If you’re in a relationship with a narcissistic person, you will know by the signs. A relationship like this will drain you.
The narcissistic relationship can be explained by first understanding what it is and where it comes from. Narcissism comes from a surprising place, and we all have some amount of narcissistic characteristics. This is normal. What is not normal, however, is acting at either drastic end of this spectrum. The place you want to, in order to have healthy relationships, is in the middle of this scale.
Narcissism – it can come from a long history of the obsessive love of self or vaulted self-image. But there is more to the narcissistic personality. Even in narcissism-fueled relationships, it’s not always clear where the origins of this trait come from. It just has so many roots, but these roots must be dissected. Trauma, neglect, and other origins – it’s hard to guess the culprit.
Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?
It’s devastating to realize that you’ve been in a narcissistic type of relationship. All those times of trying to please your partner and feeling guilty about things may have only been a narcissistic experience. Don’t feel bad because many people have been in this position. Well, it’s time to figure out if you are in this type of relationship after all.
Here are some signs:
Narcissists thrive off negativity. To gain attention, they will attempt to spread this negativity to others, informing them of events or situations that are horrific or complicated. If they cannot gain attention, for some reason, they will throw a tantrum or become too sensitive. They often bring up past wrongs to make you feel guilty as well.
The narcissist cannot take criticism well and will attempt to make you feel sorry for them. Yes, they can use negativity to play the victim. They judge people wrongly and blame others for their own problems. All these things are done in a negative light. I mean, you cannot expect them to be positive and do these things.
2. Quickly love/Quickly throw away
One trait that most people overlook is the basic way the narcissist loves. In a narcissistic marriage or relationship, the bond will start off strong. The narcissist will chase you and build you up, giving you wonderful compliments. They may shower you with gifts to show their love. Unfortunately, when they grow bored, they will start to change.
Although you may still receive gifts, they will slowly become less and less. This is because you no longer buy their lies. Ultimately, they decide to end the relationship. This is one of the worst acts of the narcissist because such highs and lows are extremely difficult for the narcissist’s victim.
3. Selfies, selfies, and more selfies
It’s perfectly okay to take a few pictures of yourself, but it’s not okay to overdo this. Narcissists will reveal in their relationships just how full of themselves they really are by trying to remain in the spotlight. It’s actually as if they have a fan club. They exude a confidence level that makes most people feel uncomfortable, and it starts with numerous, I mean multitudes of photos of themselves.
If you were to see their album on their phone, you would probably see hundreds of pictures of themselves, and yet, few of their friends or loved ones. Pay attention to this, and understand this is not a normal state of mind.
A real narcissist is controlling. This means if things don’t go their way, they become angry. They push until things are back the way they were when they felt comfortable. When narcissists are controlling they believe that their way is the best way and others should see things the way that they do.
The narcissist will often be told they are controlling, but yet, they will find a way to discount this statement. I have learned a few things about controlling behavior and this is one of them: being controlling is born from fear and a reluctance to change.
5. Playing the victim
A narcissistic and manipulative relationship will include one person who plays the victim. Yes, there are victims in this world, but using past traumas to justify present behavior is definitely playing the victim. People who do this will act out on their fears but will blame their abuser on the torment they go through now.
It’s sad, it’s heartbreaking, but narcissists cannot continue to play the victim, or they can never be healed. Yes, they were once abused, but projecting this abusive behavior on others is not the right thing to do.
Stages of the Narcissistic Relationship
Along with signs, there are phases that the relationship goes through. During these phases, a form of trust is developed and walls are taken down by the victim. That’s why this relationship dynamic is so hurtful and difficult to get away from. The phases are as follows.
1. The love phase
This first phase is not a bad one per se. Love is never a bad emotion to show and act upon. When a relationship starts between a narcissist and another, the narcissist will pour out huge amounts of love.
It will seem like a dream come true when you first meet a narcissistic person. This is what pulls you into the relationship and makes you start dreaming of a long future with this person.
2. The Change
Subtly and slowly things start to change in your relationship. Your mate will start to devalue you and make you feel like most things are your fault. Of course, the narcissist will not take credit for any wrongs they do during this time. They will become controlling, but just a little at a time until you’re spending less and less time with family and friends.
Then they will start to insult your appearance and tell you to change your hair or clothing style. This will be shocking because you remember how the first stage was.
3. Thrown away
After this, if you have served every purpose of the narcissistic plans in the relationship, you will be discarded. After you serve no purpose like financially or emotionally, especially if you’ve stopped stroking his ego, he will probably break up with you. This will hurt really bad, but it will be doing you a favor.
Now you can start to heal from the hurts of this narcissistic person who ruled the relationship. No, it will not be easy, and it will take some time, but it will be worth it in the end. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re out now, and this may help you have the strength to move on.
Do narcissistic relationships ever last?
Unfortunately, narcissistic styles of relationships never really work out for good. There are rare occasions, however. But even when you think things are changing, they’re probably not or they are temporary.
