Symptoms of being a narcissist
Narcissistic Personality Disorder - HelpGuide.org
Know someone who thinks they’re better than everyone else but flies off the handle at the slightest criticism? These tips can help you spot narcissism traits and deal with a narcissist.
What is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?
The word narcissism gets tossed around a lot in our selfie-obsessed, celebrity-driven culture, often to describe someone who seems excessively vain or full of themselves. But in psychological terms, narcissism doesn't mean self-love—at least not of a genuine sort. It's more accurate to say that people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are in love with an idealized, grandiose image of themselves. And they're in love with this inflated self-image precisely because it allows them to avoid deep feelings of insecurity. But propping up their delusions of grandeur takes a lot of work—and that's where the dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors come in.
Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration. Others often describe people with NPD as cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, and demanding. This way of thinking and behaving surfaces in every area of the narcissist's life: from work and friendships to family and love relationships.
People with narcissistic personality disorder are extremely resistant to changing their behavior, even when it's causing them problems. Their tendency is to turn the blame on to others. What's more, they are extremely sensitive and react badly to even the slightest criticisms, disagreements, or perceived slights, which they view as personal attacks. For the people in the narcissist's life, it's often easier just to go along with their demands to avoid the coldness and rages. However, by understanding more about narcissistic personality disorder, you can spot the narcissists in your life, protect yourself from their power plays, and establish healthier boundaries.
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Grandiose sense of self-importance
Grandiosity is the defining characteristic of narcissism. More than just arrogance or vanity, grandiosity is an unrealistic sense of superiority. Narcissists believe they are unique or “special” and can only be understood by other special people. What's more, they are too good for anything average or ordinary. They only want to associate and be associated with other high-status people, places, and things.
Narcissists also believe that they're better than everyone else and expect recognition as such—even when they've done nothing to earn it. They will often exaggerate or outright lie about their achievements and talents. And when they talk about work or relationships, all you'll hear is how much they contribute, how great they are, and how lucky the people in their lives are to have them. They are the undisputed star and everyone else is at best a bit player.
Lives in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of grandeur
Since reality doesn't support their grandiose view of themselves, narcissists live in a fantasy world propped up by distortion, self-deception, and magical thinking. They spin self-glorifying fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, attractiveness, and ideal love that make them feel special and in control. These fantasies protect them from feelings of inner emptiness and shame, so facts and opinions that contradict them are ignored or rationalized away. Anything that threatens to burst the fantasy bubble is met with extreme defensiveness and even rage, so those around the narcissist learn to tread carefully around their denial of reality.
Needs constant praise and admiration
A narcissist's sense of superiority is like a balloon that gradually loses air without a steady stream of applause and recognition to keep it inflated. The occasional compliment is not enough. Narcissists need constant food for their ego, so they surround themselves with people who are willing to cater to their obsessive craving for affirmation. These relationships are very one-sided. It's all about what the admirer can do for the narcissist, never the other way around. And if there is ever an interruption or diminishment in the admirer's attention and praise, the narcissist treats it as a betrayal.
Sense of entitlement
Because they consider themselves special, narcissists expect favorable treatment as their due. They truly believe that whatever they want, they should get. They also expect the people around them to automatically comply with their every wish and whim. That is their only value. If you don't anticipate and meet their every need, then you're useless. And if you have the nerve to defy their will or “selfishly” ask for something in return, prepare yourself for aggression, outrage, or the cold shoulder.
Exploits others without guilt or shame
Narcissists never develop the ability to identify with the feelings of others—to put themselves in other people's shoes. In other words, they lack empathy. In many ways, they view the people in their lives as objects—there to serve their needs. As a consequence, they don't think twice about taking advantage of others to achieve their own ends. Sometimes this interpersonal exploitation is malicious, but often it is simply oblivious. Narcissists simply don't think about how their behavior affects others. And if you point it out, they still won't truly get it. The only thing they understand is their own needs.
Frequently demeans, intimidates, bullies, or belittles others
Narcissists feel threatened whenever they encounter someone who appears to have something they lack—especially those who are confident and popular. They're also threatened by people who don't kowtow to them or who challenge them in any way. Their defense mechanism is contempt. The only way to neutralize the threat and prop up their own sagging ego is to put those people down. They may do it in a patronizing or dismissive way as if to demonstrate how little the other person means to them. Or they may go on the attack with insults, name-calling, bullying, and threats to force the other person back into line.
Different types of narcissist
Narcissism comes in several forms. Adaptive narcissism is when a person with this disorder leans into positive traits—such as self-sufficiency and confidence—that can actually be healthy. They may help someone set high ambitions at work, for example, or enjoy satisfying relationships without being overdependent on a partner.
Maladaptive narcissism, on the other hand, is characterized by the toxic traits, such as a sense of entitlement and willingness to exploit others. The different forms of maladaptive narcissism include:
Overt or grandiose narcissism. Overt narcissists tend to be extroverted but also uncooperative, selfish, and overbearing. Their exaggerated self-image and high self-esteem allow them to be confident and assertive. However, they’re also likely to overestimate their own emotional intelligence.
Covert or vulnerable narcissism. It's common to imagine all narcissists as dominant and overwhelming in social situations. However, covert narcissists are introverted. They tend to be extremely sensitive to criticism and suffer from low self-esteem. They can be defensive and passive-aggressive, but they are less likely to overestimate their emotional abilities than overt narcissists.
Communal narcissism. Communal narcissists tend to view themselves as altruistic and claim to care deeply about fairness. They present themselves to others as supportive and selfless. However, their behavior is motivated by a desire for social power and a sense of superiority or entitlement. Because of this, their actions don’t always match their beliefs.
Antagonistic narcissism. In contrast with communal narcissists, antagonistic narcissists take a highly competitive approach to social interactions. They often exhibit zero-sum thinking, believing that every situation has a “loser” and “winner.” This view of the world leads them to be aggressive and hostile. They may be quick to disparage others and slow or unwilling to forgive.
Malignant narcissism. Malignant narcissism can be a more destructive form of the personality disorder. In addition to the typical signs of narcissism, a malignant narcissist might be aggressive, paranoid, or sadistic—taking joy in other people’s pain. They tend to display antisocial behavior, disregarding the rights or safety of others.
