Are you living with a narcissist?
How do you know if you are living with a narcissist?
So what is a narcissist?
Before you can determine if you are living with a narcissist, we need to know exactly what one is.
Narcissist – are passive-aggressive and engage in subtle but consistent acts of hostile behaviour & insults while disregarding other people’s feelings. They often have an excessive interest in themselves and believe the world owes them, never the other way around. Empathy is not a trait they possess but instead have an exaggerated level of superiority.
What are the traits to look for when living with a narcissist?
- Self-importance – a narcissist has an exaggerated level of superiority over others. They often believe they are unique and deserve more than everyone else. It is more than just a little arrogance or being vain, it’s a belief they are more superior and therefore deserve more. A narcissist will often exaggerate their achievements, earnings and talents to prove to the world just how superior they are.
- Recognition – a narcissist requires constant praise and boosting of their ego to feel comfortable, so they surround themselves with people who are easily led. In a relationship, they attract empathetic people who they feel they can manipulate and control. Recognition of the other person in the relationship is rarely given but if done, it often has an ulterior motive.
- Intimidate & bully – narcissists fear what they believe they do not have and will intimidate others to remain in control. They are often extremely dismissive to those who have traits they desire – such as confidence, to prove to themselves and others that they do not care for the person. Another way to remain in control is to bully other people with insults or threats to remain superior. In a relationship, this is done to weaken their partner and make them rely on the narcissistic person even more.
- Lack of empathy – A narcissist often views the people in their life as objects or someone they possess or own. They will not hesitate to use shame or guilt to keep control and their agenda as a top priority. The narcissists always want the attention, so in a relationship, if the partner is not being submissive enough or getting too much attention from elsewhere, shame is a tactic often used.
How to protect yourself from a narcissist?
The first thing you need to understand is a relationship with a narcissist is more times than not – one-sided. A narcissist doesn’t think twice about how you may be feeling, using your possessions or going through your mail or sharing their opinion regardless of the situation. It’s when you begin to understand how they behave then you have the opportunity to decide what it means to you. Are you willing to live in a relationship where it is primarily one-sided? Are you comfortable with their perfectionist way knowing this is very difficult to change? There is no right or wrong answer here as the choice is always what suits you and whether this life is serving you?
If you are willing to protect yourself to keep the relationship, here are a few ways:
- Don’t take what they do personally – it’s about them not you.
- Narcissists reality is just that – their reality. Don’t use their self-image of you as your own. Have your own strong sense of self-image and have other people around you who support that.
- Try not to attack them as they will go to all lengths to win, lengths most people would never dream of. Disagree but do not attack.
- Practice being kind to yourself. This is so important to build a strong mental health. You do not need to gain approval from them if you already approve of yourself.
- Have a support group who really know you. A narcissist knows the words to say to manipulate but if you are doubting yourself or their words, ask your support group to clarify. Remeber most narcissists have a different, more unique reality than everyone else.
Mastering challenging relationships can be done when you decide what it all means. You cannot control the other person so stop trying. You can control your thoughts so you decide what everything means – not them. The way you think affects the way you feel and your emotional state always influences the actions (or lack of actions) you take in life.
Remember – if it’s an important relationship, it requires work – sometimes hard work. But every relationship worth keeping is also worth the work!!!
Linking with Kylie for #IBOT