in full blown Narcs or sociopaths.


Really good point.


I do this, too! I can actually feel the crazy coming off people like this. Trust your instincts and run.


Yesss I might just be fooling myself, but I can usually identify narcs and people raised by narcs pretty easily. When I'm dating, so many men seem to have narcissistic characteristics early on. Even while love bombing, they can't hide it. I used to think I was really picky about who I want to spend time with, but then I realized that I only feel comfortable around healthy and genuinely kind people. Which is not a bad thing imo. *Most* people are actually not genuine, so it can feel like you're being a harsh judge of character. I can socialize with and even like narcs outside of my family, but I never get close to them or trust them. I'm vulnerable with the people I already vetted and get good vibes from. I practice being trusting and open with them. But everyone else? Not my concern.




I think there's a few different types of people: 1. *Very* emotionally intelligent people who are genuinely kind, but cynical and closed off. And usually go out of their way not to talk about family. These are people who saw the narc characteristics and were hurt (obviously), but decided to be better. Often they go to therapy and give great advice. They can be insecure or hqve ovecome their insecurity and are now very self content. Great at boundries. A lot of my friends were in this group and I realized eventually that their parents/mothers were very narcissistic. 2. Then there are the people in denial, whose parents were maybe a little less narcissistic, but still harmful. They can be nice or mean, but they have very obvious insecurities that come out in a need for attention or codependency, something like that. They often have FLEAS that make you wonder if they could be a narcissist too, but then at the end of the day, they have empathy and interest in self improvement. They can admit if they make a mistake. They aren't great people to get advice from because they are in denial about their parents and therefore spew a lot of enabling or naive sounding thoughts. There was a viral video a few weeks ago on youtube where a woman was talking about not havin "pretty privilege" and I'm not diagnosing her family, but the way she behaves and sees the world is *exactly* what I'm talking about. 3. And lastly, there are people who are very open about how terrible their parents were and their own struggles in dealing with it. I went to a party once where a girl immediatly told me about how mean her mom was to her. Her confidence was obviously very low even though she was beautiful. Another guy I was friends with always talked about how mean his mom and step dad were, and he himself had obvious anger issues and insecurities. Some of these people can be narcissists and abusive themselves, others are addicts, others just struggle with depression or anxiety or an eating disorder. They could be good or bad people, but unlike the first group, they are very open and don't have great great instincts. Usually because of this, they get into a lot of drama or difficult situations. In general with all of them, there's a vibe that they suffered to some extent. So they aren't "free" like people from healthy parent are. Confidence is hard earned for us. I know people who were in narcissistic romantic relationships later in life but had stable loving parents, so they can go through the tough times but still have the inner long held stability and confidence that we lack. There is a psychiatric nurse on social media who talks about her narc ex husband, and she's the perfect example...her name is ovo_nesa on ig.




Thank you! The base of what Iearned is actually from the book "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents"...it will make you realize things you've never even considered before. And in general, Dr. Les Carter and Dr. Ramani's videos on youtube. Dr. Ramani has some helpful videos on narc family roles, like golden child and scapegoat. Dr. Carter has a lot of videos on the difference between healthy/unhealthy thinking and why people act the way they do. This can be used to differentiate narcissism from FLEAS and sort of judge which people are capable of progress and which are narcs. The way I grouped them is just from personal experience. I haven't seen anything that specifically talks about signs that someone has been raised by narcs. I think I just got curious about how other people deal with it, so I became hyper aware of the signs and grouped the coping methods lol


Not OP, but I notice a lot of the little things. Like how an abuse victim flinches when you put your hands out, or how they avoid your eyes, or you notice their hypervigilance. I tend to pick up on those cues because I display a lot of them, too. Because I'm hypervigilant, and because a lot of us had to become body language experts to protect ourselves, it can be easy to spot others in similar situations. If you're constantly monitoring the signals you put out there, and pick up on those put out by other people, you'll notice similarities.


Feel like I can just tell sometimes, too. Or rather, people who have childhood trauma. Idk why exactly, it is like a 6th sense a little bit. There could be different reasons - people pleasers, dissociative, social anxiety, smoking / substance issues, sometimes people who fight with others and have toxic traits but you can just kinda tell it's trauma, idk. It's just something. Like an anxiousness or something. Often there's this smile and friendliness on the outside but you can tell they're nervous, too. The sense that they're masking and also have a need for you to like them. Maybe I'm wrong but that's what I kinda pick up on. And like they know what you know. You understand them in a way, and maybe they understand you, too. There's something shared. It's just a feeling - like to me it's a familiarity almost. Like on an emotional level. And just kinda know.


Meet them the first time and they always has some sort of put down or comment to belittle you in the kindest of ways, and always soooooo subtle.


Oh yeah for sure - I act and last time I was on set one of the lost extra actors asked us something and my co-star just straight up ignored him - like the poor guy! And I felt bad and guided him to where he needed to go and as soon as he left she said something super-nasty about him. I’m like dude it wasn’t too long ago we were in those shoes. Check yo’ self.