Dealing with a narcissist: Don't fall for the fantasy
Narcissists can be very magnetic and charming. They are very good at creating a fantastical, flattering self-image that draw us in. We're attracted to their apparent confidence and lofty dreams—and the shakier our own self-esteem, the more seductive the allure. It's easy to get caught up in their web, thinking that they will fulfill our longing to feel more important, more alive. But it's just a fantasy, and a costly one at that.
Your needs won't be fulfilled (or even recognized). It's important to remember that narcissists aren't looking for partners; they're looking for obedient admirers. Your sole value to the narcissist is as someone who can tell them how great they are to prop up their insatiable ego. Your desires and feelings don't count.
Look at the way the narcissist treats others. If the narcissist lies, manipulates, hurts, and disrespects others, he or she will eventually treat you the same way. Don't fall for the fantasy that you're different and will be spared.
Take off the rose-colored glasses. It's important to see the narcissist in your life for who they really are, not who you want them to be. Stop making excuses for bad behavior or minimizing the hurt it's causing you. Denial will not make it go away. The reality is that narcissists are very resistant to change, so the true question you must ask yourself is whether you can live like this indefinitely.
Focus on your own dreams. Instead of losing yourself in the narcissist's delusions, focus on the things you want for yourself. What do you want to change in your life? What gifts would you like to develop? What fantasies do you need to give up in order to create a more fulfilling reality?
Set healthy boundaries
Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect and caring. But narcissists aren't capable of true reciprocity in their relationships. It isn't just that they're not willing; they truly aren't able. They don't see you. They don't hear you. They don't recognize you as someone who exists outside of their own needs. Because of this, narcissists regularly violate the boundaries of others. What's more, they do so with an absolute sense of entitlement.
Narcissists think nothing of going through or borrowing your possessions without asking, snooping through your mail and personal correspondence, eavesdropping on conversations, barging in without an invitation, stealing your ideas, and giving you unwanted opinions and advice. They may even tell you what to think and feel. It's important to recognize these violations for what they are, so you can begin to create healthier boundaries where your needs are respected.
Make a plan. If you have a long-standing pattern of letting others violate your boundaries, it's not easy to take back control. Set yourself up for success by carefully considering your goals and the potential obstacles. What are the most important changes you hope to achieve? Is there anything you've tried in the past with the narcissist that worked? Anything that hasn't? What is the balance of power between you and how will that impact your plan? How will you enforce your new boundaries? Answering these questions will help you evaluate your options and develop a realistic plan.
Consider a gentle approach. If preserving your relationship with the narcissist is important to you, you will have to tread softly. By pointing out their hurtful or dysfunctional behavior, you are damaging their self-image of perfection. Try to deliver your message calmly, respectfully, and as gently as possible. Focus on how their behavior makes you feel, rather than on their motivations and intentions. If they respond with anger and defensiveness, try to remain calm. Walk away if need be and revisit the conversation later.
Don't set a boundary unless you're willing to keep it. You can count on the narcissist to rebel against new boundaries and test your limits, so be prepared. Follow up with any consequences specified. If you back down, you're sending the message that you don't need to be taken seriously.
Be prepared for other changes in the relationship. The narcissist will feel threatened and upset by your attempts to take control of your life. They are used to calling the shots. To compensate, they may step up their demands in other aspects of the relationship, distance themselves to punish you, or attempt to manipulate or charm you into giving up the new boundaries. It's up to you to stand firm.
Don't take things personally
To protect themselves from feelings of inferiority and shame, narcissists must always deny their shortcomings, cruelties, and mistakes. Often, they will do so by projecting their own faults on to others. It's very upsetting to get blamed for something that's not your fault or be characterized with negative traits you don't possess. But as difficult as it may be, try not to take it personally. It really isn't about you.
Don't buy into the narcissist's version of who you are. Narcissists don't live in reality, and that includes their views of other people. Don't let their shame and blame game undermine your self-esteem. Refuse to accept undeserved responsibility, blame, or criticism. That negativity is the narcissist's to keep.
Don't argue with a narcissist. When attacked, the natural instinct is to defend yourself and prove the narcissist wrong. But no matter how rational you are or how sound your argument, they are unlikely to hear you. And arguing the point may escalate the situation in a very unpleasant way. Don't waste your breath. Simply tell the narcissist you disagree with their assessment, then move on.
Know yourself. The best defense against the insults and projections of the narcissist is a strong sense of self. When you know your own strengths and weaknesses, it's easier to reject any unfair criticisms leveled against you.
Let go of the need for approval. It's important to detach from the narcissist's opinion and any desire to please or appease them at the expense of yourself. You need to be okay with knowing the truth about yourself, even if the narcissist sees the situation differently.
Look for support and purpose elsewhere
If you're going to stay in a relationship with a narcissist, be honest with yourself about what you can—and can't—expect. A narcissist isn't going to change into someone who truly values you, so you'll need to look elsewhere for emotional support and personal fulfillment.
Learn what healthy relationships look and feel like. If you come from a narcissistic family, you may not have a very good sense of what a healthy give-and-take relationship is. The narcissistic pattern of dysfunction may feel comfortable to you. Just remind yourself that as familiar as it feels, it also makes you feel bad. In a reciprocal relationship, you will feel respected, listened to, and free to be yourself.
Spend time with people who give you an honest reflection of who you are. In order to maintain perspective and avoid buying into the narcissist's distortions, it's important to spend time with people who know you as you really are and validate your thoughts and feelings.
Make new friendships, if necessary, outside the narcissist's orbit. Some narcissists isolate the people in their lives in order to better control them. If this is your situation, you'll need to invest time into rebuilding lapsed friendships or cultivating new relationships.
Look for meaning and purpose in work, volunteering, and hobbies. Instead of looking to the narcissist to make you feel good about yourself, pursue meaningful activities that make use of your talents and allow you to contribute.
How to leave a narcissist
Ending an abusive relationship is never easy. Ending one with a narcissist can be especially difficult as they can be so charming and charismatic—at least at the start of the relationship or if you threaten to leave. It’s easy to become disoriented by the narcissist’s manipulative behavior, caught up in the need to seek their approval, or even to feel “gaslighted” and doubt your own judgement. If you’re codependent, your desire to be loyal may trump even your need to preserve your safety and sense of self. But it’s important to remember that no one deserves to be bullied, threatened, or verbally and emotionally abused in a relationship. There are ways to escape the narcissist—and the guilt and self-blame—and begin the process of healing.
