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We may jokingly say that someone who's posting lots of flex pics or selfies on their social media is a narcissist.
However, someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) suffers from a mental health condition.
You'll know someone has NPD because they'll have a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, a lack of empathy for others, and an inflated sense of importance.
Essentially, this means that the person is extremely selfish at others' expense because they can't consider their feelings.
Since NPD is a spectrum disorder, not everyone acts the same.
So, you may wonder if you have a narcissist in a relationship with you.
Of course, you may not come right out and ask yourself this, but you may look at the relationship and wonder if it's sustainable for the long term.
Here are a few things you should look for.
When you start dating a narcissist, they'll make you feel great (e.g., text you constantly, tell you they love you right away, overemphasize how compatible you are).
This is because they believe they deserve to be with other people who are special because they're the only ones who can fully appreciate them.
However, when you do something that disappoints them, they'll quickly turn on you and you may not even fully understand why since it mainly has to do with them.
When you're with a narcissist in a relationship, you'll find that they love to talk about their achievements a lot.
This is because they want to feel better and smarter than everyone else.
They also want to look self-assured, so they're willing to embellish their talents and exaggerate their accomplishments.
However, they never stop talking.
When you get a chance to talk about yourself, they won't engage with you.
A narcissist in a relationship will act like they're really self-confident.
If you don't give them a lot of praise, they'll seek it out because they constantly need to hear how great they are.
This shows that they aren't self-confident at all.
Another sign that they aren't as self-confident as they'd like to present themselves as is how frequently they put other people down.
A hallmark sign that you have a narcissist in a relationship is that they can't feel empathy or sympathy.
They can't make you feel validated, seen, accepted, or understood.
This is the main reason most of their relationships fail.
Initially, it may feel like they're teasing you, but eventually, you'll see they're being mean.
Eventually, the teasing becomes constant because they want to lower your self-esteem and increase their own so they feel powerful.
When you start reacting to this behavior, it only serves to reinforce it since they see that they have the power to affect you emotionally.
This is important to them because they want you to know you're no better than them.
After all, they want to believe that nobody is any better than them.
While there are many reasons why people don't want to label their relationship when you're with a narcissist in a relationship, it's because they want to be in control.
They want you to treat them as a partner so they can reap all the benefits, but they also want to keep their prospects open.
Many times, they won't even hide the fact that they're flirting with or looking at other people.
When you speak up, they'll say you're causing a fuss, acting crazy, or being disrespectful.
They'll then use this as a reason not to commit to a relationship with you.
Unfortunately, this sends the message that you don't deserve respect.
Clearly, this is a lose-lose situation.
It feels impossible to fight with a narcissist in a relationship.
You can't debate with them or make compromises because they believe they're always right.
Therefore, when you get into a disagreement with them, they'll make you feel crazy because they think it's time for them to teach you their truths.
The best thing you can do is to not fight back.
It's also important to note here that when you're with a narcissist in a relationship, they'll never apologize.
When they're obviously at fault, they still won't admit it.
As soon as you break up with a narcissist, they'll work even harder to stop you from leaving them.
They'll try to say all the right things to make you think they've changed.
However, it won't take long before you see they haven't ever changed.
When you decide that you no longer want to be with a narcissist in a relationship they'll want to hurt you because you've "abandoned" them.
This is because you've severely bruised their ego.
Now that they feel wronged, they'll rage against you by bad-mouthing you or trying to steal your friends.
They may also immediately start dating someone else.
Whatever they do, their goal is to make you feel jealous while building their ego up.
This is because their desire to have a good reputation is so strong that they won't let anyone or anything interfere with it.
When you're with a narcissist in a relationship, the best thing you can do is end it.
However, expect the narcissist to harass you.
Therefore, you want to have some support when you put an end to things.
If you need this support, contact us to set up an appointment with one of our therapists.
They'll be there to stand with you as you work through everything, so reach out to them today.
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