The problem is human beings tend to be deeply self-absorbed and egocentric. Everyone's walking around life as if they're somehow the main character of a movie. So if you're looking very ummm... enthusiastically, for signs of narcissism, you'll find them everywhere. And then what'll happen sometimes is, the rejection or subtle hostility towards that person will trigger some negative response, which can then in turn be seen as confirmation of the original hypothesis. Then this makes everything worse, and then we're even more sure, and so on, and so on. To avoid confusion, I *definitely* think victims of narcissists can be insightful and wise in detecting other narcissists in ways that people who were never abused by one and saw the two-faced/superficial nature lack skills in, I just think it's also possible for the trauma to cause us to sometimes recognize bad patterns because we're so severely concerned about abusers(and for good reason-- who wants to experience that hell again?), that we can sometimes overcompensate for this fear in labeling people narcissists who really aren't. It's hard to get the right balance I'd say. Be very patient. Have good intentions, and try not to look for confirmations of suspicions-- if you look hard, you'll find them even if they don't exist-- this is how the brain often works. If you're patient and have very strict scrutiny and can give people the benefit of the doubt, and the red flags are *still* just glaring... then yes, you really do know what you're up against. But there are other times where this rigorous method will surprise you. Remember, we want to *admit* that we are prone to making mistakes-- this is the attitude that will *separate* us from more narcissistic people. We *want* to be able to say "I was wrong", we *want* to be able to say "I am sorry" and actually mean it in a way that isn't completely self-concerned.


Agree with this. Notice how some people exhibit very different behavior depending on the environment they're in. For example, a kind person works in a very narcissistic company where toxic behavior is regularly rewarded and kindness is perceived as weakness, This person may fake the "promoted traits" at work in order to not attract attention. Humans are fascinating.


Worse part is other people don’t believe you even after you explain the red flags. “Well you can’t just judge people and write them off” …. Ughhh


In my experience? People really can’t. I’ve misread flags before, we all do. You wanna write them off, go nuts, but encouraging others to because “I don’t like his vibe,” is how I miss out on good friendships. God only knows how often I’ve experienced that. We ain’t machines. Don’t act like any of us are gonna judge accurately every time.


Yeah, it's called dogwhistling. Not everyone can hear dog whistles but those who do hear them WELL. I swear to god I'm like a red flag radar thanks to my dad.


Dog whistle is a good way to put it.


100,000%. My instincts have probably saved my life. And to this day, if anyone behaves in anyway like my parents then i cant run away fast enough. I am super observant. I notice every move you make, i pay attention to every word people say. Especially if I just met you or you could be a total stranger i see at a get together. People show you who they are more than you think.


Same. And I cut them off forever. The times that I didn't listen to that voice, and I can count three instances exactly where I thought I was hasty and should give someone a chance, it has cost me so dearly. Nope nope. That alarm bell rings and I am OUT and I am out FOREVER.


I don't bolt, I do the same thing my brother does. I'll walk into situations with someone I suspect is a narc or has narc tendencies and either set myself up for minimal loss, or not engage at all. I'll then call them out for that behavior and cut them off. For example, knowing a person I haven't known that long is coming over to drop something off, I'll leave a couple dollars or a five out on the table. If they swipe it while I'm out of the room, then we're done and I know how far I can trust that person in the future. But I left my nparents with a permanent little core of rage so I can be confrontational. Sometimes anxiety gets the best if me and I back out of possible confrontations completely, but other times I enjoy giving someone enough rope to hang themselves with, so to speak.


This is a good point - minimal loss - I think I should have been clearer in my description - I do give that chance to prove me wrong and test the waters before I bolt.


I feel the flags. But, I’m actually more vulnerable to falling back into the abuse cycle because it’s so ingrained from childhood. So, id say I’m the exact opposite because of that


Breaking patterns is so difficult. And saying "NO" to someone - or standing up for yourself - does and can have major consequences in your community or family or work environment. Rarely people mention the penalties of standing up for one's self. You have to really learn to be on your own but I can see why that could be so difficult.


I feel the opposite of this, too. I wished I could see the red flags like other people around me. I let so much shit go, someone has to REALLY screw me over before I notice...oh...this is a really bad situation...I need to get out STAT. It's not good, I see the good in people, and it's blinding.


this happened to me recently, a bunch of little stuff happened until i finally told them to leave me alone. i didn’t say as much as i could and i definitely went easy on them (because they’re my cousin), but i still feel resentment because they never apologized to me and still think they did nothing wrong.


Yes, the red flags only cause to me go back to the same coping mechanisms I had available child, the flight or fight which then developed into the freeze and fawn.


Yes! Same.


Me too!


To put it simply, my intuition now just can tell that a person is "heavy", like that person has a fossil turd inside. That fossil turd is always toxic and veeery heavy - it's a tangled conglomerate of narcissistic defences. You can feel that "heaviness" if you'll trust yourself.


Yes I refer to it as dark energy or heavy vibes and my bf is like “what is this energy and vibes stuff?!” I am an actor and he is an engineer. He needs it spelled out like 01011101 and I am like I just feel the chi. I can understand why he is frustrated with basically no evidence but my gut feeling.