Educate yourself about narcissistic personality disorder. The more you understand, the better you’ll be able to recognize the techniques a narcissist may use to keep you in the relationship. When you threaten to leave, a narcissist will often resurrect the flattery and adoration (“love bombing”) that caused you to be interested in them in the first place. Or they’ll make grand promises about changing their behavior that they have no intention of keeping.
Write down the reasons why you’re leaving. Being clear on why you need to end the relationship can help prevent you from being sucked back in. Keep your list somewhere handy, such as on your phone, and refer to it when you’re starting to have self-doubts or the narcissist is laying on the charm or making outlandish promises.
Seek support. During your time together, the narcissist may have damaged your relationships with friends and family or limited your social life. But whatever your circumstances, you’re not alone. Even if you can’t reach out to old friends, you can find help from support groups or domestic violence helplines and shelters.
Don’t make empty threats. It’s a better tactic to accept that the narcissist won’t change and when you’re ready, simply leave. Making threats or pronouncements will only forewarn the narcissist and enable them to make it more difficult for you to get away.
Seek immediate help if you’re physically threatened or abused. Call 911 in the U.S. or your country’s local emergency service.
For more tips on leaving, read How to Get Out of an Abusive Relationship.
After you’ve left
Leaving a narcissist can be a huge blow to their sense of entitlement and self-importance. Their huge ego still needs to be fed, so they’ll often continue trying to exert control over you. If charm and “love bombing” doesn’t work, they may resort to threats, denigrating you to mutual friends and acquaintances, or stalking you, on social media or in person.
Cut off all contact with the narcissist. The more contact you have with them, the more hope you’ll give them that they can reel you back in. It’s safer to block their calls, texts, and emails, and disconnect from them on social media. If you have children together, have others with you for any scheduled custody handovers.
Allow yourself to grieve. Breakups can be extremely painful, whatever the circumstances. Even ending a toxic relationship can leave you feeling sad, angry, confused, and grieving the loss of shared dreams and commitments. Healing can take time, so go easy on yourself and turn to family and friends for support.
Don’t expect the narcissist to share your grief. Once the message sinks in that you will no longer be feeding their ego, the narcissist will likely soon move on to exploit someone else. They won’t feel loss or guilt, just that never-ending need for praise and admiration. This is no reflection on you, but rather an illustration of how very one-sided their relationships always are.
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If you need help for narcissistic personality disorder
Due to the very nature of the disorder, most people with NPD are reluctant to admit they have a problem—and even more reluctant to seek help. Even when they do, narcissistic personality disorder can be very challenging to treat. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope or that changes aren’t possible. Mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic drugs are sometimes prescribed in severe cases or if your NPD co-occurs with another disorder. However, in most cases psychotherapy is the primary form of treatment.
Working with a skilled therapist, you can learn to accept responsibility for your actions, develop a better sense of proportion, and build healthier relationships. You can also work on developing your emotional intelligence (EQ). EQ is the ability to understand, use, and manage your emotions in positive ways to empathize with others, communicate effectively, and builder strong relationships. Importantly, the skills that make up emotional intelligence can be learned at any time.
Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A. and Lawrence Robinson
Personality Disorders. (2013). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. American Psychiatric Association. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425787.x18_Personality_Disorders
“Empathy in Narcissistic Personality Disorder: From Clinical and Empirical Perspectives. – PsycNET.” Accessed October 25, 2021. https://doi.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fper0000061
Ronningstam, Elsa. “Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A Current Review.” Current Psychiatry Reports 12, no. 1 (February 1, 2010): 68–75. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-009-0084-z
“Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Diagnostic and Clinical Challenges | American Journal of Psychiatry.” Accessed October 25, 2021. https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14060723
Dhawan, Nikhil, Mark E. Kunik, John Oldham, and John Coverdale. “Prevalence and Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the Community: A Systematic Review.” Comprehensive Psychiatry 51, no. 4 (July 1, 2010): 333–39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2009.09.003
Green, Ava, and Kathy Charles. “Voicing the Victims of Narcissistic Partners: A Qualitative Analysis of Responses to Narcissistic Injury and Self-Esteem Regulation.” SAGE Open 9, no. 2 (April 1, 2019): 2158244019846693. https://doi.org/10. 1177/2158244019846693
Carlson, Erika N., Simine Vazire, and Thomas F. Oltmanns. “You Probably Think This Paper’s About You: Narcissists’ Perceptions of Their Personality and Reputation.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 101, no. 1 (July 2011): 185–201. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023781
Day, Nicholas J. S., Michelle L. Townsend, and Brin F. S. Grenyer. “Living with Pathological Narcissism: A Qualitative Study.” Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation 7, no. 1 (August 14, 2020): 19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40479-020-00132-8
Angstman, Kurt, and Norman H. Rasmussen. “Personality Disorders: Review and Clinical Application in Daily Practice.” American Family Physician 84, no. 11 (December 1, 2011): 1253–60. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/1201/p1253.html
Cai, H., & Luo, Y. L. L. (2018). Distinguishing Between Adaptive and Maladaptive Narcissism. In A. D. Hermann, A. B. Brunell, & J. D. Foster (Eds.), Handbook of Trait Narcissism (pp. 97–104). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92171-6_10
Goldner-Vukov, M., & Moore, L. (2010). Malignant narcissism: From fairy tales to harsh reality. Psychiatria Danubina, 22, 392–405. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46381695_Malignant_narcissism_From_fairy_tales_to_harsh_reality
Jauk, E., Weigle, E., Lehmann, K., Benedek, M., & Neubauer, A. C. (2017). The Relationship between Grandiose and Vulnerable (Hypersensitive) Narcissism. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1600. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01600
Kwiatkowska, M. M., Jułkowski, T., Rogoza, R., Żemojtel-Piotrowska, M., & Fatfouta, R. (2019). Narcissism and trust: Differential impact of agentic, antagonistic, and communal narcissism. Personality and Individual Differences, 137, 139–143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.08.027
Yang, Z., Sedikides, C., Gu, R., Luo, Y. L. L., Wang, Y., Yang, Y., Wu, M., & Cai, H. (2018). Communal narcissism: Social decisions and neurophysiological reactions. Journal of Research in Personality, 76, 64–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2018.07.003
Zajenkowski, M., Maciantowicz, O., Szymaniak, K., & Urban, P. (2018). Vulnerable and Grandiose Narcissism Are Differentially Associated With Ability and Trait Emotional Intelligence. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1606. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01606
Zajenkowski, M., & Szymaniak, K. (2021). Narcissism between facets and domains. The relationships between two types of narcissism and aspects of the Big Five. Current Psychology, 40(5), 2112–2121. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-0147-1
Narcissism and Abuse – Whether or not your partner is dealing with a mental health disorder, you’re not responsible for their behaviors. (National Domestic Violence Hotline)
How to Leave a Narcissist or Toxic Relationship – Tips on how to end an abusive relationship. (Psychology Today)
Narcissistic Leaders and Their Victims: Followers Low on Self-Esteem and Low on Core Self-Evaluations Suffer Most – (Frontiers in Psychology)
Last updated: December 5, 2022
Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship
love & friendship
Want to feel loved and connected to your partner? These tips can help you build and keep a romantic relationship that’s healthy, happy, and satisfying.
