Poll – Which Red Flags Did You Fail To Heed?

KTN Poll - H.G Wants To Know Post Graphic

Red Flags. With the benefit of hindsight those flags were flying high but you failed to heed them. Did you think the now-known-narcissist was coming on strong by wanting to be with you all of the time, but you dismissed it as it felt good and exciting? Maybe the narcissist was already in a relationship when he or she targeted you citing those lies of “we are like brother and sister these days”, “we never have sex any more” or “he/she makes my life hell” ? Perhaps you noticed that the narcissist would be strangely unavailable for short periods of time, when usually he or she answered the phone within a nanosecond of you ringing them? Or was it the fact that you never got to meet any of his or her family or friends as you were only ever seen isolation?

You can pick as many answers as are applicable, but do so BEFORE pressing vote.

As ever, please expand in the comments section on your experiences and observations.

Thank you for participating.


Which red flags did you experience but failed to heed them?

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33 thoughts on “Poll – Which Red Flags Did You Fail To Heed?

  1. Victoria says:

    Quite a lot of Red Flags!!!

  2. Tamara says:

    He never approved anything I said.

  3. SMH says:

    Hmmm, well, lots of red flags. I even knew he was lying. But I didn’t care because I just wanted a fling. Then I went away for five months. He kept me e-tethered. During this period, I made a list of things that had to change if we were to continue to see each other, but I never got to present it to him because I came back to extreme triangulation and left the relationship anyway. Hoovers followed. Then I went back but by then I knew there was an IPPS and all the rest of it.

    Now I wonder what the hell I was thinking!!??

  4. relatedtocrippen says:

    Soooo many 🚩

  5. Together all the time: He wanted to be exclusive fairly quickly but I said I wasn’t ready…a month later I agreed to be exclusive. He wanted to be with me every night and when I explained that I was going to hang out with my friends, going to yoga class or just needed a little space… he’d always accuse me of being on a date with another guy or cheating🙄

    Having children right away: We were both in our mid forties but he insisted we would make beautiful babies; my green eyes, his black hair and Latin skin tone = perfecto! Wtf?…and also hell no!

    Inconsistent Answers: Very early on I noticed his “bad memory”… it was really bad. He was telling me some made up story about something trivial and I asked him in a joking way – “are you high?” I literally saw 🔥 ignite in his eyes…but he never said a thing; he shrugged it off.

    Random 🚩 #42: At times my ex would be absorbed in watching me closely, intensely during my emotional outbursts (good or bad) like he was studying me or trying to understand the emotions (that he can’t have himself).. or maybe use this knowledge later as the “proper way to respond to X situation”..who knows but totally weird.

    For what it’s worth, I consulted with HG a few weeks ago and it really helped me better understand the NPD perspective. This knowledge doesn’t excuse the pain inflicted nor do I feel sorry for my ex; however, as I look back, I understand that I was dealing with someone trying desperately to manage and control his life…
    ..and since I am in IT, it’s akin to an out of date program struggling to function in the current state using an operating system that is end of life & end of service.

    1. Caroline R says:

      Good points.
      Ns do have a different operating system installed in their brain.
      I read a book for children that explained Autism, and it used the different operating system analogy.
      It was very good.
      It is entirely apt for explaining Ns too.

  6. candacemarie1212 says:

    One thing I didn’t see listed was secretive about the past. My ex never wanted to go into much detail about his exes. He just said they were crazy and he had no clue why they were happy at the beginning but then turned against him. I always thought it was odd he didn’t want to talk about it. He never wanted to talk about his mom either. I let it slide, I figured he would open up to me eventually. Years later near the end of the relationship he finally told me the truth. This was after I practically begged him to tell me. He had been in jail for physical and sexual assault on his ex. In the end he was cleared of all charges. If someone is ever secretive again I will just walk away.

    1. Caroline R says:

      Hi candacemarie1212

      I found your experience so interesting.
      Thanks for sharing it with us. I’m so glad that he didn’t assault you!

      You’ve reminded me of some things.
      One thought came to mind:
      If we are ever reduced to begging…… that’s really bad!
      (I know you said “practically begging”)

      I’ve never begged.
      Totally beneath me!

      The closest I came to that was the second last phone call to my (?Cerebral but handsome) (?upper) mid-ranger stockbroker ex-N.
      I was reduced to tears.
      Such an indignity!
      Never again have I allowed another N to reduce me to tears in their presence.

