Most of us are guilty of saying awful things we don’t mean when we fight with our partners. 

But now, psychologists have warned that the hurtful words a partner spews in their moment of rage can indicate the presence of an unpleasant personality trait.

According to experts, there are three phrases used during conflict that are telltale signs of a narcissistic personality.

This type of personality features qualities that include thinking very highly of oneself, needing admiration, believing others are inferior, and lacking empathy for others. 

Partners of people with narcissistic traits are said to be at higher risk of developing mental health problems as a result of their emotionally abusive relationship.

Christian Bale's portrayal of serial killer and Wall Street banker Patrick Bateman is a prime example of narcissistic personality

Christian Bale’s portrayal of serial killer and Wall Street banker Patrick Bateman is a prime example of narcissistic personality

Erin Leonard, a psychotherapist based in Indiana, says those who often hear these ‘seemingly innocent’ sentences from partners may wish to ‘think about an exit strategy’.

‘Bringing a problem to a narcissistic partner can be painful,’ she wrote for Psychology Today. ‘It seems to ignite an ugly battle that is rarely fruitful.’ 

Three common phases they use during the interaction may ‘seem innocent’ but are in fact ‘extremely manipulative’, she added.

First watch out for, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way.’ 

‘Instead of the partner putting themselves in your shoes to attempt to understand how you feel, they immediately reject your feeling and label it “yours”‘,’ she wrote.

Leonard describes the phrase as an ‘anti-emphathic’ statement: ‘They do not care to try and understand how you feel or where you are coming from.’

In more recent times, Jacob Elordi's role as high school student and abusive boyfriend Nate Jacobs has offered examples of narcissistic behavior.

In more recent times, Jacob Elordi’s role as high school student and abusive boyfriend Nate Jacobs has offered examples of narcissistic behavior.

More empathetic responses would include responses such as ‘I’m not sure why you’re upset but I want to understand,’ or any other statements that ‘honor your feelings even if a partner disagrees with the perspective’.

The second red flag is if a partner immediately blames the conflict on you, citing your ‘anger issues’.

‘Being unfairly attacked when you are not the one who made the mistake can be maddening. It is natural to get upset in this situation. Yet often the narcissist takes advantage of this and accuses you of being “out of control.” In reality, they may be the person who is rageful.’

Finally, be aware of the phrase ‘you ruined it’. ‘It may be a narcissistic partner’s attempt to inflict guilt’. They may also refuse to speak with you or act as if they are ‘mortally wounded’.

‘Either way, they are communicating to you that you are not allowed to confront them or express a feeling in the relationship that they do not like,’ she said.

Leonard says, when dealing with responses like this, keep in mind that it is necessary to talk through issues in a relationship in order to maintain trust and closeness. 

‘If you are punished for attempting to address a problem, it may be your partner who is unable to work out conflict.’

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