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If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you will definitely receive a gift from them. During the love bombing phase of a narcissistic relationship, you can expect to be showered in gifts of all sorts. The narcissist will be thoughtful, kind, and generous in the beginning; however once the love bombing phase is over, you can expect different types of gifts. You can expect gifts that you really didn’t want or ask for – if you receive any gifts at all. Here are some gifts that could be red signs that you are dealing with a narcissist. 

Exercise Equipment

My cousins’ ex husband actually gifted her an abdominizer for one of her birthdays. This was a long time ago and I don’t even think those things exist anymore. An abdominizer is basically a device that is supposed to help you tone your abs. This is a perfect example of a narcissist gifting unsolicited exercise equipment, a gym membership, or something of the like, as a way of telling the recipient that they could possibly be looking better. While they are giving you something that can be perceived as generous, they’re also using the opportunity to devalue you. A gym membership or a Peloton might be exactly what you wanted but it also might not be. If you’ve never dropped hints about wanting any of this sort of this, it might be a sign that you are dealing with a narcissist. 

How To Negotiate With A Narcissist

THEIR Favorite Thing

Another sign you might be dealing with a narcissist is getting a gift that the potential narcissist wants for his or herself. The gift might be tickets to see their favorite musician or band, or a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant or store. Unless the narcissist knows that they are going to be seeing a return on their investment – a large amount of narcissistic supply- gift giving is an obligation or chore that they feel they have to do to continue on without becoming exposed. A gift to the narcissist’s self, disguised (or not so disguised) as a thoughtful and generous gift to whomever might be receiving it is the perfect way for the narcissist to stomach having to do something for another person. If they have to go out of their way to do something for someone else, why not situate it so that they get just as much out of it as the other person? This is how the narcissist’s mind works. So selfish. 

A Photo of Themselves

Another big red flag that you are dealing with a narcissist is receiving framed photos of themselves. This is very odd behavior which might seem thoughtful and cute superficially but really isn’t at all. This “gift” is meant to keep your attention on to them. They usually disguise this kind of gift with love bombing efforts. Additionally, it’s meant to boost their egos to outsiders. This way, everyone who sees the photo of them in your possession will know how much that you adore and love them. This is classic narcissistic behavior. 

Sale/Clearance Item

Although getting things on sale or for a good price isn’t a bad thing, narcissists will intentionally purchase things off of the sale or clearance rack – even if they don’t need to. Remember, they don’t want to have to give you a gift at all so why would they spend anything more than the bare minimum? They know that they have to show up with something so they don’t look bad but if they can put as minimal effort into getting a gift and as little money into it as they can – they will. They don’t think about what the other person might want or might like/appreciate, they solely think about how to find a gift that requires the least amount of effort and money on their end.

Wrong Size

Another thing to look out for when receiving a gift from a potential narcissist is if they give you clothing or something that is completely the wrong size. This might occur for one of two reasons. The narcissist might not have put in enough effort or thought into trying to figure out what size would work or the narcissist might want to use the opportunity of giving you a gift to devalue you. You might be feeling insecure about your weight and the narcissist will address this by intentionally purchasing you something that is obviously a larger size than what you are. This is definitely something to expect from a covert narcissist as they are experts at passive aggressive devaluing. 

Empty Promises

The narcissist might also show up empty handed with nothing but the empty promise of a gift in the future. Narcissists are future fakers. They will likely try to justify this type of behavior by explaining that they couldn’t afford to get you what you wanted or that something is on it’s way in the mail or that you’ll be going on a trip somewhere when he or she can get off of work. Although showing up empty handed in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, the narcissist’s empty promise is the red flag to look out for – especially if they didn’t even write you a card and only gifted you excuses. 


Again, regifting in and of itself is not bad. Some gifts are better suited for a different recipient; however, if you are suspecting that the person is a narcissist AND they obviously re-gift something – you should pay attention. This is another gift that can be indicative of the person’s lack of thoughtfulness or care for the recipient of the gift. The narcissist is only thinking bout how to not show up empty handed to save face but to also spend as little energy, effort, and money into doing something they would rather not do to begin with. If you have a reaction that is less than delighted to this gift or any of the other gifts, it’s best to prepare for them stepping into playing the victim. Beware of this and try to receive the gift for what it is as to not further engage with the potential narcissist’s toxicity.  

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