Though you are here, I assume that you have started to figure out or managed to find that you are dating or in a relationship with a Narcissist.
I know this would not have been an easy task as when you date a narcissist there is always a chance you get confused between an overconfident person and a narcissist.
You might also think, how and why did things started to worsen when it was the perfect start you always wanted.
This is going to be difficult as you started to like them or already in a relationship with a narcissist. The study says that it can take from a few months to a year or more to find if your partner is a Narcissist and you can get to know only after his/her mask starts to fade.
This article will give you clear cut ideas on where you stand and what you should do if you are dating or in a relationship with a Narcissist:
I recommend you to go through this article before reading this blog.
Make sure you don’t miss the Final Thoughts Section at the End of this Blog.
Signs you are dating or in a relationship with a Narcissist
Narcissists are charming and so appealing that you may start to feel that you are living a fairy tale.
You felt so loved and cared at the beginning of the relationship. After a few months of dating or getting into a relationship with a narcissisit, you started to notice that there is a difference in their traits and their ways of living are getting a bit Narcissistic.
People with two or three of the below signs don’t make them a Narcissist; it is just their behavior. But when your partner has more of these signs combined, you are most probably dealing with a Narcissist.
- You start to feel there is no space for a 2-way conversation:
A narcissist loves to talk about themself; you feel it’s difficult to express your feeling and point of view. They try to be the “Centre of Focus.”
They break the conversation saying things like “Hear what I am about to say” or “Oh great, but you know what happed today and how exceptionally I handled it” and interrupt your flow.
Even though you try to plunge into the conversation, you will find yourself being kept away. They are less interested in listening to what you have to say or how your day went.
- You feel corrected or ignored all the time:
With the rare chance to place your point of view, most of the things you say are not agreed or ignored. You start to feel Inferior and think you don’t know much about anything.
A narcissist has an obsessive nature to prove that they are better than people around them by pointing out other people’s flaw or by denying their views.
- Violating rules and Social Norms:
Narcissists like to show off, and the desire to be the centre of attraction makes them violate laws and social norms.
They lack moral values and social ethics. You can find them being mean to waiters, cleaners and store workers to show they are superior to them.
There are chances you could have spotted such scenes on your date or when they say stories with pride how they violated other people’s feelings without any concern.
They often tend to break boundaries with you and don’t be surprised if you are blamed for their action.
- They don’t keep up with their words:
Breaking promises and not keeping up with their words are just a day to day habit.
Sometimes they pretend that the conversation never happened.
You might notice that the plans are scheduled only according to their needs and are cancelled if it contradicts against their likes.
- You are blamed for everything:
“I was not able to do it only because you forgot to remind me” or “All this happened because we decided to do it your way.”
They tend to blame you for every mistake and frame you as a victim for their negligence.
You might not have noticed this trait at the beginning but as days go by, you are told that you are responsible for every bad thing that happens in your life and his/her life which is one of the personality disorder symptoms.
- Grandiose Nature and Entitlement is a lifestyle.
It’s always about how great they are and portraying themselves as superior or royal.
They like the attention they get from being that way, so they continue to grow their Grandiose Nature.
Narcissists expect people to treat them with the entitled belief that they inherently deserve privilege or special treatment.
They don’t like being treated normally, they expect and demand attention always. If you ignore or zone them out of a conversation, you can spot their obsessive nature trying to get the topic flow around them.
- You feel that they are starting to take you for granted.
As days go by, you feel that when they’re not as much interested in you like they use to be.
Yet they would still try to keep you beside them as it will benefit their life or to keep the social attraction. They are not into you like before, yet keep denying it.
- They are extremely sensitive to criticism.
They like to be mean and pick on others but cannot handle criticism very well. They respond with outbursts or storm a heated argument when criticized.
Disagreeing with them leads to significant conflict.
- They Impart Emotional Inferiority:
They are emotionally abusive and feel superior by making you feel inferior, which boosts their ego and to feel better about themselves.
There is a gap in the concept of mutual growth in a relationship with a narcissist. You are subjected to constant criticism and broken down emotionally.
They want to make your life revolve around them and make you dependent on them for everything you want to do with your life.
- Lack of Empathy.
One of the universal sign is that Narcissist lacks Empathy. But a study shows that some Narcissists have compassion towards an injured animal or a sad child which contradicts to complete lack of Empathy.
It is fair to mention that they have the capacity to empathize, but they lack to empathize with fellow humans and subconsciously continue to do so.
- Lack of Intimacy:
Narcissist believes they become vulnerable while being intimate with their partners, and their partners can use the opportunity to cause any physical or emotional pain to them afterwards.