Building a healthy relationship
All romantic relationships go through ups and downs and they all take work, commitment, and a willingness to adapt and change with your partner. But whether your relationship is just starting out or you’ve been together for years, there are steps you can take to build a healthy relationship. Even if you’ve experienced a lot of failed relationships in the past or have struggled before to rekindle the fires of romance in your current relationship, you can find ways to stay connected, find fulfillment, and enjoy lasting happiness.
What makes a healthy relationship?
Every relationship is unique, and people come together for many different reasons. Part of what defines a healthy relationship is sharing a common goal for exactly what you want the relationship to be and where you want it to go. And that’s something you’ll only know by talking deeply and honestly with your partner.
However, there are also some characteristics that most healthy relationships have in common. Knowing these basic principles can help keep your relationship meaningful, fulfilling and exciting whatever goals you’re working towards or challenges you’re facing together.
You maintain a meaningful emotional connection with each other. You each make the other feel loved and emotionally fulfilled. There’s a difference between being loved and feeling loved. When you feel loved, it makes you feel accepted and valued by your partner, like someone truly gets you. Some relationships get stuck in peaceful coexistence, but without the partners truly relating to each other emotionally. While the union may seem stable on the surface, a lack of ongoing involvement and emotional connection serves only to add distance between two people.
You’re not afraid of (respectful) disagreement. Some couples talk things out quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree. The key in a strong relationship, though, is not to be fearful of conflict. You need to feel safe to express things that bother you without fear of retaliation, and be able to resolve conflict without humiliation, degradation, or insisting on being right.
You keep outside relationships and interests alive.Despite the claims of romantic fiction or movies, no one person can meet all of your needs. In fact, expecting too much from your partner can put unhealthy pressure on a relationship. To stimulate and enrich your romantic relationship, it’s important to sustain your own identity outside of the relationship, preserve connections with family and friends, and maintain your hobbies and interests.
[Read: Making Good Friends]
You communicate openly and honestly. Good communication is a key part of any relationship. When both people know what they want from the relationship and feel comfortable expressing their needs, fears, and desires, it can increase trust and strengthen the bond between you.
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Falling in love vs. staying in love
For most people, falling in love usually seems to just happen. It’s staying in love—or preserving that “falling in love” experience—that requires commitment and work. Given its rewards, though, it’s well worth the effort. A healthy, secure romantic relationship can serve as an ongoing source of support and happiness in your life, through good times and bad, strengthening all aspects of your wellbeing. By taking steps now to preserve or rekindle your falling in love experience, you can build a meaningful relationship that lasts—even for a lifetime.
Many couples focus on their relationship only when there are specific, unavoidable problems to overcome. Once the problems have been resolved they often switch their attention back to their careers, kids, or other interests. However, romantic relationships require ongoing attention and commitment for love to flourish. As long as the health of a romantic relationship remains important to you, it is going to require your attention and effort. And identifying and fixing a small problem in your relationship now can often help prevent it from growing into a much larger one down road.
The following tips can help you to preserve that falling in love experience and keep your romantic relationship healthy.
Tip 1: Spend quality time face to face
You fall in love looking at and listening to each other. If you continue to look and listen in the same attentive ways, you can sustain the falling in love experience over the long term. You probably have fond memories of when you were first dating your loved one. Everything seemed new and exciting, and you likely spent hours just chatting together or coming up with new, exciting things to try. However, as time goes by, the demands of work, family, other obligations, and the need we all have for time to ourselves can make it harder to find time together.
Many couples find that the face-to-face contact of their early dating days is gradually replaced by hurried texts, emails, and instant messages. While digital communication is great for some purposes, it doesn’t positively impact your brain and nervous system in the same way as face-to-face communication. Sending a text or a voice message to your partner saying “I love you” is great, but if you rarely look at them or have the time to sit down together, they’ll still feel you don’t understand or appreciate them. And you’ll become more distanced or disconnected as a couple. The emotional cues you both need to feel loved can only be conveyed in person, so no matter how busy life gets, it’s important to carve out time to spend together.
Commit to spending some quality time together on a regular basis. No matter how busy you are, take a few minutes each day to put aside your electronic devices, stop thinking about other things, and really focus on and connect with your partner.
Find something that you enjoy doing together, whether it is a shared hobby, dance class, daily walk, or sitting over a cup of coffee in the morning.
Try something new together. Doing new things together can be a fun way to connect and keep things interesting. It can be as simple as trying a new restaurant or going on a day trip to a place you’ve never been before.
Focus on having fun together. Couples are often more fun and playful in the early stages of a relationship. However, this playful attitude can sometimes be forgotten as life challenges start getting in the way or old resentments start building up. Keeping a sense of humor can actually help you get through tough times, reduce stress and work through issues more easily. Think about playful ways to surprise your partner, like bringing flowers home or unexpectedly booking a table at their favorite restaurant. Playing with pets or small children can also help you reconnect with your playful side.
Do things together that benefit others
One the most powerful ways of staying close and connected is to jointly focus on something you and your partner value outside of the relationship. Volunteering for a cause, project, or community work that has meaning for both of you can keep a relationship fresh and interesting. It can also expose you both to new people and ideas, offer the chance to tackle new challenges together, and provide fresh ways of interacting with each other.
