13 Warning Signs Of A Self-Absorbed Partner

Picture this. You have been in a relationship for a few months, and you begin to notice your new boyfriend spends a lot of time talking about himself and his accomplishments.

Your beautiful new girlfriend seems to look around every room she enters. Full of herself, she waits for heads to turn and approving looks to come her way.

When you share a success or an exciting event in your life, inevitably the conversation turns to your partner's self-absorption with their achievements or more thrilling adventures.

He or she is self-centered.

Their massive ego needs your constant approval, accolades, and attention, but they rarely return those gifts to you. It has become a one-man or one-woman show in which your partner is the leading character, and you are merely the supporting cast or cheering audience.

No one likes self-centeredness, especially if you are spending the majority of your time with them. Self-absorbed people can suck the life out of you, as you do backflips to prop up their egos and insatiable need for reinforcement.

What does being self-absorbed mean?

When you encounter a person like this they tend to be consumed with their own thoughts and concerns.

They are not good at actively listening to others or curious enough to ask conversational questions. They lack empathy and interest in you and tend to make you feel insecure and unimportant.

If you are a kind, empathic, and giving a person, you might give a self-absorbed person a lot of grace. You might think you just need to give more, praise more, and be more accepting so that you'll receive a few crumbs of approval yourself.

At first, you may mistake your partner's self-absorption for confidence, high self-esteem, and positivity. You may not recognize at first that this pulled-together, attractive, and self-absorbed personality is really a narcissist in the making.

Here are 13 traits of self-centered people you should watch out for:

1. They always view themselves as better than others, including you.

Some people are so preoccupied by their own opinions, self-image, and appearance that they believe they breathe rarified air. They view themselves as a special breed, someone whom others should look up to and acknowledge as special.

As the partner of a self-absorbed person, your job is to praise and adore this person. But you will never be on equal footing with him or her.

People who are egotistical always think they are superior to others, which often leads them to devalue people around them. The more you give of yourself, the more this self-centered person will show contempt for you.

2. They have strong opinions.

Your partner's opinions are known because he or she makes them perfectly clear.

Personality types who are into themselves do not want to listen to the opinions of other people because they only believe their views, preferences, and desires are correct.

If you disagree or present another opinion, the overly self-involved person views this as an attack or put-down. He views you as an extension of himself, and expressing your own opinions feels threatening to his fragile ego.

3. They hide their insecurities and vulnerabilities.

While people who are self-consumed may appear to have it all together, the opposite is usually true. Underneath the bravado is a deep well of insecurities. Why else would she continue to boast and need constant reinforcement?

Maintaining this veneer of perfection and confidence keeps you at arms distance, as the self-centered partner has a difficult time with emotional intimacy.

This kind of closeness requires opening up and being vulnerable, allowing you to see his or her weaknesses and flaws. But this feels immensely frightening to someone whose entire life is based on maintaining a facade.

Admitting weakness for self-centered personalities feels like death.

4. They abuse their friendships.

People who are obsessively into themselves have an easy time making friends at first. They can be charming, interesting, and fun to be around.

But often they just want to benefit from the relationship in some way, mainly to have an audience to reinforce their relentless need for attention and approval.

You may notice your new lover has a crowd of adoring sycophants who buzz around him or her, trying to capture some of the magnetism and success.

Over time, however, you see how friends are carelessly discarded by your partner, or how they drop away as they realize they are being used.

One characteristic of a self-absorbed person is they don't have deep and lasting friendships based on mutual respect and trust.

5. They have very little empathy for others.

Self-centered people think the world revolves around them and that their own challenges are the only ones that matter.

They view your pain or problems through their own eyes and how it impacts them. Whatever hardships you are having, they've had it worse.

They aren't interested in how you are impacted or what you are feeling. They don't want to be bothered with your emotional needs. A  doesn't have the ability or the willingness to put themselves in someone else's shoes or share their pain.

They think the world (and you) exists for their benefit and needs and have little concern about how others are affected

couple at dinner self-centered person

6. They are more concerned with superficial qualities than character.

Does your partner seem more interested in how you look, the kind of car you drive, or your income than he or she does in your character, interests, and emotional needs?

Egotistical people often choose partners who will reflect well on them. “Look at me. I can attract this hot man who makes a lot of money and drives a Porsche.”

If you don't measure up to your partner's idea of perfection, he or she will pressure you to get in shape, get a better job, or start wearing different clothes. A self-consumed person is far more interested in how you look on his arm than he is in your goals and dreams or your deepest fears.

If your partner is not very interested in who you are as a person, so you likely won't feel seen, appreciated, or heard in the relationship.

7. They are disinterested in your day.

We all need to come home at the end of a long day and share our joys and frustrations with the one we love.

It's important to be with someone who asks about your day and takes the time to listen to you attentively. Mutual sharing and active listening is an essential part of a healthy relationship.

If your partner is always dominating the conversation and never asks about your life, he or she is living in a one-dimensional world that doesn't include you. Your words are just background noise until she can take the floor and talk about what's really important — herself.

Your bad day or the news about your promotion is quickly bypassed so the focus can turn back to your partner.

8. Your partner doesn't want to do activities that interest you.

Compromise is required for a relationship to flourish. When two people come together with different interests and preferences, you both have to make concessions at times to accommodate the other.

If your partner doesn't care about your opinion or interests, this is definitely a red flag.

A self-absorbed partner feels that he or she should be the last word on how and where you spend your time. You must adopt his or her preferences and mold your life to fit your partner's interests and choices.

