“A highly skilled narcissist may casually mention the high-end gym that they belong to or that they only fly first-class, but it is done with such subtle sophistication that their target may not even register it as a red flag,” she said. “The less-skilled narcissist will openly and obnoxiously discuss their Ivy League degree, or the square footage of their new apartment.”
4. They’re rude to the waitstaff.
Pay attention to how your date treats your waiter: It could be an indication of how they’ll eventually treat you, said Darlene Lancer, a marriage and family therapist and the author of Codependency for Dummies and Dealing with a Narcissist.
“How do they treat the waitress, the car hop, or staff at the ice cream shop? Rudeness and arrogance signal low self-esteem and narcissism,” Lancer said. “Their rudeness to the waiter and hostess could hint at pent-up rage and demanding and possibly emotionally abusive behavior.”
5. They assure you they’re looking for long-term love, but most of their relationships were short-lived.
If you’re on a date with a narcissist, they might tell you that they’re looking for a life partner, but can’t seem to find anyone who’s worth investing in, Lancer said.
“Chances are, their relationships have frequently ended after intimacy developed,” she said. “They’re looking for perfection but usually find some flaw, and end the relationship so they can continue their search.”
Unfortunately for you, the problem might lie with your date.
“Pay attention to the negative facts people divulge about relationships,” Lancer said. “Ignore their vulnerability, bragging, and compliments.”
6. They pry about your insecurities but never reveal theirs.
Narcissists will grill you about getting passed up for a promotion at work or joke about where you went to college, but they’ll get unnerved if you put them in a similar hot seat, Malkin said.
“The two of you will talk about your vulnerabilities or tough experiences you’ve had, but they’ll never once volunteer their own struggles,” he said. “You feel like you’re opening up, until you realize you’re the only one who’s laid your soul bare. It’s a great strategy for the narcissist to feel stronger in an inherently uncomfortable situation, but it spells huge trouble down the line. With a narcissist, it’s likely that you’ll always be in the hot seat.”