But there are so many evidences and red flags of these vibes. How does that person speaks, what he speaks about, how he responds to criticism and other points of view and many different signs from a person's behaviour. Some of them are very obvious. I think if you try to point directly engineer will understand. Many people from normal families are also numb to toxicity and toxic behaviours.


Meryl Streep did a great job of this in devil wears Prada with her behavior - the way she wouldn’t even make eye contact, the dismissive ways she waved her away, but when I bring this up I’m told I’m reading too into things / sensitive.


Some people don't like thinking and would rather spend their lives relying on their luck


Maybe speak it like a formula. "1+1 will always equal 2, right? In the same way, when a really old classmate/neighbor/family friend contacts you out of nowhere and seems nice and charming, you're wondering when the pyramid scheme pitch is coming. It's because you know the pattern, or the formula of 1+1=2. Well, I've seen a few other 'formulas' about people." Then take the time to share relevant past experiences, but don't use the word "feel." List it cause-and-effect style, informative, evidence-based discussion. I can't give an example right now, but something like ~try to disagree with a topic and it becomes a disagreement about the speaker as a person instead, "lolwut?" idk if that helps any, but trying to give easily to replicate patterns and outcomes is easier to grab on to than to express feelings like heavy vibes. I 100% get the heavy/dark vibes from people, but I couldn't articulate it properly. Describing it this way helped my husband dodge a few bullets as he was able to apply the patterns and see it for himself.


My friends think Im insane because Ill cut someone off months before anyone else realizes theyre insane… they say Im mean and then they come back and are like how did you know??


Yes. People gave me a hard time about it in my 20s and so I started doubting myself and fighting my gut feelings on people. Wow, did I ever learn the hard way that my gut was right.


That’s true when I doubt myself is the worst - I have even had therapists that made me doubt myself. And guess who was accurate?


Yes. I can cut people off with no hesitation once I've reached the point of no return. Once I'm done, I'm DONE.


I prefer a clean cutoff too.


Being choosie is different from being judgy. Being judgy implies that you are denigrating the people you deem to have certain traits whereas being choosie and making choices about the people you want in your life is a right.


Agree. Also I loved how you spelled choosie. It is cuter that way. <3


Overly controlling people set me tf off before I even realized how f/cked up my family is. It's just engrained. Made *so much* sense when I realized why it was like that


Yes —- but especially after being vulnerable to 1 toxic romantic and 1 narc best friend relationship that modeled my family dysfunction and I got really really really hurt. I learned my effin lesson. It makes me feel so annoyed when others pressure you to “keep an open mind” or “not take it so deep” — If you see the signs, why risk it?? Something I remind myself of is— this red flag person doesn’t NEED my friendship. They don’t need ME specifically to date or hang out with or share secrets with. I’m a stranger/acquaintance to them and they’re the same to me— I don’t owe anybody social/emotional intimacy and neither do any of you! Kindness and respect? Sure. But being close to people is a special and valuable thing — it should be earned.


Agree so much on this. You don't owe anyone anything. The weird thing is those narc-os can pick up on stuff. They know when YOU know that they know. I often say 'can't we just be civil to one another' and get on with the rest of our day? Not everyone has to like me. But damn do you really gotta go outta your way to sabotage me? At work? In front of the in-laws? Church? It's like if you leave the office conference room for one second to grab a tea and come back e'rybody know your last bf left you for a blonde or whatever. Narcs are horrid.


I hate the added pressure of people going "just give them a chance, keep an open mind." Every time I gave in to that, it went horribly for me. So now I'm gonna say: How about **you** give them a chance, Nancy, and risk your own sanity dealing with these people. I'll be over here resisting the urge to say "I told you so." when you inevitably get burned.


Honestly good for you, what an amazing skill/trait to have despite being raised in a shitty environment. I’m the opposite and seem to attract narcs and any red flags are invisible to me, so I’m trying to learn to be more like you describe and bail at the first sign of sketchy behaviour. And anyone that judges you for this, I doubt was raised in an abusive environment as no one who was would judge you for making sure you protect yourself.


My father is the empath / many ways inadvertent enabler and I saw how the world took advantage of such a sweet man.


Yes! There was this guy in my department who I disliked from the first moment I met, but I couldn't actually decide what it was about him. He really tried hard to be my friend, but I always kept him at arm's length because something about him really seemed off to me. And that was unlike me because I am usually friends with everyone, and am called a social butterfly (even though I'm an introvert). I even tried being friends with him and we studied together at my apartment (not romantic at all). He finally asked bluntly why I didn't like him, because I was actually close friends with his other friend, but I acted differently around him. I didn't know what to say. This was before I knew about narcissism and that my parents were abusive- just being around him gave me a weird feeling in my gut. I told him I didn't know what I was precisely, but I told him he didn't seem like a genuine person, that was the only thing I could come up with- that he came off as fake to me. I think back on that interaction sometimes and looking back I think he was a narc too- he definitely fit the description. It's funny how our bodies and minds can sense these things. Sorry for the rant :)


Solar plexus FTW


How did he react to you calling him out like that?


