1.Denies his anger
Anything that interrupts his feeling good about himself is a threat and denying his emotion—even when you can see the physical signs such as clenched jaws or fists—is typical of the narcissist. The narcissist in my life always said that “anger was a wasted emotion”—I will admit that I never really understood what that meant—and he would deny being angry even when he was red in the face and stuttering with rage. Dr. Craig Malkin, author of Rethinking Narcissism, points out that playing emotional “hot potato”—ascribing and projecting his feelings onto you—is typical as well. Does the person in your life deny or project anger when there’s conflict?
2.Sudden shifts in mood
Any threat to the stream of self-esteem on which he relies—real or imagined—is enough for the narcissist to strike back in order to regain that equilibrium. Does your partner’s mood suddenly go dark because of petty annoyances beyond his control, like getting stuck in traffic or when a driver cuts him off? Or when someone baits him, even jokingly, or says something vaguely critical? Do you frequently find yourself asking “What’s bothering you?” only to hear “Nothing” in answer?