Relationship Checklist

Dr. Ken Magid / M. Irons


Book CoverThis checklist is adapted from the book, High Risk: Children without a Conscience, by Dr. Ken Magid, in which he posits that children who grow up unbonded to adult caretakers become incapable of empathy. These adult children present a risk to society, and do not make suitable leaders....or mates.

But the problem is, people like this may not be easily recognized for the narcissists they are. They can be very charming and fascinating in the early stages of acquaintance. This checklist gives a set of indicators that highlight narcissistic behaviors and attitudes which are often obscured by the overtly magnetic personality.

In the context of this website on spiritual abuse, the main focus regarding narcissism is in relation to church leaders. But the aspect of the romantic relationship is relevant as well, at least in regard to the Geftakys Assembly.

To the members, GG embodied the ideal man. He exuded confidence, he was always in control of the situation, always right - he was the alpha male. Consequently he was the role model par excellence for the young men; to the girls he embodied the ideal mate. The accompanying narcissistic characteristics went unnoted and unnoticed at the time, but may now be bearing bitter fruit in the lives of those who internalized the flawed model.

Dr. Magid presents a continuum of risk signs in a relationship, and the checklist helps to identify the more extreme cases of narcissism. Men who are less effected will not display all the signs, or may have milder symptoms. The high-risk signs apply to the narcissistic sociopath described by Dr. Scott Peck in his book, People of the Lie.

Other resources include:

Are You Dating an Abuser? Emotional Abuse, Verbal Abuse - the Early Signs which focuses on identifying the less extreme narcissist, and gives some good advice as well
How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date
The Abuser's Body Language
Surviving a Narcissist - the Path Forward, a website on narcissists, by women and for women
NarcSpeak, on translating 'narcissist-speak'. (What a narcissist means by what he says is entirely different from what he leads you to think.)
Characteristics of Men and Women Who Love Too Much, a checklist to help you determine your vulnerability to narcissists.

Assembly examples of narcissistic behavior appear in these articles, among others:

The Assemblies,
Assembly Background,
Timeline, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD),
"Kristin's Story,"
George's Abusive Methods