He was sitting across the table from me, and his face got even more serious (he had already been quite serious when he had asked me that question). And he said "No I genuinely want to be your friend. I'm not fake. I try to be as genuine as possible." very calmly but in a serious tone. It was really bizarre. I felt so awkward that I just was like "Oh okay I must have just imagined it, never mind." just to break the awkward tension. I think he wanted to be friends with me to make himself look good. Man, he was so weird!


Wow, that reminded me of a dude from college. I wouldn't say that he was weird, he was goofy, open, seemed like a normal guy. But I just couldn't shake off that there was something off about him and I hated being around him for more than 1-2 hours. I distanced myself from him. I couldn't even say why i didn't like hanging out with him because I had no clue myself. But my other friends clearly weren't against him and one of my closest ones ended up dating him. It did not go well. After a year she broke up with him and when we talked about it she might as well just give me check list for a narc. Pretty much in that year people stopped hanging out with him because it seemed like his act dropped and his true self was seeping through.


Man, that's crazy! I know if I could go back in time, I bet a lot of people who I had a weird feeling about might have been narc's..


I am the same way - the moment I realize I'm responding to someone the way I responded to/dealt with nmom, that's it. I'm gone. They're cut off.


Ohhh that’s good…..


100%! I've said this before, but it's also like a super power at work. I can "read" people. I can walk into any meeting and tell you right away who's in charge, who thinks they're in charge but isn't, who's angry, who they're angry at, who's insecure, who's going to be fired soon, who's genuinely pleased to see you, who isn't, and why. When hiring people, I can see immediately without even thinking about it, who's trouble. (And earlier in my career, I didn't trust my gut, or listened to someone else saying I was wrong, and I was ALWAYS right, not just in that they were trouble, but exactly HOW they were trouble.) I can also tell in an instant upon meeting someone if they, too, had a similar childhood, and can form an immediate bond with them just by knowing how to interact with and respond to them. Like I said, it's a super power. A small silver lining!


yes .. i am very sensitive to signs of arrogance, its not just the narc parent that probably led to this to be fair cos i have adhd and grew up in different countries.. and come from a community that stands out. but you know what its not a bad thing to only want genuine people around you who respect you and like your company as opposed to hanging out for the sake of hanging out.. do you know how many people there are .. you cant treat them all as your friend


Same. I have a very low tolerance for behaviors and that works both for and against me. I feel I’m too quick to write mostly harmless people off because what if. However, it’s so so so easy to walk away from a red flag dating situation now. And I *really* struggled with not tolerating behaviors ranging from inconsiderate to abusive in the past. Ndad trained me really well to tolerate bullshit and look the other way. He did me a great disservice for his own convenience, and that’s evil.


Grew up in a household/culture where if a woman speaks up she is punished - a man totally can though, and yes I too wonder what I miss out on as I am very easy to spook.


Yes, exactly this. You express independence in action or thought and they go to extremes to quash it. I feel you on what your saying, all of it.


Absolutely. I’ve predicted so much bad behavior from people in my life and have even warned friends and my bf about his friends and I haven’t been wrong yet.


Its kind of like drinking so much Southern Comfort as a teenager one night, and almost dying from alcohol poisoning in a feild.. and now even the faintest smell of Southern Comfort is enough to cause nausea. Except instead of alcohol, its ted flags and toxic traits.


Same! Except with Vodka!


Great post! I think I notice narcissists, and gravitate towards them because I’m used to the behaviour, and the uneasy feeling it gives me. I *just* realised my biggest client of 20 years has all the characteristics of malign narcissism. And it’s a little bit like when you think ‘red car’, and you see them everywhere. There are plenty of them in my work life. I feel like I’m in one of those horror movies, where the soon to be eaten hero closes the door on the zombies, thinks he’s safe, sloooooly turns around…


Definitely trust your gut feeling. Because we have spent a lot of time with narcissists we can identify them faster. It is a very useful skill to have.


I completely see it coming and I'm attracted like a bug to a flame. No matter the reason, I end up with a narcissist partner. They destroy me emotionally and then I wake up and release "Oh, yeah, that's why I don't date them".


I've developed an intuitive sense to detect those around me because I always had to read my mom for her mood swings. Honestly, it's been a lifesaver on multiple occasions. Often proving to be more reliable than logic and reason. So don't be surprised if I know you better than you


I grew up with a narcissist mom. Not to the extreme of some. But she is def a controlling person. So while it was hard it wasn't unbearable like I've recently realized. I have a tendency to ignore red flags. Maybe it's because my mom wasn't absolute shit. But my last relationship was a full blown narcissist. I realize now, finally.. I can see the flags. I steer clear of even the littlest sign. Seriously.. if someone sends a selfie and their looking at themselves i am automatically turned off. If someone just talks about themselves or gossips about others constantly.. red flag. It's crazy how clear it is now.


My mom is covert and my golden child sibling sister is too - I tend to attract the covies.


Yes, it can be a blessing and a curse all at once. A running joke with me and my closest friends is, i am the sniffer dog of bulls**t haha. 9/10 i am correct in my judgement even when friends have been fooled by the person only for them to later agree with my judgement.


You can lose a friend too this way! Bc they get pissed you were accurate.


Yes, thats why it is a curse as much as a blessing.