Related: Is It Time To Drop a Relationship

However, you shouldn’t have to nag your partner to participate in things you want to do, whether it’s the restaurant you prefer, a movie you like, or a vacation spot. You shouldn't have to accommodate your partner every single time.

Your needs and wants should be equal to your partner's, and he or she should show a willingness to compromise.

If you find yourself feeling regularly resentful and disregarded, it's time to face the truth about this person.

9. They interrupt you when you are talking.

A self-centered partner likes the sound of his or her own voice more than yours. You'll be interrupted or talked over with little regard for your feelings.

If you disagree with your partner, he will be quick to defend his point of view without even acknowledging what your perspective. She doesn't hesitate to correct you in front of others to support her position.

Being heard and affirmed is a very important part of feeling loved and needed. If you begin to feel emotionally and verbally sidelined, it is probably because your partner doesn't care.

10. Your partner prioritizes herself ahead of your relationship.

Your partner should have a team mentality when it comes to your relationship. He or she should consider everyone involved (especially you) when making decisions.

When you have a quality, emotionally intelligent partner, you will find that he views your happiness as important as his own.

A  self-absorbed person doesn't stop to consider your preferences or happiness or even the health of your relationship. In his mind, the relationship is all about him.

You need to face the truth that you and your relationship will never be a priority for this person, and you will never feel deeply loved and cherished.

11. They set a lot of rules.

People who traits of self-absorption have high expectations of others. If you fall short of these expectations, you are likely to be judged and corrected very quickly.

To help you meet their expectations, people who are self-centered make rules for their partner to follow so they can feel more in control.

This is how we do dinner. This is the time we go out. This is the way we keep our house. This is how we raise the children.

Often, these rules are unfair, one-sided, and unnecessary, and they make you feel resentful and disrespected.

12. They make accusations.

If you find that your partner is falsely accusing you, he or she is likely becoming paranoid that you are out to undermine them in some way or threaten their sense of self-worth.

Self-centered people don't want their image of perfection to be tainted, so if they feel like anyone is putting that in jeopardy, they are likely to jump to conclusions.

You find yourself frequently in the position of self-defense, having to earn his or her trust for no valid reason.

13. They assume you are always available.

Your life revolves around him or her, right?

So your schedule is always open for you to jump when he or she calls.

A self-centered man or woman is puzzled or angry if you have a previous engagement and aren't available to help them or do what they want.

Why would you want to do anything else when you could sit around waiting for Mr. or Ms. Amazing to do you the honor of requesting your presence?
13 Signs of Self-Centered People You Need To Avoid Click To Tweet

Do you have self-centered person in your life?

Is your partner so selfish that they believe you don't have a life beyond his or her needs? If so, it's time to reassess whether you want this person in your life.

If you feel that you are just a supporting player in your partner's one-man show and that your needs are constantly put on the back burner, then you might consider letting go of this relationship.

This isn't a relationship — it's a charade performed by a prima donna on their stage.

Find someone who will cherish you, listen to you, and tend to your needs as readily as they tend to their own.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 9 comments
  • KG

    Yes, I’ve known people like that. Interestingly they have helped me to become aware of any tendency to over self concern. It can be easier to see other people’s character flaws than one’s own. It’s important to have people you’re close with who will be completely honest with you about your behavior. Thanks!

      Barbara Liedtke

      I am a female and hear you, Michael. I am sharing the same feelings towards my ex-relationship. Sometimes I start even doubting “did it all happen”. Taking it day by day learning to love a healthy nice guy at the moment. There is something in us which draws self-absorbed partners in. Find it and things will change 🙂

  • C.M. E.

    I was exposed to 13 out of 13….Every day, always walking on eggshells, trying not to tick him off. They are pros at doing it. I always blamed myself for not seeing the red flags at first, but they charm, talk, and treat us like royalty until we are exactly where they want us and wham…we are blind sided. I got out of it and now with therapy, I am doing good. My self confidence is slowly rebuilding. I still have a way to go, but I am already a winner!! I got out of it and with the support of my family, it is possible.

  • Cathy

    I need this help and I don’t know where to begin. My whole family believes him and that I’m the crazy one.

  • Gloria Jean Harris (Ecuimates)



  • Murigi Wainaina

    A great article. Had to share it. Thanks Barrie

  • Charlotte Slemp

    I loved the article. I have been dealing with my narcissistic husband for a long long time, but for the last 2-3 years I have been trying to find a way out, and think this could actually happen before long. Articles like this one has been such an eye opener for me. I have learned so much. And I am greatly appreciative and thankful.


      I have just left a partner who displayed ALL of the above behaviours. After five and a half years of bending to please him, ignoring his inappropriateness with other women, forgiving a series of minor infidelities and doing EVERYTHING I could to prove I was good enough despite his teasing, sarcasm and put downs, I walked out, leaving a really well paid job I was good at (running his business!), moved across four counties and started again with nothing but pride and the insistence that enough was enough. I’m 48, have no money, and no job…I still love him and I miss him every day…..but I will not be the person who continues to be humiliated, betrayed and belittled. I will rise again. I have the will and I have the resources, as do we all. To everyone in my situation who feels sad, lonely, fearful and depressed every day because of how your partner treats you…..it’s time to STOP. It’s time to rise and walk away. Life will be tough, but your life will be yours again. Good luck friends

  • E'Lan Barker

    I have had a partner like this, but he was easy for me to get rid of since we didn’t live together.

    He was a bit stalker-ish afterwards, but it was all ego.

    I have and still do unfortunately experience these 13/13 signs with my parent.

    It drives me to deep bouts of depression, and I’ve had to seek therapy for it.

    It’s a terrible and sad way to live.

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