As well as helping to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, doing things to benefit others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to help others. The more you help, the happier you'll feel——as individuals and as a couple.
Tip 2: Stay connected through communication
Good communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. When you experience a positive emotional connection with your partner, you feel safe and happy. When people stop communicating well, they stop relating well, and times of change or stress can really bring out the disconnect. It may sound simplistic, but as long as you are communicating, you can usually work through whatever problems you’re facing.
Tell your partner what you need, don't make them guess.
It’s not always easy to talk about what you need. For one, many of us don’t spend enough time thinking about what’s really important to us in a relationship. And even if you do know what you need, talking about it can make you feel vulnerable, embarrassed, or even ashamed. But look at it from your partner’s point of view. Providing comfort and understanding to someone you love is a pleasure, not a burden.
[Read: Effective Communication]
If you’ve known each other for a while, you may assume that your partner has a pretty good idea of what you are thinking and what you need. However, your partner is not a mind-reader. While your partner may have some idea, it is much healthier to express your needs directly to avoid any confusion.
Your partner may sense something, but it might not be what you need. What’s more, people change, and what you needed and wanted five years ago, for example, may be very different now. So instead of letting resentment, misunderstanding, or anger grow when your partner continually gets it wrong, get in the habit of telling them exactly what you need.
Take note of your partner's nonverbal cues
So much of our communication is transmitted by what we don’t say. Nonverbal cues, which include eye contact, tone of voice, posture, and gestures such as leaning forward, crossing your arms, or touching someone’s hand, communicate much more than words.
When you can pick up on your partner’s nonverbal cues or “body language,” you’ll be able to tell how they really feel and be able to respond accordingly. For a relationship to work well, each person has to understand their own and their partner’s nonverbal cues. Your partner’s responses may be different from yours. For example, one person might find a hug after a stressful day a loving mode of communication—while another might just want to take a walk together or sit and chat.
It’s also important to make sure that what you say matches your body language. If you say “I’m fine,” but you clench your teeth and look away, then your body is clearly signaling you are anything but “fine.”
When you experience positive emotional cues from your partner, you feel loved and happy, and when you send positive emotional cues, your partner feels the same. When you stop taking an interest in your own or your partner’s emotions, you’ll damage the connection between you and your ability to communicate will suffer, especially during stressful times.
Be a good listener
While a great deal of emphasis in our society is put on talking, if you can learn to listen in a way that makes another person feel valued and understood, you can build a deeper, stronger connection between you.
There’s a big difference between listening in this way and simply hearing. When you really listen—when you’re engaged with what’s being said—you’ll hear the subtle intonations in your partner’s voice that tells you how they’re really feeling and the emotions they’re trying to communicate. Being a good listener doesn't mean you have to agree with your partner or change your mind. But it will help you find common points of view that can help you to resolve conflict.
When you’re stressed or emotionally overwhelmed, you’re more likely to misread your romantic partner, send confusing or off-putting nonverbal signals, or lapse into unhealthy knee-jerk patterns of behavior. How often have you been stressed and flown off the handle at your loved one and said or done something you later regretted?
If you can learn to quickly manage stress and return to a calm state, you’ll not only avoid such regrets, but you’ll also help to avoid conflict and misunderstandings——and even help to calm your partner when tempers build.
Tip 3: Keep physical intimacy alive
Touch is a fundamental part of human existence. Studies on infants have shown the importance of regular, affectionate contact for brain development. And the benefits don’t end in childhood. Affectionate contact boosts the body’s levels of oxytocin, a hormone that influences bonding and attachment.
While sex is often a cornerstone of a committed relationship, it shouldn’t be the only method of physical intimacy. Frequent, affectionate touch—holding hands, hugging, kissing—is equally important.
[Read: Better Sex as You Age]
Of course, it’s important to be sensitive to what your partner likes. Unwanted touching or inappropriate overtures can make the other person tense up and retreat—exactly what you don’t want. As with so many other aspects of a healthy relationship, this can come down to how well you communicate your needs and intentions with your partner.
Even if you have pressing workloads or young children to worry about, you can help to keep physical intimacy alive by carving out some regular couple time, whether that’s in the form of a date night or simply an hour at the end of the day when you can sit and talk or hold hands.
Tip 4: Learn to give and take in your relationship
If you expect to get what you want 100% of the time in a relationship, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Healthy relationships are built on compromise. However, it takes work on each person’s part to make sure that there is a reasonable exchange.
Recognize what’s important to your partner
Knowing what is truly important to your partner can go a long way towards building goodwill and an atmosphere of compromise. On the flip side, it’s also important for your partner to recognize your wants and for you to state them clearly. Constantly giving to others at the expense of your own needs will only build resentment and anger.
Don’t make “winning” your goal
If you approach your partner with the attitude that things have to be your way or else, it will be difficult to reach a compromise. Sometimes this attitude comes from not having your needs met while younger, or it could be years of accumulated resentment in the relationship reaching a boiling point. It’s alright to have strong convictions about something, but your partner deserves to be heard as well. Be respectful of the other person and their viewpoint.
Learn how to respectfully resolve conflict
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but to keep a relationship strong, both people need to feel they’ve been heard. The goal is not to win but to maintain and strengthen the relationship.
Make sure you are fighting fair. Keep the focus on the issue at hand and respect the other person. Don’t start arguments over things that cannot be changed.
Don’t attack someone directly but use “I” statements to communicate how you feel. For example, instead of saying, “You make me feel bad” try “I feel bad when you do that”.
Don’t drag old arguments into the mix. Rather than looking to past conflicts or grudges and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.
Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive others.
If tempers flare, take a break. Take a few minutes to relieve stress and calm down before you say or do something you’ll regret. Always remember that you’re arguing with the person you love.
Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.
Tip 5: Be prepared for ups and downs
It’s important to recognize that there are ups and downs in every relationship. You won’t always be on the same page. Sometimes one partner may be struggling with an issue that stresses them, such as the death of a close family member. Other events, like job loss or severe health problems, can affect both partners and make it difficult to relate to each other. You might have different ideas of managing finances or raising children.
Different people cope with stress differently, and misunderstandings can rapidly turn to frustration and anger.