I've definitely always had an edge over other people on this, but I think dealing with narcissists and assholes in college and the workplace just kind of... honed it? Now, my ability to read a person has gotten scary good, and I very much believe in the vibes someone gives off as being an indication of their nature. I've even been able to judge people just from hearing about them... There have been many times when my husband has told me about a family member I haven't met yet or a friend has told me about a new love interest and they're speaking highly of the person, but I get the feeling this person is suspect or not genuine... and I end up being proven right. It also seems to bother the people around me for some reason, so I end up keeping my mouth shut usually lest they accuse me of being judgey... but it's not exactly being "judgmental" so much judging the situation accurately lol.


Yeah I feel I get told it’s a self fulfilling prophecy so I keep my mouth shut too but usually I am completely right.


Yesssssss but also bad relationships helped too


One of the best signs “all my exes are crazy” Really? ALL? Yet you still keep in touch? Uh ok


I keep in touch with 1 ex because he's cook. But that's it. The 2 others are a hell no. One stood me up 7 times in the span of a month.


I tend to be overly forgiving. It's either I'm used to being treated this way so I accept it, or I keep rationalizing to myself that I've gone through worse so it's not that big of a deal


Wow that actually is very sweet I am under forgiving and hold grudges. :( Bc when a person purposely hurts me ( not unintentionally but on purpose) I just can’t.


yes, these are superpowers we have. And yes, cutting out people quickly is the sad reality of it. But I found also a way to do positive. The great intuition to read people can be helpful in mediation. I have at work far beyond our headquarters the reputation of a great mediator. Turns out the "troublemakers" and hardliners are just narcs. Knowing how they behave and act makes it easy to find a common ground (havent we learned it in our childhood how to do it?) between the parties involved. Already appropiate phrasing and a carefully chosen personal approach can do wonders. I want to point out, there is also an ethical issue involved. Being able to read people is a huge advantage, you are literally always 6 steps ahead. I am using this skill to make preparations when I suspect something and I need to be prapared. But I am not allowing myself to manipulate people I meet (neither in private nor as a professional). In the complexity of the world we live in, the damage could spin out of control. Being the mastermind behind the avalanche can be a heavy burden only few can carry.


Thank you so much esp. for 6 steps ahead sometimes I feel tripped up or behind. I got into self hypnosis classes a few years back and my teacher called me the most suggestible in the class - I wonder if it has to do with taking in everything I was told when younger….


Yes. I am the same way. I get the hell outta dodge


I'm pretty good at spotting bs or people that are self delusional. When I was younger, I would just ignore it and just assume the person was entertaining and fun to be around. But they are just radioactive toxic. Now I just spot it, and reduce or remove from my life.


I was just around someone that kept telling me how many friends they have and how their friends are the BEST uh 🚨


yes, and when I ignore my intuition I end up getting fucked over by people.


Honestly I am jealous of that skill. My shit upbringing taught me to expect bad behavior. I had to learn to go ahead and write people off after therapy. I was just like you after my divorce especially around dating. I got criticized for not giving people enough of a chance or told I was expecting perfection. I don't regret any of it. Not holding space for people who were toxic meant I had space for people who would be good to me. After a little time went by I ended up with a great circle of friends and a wonderful romantic partner. Despite what people said I did not end up alone and miserable. Quite the contrary.


I heard a story from my aunt about her friend. Her friends son never talks to her and changed his whole name just to get away from his family. My aunt thought that was sad and thought something must be wrong with her friends son. I immediately thought no, something is wrong with your friend. If some ones son goes through that big of lengths as to legally change their name, I really think this mom did a number on him. And I wonder how she is towards her friend, my aunt, to make her think it’s the son being weird.


Yep, growing up with parents who exhibited narcissistic traits, it's like I can smell it on people. Something about narcs is just... disingenuous? It's noticeable to the people around me when I'm picking up on it too, because I'm usually some level of polite and kind of people-pleasing to everyone, but if I'm picking up signals I'm very cold to whoever is putting them out. I once worked with a chick who put out a LOT of "danger" vibes. I kept a very frigid distance, which she absolutely hated and legit cried about a couple times, and one coworker even confronted me about being a bitch to her. Not a month later and they both get t-boned while carpooling in the Narc's car, totaling the car and leaving the coworker with neck and shoulder injuries. Narc apparently made a huge speech about how mistakes happen and the coworker shouldn't sue for damages even though she got hurt because it'll ruin the at-fault driver's life. Coworker listened to her and didn't sue... only for Narc to sue the shit out of the at-fault driver for the cost of her car, without having to worry about any money going to Coworker's medical bills (and no, Coworker did not have insurance to sue for her). Trust those instincts.


This is 1000 percent the case with me. I can tell those close to me wonder wtf, but it’s a safety and security reflex. And one that my wonderful narc mom instilled in me. That no good sack O shite


I relate to this so much. I’ve always felt that I’ve been too quick to judge people, but 99% of the time my judgement was correct. Now I’ll just trust my gut, I need to realise that I don’t owe people my time, especially toxic people.


“Give them a chance!” Or “You’re a snob.” Ugh.


Impeccable judge of character, since I was very small.


