Relationships are bound to fail when they lack balance and a deep understanding of one another. Have you been struggling with keeping your relationship sane? Do you think you are being manipulated into being someone you are not? Or have you been questioning your worth as a partner? If this sounds familiar, you might be succumbing to a narcissistic relationship
What is a narcissistic relationship?
A narcissistic relationship is when someone in the relationship has narcissistic tendencies that directly impact how this person manages the relationship. If that person always thinks about himself/herself without considering the other party, that can mean something deeper.
Everyone tends to be narcissistic in their own way—from looking after yourself first, indulging in things you love, and showering yourself with self-compliments. It’s totally normal to admire yourself more than others. However, when this gets in the way of your relationship, it could lead to having a toxic relationship.
The Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) explained
People who suffer from narcissistic behavior, arrogance, excessive self-admiration, lack of empathy tend to have a narcissistic personality disorder. These people are manipulative, arrogant, unapologetic, self-centered, demanding, and insensitive.
According to a study, 0.5% of the American population has NPD, and 75% of them are men. When you are in a relationship with someone like this, you’ll succumb to stress and even lose self-worth. Narcissistic people refuse to change toxic behavior and will gaslight you for calling them out.
Why are people narcissistic?
One of the factors for being narcissistic is being brought by a family whose parents set high expectations for their children. They were taught to be the best and to stand out among all others. This paves the way for competitiveness and the need to be the best for everything.
Another factor can be growing up neglected by others. Some parents only see the value of their children when they see them excel. This leads to the need of the children to keep up with the parents’ needs to satisfy them and be recognized. This traumatic experience results in need of immense appreciation, which can be carried until they turn adults.
Signs you are in a narcissistic relationship
Check out these telltale signs you are enduring a narcissistic relationship. The following are the typical traits and habits of a narcissistic partner.
- Appearing oh-so-charming at the beginning of the relationship
- Loves talking about themselves, including plans, ideas, dreams, triumphs, and problems
- Diverting every conversation to themselves
- Fishing compliments about everything they do
- Looking down on everyone, including you at times
- Not having a wide circle of friends—manifesting a bad reputation
- Talking to you in a condescending manner
- Resorting to name-calling
- Gaslighting you when they feel offended or hurt
- Not apologizing even when they’re wrong
- Feeling the need to win every argument
- Lashing out on you when you hurt their ego
- Lacking empathy towards others and you
- Taking pride in breaking the rules—wherever it be
- Disregarding set boundaries and breaking promises
- Keeping a grandiose false image
- Being manipulative at all costs
- Exaggerating own capacity
- Having too much entitlement
- Failing to recognize and understand your needs as a partner
The effects of narcissistic relationship to you
Being with someone who’s drawn to no one but themselves is challenging, to say the least. You will question if this person actually loves you or just needs you to kiss their feet and provide satisfaction. Even more, if you end up marrying them, you’ll carry this inkling feeling that you and your children are just accessory to your partner’s life if the NPD continues.
Narcissistic people may be captivating at first as they display confidence and charm, making you feel like you are a trophy partner. This creates the inclination to keep up with their big personality, which can be exhausting.
Here are other effects of being in a relationship with a narcissist:
- Starting to feel bad about yourself
- Doubting your capacity and skills
- Hesitating to trust others
- Being conscious of every little detail
- Worrying about how others perceive you
- Feeling lonely even though you have a partner
- Questioning your worth as a partner
- Settling to agree just to get done with arguments
- Losing your sense of self-importance
- Having difficulty in opening up to others
- Prioritizing your partner’s needs more than your own
- Forgetting your perspective matters
When you start feeling all these, you must reflect and gauge how you can talk to your partner to fix things up or even call it quits. You are also a human being who needs the love and care of someone capable of. If your partner still denies admitting his/her mistakes, maybe, it’s a relationship not worth fighting for.
Want to understand further how this narcissistic behavior affects your relationship? Here’s a well-recommended online course to immerse yourself with, The Psychology of Narcissism: Behavior and Relationships.
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