Loving someone who’s got narcissistic tendencies or has been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder can be painful. The challenges you face when in a relationship with a narcissist are much different from the usual couple problems. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it work.
A narcissist can seem alluringly confident at first but come off as arrogant over time. According to a study, narcissists usually outperform others because of their resilience and determination. Some signs of narcissism include:
- Feelings of entitlement
- Inflated ego
- Inconsiderate of other’s needs and feelings
- Belittling others
- Angry, impatient, and moody
All of these characteristics make it difficult to live with a narcissist. You might even be an unknowing victim of narcissistic abuse because of behaviors like gaslighting, manipulation, isolation, lying, and name-calling.
Here’s how you can deal with a narcissistic partner:
The only person whose behavior that you can control is yourself. Waiting and hoping for your partner to turn over a new leaf or start empathizing with your struggles enough to change is just setting yourself up for disappointment and further heartbreaks. It’s not easy for narcissists to recognize their behavior due to their low self-esteem and struggles with taking responsibility.
It might seem unfair that you have to make a majority of the changes, but it’s one of the main requirements if you have decided to work on your relationship.
Recognize their triggers
Narcissists tend to lash out and react negatively towards others when their own insecurities are triggered. Their rage and false confidence are a front to avoid dealing with their feelings, and their belittling may be an attempt to feel better about themselves.
If you learn what triggers them, you can avoid those topics or mentally prepare yourself for the aftermath.
Build up your self-esteem
If you choose to stay with your partner throughout emotional and verbal abuse cycles, building up a strong sense of self-esteem is vital for your mental health. Your partner’s behavior may feel like a roller-coaster—uplifting and charming when they feel like it, and making you feel bad about yourself without an ounce of remorse the next day.
You can’t count on your partner to help you build your confidence up because of their inherent sense of superiority. Separate his opinions from your sense of self and have a good support circle.
Meeting with a certified life & relationship coach can be very helpful. Often, victims of narcissistic abuse find it difficult to recognize that their partner’s behaviors are unacceptable. You might even be second-guessing yourself and wondering if you’re making a big deal out of nothing.
Freda R. Wilson is an experienced pastor and life coach who can help you identify strategies for leaving a relationship or provide relationship coaching sessions for you and your partner in San Diego.
Contact her now to enroll in her one-on-one coaching sessions.