Yeah there was a “hilarious” male relative that everyone loved and found so charming. He loved to be the center of it all. They “loved” him. Except me. At 6. He would then swindle my richer family members 30 years later. Last month my mom tells me he once slipped & told her: “Auntie every time I enter any room the first thing I look for is where the exit is located.” How creepy is that?!?


Ugh I hate people like that. I can relate to seeing through that. I have similar memories from that age. It’s weird having these ‘skills’ based on trauma. Wish I could find a way to channel it and use it. Looking for the door? Sounds like he was afraid someone might come looking for him. He knew he was awful he was just good at hiding it. Well, good relative to people without our talent.


Sometimes I see the red flags and think "Yeah but I'm stronger right? I can still hang out with them and maybe even change them" and I end up being around them more often than is healthy. IT. DOESNT. WORK. THAT. WAY. Also my therapist says that's a common thing for adult children of narcs. Gotta be stronger than it to prove you're better.


Teach me. I have learned nothing from my past mistakes and end up with narcs every time. I've literally had more than six relationships end sourly because I did not realize they were bad for me early on. It's almost as if I ONLY attract narcs. I don't know what a healthy relationship looks like. I'm upset, frightened, and lonely. I need this skill. So please, teach me.


Dr. Ramani on YouTube is the best. Trust me. Report back! I wanna hear your thoughts!!


I don’t think I have a 6th sense but I am definitely less naive than your average person. I can see red flags 🚩 quicker than others because I know what to look for. It’s happened a few times and honestly I have no issues burning bridges, or not even building them with some people. Life’s less stressful with out toxic people.


You grew up with one and developed unconscious skills to be alerted at diverse behaviors, responses, questions, body language. You “know” and sense the amber alert . That’s great and I don’t think you are losing anything by being this way, more than anything you are protected with a shield.


yes, but I do give people a chance however, because personally I've estimated that it takes about 2-3 months for a person's true colours to start showing around this time mark. I never trust first impressions, I'll tell you that much. Because everyone puts on some sort of facade with first impressions, even us.


Holla at Dr Ramani!! And yes. I’m the exact same way.


Absolutely. I'm almost too hypervigilant now. I especially register if it seems like someone doesn't care if I'm hurt or having a hard time. I register that very quickly.


Yeah when I detect even a slight disregard of boundaries, I start shutting down emotionally without even consciously thinking about it.


I call it reading vibes, and I can do that too. Mine sometimes doesn't work properly (usually if I already have information about them or if I'm just tired), but when it does, it's accurate. I totally thought I was alone with the ability! I think I was raised by a narc too.


I think I see pink flags as red flags now and dip before It can get any worse. It might be too much, but I’d rather too little people in my life than shitty ones.




Yeah. Not so much a physical sickness but I do get the feeling of “somethings not right” but I don’t trust myself enough to say anything until I’ve tested the waters. I met my MIL when I was 16 and she was super nice and polite. But I knew immediately she was a Narc and hated me for “stealing” her golden child that she has an emotionally incest type relationship with, just didn’t have the words for it. At 17 I asked him and he denied it and says she’s always gushing about how great I am. At 18 I’ve already seen some verifiable Narc signs I could pin point to my bf who was in the fog. He denied and said she’s great. My SIL even said her mom loves me. Everyone’s saying this woman is so great and generous and amazing and loving. At 19 she has now let her mask slip in front of me briefly a few times and I was 110% sure now that she was a Narc but didn’t say anything. 20 she has shown it in some MAJOR ways now. And finally at 21 we are no contact because she went on an absolute Narc fueled tirade at thanksgiving that no one could ignore anymore that lasted for 5 months of weekly abusive calls/texts while we ignored her. So now I trust myself more.


Yes, I've always been very, very good at spotting red flags, and people that are being disingenuous. I have zero tolerance for liars, bullies, and of course narcissists.


That's the difference between people like us who have been through shit involving manipulative people, and people who have never seen the ugly side of a narcissist or BPD person. Most people will tolerate them as long as they fit into the social rules and smile and act nice. We don't put up with it, and it makes us look like the assholes; despite them BEING the assholes. Unfortunately these "normal untraumatized folks" will have to learn the hard way after a narc destroys their self esteem and invades their personal boundaries.


Man when you’ve seen the Jekyll and Hyde behind the scenes…


I can’t agree with this more! Once you experience the damage and emotional devastation that inevitably comes with these people, there’s no turning back. They can do an incredible amount of damage on a person without breaking the law or even putting a hand on you. Better to be alone than be around people who are slowly sucking the life out of you.


You can tell him that instead of chi or guts, you trust your subconscious. Like, our subconscious is working and aware of everything around us way before we actively think about it, and it's such a powerful thing. It's what keep us alive after all.


What an awesome skill!


Yes, me too!!!! My partner thinks I judge people too harshly and “just don’t like people very much.” That may be partly true, but also it’s that I have a strong fence up against narcs and boundary pushers in general. My sister-in-law jumps over boundaries like she’s an Olympic hurdler, so I can’t stand her ... sometimes it’s impossible to completely remove these people from your life, though!


im exactly like this. the second i meet someone i know exactly what they are like. people dont believe me but after a few months something happens with that person and i once again realize that i was right. you can just tell when someone is weird


Same here... and I always regretted not listening to my gut feeling. It is instinctive.




