Everything You Need to Know About Narcissistic Love
Narcissism is a term used to describe a self-centered personality. Where a healthy amount of narcissism can prove beneficial to maintain a well-balanced personality, a greater percentage of narcissism can be unhealthy. A greater narcissistic tendency can lead to NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which includes believing that one is better than everybody else and needs to be treated as such. They are often unable to understand other people’s opinions and are quick to dismiss their problems. A typical narcissist would have:
- A grandiose sense of self-importance
- Fantasies of unlimited power, beauty, or ideal love
- Need and yearning for excessive and constant admiration
- A lack of empathy for others, their feelings, opinions, and problems
- A strong belief that they are special and can only be comprehended by other special people
- An arrogant and self-righteous attitude
- Unreasonable expectations of favors and compliance from those around them
What Does a Narcissistic Relationship Feel Like?
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can prove very challenging especially when you are not fully aware of this trait and the extent to which it can affect the relationship. The key tip to identifying a narcissistic relationship is to listen to your gut! For a fool-proof diagnosis, look out for these signs:
Manipulation: Although not directly implied, you constantly feel like if you do not do what is expected of you, things will end badly. This idea is instilled through subtle but continuous manipulative behaviors such that the person forgets what a manipulation-free world feels like. Manipulation can also be done through silent treatments which are used as tactics to guilt-trip you into doing what they like.
Gas-lighting: You are constantly made to believe things you know are untrue. This consists of lies, altered narratives, or invalidation of opinions and boundaries.
Criticism: A narcissistic partner may overly criticize you, especially when they feel like you have the center of attention, to put you back in your place.
Responsible for everything: You may feel like you alone are responsible for making or breaking this relationship.
Financial exploitation: Narcissists are rather good at using people financially for their own gains. You may find yourself completely responsible for financing the relationship, where the earnings of your partner are either non-existent or out-of-bounds.
Refusal to change: Despite having a conversation about your unfulfilled needs and their constant assurance, you never see a change.
Stages of a Narcissistic Relationship
A narcissistic relationship, also known as a narcissistic abuse cycle evolves through these 4 phases typically:
- Idealization: This phase is where the narcissists hook you to themselves by showering you with excessive love and admiration. They make you believe that this is the ideal relationship they have been waiting for their entire life.
- Devaluation: The idealization is soon followed by devaluation once you are completely drawn to them. In this phase, the narcissist partner will deceive you, blame you, guilt-trip you, and abuse you while making demands. This is balanced off by occasional love bombs that make you believe that they still care. Hence, you willingly let them devalue you.
- Discard: Once they have extracted all that they could from you, they get rid of you. Then they move on to another person who is considered an “upgrade” that would meet their ego and needs.
- Hoover: If the narcissist is not satisfied by your suffering or sadness, they will hoover in your life even after they have left you to ensure their dominance. If they are unable to control you, they may recruit other people to help them with the job.
Ways To Deal with a Narcissistic Relationship:
The most important step to combat narcissism is by studying and researching NPD at length to recognize the manipulative tactics. To improve the relationship, you can raise your self-esteem and extensively communicate about your needs to your narcissistic partner. This can be done independently or through the help of a therapist. Maintaining strict boundaries to safeguard your mental stability while staying calm and assertive in your demands can help them to take your views seriously. You can also convince the narcissist to seek help from a therapist because they would never initiate this step. In case the relationship is at a dead-end, it is best to prepare for a breakup. You can prepare for the breakup by building a support system, talking to a therapist, and reassuring yourself of your worth. Narcissism can be a hard trait to live with, but such relationships can be improved by studying, recognizing, and actively working around the toxic parts of it. For more information, updates, and blogs, visit our website https://247dct.org/.