[Read: Surviving Tough Times by Building Resilience]
Don’t take out your problems on your partner. Life stresses can make us short tempered. If you are coping with a lot of stress, it might seem easier to vent with your partner, and even feel safer to snap at them. Fighting like this might initially feel like a release, but it slowly poisons your relationship. Find other healthier ways to manage your stress, anger, and frustration.
Trying to force a solution can cause even more problems. Every person works through problems and issues in their own way. Remember that you’re a team. Continuing to move forward together can get you through the rough spots.
Look back to the early stages of your relationship. Share the moments that brought the two of you together, examine the point at which you began to drift apart, and resolve how you can work together to rekindle that falling in love experience.
Be open to change. Change is inevitable in life, and it will happen whether you go with it or fight it. Flexibility is essential to adapt to the change that is always taking place in any relationship, and it allows you to grow together through both the good times and the bad.
If you need outside help for your relationship, reach out together. Sometimes problems in a relationship can seem too complex or overwhelming for you to handle as a couple. Couples therapy or talking together with a trusted friend or religious figure can help.
Authors: Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.
Am I in a Healthy Relationship? – Article aimed at teens to determine if your relationship is as healthy as it should be. (TeensHealth)
Help with Relationships – Articles addressing common relationship problems, such as arguments and conflict, communication, and infidelity. (Relate UK)
Last updated: December 5, 2022
What is narcissistic personality disorder, how to recognize it and can it be corrected
The label "narcissist" is often used to refer to people who seem self-confident, spend a lot of time talking about themselves, their success and career. However, this feature is much more complicated than it seems. A sense of confidence, a desire to share our achievements, and a desire for praise are quite adequate traits inherent in many of us. But sometimes it develops into a manic obsession with oneself or narcissism, which greatly interfere with establishing social connections, building a career and maintaining healthy relationships with loved ones. Zaborona journalist Polina Vernigor figured out when to sound the alarm, how to identify narcissistic personality disorder, and how to deal with narcissists. nine0004
What is narcissism?
This is a feature of the psyche, in which a person considers himself better than others, as well as generally unique and unsurpassed. It's about craving gratitude or admiration, wanting to be the center of attention, and expecting special treatment.
The Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), developed in 1979, is the most common way to measure this trait. The scores range from 0 to 40. Healthy people who score just over half of the scores may seem very attractive, especially during the first meeting, but end up coming off as arrogant. Such people may have uncomfortable or stressful personal relationships, but at the same time they remain fundamentally healthy personalities. nine0005
- Honoré Daumier The Belle Narcissus, 1842
Is this normal at all?
Basically yes. In fact, this is why we use the term “healthy people” in the previous section: narcissism is a collection of traits, and as long as it remains only on the scale of a person’s character, it does not pose a big problem. At least it does not require a decision in the office of a clinical psychologist - unlike narcissistic personality disorder.
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? nine0007
And this is a psychiatric diagnosis. People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are in love with an idealized grandiose image of themselves. And they fall in love with this exaggerated self-image precisely because it enables them to avoid deep feelings of insecurity. But supporting their megalomaniacs takes a lot of work, and that's where manipulation and toxicity in relationships comes into play. People with narcissistic personality disorder are self-centered, lack empathy and consideration for others, and depend on praise and hobbies. They can be described as cocky, manipulative, selfish, and overly demanding. This way of thinking and behaving manifests itself in all areas of a narcissist's life, from work and friendships to family and love relationships. nine0005
There are many subtypes of NPD—some have been identified and validated by scientific research, while others have been informally named and popularized by various mental health professionals. Because of this, the number of narcissistic subtypes is difficult to count accurately. Although the subtypes cannot be clinically diagnosed, professionals still usually see patterns in the behavior of clients, so they deduce eight subtypes of narcissism.
- Salvador Dali Metamorphoses of Narcissus, 1937
Healthy narcissism. It is more positive than negative. The American Psychiatric Association has concluded that for a patient to be clinically diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, they must have at least 55% of the most common features of narcissism. At the same time, many of these features do not fit the classification of mental disorders. That is, if you have less than 55% of the signs of NPD, you are healthy. Psychiatrists believe that narcissistic qualities are inherent in any person to a certain extent. Recognition of your achievements, the desire to share them and receive praise are quite normal things, especially if they improve well-being. nine0005
Grandiose narcissism. Such patients are characterized by an overestimation of their abilities, an inflated sense of self-worth and, in fact, an unrealistic feeling of their own superiority over other people. At the same time, grandiose daffodils can be charming, but they often lack compassion. They demand attention, they like to see others offended and confused.
Covert/vulnerable narcissism. Unlike grandiose narcissists, these people tend to be shy and modest. Representatives of this subtype are inhibited, depressed, hypersensitive to evaluations and suffer from chronic envy. They vitally need the recognition of people and protection from criticism. Often covert narcissists feel the most miserable in the world. nine0005
Malignant narcissism. Actually they are called malignant, not to be called evil, because it sounds a bit rude. But it is true: they are manipulators with evil intentions, showing signs of sadism and aggression. This is the most dangerous and harmful to others subtype. Throughout their lives, people suffering from this disorder improve their manipulation skills, and therefore, during the first meeting, they may seem very nice and kind.
Sexual narcissism. nine0032 These patients are overly fond of their own sexual prowess. They may be obsessed with their sexual activity and need for sexual delight from others. Sexual narcissists are serial scammers who use sex to manipulate people and can be aggressive in bed.
Somatic narcissism. Somatic narcissists base their self-esteem on the body. They feel more beautiful, strong or healthy than others. Somatic narcissists are often obsessed with their weight and appearance, as well as criticizing the appearance of others. nine0005
- Illustration for "Spring of Narcissus" from "The Romance of the Rose", 1380s
Cerebral/intellectual narcissism. Such people derive their sense of self-worth from their minds. It is about the belief that they are smarter than everyone else. To feed their ego, they will try to make others feel stupid.
Spiritual narcissism. Such people often use their spirituality to justify harmful behavior and use spiritual jargon to present themselves in a better light and to show superiority. Often they use vulnerable people to make them believe in their own worthlessness and in the high spirituality of the narcissist himself. nine0005
I have NRL. What threatens me?