I was listening to a podcast the other day that mentioned people with strong morals attract narcs Bc it basically is used by the Narc as a “badge of honor” - it’s like if YOU are friends them it validates their “goodness” - gave me chills… cannot remember which ep - it was the Linda Martini Lewi podcast.




As someone who had a crush on a guy, initially I did not realize how I am repeating the same relationship with my mom with him. I am not saying he is the problem, may be we bring our insecurities to each other. However, I realized how I use self deprecating jokes to boost his ego but also trying to prove to him that I am smart. I actually want his approval. He has also weird condensending manners, as well as can be very critical just like my mum. I feel like I am repeating the same cycle with my romantic interest, may be intentionally may be subconciously. Still, I am too tired to change this dynamic with him, I just realized I prefer to be alone.


Yes. To the point of being able to pick out their patterns via text and email or even reshares as well. I cut off people left right and center now, at the slightest misstep from them. There used to be a time when I'd give some people my effort in trying to improve them and show then better ways. Then something snapped and I'm don't trying to do someone else's emotional labor for them when they're adults and I as a kid learned the ways of life myself. It's been a while since I've fallen for someone (in any personal or professional setting) where I get taken advantage of or being hurt by them, but that's probably because now I hardly ever let my guard down and it's become kind of second nature. And you know what, I'm glad for this to have developed, no matter how late. I may not always be able to put a finger on what exactly is wrong but I've become very in tune with the vibes people give off. Even if it's something's wrong idk what but something is, that's good enough for me. And my small close circle of friends or people who look up to me usually listen/agree/validate.


Yeah, being raised by a narc father atleast had some perks. I've been become incredibly adept at reading people's emotions and know how to calm them down.


I've always been able to smell them. My mom was surprised when her second husband turned out to be a jackass like I predicted. I was small too, prolly 10 or younger when I first saw him and immediately told her I don't like him. Idk, he had a weird expression when I first saw him, like he was detached from the world. Just a weird distant, hollier than thou vibe. Even now I can do that but I ignore it in hopes I can help the other person see but I got my lesson now, eff that, gonna stay away from them. At this point, it's up to the person to see they hurt people.


100000% I have a very good sense of who's toxic - and every time I've ignored my gut feeling, I've been proved right


Yah, easier to spot toxic personalities. The ones that begin to manipulate, impose, bargain, right away before they even can possibly know you. They are needy , raise their voice , beg , trying to get you to commit your time or resources, whatever (holds up two fingers in the form of a cross).


I have the exact same response to people!! So far, I have only been wrong ONCE about someone my tummy radar said was bad news. Every.Other.Time I have been right. Trust that gut!!


Tummy Radar is our inborn App


Yes. I always just say “I put up with this bs for far too long. Not going to waste another second of my life dealing with it.”


You are absolutely right. my gut is alarming me since childhood. I need to buy some Reddit coins..i want to Award you.


That’s so sweet thank you for the kind words - I never knew about GC and scapegoats but once I realized what happened in my family I am very interested with narcissistic behavior and how to get it out of my life / learn to move around it - and I’ve posted on here before but I’m glad this one got as much feedback as it has - reading all the stories is really helpful. This whole time I wondered … am I the Narc? Am I the crazy one here?


I think you're doing the right thing trusting your gut. I'm the same way. Anytime I went against my initial feeling and gave people a chance, they proved to me I should have followed my instincts. After a few bad experiences, I now just follow my initial vibe. I don't waste my time analyzing or fixing people anymore. I have met plenty of good people and still manage to have a small friend group despite my tendency to write people off. I would say as long as you still manage to find good people while you filter out the bad, your intuition is working perfectly fine. You're not missing out on a thing.


I have this but for the men I date. I grew up with a narcissist dad. I hope to be a mom one day and I don’t want to put my kids through the same crap I endured.


I'm getting faster at noticing and better at listening to my instinct and also more confident in laughing at these people. They're pathetic.


Yup. I was like that since I was around 10 or 11. I could talk about toxic relationships and personality disorders at length in my late teenages and people thought I was 'smart'. Why, even now ,when I talk about these things in my early thirties some people say I'm smart . The sad truth is that it's not smartness, it's an early exposure to these kind of things and being so scarred to the point of dissociating from yourself and your surroundings that you start 'watching' things. While others had the luxury of being oblivious to psychopathology. I respond with " Naw I'm just unlucky".


I don’t do that. Just because they have issues doesn’t make them a bad person. Narcissism is a very tricky one that I can barely deal with it, but borderlines aren’t all bad people. I don’t write people off immediately I see what makes them tick, and why they do the things they do. It just all depends


It happens rarely, but when it does I know something is not right abt the person. I always tell my friends and sister to stay away from the person so far they trust me. I'm glad it helps me keep my little family safe


Yeah, I'm like this. I call it my superpower but I kind of hate it because people often can't see what I see. On top of this, people who I distrust (because I think they're narcs or something else) end to be really popular, which is quite frustrating. Can you only spot red flags with people you meet face to face or can you also pick up weird behaviour online (i.e on forums or social media)? I've had a couple of bad feelings about people I've interacted with online, but I'm not sure whether my gut instinct was accurate in these cases because I've read that social media tends to make us more narcissistic and sometimes think I'm just being triggered because some of the people I suspect act exactly like my narc twin sister does online...


