In 2006, WoN forum members participated in a group project. The following article is the result of our collaboration. It might bring a smile to your face because we are, if anything, a humorous group of traumatized people. Underneath the light-hearted descriptions of Red Flaggers is an unfunny truth about narcissists. They lack heart. They lack soul. And most of all, they take themselves FAR too seriously.
The Web of Narcissism's
"I think the biggest red flag is...no regard for what you REALLY say or think. He gave lip service to asking my opinion, making sure he protected his "Mr. Sensitive" image; but if push came to shove, he just did whatever HE wanted. I thought I had connected to a man who made decisions and could move on them. Well, yeah. But only if the outcome benefitted HIM in some way. If it involved me or our children - tough shiite. He could tell you to go to helll in such a way you actually enjoyed the trip." ~Honeybear
"The number one red flag is the N making a selfish decision that doesn't take into consideration the needs or desires of other people. The second time they do it, you should get ready to separate. The third time they do it, you should give it up. If I had done that in 1953, I would have cried my heart out and become an old maid, but I probably would have done more music earlier in my life and developed as a person with goals that were very worthwhile. "~Cornfield
"The red flag I missed besides listening and believing his woes about being a victim, was him making plans and not asking how I felt about those plans. At the time I thought, wow, it's great to have someone able to make a decision. I later discovered that the control freak hiding underneath didn't give a damn about my feelings on anything." ~NeverAgain
"A Red Flag??? He had to always walk one or two steps ahead of me. No matter how fast I walked, he was ahead. I once asked him if he thought that we were on an African Safari where one individual had to walk ahead!" ~GrowingIntoMe
One Red Flag was that "as long as I pretended the inspiration was truly original and truly his...I was free to get the kids what they needed. It also worked for getting things for myself or the family as a whole. But heaven forbid I should just go and get something because it was my idea! That usually brought a tirade about "spending him into the ground" or a lecture about how stupid the purchase was---something." ~SadieWu
Beware the adult who does not value children as BE-ings.
The adult who does not mature in the parenting ROLE,
nor see themselves as co-creators with his or her partner
A WoN member wrote to her husbaNd: "You said if no one wanted to do anything, you’d put a door with a lock on the pantry...Parents are supposed to make sure there’s food in the house...You said you always did the majority of work; the boys sat around for hours watching TV...the vast majority of our efforts were trying to please you and make sure things got done. You only remember the times that were not what you considered teamwork."
AlmostHealing wrote: "He appears...to be the model father, but has very little ability to stay within those boundaries when "pressed" to the wall by just the smallest things in life."
THE RED FLAGGERS
When Actions do not follow Words
Always watch where Flaggers feet go 'cuz if you believe their 'talk' defines who they are, you'll be questioning your own sanity in no time.
"They can talk the good talk---wow can they ever! But they cannot walk the good walk."
do not validate our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions
"He never remembered conversations we had and swore, I never said that." ~PracticalJude
"You're too sensitive! I don't like your tone!"~Talia
Knights in Shining Armor
tire of rescuing damsels in distress
and soon see themselves as her victim
and soon see themselves as her victim
Poof! She magically transforms into a persecutor through no fault of her own. He'll be back on his white steed in no time, chanting tales of woe because he is...by far:
The Most Pitiable Victim
in the world
(who cannot survive without your help)
He'll occupy your time, your thoughts and every single talent until you no longer have time to help yourself. The good news is YOU are special! The bad news is: You're Not. "Beware of momma's boys." ~Lapin
"He said in the beginning: I want to know every detail about you. He mirrored me, fostering a sense of connectedness: Oh we're so much alike"~Tia
The Spiritual Guru
enlightened with 'boomer-itis':
It's all about me-me-me and how I feel-feel-feel about you-you-you and my best bud God-God-God. Never put the Guru between you and your Higher Power (no matter how many halos-auras-holy colors are beaming from the top of their heads!) The spiritual guru elevates himself by walking on other people's crowns.
"He uses scripture on a regular basis to justify his own lies, bad behaviour...& believes he will be spared to save the rest of the world from certain doom."~AlmostHealed
The Self-professed Good Guy
If someone tells you he's a good guy, he's probably not
He might 'let' you to make decisions (How NOBLE!), but this Red Flagger avoids responsibility while fostering a pretense of shared power.