Narcissists find it difficult to build healthy social bonds. Since the narcissist is overconfident and believes that he is better than others, this can lead to risky behavior. At the same time, such people usually show low levels of empathy, sympathy, shame, and guilt. That is why narcissism does more harm to those who surround the narcissist.
How do I know if I'm talking to a narcissist?
There are the most common and recognizable signs. Remember that only a specialist can make an accurate diagnosis. However, you will need these characteristics to identify such a person in your environment and build a relationship with him that will not harm you. nine0005
The main signs of daffodils
- Sensation of its own superiority over the other
- Manipulative behavior
- The need for
- Higher -dimensional
- concentration of the surrounding
- Updrospital sensitivity to criticism
How to deal with narcissists?
The first thing to advise is to break off relations with narcissists, since they are not non-toxic. But there are many situations in which this advice will not work. There are several leading techniques that will help you protect yourself from the influence of such people and build safe communication with them. nine0005
Look at the root - Narcissists often try to create an ideal image of themselves. But if you always keep in mind who they really are and remember that they can manipulate or deceive, you will probably not be affected by their "charm".
Talk about yourself and your feelings. This rule works if we are talking about a person from your close circle - a partner or someone from relatives. Narcissists often like to bring the interlocutor to emotions - do not let them do this, do not encourage their behavior. Instead, try to calmly and kindly say what you don't like. Do not blame - use "I-messages": not "you talk a lot about yourself", but "I would like it if you were more interested / interested in my affairs." nine0005
But if you notice signs of narcissism in your manager or work colleague, the best way to communicate is not to show emotions and not get into conflicts and arguments, because most likely the person is just waiting. If you give him this, then you will stimulate such behavior in the future.
- Caravaggio. Narcissus, 1594-1596
Stand up for clear boundaries. People with narcissistic personality disorder have a poor sense of personal space and boundaries: they may rummage through your belongings, enter your personal space without permission, or do something that will disturb you. In this case, psychologists advise setting ultimatums. For example: "If you don't get your car out of my parking space, I will have to call a tow truck." But at the same time, it is important to keep your promise in order to prove the seriousness of your intentions. nine0005
Do not fall for provocations. If the game doesn't go their way, narcissists often manipulate to make you feel awkward. For example, they may try to make you feel guilty or ashamed. Remember that these are just their rules of the game: you don't have to accept them.
Find a source of energy. Communication with a narcissist (especially if it is a malignant narcissist) is very emotionally draining. It is necessary to constantly remember all possible scenarios for the development of events and resist manipulation - this requires considerable effort. To recover quickly, you need a source of energy: start going to sports or art classes, communicate more with people with whom you are pleased and comfortable. nine0005
Is it treatable at all?
Yes, psychotherapy. But there is a very important detail: in order to start treatment, the patient's desire is necessary. More often than not, narcissists either don't acknowledge their problem or get carried away by the fact that they are narcissists. However, psychiatrists argue that people with NPD often have problems with socialization, and sometimes this behavior is associated with moral trauma. Therefore, the likelihood that a person will reach a therapist is still there.
how to recognize and what to do
Not everyone knows that narcissistic personality disorder is not at all the same as narcissism or high self-esteem. You should know well who a narcissist is and why he is dangerous.
Love and relationships
Personality disorders nine0005
If a guy posts too many selfies on his social media or constantly talks about himself on a first date, he's often called a narcissist. But you should not do this, because narcissistic personality disorder is a mental illness.
Signs of a narcissist
So, do not confuse narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). The symptoms of the latter are as follows:
- overestimated sense of self-importance; nine0014
- excessive need for attention and admiration;
- inability to empathize;
- common relationship problems.
According to licensed psychotherapist Rebecca Wyler, NPD boils down to selfishness - the desire to get everything at the expense of others, as well as an inability to consider the feelings of other people. But remember, narcissistic personality disorder is not black and white. “Narcissism has its own spectrum,” says psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent, Fran Walvis. nine0005
9 official criteria for narcissistic personality disorder
The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the US nomenclature for mental disorders, lists nine criteria for NPD, but five of them are sufficient for clinical recognition of narcissism. This list includes:
- a grandiose sense of self-importance;
- preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love; nine0014
- a person's conviction that he is special and unique, the desire to deal only with high-ranking people and elite organizations and institutions;
- need for excessive admiration;
- feeling of being chosen;
- the tendency to exploit others in relationships, in other words, to use other people to achieve one's own goals;
- lack of empathy;
- a person's envy of others or the belief that everyone envy him; nine0014
- arrogant and haughty behavior.
But even knowing the official criteria does not always allow one to identify a narcissist. The hardest thing to notice NPD in a person with whom you are in a romantic relationship. On a date with someone we like, rarely do any of us think: “Wait a minute, is this guy suffering from narcissism?”
But at the same time, we all dream of a healthy and long-term relationship that will make both us and our partner happy. So read about how a male narcissist behaves when he is about to have an affair - this information will come in handy. Only a qualified specialist can make a diagnosis, but there are red flags that you should pay attention to. nine0005
Relationship with a narcissist: how people with NPD behave
If you see that any of the above are familiar to you, be careful!
1. Narcissus is charming... But only at first
Everything starts like in a fairy tale. He constantly texts you, in the first month he confesses his love, promises to buy a tram, makes joint plans, showers compliments, says that he has finally found his soul mate, and your meeting is fate. Experts call all this "love bombing". nine0005
“Narcissists believe that they are worthy of relationships with special people and only such women can appreciate them,” says psychotherapist Nedra Glover Tawwab. “But as soon as you do something that disappoints them, they may turn their backs on you.” And, most likely, you won't even know what you did wrong.
Wyler advises: if the guy is too persistent at first, be on your guard. Of course, each of us is pleased to feel unique and unique. But communication and mutual understanding between people are not born in a few days - they must be nurtured and developed. “If it seems like a man doesn’t know you enough to truly love you, he probably does,” Wyler says. nine0005
2.The narcissist talks at length about how wonderful he is
“Narcissists love to talk about their own great accomplishments and accomplishments,” says psychotherapist Jaclyn Krol. “They do it because they feel better and smarter than everyone else, and also because it makes them look more confident.” Clinical psychologist Dr. Angela Grace adds that narcissists often exaggerate their achievements and embellish their talents in order to gain admiration and adoration from others. nine0005
Narcissists tend to be too busy with themselves to listen to other people. This, according to Grace, will become a red flag: firstly, the guy with NPD will constantly talk about himself, and secondly, he will never discuss your interests and preferences. Pay attention: what happens if you try to tell something about your life? Is he asking questions, trying to find out more? Or just waiting for the moment to be the center of attention again?