YES I was JUST complaining about this to my SO - I said it is like when someone in a movie can see ghosts and everyone else tells them they are crazy. And NARCS are SO GOOD at gathering a CROWD of admirers! People that fear them or just are too aloof to see it! And if you call out a narc they will immediately cry or throw a fit or appear to be the victim and everyone will tell you that you are the asshole instead. They flip that shit and mostly no one else can really see it. Also re: social media yes I can pick up by what is posted (pictures) but also what is written in descriptions. Even quotes and memes can be a very good giveaway. My social media now is only business related really - so I only post if it has to do with my business. Someone else here mentioned a few celebs that have certainly hit the red flags 🚩 for me too. But apparently we are not allowed to discuss celebs on here. I see social media as a vision board - as in - why would you follow someone that makes you feel icky?


I completely understand, whenever someone is a narc or is just a bad person in general I can just tell they're a bad person before before talking to them


Oh absolutely. Then im the bad guy for not wanting to make up with toxic people for the sake of keeping the peace. This usually ends with the friends that want me to keep the peace cutting off contacy with the toxic person after a while. I mean hey i literally gave you the reasons why so now you have experienced it im not crazy anymore huh. Have some LC from me now.


I am exact same way. I call it my superhero quality. I sometimes wonder if I’m too harsh but then I’m like “nope, no time for this bs”


Yes! I too have been told I write people off to quickly but EVERYTIME I meet someone and feel this way it turns out to be true. Always trust your gut!


Oh, I see the red flags. But then I ignore them and convince myself that I’m wrong about them.


Same boat here, OP. I do this with potential romantic relationships. When I see traits similar to my Cluster B mother in a first or second date, I'm out of there. Never again. I know the warning signs. Glad you do, too.


YES!! I have the same physical reaction around people who show signs of being toxic, especially if they're narcissists. I can barely even stand to be in the same room as them. In the past, I've called out problematic people to mutual friends within an hour of meeting the former, when the mutual friends were totally charmed and enamored of the new person. I'd say, "Nope, I'm calling this. They're awful. They're definitely going to screw us over." And guess how that turned out? Yep. I wouldn't say my judgment's infallible, but I've never been wrong yet. It's mixed blessing, though. Literally no one has ever believed me, especially when the toxic people are also charismatic. At this point, I rarely try to warn people. I just keep my mouth shut and keep my distance. Even that doesn't work very well sometimes, though, since narcissists can sniff out the people who see through them. If they think you see through them, then that makes you a threat. That in turn has led to narcissists trying to trash me within the social group. What a mess. I think the solution is to just be very selective about your friendships.


There was this co-worker straight male misogynist that was used to all the women double over laughing at his (bad) jokes - one time I was one out of 20 women that didn’t laugh - I was working on the computer and politely smiled - and he came over and OUTED ME in front of everyone asking why I didn’t laugh and began to berate me. Uhhhh


yep. i see people do it all the time and im like NOPE. then start to distance myself


Its a super power


It's the lesson that is important in life and others aren't taught about these people. So we're blessed with it.


Yeah, I feel like I spot it pretty quickly now, or even signs that someone might be that way. If someone is too eager to get to know me right away, too familiar or chatty with me, that's a red flag. I've learnt to maintain a polite as possible distance in these situations. Dry it up real quick. I'm quiet and socially anxious a lot of the time. I've found the people who gravitate towards me and really try at these times are usually unhealthy in some way. Like, the relationship becomes something bad. It's hard to put it into words as to why exactly, because it's more subconscious than that, but I feel like I evaluate or "know" people pretty quickly now, like before I really know them. I just have a strong kinda feeling about it, like who I can trust, who feels unsafe, who I'm not quite sure what but there's something I feel is hidden / reminding me of an abusive person in some way. I think it's pretty spot on, tbh. It never used to be, like I used to be a bloody magnet for narcs / abusive people and I just let them stick all over me... Not anymore. I can be friendly with these people, at least one of them is kind of my friend, tbh, but I've became really good at managing the levels of friendship / closeness I'll allow. Manage to keep it distance enough that they don't go toxic all over me.


My friends actually come to me for a gut check now. I'm currently helping two different friends deal with situations where a person only they are friends with are acting poorly. I'm very happy to point out how problematic those people's behavior is against them, and an glad my suffering is good for something.


I went the opposite way. I'm a people pleaser and I get screwed over all the time. I wish I had your superpower.


It can be a lonely one


Yeah, being raised by narcs "grooms" you for future narcs to sniff you out and take advantage of you. When you can see it, nip it in the bud immediately.


Yes and no. I get desperate for attention still and take anything I can get. Last time that happened I ended up in a 2 year long relationship that seriously killed my confidence... Sad part is I saw the red flags early but wrote it off as me being too paranoid.


No Im a dumdum when it comes to that stuff


I see red flags for others straight away. Still struggle with myself sometimes because I can be too trusting.