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First, we want to acknowledge how challenging it is to be in a relationship with someone who is a narcissist or who has narcissistic behaviors. This blog is meant to provide reflection and tools to identify narcissistic behaviors of relating to others, as well as things to consider if you think you are dating a narcissist. Relationships are hard -- but relationships with a narcissist can feel borderline impossible. If your partner struggles with Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPDthey may have an inflated sense of self-importance and a need for attention that becomes overwhelming in your relationship.
Someone who has been diagnosed with NPD may have little regard for other people's feelings, making them challenging partners to be in a relationship with. When you're dating a narcissist, you may suffer from emotional abuse, manipulation and a lack of long-term commitment.
Does this remind you of your romantic relationship? Here's how to tell if you might be dating a narcissist -- and what to do about it if you are dating one. So, think you might be dating a narcissist? If you suspect your partner may have NPD, you may recognize some of the following characteristics in their behavior:. They are condescending and believe they are better than others. They engage in excessive attempts to seek attention and admiration from others. They may set unrealistically high goals based on an inflated sense of their own performance, or hold themselves to low standards due to a sense of entitlement.
They are excessively attuned to others' reactions when it comes to themselves, but they have an impaired ability to empathize with other people. Their relationships are largely superficial and serve to boost their self-esteem. If your partner has NPD, these traits will likely manifest themselves in your relationship.
For example, a narcissistic partner might be overly critical of you, fail to value you or seek excessive attention from you in your relationship. Dating a narcissist can take a toll on your self-esteem. Your partner may engage in gaslighting behavior, making you feel you are crazy or forgetful; sabotage your relationship or other friendships; turn all the blame in the relationship towards you; or even deliver intense praise, followed by verbal abuse.
All of these experiences can make you begin to doubt your own reality and start to wonder if the problem is you, rather than your partner. So, what should you do if you suspect your partner suffers from NPD? Because NPD can take such a difficult toll on your self-esteem, it's important that you consider if this is the type of relationship you want to be in, since staying in any relationship is a choice you need to make for yourself. There are two ways you can do this: encouraging your narcissistic partner to seek help for their NPD or leaving the relationship altogether.
It's important not to stay in a relationship with a narcissist because you feel obligated to "fix" them. However, if you decide to stay in the relationship, you should make it clear to your partner that you will not tolerate their narcissistic behaviors and that they should seek help for their NPD. Treatment for NPD typically consists of long-term, intensive therapy that will allow your partner to come to grips with how their disorder has impacted their life and prevented them from reaching their full potential.
You may also consider couples' therapy in addition to individual therapy for your partner's NPD since their personality disorder affects you as well as them. Involving loved ones like you in the healing process will help your partner see how their NPD has negatively affected others in their life and understand the true ramifications of their behavior. Leaving a narcissist can feel difficult, especially since they are often charming and will shower you with praise to make up for their negative behaviors.
Still, for many people, leaving a toxic, narcissistic relationship is the best option. When leaving a narcissist, it may be best to avoid contacting your ex following the relationship. That person may try to guilt you into taking the blame for the breakup or tell you what you want to hear so you will get back together for them. Taking space from that person will allow you to repair your self-esteem and get back in touch with what you really want in a relationship. You may miss your narcissistic partner at first -- and that is completely normal. Even if your partner was emotionally and verbally abusive, you may have formed a deep attachment to them in the trauma of your relationship that can make it more difficult to leave them behind.
Seeking help from a qualified therapist who can support you during the healing process may make it easier to recover from the fallout of the relationship. Life by De Therapy was founded out of the need for diverse professionals who reflect the makeup of our Bay Area communities. Our therapists are dedicated to creating a safe and healing space to help individuals, couples, teens and families connect, grow, and heal.
We believe every person deserves to feel a sense of safety, trust, and connection in their lives without shame or guilt. Our primary focus is on helping our clients increase their physical and emotional awareness, heal from painful experiences, connect with their deepest desires and and enhance their relationships.
We have physical offices in Downtown Berkeley and Hilltop Richmond and offer telehealth online therapy for anyone located in California. Thank you! The Mind-Body Toolkit is heading to your inbox! Therapy Individual Therapy. Couples Therapy.
Child and Teen Therapy. Anxiety Therapy. Depression Therapy. Online Therapy. About Our Therapists. We're Hiring. Get Started. s of Narcissistic Personality Disorder So, think you might be dating a narcissist? Encouraging Your Partner to Seek Help It's important not to stay in a relationship with a narcissist because you feel obligated to "fix" them.
Leaving a Narcissistic Relationship Leaving a narcissist can feel difficult, especially since they are often charming and will shower you with praise to make up for their negative behaviors. Life by De Therapy.
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10 s You're Dating a Narcissist