      He’d flown to Melbourne from Sydney for work, and had made a point of coming to see me. I was at work at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He came in for a romantic quick visit.
      He was Mr Spontaneity. Mr Outgoing. Mr Lightening-Quick-Mind. Mr Adrenaline-junkie Futures Trader. We shared our faith. He made me laugh. He was well-read. He wrote well. He was so articulate, so very clever.
      He was proud of it.

      I’m not an impulse buyer, and like to assess all of my options before making a considered choice. I’m introverted and calm.
      It was the chemistry of opposite temperaments, but the meeting of minds.
      So hot!

      (He’d call me every second day, and we’d email each other a few times a day. He was successful, and treated me well.
      He laughed like a happy boy when we talked, brimming with masculine energy, and I thought it was adorable.
      I loved knowing that I made him happy.
      It was a turn on.

      For our first date, he hired an expensive red convertible sports car, came and picked me up, and we drove down to the coast for lunch, the conversation flowing easily the whole time.
      He’d mentioned a few times that his previous girlfriends “just wanted to lie down in my lap”, and “some of them became depressed, and I couldn’t help them”, they all let him down as he saw it, and he was justifiably repulsed.
      I didn’t know what to make of that.
      I didn’t really know what it meant.
      He seemed scathing of these gentle, loving women.
      As he described it, their only failing was loving and adoring him, and having fragile mental health.
      It sounded like there had been quite a number of them.
      I didn’t ask, I didn’t want to talk about it so early on in the relationship. I assumed he’d tell me more with time, as we got closer.
      I was determined to not end up in either group however, but that was as far as my thoughts went).

      We had the coronary care tearoom all to ourselves for five minutes. That’s rare. He’d called me on the work desk phone with his ETA, so I’d arranged to have my break at the same time.
      The adrenaline was pumping.

      He arrived, looking handsome in a well-cut, gun-metal grey suit, having come from his business meeting.
      He stood in the doorway, like a statue.
      He wouldn’t kiss me.
      He looked over the top of my head, his blue eyes gleaming strangely.
      When I reached out to touch him he looked like I’d done something offensive.
      His back stiffened indignantly, as though my expectations were completely inappropriate.

      I was so taken aback.
      I’m a private person, and felt so uptight in case anyone should see.
      I withdrew my hand and moved back a little into the ‘business acquaintance’ zone.
      I calmly asked him about how his flight was, how his meeting had gone, how the client had responded.
      I couldn’t really focus on what he was saying, I was focused instead on keeping my composure, and on being able to speak calmly and supportively, as though nothing had happened.
      I’m well-practiced at not reacting when people act strangely.
      He left not long afterwards, en route to the airport, and I stoically kept it together for the rest of my work day.
      Once home, I felt crushed and very confused.

      Why had he come to see me?
      Why did he make such a big deal about coming, as though he was looking forward to seeing me, and then act so strangely?
      What had happened in those couple of hours between his phone call and his visit?
      I knew that it wasn’t me.
      It was so confusing!

      A few days later, he called me:

      Me (tears in my eyes at the sound of his voice): “what’s going on?… I feel like you’re going to hurt me”
      He gave me no support or reassurance.
      He started sounding irritated with me “you’ll have to fly up to be with me now if this is going to work…”
      “What do you mean? I don’t understand…”

      He made me feel bad about myself, and like I was a teenager being called into the principal’s office to explain myself.
      He didn’t explain HIMSELF or his weird behaviour.

      It was the start of devaluation, in retrospect.

      We spoke once more on the phone, but there was no reassurance or words of care.
      I’d booked a flight to go and see him the next week. It was a last-minute purchase, and so one of the most expensive seats.
      I started planning a few elegant outfits to wear for dinner, but had misgivings.
      He’d ruined the magic for me.
      I had the familiar feeling of being backed out onto a high precipice by the ex-N.
      I ended it.

      No one’s going to push my heart off a cliff.

      I got a refund on my ticket.

      Ex-N Steve was N-friend Louise’s cousin, and when she heard from him and his family that I’d “treated him badly”, she was furious with me. She’d gotten us together. “What did you do? You were so good together!”
      After castigating me for my failure, she gave me a short silent treatment which made the pain worse.
      When we spoke again after a week had passed, her opening line to me was a terse “what have you learned?”.
      Zero empathy or support!