"A repetitive brainwashing technique of telling me what a good guy he was and then slipping proof (every once in a blue moon) to validate his goodness."~WoN member
The Invisible Mate
The addict, the workaholic, the absentee partNer is never there for one reason only: NO Commitment to anything or anyone other than themselves.
"...he focuses on computer games and video games like it's a drug to "escape" and leaves you out to find your own pursuits, then accuses you of being aloof, distant, and emotionally unavailable." ~WoN member
"Beware of those keeping you on the string, not caring about your time table. A boyfriend kept me going 10+ yrs." Rox
is the Flagger who does not subordinate self to rules, restrictions or commitments
Moral responsibility to protect the freedom of others? Ha! It's all about them, baby! He's no more concerned about a stranger's freedom than he is about YOURS.
shifts facts to suit the audience, manipulating reality to meet an agenda: THEIRS
"If N doesn't remember, it didn't happen!
"he tells the same story over and over and everytime he tells it, it changes." ~NewTurtle
"HOW about those little lies he says in front of you and are NOT NECESSARY in any way!"~I_Was_Blind
"he makes his own rules and complains of others rules" ~Eyes_up
The Covert Misognynist
does not respect his mother, his wife, his sister, or his daughter
Women are idealized and Devalued after the slightest of mistakes. Anyone suggesting YOU are different from other women, is telling you about his superior attitude and value system. This Red Flagger sees women as Harpies from Hell or Angels from Heaven. In other words: objects of his imagination. "He talked about me in third person in front of others." ~Serenity
The Jealous partNer
accuses his partNer of infidelity. That's no compliment, even if the Flagger is paying such close attention. This behavior is about ownership, control and quite possibly: a warning about what he is doing.
BE WARY of the seductive power of:
The Royal 'We'
Don't be fooled by the illusion of a mutually-reciprocal relationship simply because you are willing to Give and he is willing the Ask. It's a test. You'll learn about Givers and Takers when it's time to accept responsibility for problems. "..he asks for favors right away/unaware of social norm/lacks boundaries..." ~Lia
The Lure of Intensity
Never confuse intimacy with intensity
The Security of Enmeshment/Fusion
The lure of unconscious repetitions and learned patterns of behavior
The Revelation of Personal Intimacies
The inbility to keep a confidence or divulging too much information too soon prevents true intimacy and makes YOU: an easy target for blackmail.
Be AWARE of:
Entitlement, Arrogance & Attitude
What's theirs is theirs and what's yours is theirs, too
"He said "I am the master of my home." But he also had a Superior attitude in restaurants." ~Serenity
"In conversations I noticed he had stolen text from others. Came up with certain theories that were nothing special but he let it sound as if it was a brilliant finding." ~WoN member
"The narcissist I knew believed all counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists are complete idiots who know nothing." ~WoN member
No internal brakes (empathy) to stop hurting others as needed to protect their Image. "Brutal honesty? Absolutely! She would say the most hurtful things without an inch of pain."
Anger as Power-Over others
is evidenced by intermittent rage or Flashes of anger inappropriate to the situation. Anger used to Power Over Others is: a loss of self-control; a lack of respect for the object of their anger;entitlement to bully others; a sense of superiority to those being bullied into submission. This is not Power. This is personal weakness.
Long-term resentments and eye-for-an-eye justice
An inability to forgive includes forgiving you, too. Relationships are built on two people's ability to forgive not only one another, but also themselves. "(She) Smears or defames someone she's angry with and the drive for revenge will never cease!"
Excessive praise and flattery of others
is delivered profusely until a recipient is uncomfortable enough to ask the Flagger to stop.
Inexhaustible need for praise and flattery by others
Grab your Nikes and pom-poms. You'll be doing lots & lots of this: Cheerleading
"Now that I look back on it all I realize I can find my answer in the mirror. I can not even count how many times I found myself looking in the mirror to see my face dragged down, eyes slightly vacant and distant and finding a face that I didn't know. That would be the final flag. If it's gone too far or even if it's at the bare beginnings, I will know when I look at myself and see unhappiness."~Eyes_up