Narcissist in a relationship: how can I take care of myself?

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Narcissist in a relationship: how can I take care of myself?

No relationship can always be harmonious. It is perfectly normal for disagreements to arise from time to time in our lives together. Has it ever happened to you that you have called your partner a narcissist in an argument? However, you should be careful with this statement. A "real" narcissist does not feel any kind of empathy and can really drain you mentally.

But how can you find out whether your partner has narcissistic personality traits? And how should you deal with it, if this should really be the case? We would like to explain this to you step by step in the following article.

Narcissist Relationship: How do narcissists behave in relationships?

That a Relationship to a narcissist can be energy-sapping to grueling is common knowledge. Why then does anyone enter into a relationship with a narcissist at all? At the beginning of a relationship, narcissists are extremely charming and accommodating. Accordingly, they are not recognizable as such.

They only show their true colors when they have already become emotionally attached to their partner. Then they begin to systematically devalue him in order to protect their own Self-esteem increase. However, the latter is often not done offensively, but very subtly. This can be, for example, double-edged compliments that contain a hidden insult.

Furthermore, narcissists are true artists in the field of distorting facts. They bend the truth so that they are always in the right. They do this so skillfully that their partners begin to doubt themselves. No matter what the issue is, the narcissist always behaves correctly in his view and everyone else is basically to blame.

Narcissist Relationship: Definition and Main Characteristics of Narcissistic Personalities

Narcissistic personality disorder is one of the psychosomatic illnesses. However, those affected would never think of calling themselves ill. Quite the opposite: The main characteristic of a narcissist is his profound Feeling of superiority. However, the exaggerated self-esteem is disproportionate to his actual achievements and talents.

People with narcissistic personality disorder think of themselves as great and are downright addicted to admiration. Due to their distorted self-image, they expect to be treated preferentially in every area of life and in every situation. Their world of thoughts is characterized by fantasies of boundless success and power.

If the expected confirmation from their fellow human beings fails to materialize, this can plunge the narcissist into deep depression or trigger aggression. Another typical feature of narcissistic personality disorder is the inability to empathize with other people's feelings. Narcissists are incapable of empathy and also consider it a waste of time to listen to others.

Let's briefly summarize the main features of narcissistic personality disorder again:

Narcissist relationship: 9 signs

  1. exaggerated self-esteem and ego-centeredness
  2. arrogant and arrogant behavior
  3. Desire for admiration without corresponding achievement
  4. Thoughts constantly revolve around success, power and beauty.
  5. deliberate exploitation of other people
  6. Inability to empathize
  7. manipulative behaviour
  8. Request for preferential treatment
  9. The narcissist wants to surround himself only with people who have a certain status.
Narcissistic personality

Narcissist Relationship: Why are narcissists so charming and attractive?

As mentioned at the beginning, narcissism is anything but obvious at the beginning of a relationship. Since narcissists attach great importance to their self-presentation, they usually appear very attractive to potential partners. This refers not only to their often very well-groomed appearance, but also to their extrovert Personality.

Narcissists are eloquent and know how to impress their fellow human beings. In principle, this would be considered a positive quality if the focus were not exclusively on one's own advantage. At the beginning of a relationship, narcissists also slip into the role of the understanding listener. However, they maintain the facade only until they have lost their goal have achieved.

At first glance, the narcissist is therefore an open, eloquent and attractive personality. To recognize the manipulative streak right away is very difficult or hardly possible.

Interesting to know: The University of Münster has a Long-term study on the topic of "narcissist relationships". This confirms that narcissists appear more attractive at first sight than other potential partners.

Narcissist relationship: What typical behavior patterns should I look out for?

Is the mask of the Charm you can easily recognize a narcissist by his self-centeredness. Narcissists always want to outdo everyone else. For example, if you tell your partner about a special experience in your life, he will surely have a story of his own that surpasses yours.

Also, you should know that the narcissist will do anything to get his much needed affirmation. If you do not admire him to the extent that your narcissistic partner would like, he will punish you with withdrawal of love. Another phenomenon in narcissistic relationships is permanent control. A narcissist is not capable of trust.

The latter is largely due to the fact that narcissists themselves act dishonestly and manipulatively. They use people - including their partners - to stabilize their own ego. To this end, any means is fine with them. They lie or play people off against each other in order to assert their own interests. In addition, they twist the truth in their favor in the event of a dispute.

Narcissist relationship: What effects does a narcissistic partner have on one's psyche?