      I’d cried with her when she went through the pain of a miscarriage. I celebrated with her when she gave birth to her first daughter.
      When I needed support, I got condemnation.

      After her miscarriage, imagine if I’d demanded of her “so what have you learned?”.
      My friendship with Louise lasted another three years before finally going up in flames.

      I just remembered that N-Mother actually gave me support about that failed relationship.
      That was an event with the frequency of occurrence on par with Halley’s Comet: once in a lifetime.
      When I told her that he wouldn’t kiss me she pronounced loudly “oh, there must be something wrong with him!”
      My dad said “he’s probably still in the closet”.
      There seemed to be no other logical explanation.

      1. candacemarie1212 says:

        I really enjoyed reading about your experience. It was very interesting .
        Begging is awful and normally I would never do it. I had come across an old Facebook message from one of his friends. She said he had been in jail. I totally panicked because he had spent a good amount of time alone with my young daughter. I probably should have checked him out before I left him with my daughter but I was so in love with him I never imagined he would do anything wrong. There never was any reason for me to think he hurt her in any way. So I am thankful for that. When he admitted he had been charged with sexual assault it really got to me. I realized that he had done the same to me before. But I was always in denial about it. He never physically assaulted me but I am sure that if I would have stayed with him it would have eventually happened.

  7. T’mara says:

    So many Red Flags I dismissed!

    1). Wanting to get married immediately;

    2). “The Ex was insane”;

    3). Varying stories about several Exes and getting the stories mixed-up;

    4). “I never said that” (all the time)

    5). Putting his Enabler on a pedestal as the “hero” for saving his life from his suicide ideations that I supposedly caused him;

    6). Being a jack*ss

    ETC; ETC; …

    1. relatedtocrippen says:

      Yep, mine used that all the time as well..”I never said that”… it is as though they all read the same, “How to be a Narc” instruction manual, smh.

      1. Tamara says:

        Yes, sure does seem that way!

  8. Omj says:

    When I became his official GF – official IPSS shall I said … he said … are you sure ? He asked 3 times … i said yes and he said … because I am hardcore .
    That time when he asked me – I remember again- I had the shiver it was like if I had signed a life contract.

  9. Joy Ascending says:

    After hook up with him, love bombing by text changed to “don’t contact me anymore until I call you” then it was on a payphone or fax number. He’d come to my place but never had me over his place. And never stayed the night. After 2 months, while laying next to me in bed, he tapped my side and said coldly without opening his eyes, ” look I gotta situation.” Then said he had a woman roommate who was unstable, etc. I remember feeling fear and sick to my stomach. But he kept calling and seeing me, said he wanted to get married. 2 years of this, hiding me in shadows. I should have known better! Then 3 more years of everything HG describes in all his works. I’m free now, but the signs were all there. And thanks to HG I can really say : never again.

  10. Chihuahuamum says:

    Too many to list but i chose…
    Message bombardment
    Excessive compliments
    Basically two things he said at the beginning stand out…
    “I want you addicted to me” 🤣 i have to laugh bc you couldnt be any more blatant than that in screaming im a narcissist!! 😄
    The other one which makes me think he may be a greater is she said “youre an empath!” I had been living under a stone as far as npd and the terminology and had no idea what an empath was. I really do believe he knows what he is. He had also mentioned narcissist at the beginning.
    Hes proud of who he is and enjoys living this way or it seems to be so.
    There were many red flags and still are. There are moments i doubt him having npd then it comes out and im shocked how well he can hide it. Its a form if gaslighting. I think we gaslight ourselves wanting to ignore the proof.

    1. Maria says:

      It’s our Achilles heel. We want to believe so badly in their good nature that we do more of the work fooling ourselves than they ever have to. We make it so easy for them.

      I vote that he does know what he is. He has the terminology down pat.

      1. Chihuahuamum says:

        Hi maria…he definitely knows what narcissism is and takes pride in it. I keep wondering if hes been on the blog or knows of HGs work. I do know he follows me online do it wouldnt surprise me. Maybe he was on the blog before i ever was.

  11. Joanne says:

    Message bombardment
    Dismissive and/or nasty about the ex(es)
    Excessive compliments
    Odd periods of being uncontactable

    I really knew from the start that they were red flags. There were others as well, but I really made the conscious choice to ignore them all. It felt so good, and I knew it wasn’t going anywhere, I didn’t intend on leaving my husband, so I figured it would be fun for a bit. Until, it wasn’t! I never expected to be as devastated as I was over a “fun little fling.”

