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The fact is, 1 in 25 Americans are estimated to be sociopaths according to clinical psychologist and former Harvard Medical School instructor Dr. It’s really not that far off to assume that you might be dating one if they’re exhibiting a lack of empathy, entitlement and callous behavior.In the timeless words of writer Sherry Argov, always look out for number one…you. If you feel a gut instinct, allow yourself to honor it.Far too many of us rationalize, minimize and deny toxic behavior from the onset because we’re committed to giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Instead, approach the task of dating with a neutral blank slate whenever possible.Let someone show who they are through their interactions with you, with others and how they treat you.Any survivor of narcissistic abuse can tell you that it’s exhausting to even think about being with another person after the mind games he or she has gone through.I always recommend being single for a period of time after going through a trauma like this, because it is likely to affect your intuition, your boundaries and your ability to step back and reevaluate whether this person is right for you.Whether they’re a healthy potential partner or a toxic one, it’s always a good idea to make time and space for inner work prior to committing to another long-term relationship.Life coach Wendy Powell recommends that those who are looking to avoid dating narcissists in the future would do well to slow down.

That usually just results in narcissistic rage, retaliation or further attempts to ensnare you.Don’t let a potential partner sweep you into a fairytale romance that can descend into a nightmare.Instead, get to know them without falling for immediate intimacy, which can trap you into the vicious cycle of trusting someone too early on without knowing anything about them.Yet dating is difficult when you’ve been the target of emotional, verbal or narcissistic abuse, a form of covert emotional manipulation where you’ve been belittled, isolated and controlled by a pathological person.Not only are you reeling from the trauma of a toxic relationship, you’re not even sure you ever to date again.

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