In a relationship with a narcissist, there is a very typical pattern: In his eyes, he is great and superior to you in every way. Accordingly, he "must" tell you what to do and what not to do so that your life together runs smoothly. If you address the paternalism, the narcissist will reply that he only means well with you.

To be treated like an underage child by one's own partner is self-explanatory, and it scratches one's itch considerably. Self-confidence and self-esteem. If you actually fail at something, the narcissistic partner will take this as an opportunity to emphasize his superiority and your supposed inability. This can lead so far that you actually believeYou feel that you can no longer cope in life without your partner.

Most often, narcissists choose partners who already have a low self-esteem beforehand. Such people are easily impressed by the initial attentions of narcissists and later lack the necessary self-confidence to break away from the toxic partnership.

Narcissist relationship: influence on later partnerships

With a narcissist a Relationship to leadThis has not only temporary, but often longer-term consequences. Depending on how traumatic the experiences within the narcissistic relationship have been, you may find it difficult to trust other potential partners again.

Furthermore, if the narcissist has massively oppressed and devalued you, it is possible that you will see his attempts at manipulation as a Beliefs internalized. If your self-confidence is destroyed, a negative self-fulfilling prophecy is set in motion: If you believe that you can't do anything and can't find a loving partner, you will most likely have experiences that confirm this belief.

Co-dependency in relationships with narcissists: patterns and consequences.

When it comes to the topic of "narcissist relationship", the topic of co-dependency plays an important role. In relation to narcissists, however, this does not refer to addiction, but to emotional abuse.

You as a partner become a "co-narcissist." This means that you are completely isolated from your previous environment and feel dependent on your narcissistic partner. This process proceeds insidiously according to a certain pattern:

Phase 1: Love Bombing

In the getting-to-know-you phase, the narcissist is extremely attentive, loving, and virtually showers you with expressions of affection. You fall in love and euphorically enter into a relationship with the supposed dream man or woman.

Phase 2: Retreat

If the narcissist is sure of your affection, he will gradually withdraw from you. You can't explain the behavior and look for the fault in yourself. You may try with all your might to make the narcissist happy so that the relationship will be as romantic as it was in the getting-to-know-you phase.

Phase 3: Devaluation

In this phase, the narcissist shows his true colors. You have already become so emotionally attached to him that you take his hurtful remarks and behaviors to heart. This lowers your self-confidence and self-esteem. Also typical is a perpetrator-victim reversal. This means that the narcissist blames you for the fact that he treats you in a degrading way.

Phase 4: The On/Off phase

You are now completely mentally exhausted and become the narcissist's plaything. Sometimes he breaks up, sometimes he comes back: the on/off phase is very grueling. Although you suffer a lot, you do not manage to draw a final line.

Phase 5: The end of the relationship

It is possible that the pressure of suffering will become so great that you will seek help and manage to toxic relationship to end. However, it is also possible that your narcissistic partner leaves you without any warning. The latter causes a lot of pain due to the emotional dependency severe heartbreak. Either way, ultimately the end of a narcissistic relationship is a liberation.

How can I deal with a narcissistic partner?

Basically, you cannot change a narcissist. Unless your partner recognizes his manipulative and cocky behavior, no change is to be expected. In general, it is extremely rare for narcissists to show insight into their illness. The focus, therefore, is on what you can do to make it you better: keyword self-care and setting limits.

Self-care means that you have to be aware of your own Needs and fulfill them. Sometimes even small changes are enough to help you resist narcissistic Manipulation of your partner. Self care and Self-confidence are mutually dependent. The more self-confident you are, the easier it will be for you to set limits.

But what can self-care look like in concrete terms? This already starts with making sure that you have enough Sleephealthy diet and plenty of exercise. Furthermore, you should be aware of Time for activities that bring you joy and relax you. This can be, for example, a social evening with friends, a trip to the sea or simply a relaxing bath.

Stay or go: Does the relationship with a narcissist make any sense at all?

At this point we can be brief: Provided that no honest insight about the narcissistic disorder exists, the relationship with a narcissist has none Sense. It is extremely rare for a narcissist to realize that he has a problem.

Where can I find help and support if my partner is a narcissist?

First of all, it is important that you do not place the blame on yourself if you are trapped in a narcissistic relationship. Narcissists are skilled manipulators who only gradually reveal their true colors.

Ideally, you will manage to confide in someone close to you. In the next step, you can look for self-help groups together, if you wish. The exchange with other affected people can be very healing.

In order to end a narcissistic relationship and heal the wounds caused by this experience, therapeutic help is useful. You can obtain the relevant addresses from your health insurance company.


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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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