  12. Michelle says:

    The first red flag that I ignored with the last narcissist I encountered was an attempt to rewrite history. The narc had been rude to me, but the next morning when he told the story to our mutual friends, he completely changed what had happened. At the time it didn’t seem vastly beyond normal behavior. The problem was that it was the first of many things he did. It was quite clear from the beginning that all contact happened on his terms and his timeline as well. I wonder in hindsight why I put up with it for so long.

  13. Katebd19 says:

    Additionally, in my case, I ignored the fact that after two weeks of message bombing since we met he asked me to spend a long holiday with him (and I accepted because It felt really good and he was so attractive that I thought an affair would not be harmful) and some comments during my golden period in the line of “I am not the nice person that you thing I am” (which were difficult to believe at that time)

  14. lisk says:

    The biggest and most earliest red flag that I missed was his dismissiveness and/or nasty comments/stories about his ex-wife.

    I always knew that if a guy talks badly about his ex, then he’ll talk nasty about you. But I gave him a pass on this one for two reasons: 1) I thought this was a special case (naturally, he presented himself as special), and 2) because I thought I was helping him through something and that he would appreciate that. Duh.

    1. Joanne says:

      lisk – SAME HERE 💯

  15. Better Call HG says:

    Hi Maria,

    Unfortunately, I did not figure her out until several months after I was shelved. It is frustrating because I had been reading HG’s works for several months when I first met her. I should have called HG when I thought things were getting serious, but I thought I knew how to spot narcissists. That was just my emotional thinking blinding me.

    I love Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad! As entertaining as it would be to imagine HG working at a Cinnabon, there’s no way he’d let that happen. I picture HG as Gus. Hiding in plain sight, intelligent, charming, beloved in the community, financially successful, having loyal and competent lieutenants, and getting the most satisfying revenge against his enemies.

    1. Maria says:

      I loved Breaking Bad, too ☺ I have not been following HG long enough to have a feel on who he could be most like but I think he at least has a better sense of humor than Pring (the charm of the narcissist). I think of Pring more as a psychopath. Barely any charm. All business.

  16. Patrick Bateman says:

    The Tudor scope is on target, word for word “we are like brother and sister these days”, “we never have sex any more” or “he/she makes my life hell”
    It’s like you were listening in on the conversations.
    This is my second encounter, the first time i was appointed ipps but in that rare condition of having never physically met with the narcissist.
    Now as ipss i was recently over the narcissist apartment while the ipps was working. It’s a bit different HG in the sense that she tells me very much of the ipps and we strolled around certain parts of town unhindered by our token affection. Must be the sense of entitlement and lack of accountability kicking in.
    She even left me sitting on the bed while her sister was coming over had i not reminded her she was coming it would have been a situation

    1. Patrick Bateman says:

      Any comment HG?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        On what, PB?

        1. Patrick Bateman says:

          That the narcissist tells me much about the ipps
          And that they are happy

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Façade management, we do not ‘do’ happy.

  17. KellyD says:

    At first there was the excessive texting, then odd periods of being unreachable. He asked early on if I’d live with him, I said no, I don’t want to live with anyone… so then I was never invited to his home… as punishment, I guess. There was always a punishment for a perceived slight.

    1. Joanne says:

      Yes, even I received those small corrective punishments 🙄

  18. Better Call HG says:

    Dismissive and/or nasty about ex’s & The narcissist was already in a relationship with someone else.

    The narcissist lived in a house with roommates. She mentioned a couple of times how one of the roommates had a crush on her/told her she was perfect for him. I thought nothing of it, telling myself why wouldn’t someone have a crush on her and figured she just wanted to make me a little jealous (she mentioned previously she liked I was competitive). I met him a few times, and he seemed ok. Later, she smeared him extensively, even accusing him of sexual harassment. He eventually moved out.

    HG confirmed I was a SIPSS, so I suspect the roommate was more than likely the IPPS in devaluation. I figured there were competitors because we met on a dating app, but I assumed she was single. Never occurred to me that I was interacting with her IPPS the entire time.

    1. Maria says:

      Glad you got away, BCH. She sounds so horrible.How long did it take you to figure her out? By the way, Better Call Saul is one of my favorite shows so I love your handle and now I’m picturing HG hoarding cash, trying to outwit drug runners and serving up Cinnabons at the mall in his spare time.

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