There are many Red Flags given off by Narcissists. Love Bombing for one. Mirroring is a big one, which I tend to consistently harp on about.
There are a couple of key things which the Narcissist will not hide from you. One is in my opinion the “most important Red Flag“. Ask the potential Narcissist about their childhood. Were they brought up by their Birth Mother? If they were still an infant and they were adopted out or given to other family members (say Grand Parents) to be brought up, that is the “most important & biggest Red Flag“.
To better confirm that Red Flag, ask questions about the person’s Birth Mother? If there is any animosity or even outright hatred shown towards their Birth Mother, that is “yet another major Red Flag” which also confirms your perception of the biggest Red Flag.
It is my opinion that Narcissists are created due to Abandonment Trauma(s) suffered while still an infant, before the left hemisphere of the brain is developed. The Trauma(s) change how the Brain Develops – ie it’s a Hardware-Wiring issue and so Narcissists can not be changed via a treatment protocol. MRI Brain Scans seem to confirm “my opinion”.
Joseph Burgo, in a radio interview, alluded to the coincidence that many diagnosed Narcissists had been abandoned in their early childhood. They were adopted out. They were transferred to other family members (Grandparents) to be cared for.
All the Narcissists who I got to know, had issues with their Mother. Yes the issues varied between a coldness to outright disdain.
Sam Vaknin wrote something confirming this in a review of the book titled “The Abandoned Child Within: On Losing and Regaining Self-Worth “
Sam Vaknin wrote:
“Underneath this colourful maelstrom lies an hypothesis: pathological narcissism is the direct outcome of early childhood abuse and trauma, mainly in the form of abandonment or neglect. Narcissism, in other words, is a defense against hurt and emotional injury.”.
A female Somatic Narc had a pronounced dislike of her Mother. In stark contrast, she and her Dad were fine. Events in the past when one is an infant can have profound affects which can last a lifetime.
A Cerebral Narc would not speak to their Mother when she came in tears because her own Mother had just passed away. The Cerebral Narc’s Grandmother dies and the Narc could not be bothered to come and talk and try to comfort their own Mother. . Would a non Cluster-B Disordered Individual, who has Empathy for the suffering of others behave that way?.
Being brought up by other family members like Grand Parents can cause Abandonment Trauma. To the Grand Parents it’s a burden to “have to” feed, cloth and bring up their daughter’s infant child. They already brought up their own kids.
The distrust of the Birth Mother for being abandoned and sent off to live with strangers (yes they are Grand Parents and an adult understands that but an infant sees themselves being dumped off to some strangers) by the Narc can be life long.
Different people love very differently and sadly some not at all. That description includes Grand Parents. The infant had already lost life’s lottery by being born to a Mother who abandoned them and sent them away to live in another place. Good chance that the Grand Parents were not the kindest and most loving of individuals. So the infant losses again and possibly pays for such loss by developing a Personality Disorder which could prevent them from being able to establish and enjoy “Intimate and Loving” relationships.
Alice Miller has written a post on her site which ties a number of things together. Her post is titled: “The Ignorance or How we produce the Evil”. I’ll have some quotes below, from that Alice Miller post.
Alice Miller wrote :
“Children who are given love, respect, understanding, kindness, and warmth will naturally develop different characteristics from those who experience neglect, contempt, violence or abuse, and never have anyone they can turn to for kindness and affection. Such absence of trust and love is a common denominator in the formative years of all the dictators I have studied. The result is that these children will tend to glorify the violence inflicted upon them and later to take advantage of every possible opportunity to exercise such violence, possibly on a gigantic scale. Children learn by imitation. Their bodies do not learn what we try to instill in them by words but what they have experienced physically. Battered, injured children will learn to batter and injure others; sheltered, respected children will learn to respect and protect those weaker than themselves. Children have nothing else to go on but their own experiences.”
As Alice Miler stated “Children have nothing else to go on but their own experience”. If the infant child experienced Abandonment Trauma they they will not know how to Love someone. They will do to someone else, what had been done to to them. They will use them and abandon them.
Alice Miller also wrote :
“The well-known American pediatrician Dr. Brazelton once filmed a group of mothers holding and feeding their babies, each in her own particular way. More than 20 years later he repeated the experiment with the women those babies had grown into and who now had babies themselves. Astoundingly, they all held their babies in exactly the same way as they had been held by their mothers, although of course they had no conscious memories from those early years. One of the things Braselton proved with this experiment was that we are influenced in our behavior by our unconscious memories. And those memories can be life affirming and affectionate or traumatic and destructive.”
It is my opinion, that It is not the Narcissist’s fault for developing such a Personality Disorder. It is up to you whether you want to get involved, in any kind of a relationship, with a Personality Disordered individual.
So recapping the two biggest and in my opinion most important Red Flags of a Narcissist. If you learn that the person was not raised by their Birth Mother that is IMHO the most important and biggest of all the Red Flags. Major issues with their Birth Mother is another confirming major Red Flag.
The more Red Flags that you can spot, the higher the probability that you are interacting with a Personality Disordered Individual.
Watch for the Red Flags.