Being in a relationship is no walk in the park. It requires work, patience, and understanding. You need to be with someone who can do all of that with you. That’s why, having a person who can’t means trouble–a serious one.
What Is A Narcissist?
Narcissistic personality disorder or NPD takes humans’ selfish nature to the extreme. It affects around 0.5 % of the US population, and can be hereditary or caused by upbringing. Excessive praise or judgment by parents, early trauma, abuse, etc. are all factors. According to research, a person can inherit it (be born with it), but they can also develop it from outside influences.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder And Other Mental Health Conditions
There can be more than one psychological condition associated with a mental health disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder can come with anxiety, depression, paranoid personality disorders, etc. For example, someone can show both narcissistic and histrionic personality traits (be overly emotional or dramatic while being extremely self-absorbed).
Signs You’re Dating A Narcissist
Your Relationship Seems Like A One-Way Street
A relationship requires mutual love, trust and respect. It’s hard being with someone who only thinks about himself. However, that’s what it’s like being in a relationship with a narcissist. Narcissists only care about themselves. They might show some interest, but their wants and needs always come first. They will support you if it’s convenient for them. What hurts the most is they take more than they give, even at the expense of neglecting you.
Rules Don’t Exist
Because narcissists think highly of themselves, they have their own rules. Rules that most probably won’t always go with yours or anyone else’s. You might not even be free to act on your own. They only follow whatever benefits them. You’ll find it hard making them understand what’s necessary for your relationship if they don’t agree with it. For instance, you might tell them about boundaries but they’ll say you both don’t need them.
Endless Negative Comments
You keep hearing a lot of negativity from your partner. It’s like they have more bad to say about a lot of things than good. Whether it’s about you or someone else, they seem to never run out of negative opinions. You wonder why they hate something so much. Even meaningless stuff can trigger them.
Your Partner Is King
The right person for you will know how to compromise because he or she knows it’s part of a healthy relationship. There should be no hierarchy. Someone with narcissistic tendencies doesn’t adhere to that. In their world, everything is about them. They feel the need to be in control. Does your partner treat you like a subject instead of an equal?
Lack of Empathy and Commitment
Having a narcissist as a romantic partner is overwhelming. On top of their toxic attitude, their unhealthy behavior can wear you down. They might feel so close yet so far. They are just physically present. You don’t feel enough warmth from them or any real commitment. They can say one thing and do another. They are easy to turn back on their word. You might begin to doubt if they even love you at all.
Few Long-Lasting Relationships
Narcissism is serious. Living with this mental health condition may give you relationship troubles. Your condition makes you cause problems most people can’t stand. Either that, or you can’t survive being with someone who doesn’t agree with everything you do. It’s not easy maintaining a relationship when one person isn’t in it anymore. Even more so when both parties have already given up.
Narcissistic Vs. Self-Centered Traits
As much as they can be similar, there’s a difference between narcissism and mere self-centeredness. One of the main narcissistic traits is an inflated ego. If a self-centered person’s is the size of a five-storey building, theirs is of a skyscraper. A narcissist is willing to risk it all just to have their way. They might not be too afraid of the consequences that can come with their actions.
How To Deal With Narcissists
Dealing with someone who has the condition can be stressful. It takes a huge amount of energy, patience, and understanding. You have to accept the fact that the person has a real mental health condition that can only be managed with professional advice. You can’t “save” them from it or turn them into a different person. Moreover, you can’t deny yourself just to be with them.
Therapy is a sure way of dealing with narcissism. It can help your partner become aware of their condition and learn what to do about it. If you have a hard time convincing them to seek therapy, you can ask for others’ assistance (their family would be best). Long-term therapy may help narcissists change. A professional therapist is capable of doing this.
You can also look for an online therapist that’s right for your partner. It would be more convenient and it might make it easier to convince them to get the help they need.
You’re Never The Problem
Narcissists can be good at making you believe a lie. No matter how hard they try to convince you that you’re to blame, don’t give in. They are just trying to twist the truth so you’ll face the consequences instead of them. So that you won’t see them as the bad guy. Don’t worry. No amount of deceit can cover up what’s true. In the end, they are all lies. Don’t let yourself succumb to their scheme. You may have your own faults in the relationship too, but their mistakes and yours aren’t the same.
Yes, it can be very difficult letting go and freeing yourself from someone you’ve been with for a while. Still, you need to find the courage. You need to understand that you can’t fix someone. Narcissism is a serious condition that requires attention. A person who lives with it can only benefit from professional advice and support. Their traits aren’t mere “attitude problems”. You must love yourself enough to know what you deserve. You can give them a hand in seeking the help they need, but you can’t stay with them. A narcissist won’t do anything good for your wellbeing. You can still care for them from a distance. Mental health conditions are a sad part of human life. The only thing we can do is offer our support and understanding to those who live with them.
If you see any of these signs in the person you’re dating, don’t hesitate to ask for help. No matter what others might say, don’t forget that narcissistic personality disorder is real. There are many ways (even free) to get the support you need for both yourself and your partner.