Have you ever been involved with someone who seemed to be all about themselves? They made decisions without considering your opinion, they only wanted to talk about their interests and achievements, and when things didn’t go their way, they had a hard time controlling their emotions. If you have experienced this type of behaviour from a partner or friend, it could be that you were dealing with a narcissist. Let’s explore what a narcissist is and how to deal with them in your relationships.
What is a Narcissist?
In order to understand why someone would be considered a narcissist, it’s important to define exactly what that means.
Generally speaking, a narcissist is someone who exhibits an excessive sense of self-importance and entitlement while having little regard for the feelings or needs of others. They have an inflated view of themselves and are vain, selfish, and arrogant. Furthermore, they constantly seek attention or validation from those around them in order to boost their self-worth.
Signs You May Be Dealing With a Narcissist
A relationship with a narcissist can be both emotionally and mentally draining. Narcissists are very preoccupied with themselves and their own needs, often disregarding the needs of their partners. It is important to understand what narcissism looks like in relationships so that you can spot it early on and have an opportunity to get out before you find yourself in too deep.
Narcissistic Behaviours – The Narcissist in Relationships
There are certain behaviours that you should look out for if you believe your partner may be a narcissist. For example, they may become angry easily when they don’t receive the attention they feel they deserve, constantly compare themselves favourably to others (or demand admiration from others), and make unreasonable demands on those around them (such as expecting their partner to constantly cater to their needs). In addition, they may take credit for things that aren’t theirs or expect special treatment because of their perceived superiority over other people.
The Narcissist in Relationships – Lack of Empathy
Another major red flag that your partner may be a narcissist is their lack of empathy for your feelings. They may be unwilling or unable to consider your thoughts, opinions, or even your emotions when making decisions about your relationship. If this sounds familiar, it could be because you are dealing with someone who has narcissistic tendencies.
The Narcissist in Relationships – Manipulation
It is also important to be on the lookout for typical narcissistic manipulative tactics. This can take many forms but typically involves refusing to take responsibility for their actions and blaming their mistakes on someone else. Your partner may use guilt-tripping tactics to get their way, or they might act out if they do not get what they want. Additionally, they may use gaslighting techniques to make you question your own sanity or perceptions of reality.
Narcissists tend to be very controlling and possessive in relationships. They may try to manipulate their partners or dictate how they spend their time and who they spend it with. When this happens, the victim no longer feels safe in the relationship. Additionally, this possessiveness prevents the creation of true intimacy, as it makes it difficult for partners to feel free to express themselves and trust each other.
In fact, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for a narcissist to form a truly deep emotional connection with their partner, because they are incapable of truly understanding or empathizing with their partner’s feelings. Though some narcissists may be able to form superficial connections, they lack the capacity to form an intimate connection that is built on mutual understanding and respect. As a result, relationships with narcissists often feel one sided and draining, as the narcissist is not capable of offering the support and care needed to sustain a healthy relationship.
Coping With a Narcissistic Partner
If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, it can be difficult to manage the situation without feeling overwhelmed and hurt. That said, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself and help you cope in this type of relationship.
First and foremost, set clear boundaries for yourself within the relationship. Let the other person know what type of behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable for you.
Don’t allow yourself to become too emotionally invested in the relationship. Remember that the other person may not be able or willing to reciprocate those feelings.
Finally, seek out support from family or friends if needed. Having people around who can offer advice or just lend an ear can make all the difference when trying to manage a narcissistic relationship.
Conclusion – The Narcissist in Relationships
Navigating relationships with narcissists can be tricky business as they lack empathy or understanding towards others’ feelings. However, by setting clear boundaries for yourself within the relationship, avoiding becoming too emotionally invested in it, and seeking out support if needed—you can better manage these types of relationships while protecting your own emotional wellbeing.
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Carla Corelli is an author, advocate, and survivor of narcissistic abuse. Having grown up with a narcissistic father, Carla experienced firsthand the profound impact of psychological and emotional abuse. Fueled by her personal journey, she pursued a degree in psychology and has dedicated herself to shedding light on the complexities of narcissistic abuse.
With over fifteen years of experience in writing and advocating for survivors, Carla is deeply committed to providing support, education, and empowerment to those who have endured similar trauma. Through her articles, Carla aims to offer a compassionate space for healing and growth, while advocating for greater awareness and understanding of narcissistic abuse.
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