When you’re in a relationship for a longer period of time, it may be hard to notice signs of narcissism. You may even ignore the red flags because you love this person, and think they’re just having a bad day. But it is important to know the signs and red flags of a narcissistic personality.
What is Narcissism?
Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and a need for admiration. Individuals with narcissism often believe they are superior to others and have little regard for the feelings or needs of others.
Narcissism can manifest in various ways, including grandiosity, a sense of entitlement, and an excessive need for attention and validation from others. Narcissistic personality disorder is a serious condition that can cause significant problems in relationships, work, and other areas of life.
What are Some Signs of Narcissistic Personality?
In order to know if you’re in a relationship with someone who is a narcissus you need to know what type of personality traits they have. Here are some symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include:
- An inflated sense of self-importance: Narcissistic individuals believe they are superior to others and have a strong need for admiration and validation.
- A lack of empathy: Narcissistic individuals often have difficulty understanding or caring about the feelings and needs of others.
- A sense of entitlement: Narcissistic individuals believe they deserve special treatment and may become angry or frustrated when they do not receive it.
- Preoccupation: with fantasies of power, success, and attractiveness.
- A tendency to exploit or manipulate others for personal gain.
- A tendency to exaggerate their achievements or talents
A belief that they are unique and special and that others cannot understand them.
What Could Cause Someone to be a Narcissus?
No one wakes up one day and says “ I want to be a narcissus.” So what causes people to become one? The exact cause of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and social factors.
- Genetics: Studies suggest that there may be a genetic component to NPD, as the disorder tends to run in families.
- Environmental factors: Childhood experiences, such as being excessively praised or overindulged, may contribute to the development of narcissistic traits. On the other hand, a traumatic childhood, such as experiencing abuse or neglect, may also increase the risk of developing NPD.
- Social and cultural factors: Some experts believe that cultural and societal attitudes that place a high value on success, power, and attractiveness may contribute to the development of narcissistic traits.
- Brain structure and function: Research suggests that there may be differences in the brain structure and function of individuals with NPD, particularly in the areas of the brain responsible for empathy, impulse control, and emotional regulation.
What Complications Could You Face Being in a Relationship with a Narcissus?
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be very challenging and can lead to a number of complications. It is important to notice these complications right away, so you can seek help immediately, as some of these can lead to major problems after long periods of time. Some of the most common complications include:
- Emotional abuse: Narcissists can be emotionally abusive and may use manipulation, criticism, and control to dominate their partner.
- Lack of empathy: Narcissists often have a lack of empathy and may be indifferent to their partner’s feelings and needs.
- Constant criticism: Narcissists may be highly critical and may find fault with their partner’s appearance, behavior, and accomplishments.
- Difficulty in communication: Narcissists may have difficulty understanding their partner’s perspective and may struggle to communicate effectively.
- Isolation: Narcissists may try to isolate their partner from friends and family, leaving them feeling lonely and dependent.
- Difficulty in trust: Narcissists may be dishonest and lack integrity, making it difficult for their partner to trust them.
- Inability to take responsibility: Narcissists may refuse to take responsibility for their actions and may blame their partner for any problems in the relationship.
- Constant need for attention and validation: Narcissists may require excessive attention and validation and may become jealous or possessive if their partner does not give them the attention they desire.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be draining and can have a negative impact on one’s mental and emotional health.
What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulation in which an individual makes their partner question their own sanity or reality. This is done by denying the partner’s perception of events, making them doubt their own memories, or manipulating them into believing that they are imagining things. Narcissists may use gaslighting as a way to maintain control and power in the relationship.
Some examples of gaslighting include:
- Denying that a specific event took place, even when the partner has clear evidence or recollection of it happening.
- Persistently lying or withholding information to make the partner doubt their own perception of reality.
- Changing the subject or deflecting responsibility when confronted with their actions.
- Playing mind games to make the partner feel confused and uncertain.
- Making the partner feel guilty or paranoid for questioning their behavior.
Gaslighting can have serious emotional and psychological consequences, including feelings of confusion, isolation, and self-doubt. It can also cause the victim to lose trust in themselves and others, making them more vulnerable to manipulation and control.
Narcissists may use gaslighting as a way to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, maintain control in the relationship, or manipulate their partner into doing what they want. They may also use it as a way to protect their own fragile ego and avoid feeling exposed or vulnerable.
How to Get Your Partner Help?
If you suspect that your partner is struggling with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), there are several steps you can take to help them get the help they need:
- Encourage them to seek professional help: Suggest that they see a mental health professional, such as a therapist or a psychiatrist, who can help them understand and manage their condition.
- Educate yourself about NPD: Learn as much as you can about NPD and the symptoms and behaviors associated with it. This will help you understand what your partner is going through and how to support them.
- Communicate openly and honestly: Be honest with your partner about how their behavior is affecting you and your relationship. Avoid blaming or accusing them, but instead express your concerns and feelings in a non-judgmental way.
- Be patient and understanding: Recovery from NPD can be a long and difficult process. Be patient with your partner and understand that change takes time.
- Take care of yourself: It’s important to take care of your own mental and emotional well-being when in a relationship with someone with NPD. Make sure you have a support system in place, whether it be friends, family, or a therapist, to help you cope with the challenges of the relationship.
- Encourage them to consider couples therapy: If you are still in a relationship and want to work on it, couples therapy may be helpful. A therapist can help your partner understand how their behavior is impacting the relationship and work on ways to improve communication and intimacy.
It’s important to remember that NPD is a complex disorder and that recovery is a long-term process. Your partner may not be willing to seek help or may not be ready to change their behavior. In those cases, it’s important to prioritize your own well-being and seek support for yourself.
How Eden By Enhance Can Help You and Your Partner
Now that you know the signs and red flags of narcissistic personality disorder, it is important to get help right away if your partner is struggling with any one of these symptoms or signs. We are here to help. We offer many types of therapy, including family therapy. It is vital that your feelings are valued while going through a relationship that involves NPD. Family therapy may be a great way of having your feelings and experiences validated if your partner does not want to hear you out directly. We also offer individual therapy, and medication management. Please call us today, do not wait to get yourself and your partner help.