They don’t convey or discuss this to their partners, yet want to hold on to their relationships.
- Your thoughts are being manipulated:
You are advised or being used as an extension of Self. You are advised or guided to do something in your life that only turns out to be good for them.
They try to curve your life to benefit their own.
- Expensive gifts to cover the flaws:
Narcissists use expensive gifts and money to control you and to keep you entitled to them.
They buy you things only to make you stay in difficult times and to cover up their flaws. They don’t get you things out of love, it is only to form a fake emotional connect.
Sometimes during a fight, they tend to remind you of the expensive things they bought you to keep you under control.
- Whatever you say will get against you:
To stay in control of the conversation and to prove they are better in words than you, they tend to use everything you say against you.
They focus on details that can pull you down and which could serve advantageous to them in the future.
- They don’t have long term friends.
You can spot that they don’t have a long term friend and even if you dig deeper, you find stories of your partners being betrayed or belittled by their friends which is always not the case.
Due to their selfish and grandiose nature, they don’t have any long term friends in their life.
How to Handle a Narcissistic relationship
Once you identify that you in a relationship with a narcissistic man or a woman, you get anxious and have no clue on what to do next.
You will start asking yourself, “should I break up with them” or “Should I continue my relationship with them.”
To be honest, you can plan to quit or decide to hold on and survive a relationship with a person with narcissistic traits or Narcissistic personality disorder. It is always up to you to decide on that.
If you want to make a relationship with a narcissist work, here are few ideas on how to handle a Narcissistic relationship.
1. Have Realistic expectations:
If you are aware of the fact that you are in a Narcissistic relationship, maintain a realistic expectation with your partner.
Despite knowing the truth if you still expect them to change and meet your expectations, you will get disappointed.
Understand and accept who they are and adapt accordingly.
2. Shift your attention:
You invest most of your time around narcissists convincing or explaining about yourself, hoping for things to be better.
It would be best if you started to shift your attention and spend more time with people who genuinely care for you (Parents, friends, cousin…etc.), which will boost your mental health.
3. Observe, don’t absorb:
Whenever a Narcissist Drama begins, you should observe what and why it is happening.
You will start to lose your mind if you absorb the words and start to scuffle with your feeling. Remember, this is exactly how they want you to feel.
4. Respond without Reacting:
When arguing with a narcissist, you will be triggered to react to what they say and end up being where they want you to be.
Control your emotions, don’t get pulled into their world.
5. Focus on yourself:
As you drained your energy explaining and proving yourself, you should have probably been exhausted from all the dramas.
You need the love you deserve but sadly you are only going to get emotionally raped by your Narcissist partner. It’s time for self-love and free yourself from all self-doubts and mental tortures.
You can engage in any activities that can make you feel better about yourself. Eat healthily, read a book, practice meditation, exercise or take a walk outside.
6. Always discuss non-controversial topics:
The best way to avoid any arguments and stress is to discuss a topic that doesn’t touch the ego of the Narcissist.
The conversations are going to be very dull, I can guarantee that but you can avoid the post effects and preserve your energy.
7. Know when to leave a conversation:
Narcissists feed on gaslighting conversation, they are happy to get into a conversation and prove you are wrong or will try to manipulate you.
No matter what you try or how well you argue, you will lose the argument because they are not going to take what you convey. It is better you save yourself from it.
Leave a conversation if it gets off track, by giving any unavoidable reason.
How to end a relationship with a narcissist?
You could have gone through so much of dramas, mental tortures and sometimes have experienced physical abuse and want to break up with a Narcissist.
But breaking up with a Narcissist is tougher than you think. You have to be more ready and prepared when you stop your realtionship with a narcissistic person.
You always end up with this question while are going through the relationship Nightmare.
Why do they do it to someone they love?
You must understand that their definition of being in love is different from yours, they tend to get into a relationship only for conveniences, social image, and to make others jealous.
They keep their partner because their needs are satisfied by them. Once the needs are met, they throw their partner away.
There are some tips that can be a handful while breaking up with a Narcissist Partner:
1) Plan before Act:
Once you decide to break up, you must have a plan to avoid all kind of scenarios that may put you into trouble or drama.
You might want to discuss with your friends and family for support before breaking up with a Narcissist.
2) Pack your bags beforehand:
You won’t have time during break up or may have to be in any unavoidable conversation while you pack your stuff.
So always pack your bags before you get into a heated conversation.
3) Take all your important documents and leave any joint properties:
You wouldn’t want your documents and certificates being left at their place, as this will cause unnecessary tension.
Taking joint property will get you into trouble. Leave them there, having your peace is your first priority.
