How to Deal With a Narcissistic Partner

 Narcissistic abuse usually involves emotional abuse through put-downs, accusations, criticism, silent treatment, emotional manipulations, lying about you to others, and twisting situations to suit their desires.
The Love Central - Black couple arguing The Love Central - Black couple arguing

One of the most beautiful feelings in life is the experience of loving and being loved in return. However, many people find themselves in relationships they later regret entering. The warm and fuzzy emotions of affection can turn into feelings of animosity and pain. 

Most relationships become toxic because one or both partners are consistently mistreated. This mistreatment often involves emotional cruelty rather than physical abuse, which is typical of a narcissistic relationship. 

In this piece, we will cover:

  •  What is narcissism?
  •  What is narcissistic abuse?
  •  Signs of a narcissistic partner
  •  How to deal with a Narcissistic partner

What is Narcissism?

Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by a sense of self-importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. 

People with narcissistic personalities often believe they’re superior to others and deserve to be treated specially. They can be very charming and charismatic, but their relationships are often one-sided and lack emotional depth. People with narcissistic tendencies are often preoccupied with their success, power, and attractiveness.

It is important to note that anyone can exhibit some of these traits at times, but narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition that requires professional diagnosis and treatment. Individuals with NPD cannot help but display these behaviors at all times.

The Love Central - How to Deal With a Narcissistic Partner
Mistreatment can be subtly done<br>Image credit freepik

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse that stems from a relationship with someone with a narcissistic personality or strong narcissistic traits.

 Narcissistic abuse usually involves emotional abuse through put-downs, accusations, criticism, silent treatment, emotional manipulations, lying about you to others, and twisting situations to suit their desires.

This abuse occurs when a narcissist manipulates and mistreats people to have control over them, often creating a toxic environment full of emotional, sexual, or financial damage.

To determine whether you are in a narcissistic relationship, you need to be observant of your partner’s actions and how those actions affect you and make you feel. 

However, figuring out if you are in such a relationship may take time and may not always be straightforward. Mistreatment can be subtly done and occasionally masked by moments of affection. 

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be emotionally draining and can affect both your mental and physical health. It can make you second-guess your self-worth, cause low self-esteem, and cost you your sanity.

Signs of a Narcissistic Partner

Signs include but are not limited to:

1. Gaslighting: This refers to making a person distrust their views or believe they are mentally unstable when they are not. A narcissistic partner may use gaslighting phrases to manipulate, confuse, and doubt your self-worth.

2. Emotional and verbal abuse: Narcissists will often verbally or emotionally abuse their partner. Emotional abuse is meant to hurt you emotionally, and it may involve them constantly calling you names that tear you down—for instance, constantly calling you stupid, an idiot, etc.

3. Lack of empathy: Narcissists do not value emotions and struggle to understand how others feel or validate others’ feelings, as they are known to be self-centered.

4. Always playing the victim card: A narcissist will twist events to make themselves seem like the victim. They never take accountability for their actions and always blame others for their mistakes. Although narcissists may seem strong and dominant physically, when criticized, they play the victim and act helpless to get more attention.

5. Fragile self-esteem: One of the narcissistic traits is fragile self-esteem. Because they believe they are superior to others, they avoid criticism, as being criticized will hurt their fragile self-esteem.

6. A deep need for admiration: Narcissists will always seek praise and validation from everyone around them.

Strategies for Coping with a Narcissistic Partner

Most people are quick to throw the word “narcissist” around. However, it is important to know that there’s a fine line between being self-centered and selfish and having narcissistic personality disorder. 

Most people with the disorder are not fully aware of how they behave or the consequences these behaviors might have on others, and that’s one part of the disorder’s complexity. However, it is important to understand that you do not have to accept being treated in a way that might hurt you.

If you are looking for coping skills to deal with a narcissistic partner, here are some strategies to help:

The Love Central - How to Deal With a Narcissistic Partner
A narcissist will twist events to make themselves seem like the victim<br>Image credit freepik

1. Educate yourself on narcissism 

One of the best ways to protect yourself from the emotional rollercoaster that comes with a relationship with a narcissist is to understand the disorder. You can educate yourself about the disorder by reading about it and researching its symptoms and complexities.

This will help you develop empathy for them, make you immune to their abuse, and protect your feelings from getting hurt. Understanding the disorder will make you realize that nothing they do or say to you is personal.

2. Communicate how their actions affect you

Since narcissists have no feeling of empathy and revel in inflicting emotional wounds on their partners, it is important to voice your opinion. You can do this by talking to them about how their actions make you feel.

3. Set healthy boundaries

You can establish boundaries by clearly stating your likes and dislikes. Communicate what makes you comfortable and what makes you uncomfortable in a clear and specific manner.

4. Know when to leave the relationship

Sometimes, people are not afraid of losing their relationship. What they fear is being alone, so they remain in a toxic relationship because of the fear of loneliness.

Knowing when to leave a relationship is important. If you find yourself in a narcissistic relationship, be aware that there may come a time when you need to leave. Only make your decision to leave known when you are certain and do so accordingly.

5. Talk to a therapist

Speaking with a therapist after being in a toxic relationship can be very effective. Recovery from narcissistic abuse is a challenging process and may lead to feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem. If you are experiencing such feelings, seeking help from a counselor who specializes in assisting victims of narcissistic abuse may be beneficial.

Conclusion: Empower Yourself Through Understanding and Action

Many people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are often not fully aware of how their behavior affects those around them.

Although people often use the term “narcissist” casually when discussing relationships, it’s important to note that not everyone who exhibits some of these behaviors is necessarily narcissistic. NPD requires professional diagnosis and treatment, as it is considered a mental illness.

If you find yourself in a relationship with someone with NPD, understand that their behavior is not your fault. Don’t take their abuse to heart, as narcissists lack empathy and do not care about your emotions.

Learning about the illness is important; it will help you comprehend its complexity and build a support network with friends and family. Above all, seek the professional help of a therapist in extreme cases.

A ‘delusionship’ is a term used to describe the infatuation that you have for someone you don’t have an established relationship with

Read this article to know whether you are in a delusionship or not.

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