3.The narcissist lacks empathy
An inability to understand the other person's feelings is one of the hallmarks of narcissists, Walvis says. Pay attention to how your boyfriend reacts when you tell that you had a bad day at work or you had a fight with your parents. Does he empathize or frankly bored when you say that you are angry or sad? According to Walvis, a lack of empathy is the most common reason why relationships with narcissists end up falling apart, whether it's romantic love or friendship. nine0005
4. Narcissists have no real friends
If you look closely at a narcissist, you will notice that around him there are only casual acquaintances, friends with whom he chats, and enemies. People with NPD tend to have no loved ones, especially those with whom they have known and maintained relationships for many years. Therefore, a narcissist may be offended if you want to communicate with your friends. It is likely that he will even try to make you feel guilty: for example, he will begin to say that you devote little time to him. nine0005
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How does your partner feel about someone they don't want anything from?
- Does he have old friends?
- Does he have a sworn enemy? If not, did he say that he would like to have one?
5. The narcissist feeds on your compliments
It may seem that narcissists are very self-confident. But according to Tawwab, most people with NPD actually lack self-respect. “They need a lot of praise, and if you don’t give it, they will seek it. That's what you're for: to tell them how wonderful they are,” she says. nine0005
“Narcissists use other people—usually those who are highly empathetic—to nurture self-esteem. Because of their low self-esteem, narcissists' egos are easily hurt, and therefore their need for compliments is great,” adds Marriage and Family Psychotherapist Shirin Peykar.
Pay attention: self-confident people do not need constant confirmation of their importance from others. “A person with NPD needs to be praised, but he himself flourishes by humiliating others,” says Peykar. As Weilar aptly puts it, narcissists punish everyone around them for their lack of self-confidence. nine0005
6. The narcissist constantly picks on you
At first it seems like a mild tease, but over time it becomes a constant background, and hairpins turn from good-natured to angry and rude. Suddenly, everything you do is subject to criticism, whether it's about choosing a profession or brushing your teeth.
“The goal of narcissists is to lower other people's self-esteem in order to raise their own, because it makes them feel powerful,” says Peykar. “They love reaction: it shows them that they have the power to influence the emotional state of another person.” nine0005
Pay attention: if your partner throws barbs when you have achieved something, then it's time to run. If a man says that your achievements are accidental or obtained through advantages, then there is a chance that you are dealing with a narcissist. “He wants you to remember that you are no better than him,” Tawwab explains.
7. The Narcissist Gaslights
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation and emotional abuse that is a hallmark of narcissism. “Narcissists use gaslighting to make others doubt themselves. For them, this is a way to achieve superiority over others, ”explains Peykar. nine0005
You can read more about gaslighting here, and here are the signs that indicate that you are experiencing it.
Signs that you are a victim of a narcissist and gaslighted:
- you no longer feel like the person you used to be;
- you have become more anxious and less confident;
- you often wonder if you are too sensitive;
- you feel that everything you do is wrong;
- when something goes wrong, you always think it's your fault;
- you often apologize;
- you feel something is wrong, but you don't know what;
- you constantly doubt that your answer to your partner is correct;
- you justify your partner's behavior.
8. The narcissist thinks he is always right and never apologizes
Arguing with narcissists is impossible. “It will not be possible to reach a compromise with them. People with NPD don't see disagreements as disagreements. They just think they are teaching you some truth,” says Tavwab. Peykar thinks you might be dating a narcissist if you think your partner is:
- can't hear you;
- does not understand you;
- takes no part of the responsibility for the problem;
- never tries to compromise.
Weilar advises avoiding negotiations and arguments with narcissists. “People who suffer from NPD hate the lack of control and struggle. The less you resist, the less power you can give them over you, the better,” she says.
Since narcissists are sure that they are always right, they never "sink" to the point of apology - even in situations where they are clearly at fault. For example, your partner does not feel the need to say "sorry" if he was late for dinner and did not even call to warn about it, or canceled your joint plans at the last moment. Remember: normal people are able to understand that they did something wrong and apologize for it. nine0005
9. The narcissist does not want to make commitments
The narcissist expects you to treat him as his partner, and at the same time refuses you the same. You may notice how he flirts with someone, but if you talk about it as a sign of disrespect, you will be accused: “You made a storm in a glass of water, you are completely crazy!” But think about this: you deserve the same devotion that you give yourself.
10. The narcissist panics when you try to break up with him
Once you back off, the narcissist will do his best to get you back. “At first they may bombard you with love. They will say all the right things to convince you that they have changed,” warns Peykar. But very little time will pass, and it will become clear: you are still dealing with the same person.
11. Realizing that everything is over, the narcissist loses his temper
The narcissist will do everything possible to hurt you for leaving him. “Their ego is so badly hurt that they feel only rage and hatred. They believe that only other people are to blame for everything, including the breakup,” says Peykar. nine0005
What will be the result? The narcissist may say bad things to you, immediately start dating someone else to make you jealous, or even try to "steal" friends. The reason, Tawwab says, is that a good reputation means everything to them, and they won't let anyone or anything ruin it.
Okay, I'm dating a narcissist. What to do?
So, you realized that you are in a relationship with a person who has NPD. He constantly criticizes you, humiliates you and emotionally exhausts you. Experts recommend the obvious way out - to move away from it. nine0005
Here's how to prepare for breaking up with a narcissist:
- Constantly remind yourself that you deserve better.
- Strengthen relationships with friends who support you.
- Gather around you those close to you who will help you critically evaluate reality.
- Convince your partner to go to therapy.
- See a psychotherapist yourself.
“You cannot change a person with narcissistic personality disorder or make them happy with your love. Don't change for him - that won't help either. He will never empathize with you, and you will always feel empty after interacting with them, says Grace. “Basically, you will never be enough for them, because they will never be enough for themselves.” nine0005
Grace thinks the best thing to do is end the relationship. At the same time, it is not worth explaining anything, much less giving a second, third or fourth chance.