4) If a Narcissist moved into your space:
It will be quiet tough for you to handle this situation. Asking them to move out will take a while as they won’t go away easily.
You might need to involve police or lawyers while you drop your breakup news.
To speed up things, you can hire a small storage space and pay the first-month rent and ask them to move out with the luggage.
5) Change keys and access to any common sharing space:
Make sure you change the locks if you have shared keys during a relationship or when living together.
You must avoid the surprises of having them in your place wherein they will try to have a conversation about fixing things up which is only to get what they lost but not to save the relationship or to end your suffering.
What to do after you break up with them:
- Don’t go back to the Narcissist for love:
Even though you are aware of their Narcissistic Behavior and the abusive instances that happened to you during the relationship, you will want to go back to your partner because you were in love with them.
The hardest part is to stay away from them. This happens because you are still denying the truth.
- Try to have Zero Contact after your breakup:
Having a contact will only worsen the situation where you end up having a gas lighting conversation.
You may break down and want to speak to them because you miss them already but remember why you broke up in the first place. It will help you to be firm in your decision.
This is not an ordinary person you are dealing with but a Narcissist, putting in more energy to explain or trying to fix things will be of no use.
What will happen after you break up with your Narcissist Partner?
After you break up with your partner and decide not to see or engage with them, the story doesn’t end there.
You broke up with them before they did it with you. This has triggered their ego and wants to make you feel bad about what you did to them.
You know this “If they can’t hurt you directly they will try to control how others see you.”
1) Be ready to get your character Assassinated:
After you break up with them, be ready to get blamed and take all the faults on yourself for the failed relationship.
They will try to destroy your character, so they don’t get blamed for the breakup.
Earning sympathy and bringing you down among your friend’s minds will be one of their prime focuses after you end a relationship.
2) You may Experience Social anxiety, phobia, and panic attacks:
They project as if they were cheated and betrayed by posting betrayal images or videos on social media to cast a false image on you and create social pressure.
As your friends might see and react, this can cause social anxiety to you. As you have already been emotionally violated in the relationship and now experiencing social anxiety, you might be experiencing panic attacks and phobias.
3) You feel betrayed:
The feeling of being betrayed will tear you down when things come to light that all the promises they made to you were just mere lies to keep you in the relationship and nothing was true.
You face difficulty adapting to reality post the breakup. You will have trouble trusting others.
4) Don’t be surprised if they move on too quickly:
Narcissists use you to get what they want, and once they squeeze what they want from you or know if you are not useful to them, they look for other another prey.
This means they wanted to keep you only to get attention and social acknowledgment from others.
The relationship was only superficial. Once you are gone, they will switch to another person.
5) You never get a sincere apology post break up:
They never give proper closure to a relationship and they want you to feel bad for breaking up with them.
There are cases where people still get abusive texts after years of ending a relationship.
They do this because they want you to feel devastated and guilty for the rest of your life.
6) Post-traumatic stress disorder:
Many Narcissistic relationship involve domestic violence and abuse. Even though you manage to break the relationship or get away from them, you may still experience PTSD due to your past instances.
If you experience PTSD often or it starts to hinder your reality, you should consider consulting a psychiatrist.
This article is not a recommendation to end a relationship with a Narcissist but to give you a clear cut idea on how to handle and overcome a Narcissist Relationship.
If you have experienced domestic violence, I request you to contact the police or family for support. Never hesitate to consult a psychiatrist’s help whenever you get emotionally affected.
People know that you need help only if you reach out to them. (Asking for help only makes you stronger)
After going through lot of reading, majority of the articles says that Narcissist can never change their traits. Personally I feel that this conclusion is wrong, we humans have the tendency to change and adapt.
But what makes it difficult for a Narcissist is they lack the desire to change or break their stereotypes which makes it difficult for their partners to stay in the relationship. The attitude to hurt and dominate their partner for their own insecurity is completely unacceptable.
We cannot expect someone to wait for few years (May be 5 – 10 years) and continue to take the mental torture and suffering every single day hoping the Narcissist will change their behavior. (Sometimes they don’t)
I feel this is the main reason why Narcissistic relationships end. It is always a personal choice to hold on or to quit a relationship with a narcissist.
We can conclude that change is difficult but possible.
I want to focus on some facts. No matter whatever relationship you have, you are responsible for your mental health and peace of mind.
Life itself is designed in a way where things don’t always happen the way we want them to happen,
Sometimes we struggle,
Sometimes we get emotionally broken down,
Sometimes we get betrayed,
But it’s our sole responsibility to take care of ourselves. Focusing on Self-love and self-care doesn’t make you selfish.
An empty heart cannot give love to others if there is no love in itself.
You are just making your circle a better place by loving you first.