Relationship Checklist

Low-Risk Signs High-Risk Signs
1 - You are attracted to him but you still maintain your own sense of self.  You share the spotlight, with mutual give and take. You are more concerned with enjoying the present moment than banking on the future rewards and happiness. You are aware of his human side and you decide to wait before making commitments. For now he is "Mr. Maybe." 1 - He is able to cast an almost irresistible hypnotic spell which draws you toward him. You are fascinated with his charm and you love to listen to him. He quickly wants to include you in his grandiose plans and future successes. You are excited that you have finally met "Mr. Right," since you can't see any obvious personal flaws.
2 - This person is open and honest about his childhood and appears to have attached to a consistent loving caretaker(s) despite early childhood traumas or separations. He has resolved most of his childhood problems and can act mature and responsible. He is willing to seek counseling if needed.  2 - You can't seem to find many specific details about his troubled childhood. He was possibly abused or neglected. He has unresolved bonding breaks: a lengthy illness of himself or a primary caretaker; or a conflicted family; a divorce, or a delayed adoption. He has unresolved childhood problems, and is frequently childish and immature.
3 - He has a good relationship with his parents - open, loving, communicative, appropriately responsible, consistent. 3 - His primary family relationships are marked by conflict and distance.  Or they seem to swing between cloying sweetness and war. These relationships may still control his life.
4 - He can both give and receive orders and is able to get along with fair bosses or teachers. Any problems with the law have been transitory and not habitual. 4 - He seems to have serious difficulty with authority figures such as bosses or law-enforcement officials. He may have had habitual run-ins with the law as a juvenile and as an adult which he may boast about. His work history is murky.
5 - He can make a friendship that lasts through thick and thin, and is willing to introduce you to his friends. His previous relationships were not all fly-by-night or of short duration. 5 - When you go out with him it's either by yourselves or with his "new acquaintances" since he doesn't seem to have friends who go way back. People he introduces you to early in the relationship seem to disappear later on. His past loves have not been long-lasting relationships.
6 - He displays a quiet sense of self-assurance and usually doesn't lay "power trips" on others. He can express some humility when appropriate and likes to listen to your concerns. 6 - He appears powerful and super self-confident, almost to an exaggerated point. He definitely likes to control others through words (conning), money, or physical strength. He is egotistical and self-centered. He is either moody and quiet or very talkative.
7 - His life patterns seem stable and well-organized and you can usually reach him when needed. 7 - He comes and goes and you don't really know where or with whom.
8 - He confronts issues openly and honestly with you and is willing to own up to his share of blame when things go wrong. He can feel your pain. 8 - You have mixed feelings about trusting him, and at times he seems sneaky. You think that he lies but he's hard to pin down, and he won't accept blame or express remorse when it is clearly his fault. He can sympathize but not empathize.
9 - You feel comfortable with him sexually because it's not a constant high-pressure sales tactic. Your partner is able to balance strength with gentleness and is concerned with meeting your needs as well as his own. He can commit to one partner and doesn't use sex as a manipulative tool. 9 - You notice that he approaches sex in an aggressive, forward way. He usually has a voracious sexual appetite, especially at first, and you sense that he has been extremely promiscuous. He acts interested in you but he is primarily interested in seeking his own pleasure rather than sharing sensitively with his partner. He may become rough and interested in sado-masochistic practices. (Note: females are extremely seductive, flirtatious, and manipulative with their sexuality.)
10 - He can be spontaneous and exciting but he's also stable. You note that his previous work history has added some continuity, purpose, and meaning to his life. His personal goals seem realistic and achievable and he is self-confident enough to take well-thought-out calculated risks. 10 - He seems impulsive and unsettled and rarely carries through on projects, saying he is now moving on to "bigger fish." He is always looking for more stimulation and excitement and takes unbelievable chances. His job history and education are usually scattered and unfinished, although he says that's his choice.
11 - One of the things that impresses you is his ability to share and exhibit more genuine kindness to others than they actually may deserve. He can display caring without having to get something back because it makes him feel good. 11 - You realize that he is manipulative, controlling and conning toward others and rarely displays kindness unless it's for direct personal gain. He may be kind to a cute waitress or sales client but is abusive and cold to a male waiter or a clerk. He is shallow and superficial.
12 - Finances are balanced with other concerns. He is fair and reasonable about money matters and willing to be generous at times without making a big deal about it. He tries to pull his own weight with chores, and doesn't want to borrow money he can't legitimately pay back. He shares his material items and respects your individuality. 12 - He appears closer to money than anything else. He is either tightly controlling and stingy with material items, letting you know how much everything costs, or he is parasitic in wanting to live off your labor. Be especially careful if he want to borrow or invest large sums of your money. He believe that he owns you and is extremely possessive and jealous.
13 - Although he may not be a teetotaler, he doesn't abuse himself with drugs. He doesn't need drugs to escape or to be able to relate intimately with you. His temper is controllable and not abusive. He can argue without resorting to threats or violence. 13 - Be careful if he regularly consumes any drug, including alcohol, even if he tells you it's recreational and he can take it or leave it. Addictions are easy to cover at first so beware of mood changes. Be especially aware if he has a short fuse and displays indications of violent behavior.
14 - He may or may not belong to a church but he has a deep appreciation and reverence for the spiritual side of life. He is sustained by his faith in love and goodness. His sense of humor may be offbeat, but it isn't cruel. 14 - He may profess a religion but his actions indicate that he secretly delights in aligning with evil and the dark side of life. You sense that he has a cruel nature inside because he smiles at people's misfortune and pain.
15 - You love him because he demonstrates in words and deeds that he can be trusting and loving. You like yourself enough to associate only with someone who can enhance the quality of your life and gradually, but realistically, grow into "Mr. Right." 15 - Finally, he is so believable and charming that despite many obvious high-risk symptoms you think that the problems between you are as much your fault as his and you just have to "love him" more to make a difference, even though deep inside you know he is Mr. Wrong.

Adapated from High Risk, Magid/McKelvey



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