Usually, when dating or being married to a narcissist, you will experience a week or so of good times, followed by many weeks of toxic and terrible behavior. This pattern will continue dragging you down into depression.
I urge you to seek help if you think you could be in a narcissistic relationship. The longer you endure this, the worse the outcome for your self-esteem. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it. Support can help you see the truth of your relationship, and make the right decisions toward a better life.
- 6 Amazing Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children, Backed by Science - May 31, 2022
- Is My Marriage Over? 10 Ways to Know for Sure - April 4, 2021
- How to Not Be Clingy in a Relationship? 7 Annoying Behaviors to Avoid - February 22, 2021
Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new life-advancing articles!
This Post Has 8 Comments
I never really knew what a narcissist was but reading your articles it pegs the man that I was with her 5 years and I have to say I believe I was as pray for 15 years prior to that it was the worst final five years I’ve ever had in my life he ended up planting drugs on my premises and calling the police I ended up doing long-term treatment in Department of Corrections and I do believe he will still try to contact me
It would actually be called a narcissistic disorder, and he could be. If you are going to jail because of him, this has gone beyond narcissism. You need a support system so you can feel safe.
This article interested me enough to read and proved to be highly accurate. I hope that, even if it’s only person, someone suffering but unaware of their situation was able to stumble upon this article and realize from it what they were contending with so they could be spared the very real debilitation of depressing
I, however, could only agree in retrospect and make comparisons to my similar but very different related situation. I would be over joyed to read something from the author about how to deal with very different nature of relationship with a narcissist that’s also extremely likely to be detrimental psychology, as it has been for me. It’s more complicated because it can and probably always does involve more dynamics and between more parties than that of abuser and victim. Being in a FAMILY RELATIONSHIP WITH A NARCISSIST, especially between siblings, can not only be draining snd brutally painful but can also go on for far longer. Because it’ll almost certainly happen, likely even most severely, during the important developmental stage the damage can be staggering.
In my case it was with an older brother but every member of the family was involved in different ways to create opportunities for or in ways even contribute to narcissist based abuse. I suspect the older/younger sibling relationship is actually the most common form of depression causing abusive relationship with a narcissist.
I’ve been lucky in succeeding to overcome it and even felt like it was finally over just to be debilitated again at an older age by the same persons narcissistic actions. Because the abuser is tied by blood the victimization can go on for lfe. And just as the first article says all people can and will be different level of narcassit, someone who’s been dealing with this for many years in a large and close family can feel trapped in a cycle of spiraling depression.
Request: an article on narcissistic family relationships
Sorry for such a late response. I will just say this: No matter who is causing the abuse, at some point, you may have to isolate yourself from them. This doesn’t mean you don’t love them, it just means you’re being kind to yourself, and you should be. I had certain issues with my family but they were a bit different. Either way, there are some people in my family that I cannot go around to protect myself. Thank you for your request, I will keep it in mind too, considering there are so many angles in which this problem surfaces.
Call them on it everytime..give it right back to them.
Yes, make sure they know that you know. They may not immediately stop, but over time, they will start to see it, or acknowledge it. They want you to believe the lies, and they see it’s not working if you’re constantly showing them the lies. Just be careful because some people get violent when confronted.
Mir ging es wie dir! Narzistische Mutter und narzistischer Bruder. Haben beide gemeinsame Sache gegen mich gemacht. Nachdem beide meine Notgelder, die ich bei meiner Mutter gespart hatte, von mir gestohlen haben, konnte ich mich endlich, mich mein Leben verfolgende schmerzhaften Erfahrungen mit Gosthing, Lügen, Beleidigungen, aus der Beziehung von meiner Mutter und Bruder lösen.
Danach merkte ich das erste Mal in meinem Leben, wie leicht es mir um mein Herz wurde.
Verlasse die Menachen, die dir weh tun und dich nicht wertschätzen und die dich beleidigen und runter machen! Auch wenn sie zu deiner Familie oder “Freundeskreis” gehören.
Es lohnt sich, gesund zu werden!
Maria aus Deutschland
Great article, well written and relatable.
A narcissist’s favorite tool also, silent treatment. It’s deliberate emotional abuse, especially when that behavior is called out, explained as a source of pain and torment (which did cause tantrums and the “you’re too sensitive”), but then is used with greater frequency and duration as a tool to punish.
Time for me to wish my best and say farewell, as hard as it will be, but hopefully empowering and liberating, in time… if I am allowed, listened to or she doesn’t say it prior, which I’m kind of expecting.
The only statement you wrote that I had any contention with was;
“After you serve no purpose like financially or emotionally, especially if you’ve stopped stroking his ego, he will probably break up with you.”.
Narcissism is unisex… the empathic one can be the guy and where I am from, often is.
Thank you for writing this article, it has definitely highlighted a few ideals, actions and solutions I thought were right, but I was wrong and require a rethink in order to do less harm, to her mostly, when the inevitable shortly happens.