When you're first dating someone, the fire of new love is so intense and your chemistry runs so high that it can be challenging to see a man's dominant personality traits for what they really are.
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You might even make the unconscious choice not to see the red flags of emotionally abusive relationships that are waving obviously to your friends and family as they look on helplessly from the outside.
After all, it's going pretty well. Why ruin a mostly good thing with an unnecessary breakup, right?
Because you don't want to wind up burned, heartbroken, and potentially traumatised down the road, that's why.
Therefore, it can be tremendously helpful to know the outward signs of someone who is potentially pathological before you give him your heart.
Here are five personality traits found in the type of men you want to run, not walk, away from to avoid emotionally abusive relationships.
There's a word for this guy, and it's "narcissistic." Narcissists display a confident, have-it-all-together mask for the world to see as a coping mechanism for their deep pain.
Though there is a spectrum of narcissism that can range from a regular, self-centered person to someone manipulative to someone who fits the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder.
No matter where he falls in this pecking order, you'd better believe that in a relationship with an overly-inflated man you are merely another object for him to display solely for his own benefit. Run.
2. Suspiciously charismatic
His charisma is another part of the guise he puts on to masking who he really is, and his knowledge of what women want to feel and hear ... let's just say it's probably based on a lot of experience.
This guy knows how to say just the right words and touch you in just the right way to get you hooked on him before you've had a chance to get to know him and honestly evaluate the relationship. Run.
For the first few dates when you're just getting to know each other, he might show a polite interest in knowing more about you.
However, if over time his interest in you as a person — what makes you tick, how your day went, or what your needs are — has dwindled down to practically nothing, he's likely to be more of an energy drain on your than a source of mutual love in a relationship. Run.
He's smart enough to know that downright insulting you would cause you to jump ship immediately, but he might belittle you in sneaky ways in a subtle attempt to gain power over you.
Be on the lookout for common toxic behaviours such as these:
• Giving you pet names that refer to your appearance or intelligence in a negative way
• Berating, insulting or ignoring your family and friends
• Treating you disrespectfully through actions like standing you up
• Not-so-cute shows of manly strength such as picking you up off the ground when this is something you have clearly told him you dislike
While these "little things" may seem innocent enough, they are often a man's way of gradually wearing down your self-esteem and manipulating you into to accepting his bad behaviour by normalizing it. Run.
This is an actual psychological term defined as "a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.
Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilise the target and delegitimise the target's belief."
Essentially, it's a favourite tactic of abusive people that is intended to make someone question their own reality to gain dominance over them.
When a gaslighter wants to wear you down, he will lie, deny, attempts to confuse you, project his own problems on to you, and call you crazy — and those are only a few examples.
A man using any of these manipulative techniques should sound a significant alarm for you about a potential relationship with him. Run.
If the guy you're talking to or dating displays any of these five disturbing traits, run away from him as far as you can, and don't ever consider looking back