For those who are in an unhealthy or difficult relationship, your partner may be the cause of your issues. In many cases, the individual can be narcissistic, which can significantly impact your well-being and state of mind. You may have developed insecurities in the relationship or feel emotionally abused by the individual.
Some of the most common signs of a narcissistic partner include a superiority or an entitlement that they carry. They may also have a lack of empathy and need to control or always strive for perfectionism, making the relationship unbalanced and can lead to unhappiness. If you’re ready to leave the relationship, there are a few critical steps to take.
What is a narcissistic personality disorder?
Those first months of your relationship were great, but now you’re seeing things in your partner you didn’t notice at first. Their extreme selfishness, aggressiveness, and desire for praise seem out of the ordinary. You may wonder why you didn’t notice these characteristics before this.
Narcissist personality disorder (NPD) is a condition where a person has an over-inflated view of themselves combined with an extreme need for admiration and lack of empathy for others. Those who have NPD are often unhappy, disappointed individuals with few real friends or relationships.
Don’t be surprised if you didn’t observe your partner’s classic narcissistic tendencies because narcissists are very charming at first. You may have been drawn to your partner’s self-confidence and charismatic personality. Many narcissists appear at first to be self-assured, warm, and funny. They are often attractive and very competent. First impressions of narcissists usually fade after a while as you see their true nature and tendencies.
What causes NPD?
Doctors aren’t sure of NPD’s exact cause, but it’s thought that these things could contribute to this condition.
- Childhood maltreatment or abuse
- Hypersensitivity to noise, light, or textures as a child
- Overprotective parenting
Recent studies determined that that individual with NPD had one common experience: overly protective parents. Researchers now think parental overvaluing is a bigger factor than understood before.
In the same studies, it was found that these individuals were overprotected with lenient parental discipline as kids. The overvaluing by parents reinforced the sense of entitlement so common in individuals with NPD. Other things that contribute to the NPD disorder include
- Overprotection: Parents seek to prevent the child from failure or perceived dangers
- Oversensitivity to the needs of a child: Parents cater to every whim and need of their child has
- Helicopter parenting: Parent gives exaggerated attention to their child’s every experience or problems they encounter.
- No rules or boundaries for the child: Parent’s cave into the child, never enforcing rules
- Overinflated view of the child’s ability: Parents overly emphasize how intelligent, athletic or talented their child is
- Never correct their child’s bad behavior: Parents turn a blind eye to the child’s bad behavior making excuses for their actions.
What are the signs of a narcissist?
A person width NPD has every area of their life affected by the disorder. They have problems relating to others at work, at home, and school. Someone with a narcissistic personality will display signs, such as these behaviors:
- An exaggerated view of themselves
- Overstate their accomplishments and talents, rarely achieves what they brag they’ve done.
- Strong sense of entitlement
- Needs constant praise and admiration
- Feel superior to others
- Enamored with success, beauty, and power
- Want to hang out only with those they feel have beauty, success, or power
- Control conversations
- Mock, bully, and name anyone they feel isn’t as special as they are
- Hate to have people disagree with them
- Take advantage of others.
- Must win, they will cheat to get what they want.
- Have little empathy for others can’t relate to other’s emotions.
- Envious of others assume others envy them.
- Arrogant and haughty
- Boastful, conceited
- They expect the best of everything: house, clothing, cars, and job.
- Angry and impatient, especially if they’re not getting what they want
- Need praise and acknowledgment
- Play the victim if they feel anyone is disloyal to them
More serious side effects of NPD include the following indicators:
- Can’t control their emotions or behavior
- Can’t handle stress or change. They don’t adapt easily.
- Depression, moodiness, and feeling disappointed by life
- Hidden feelings of guilt and insecurity
- Feel humiliated and shame
Are there other complications of NPD?
Narcissistic personality disorder causes many difficulties in a person’s life, including these things:
- Depression: Narcissists are unhappy people. They suffer moodiness and anxiety.
- Addictive behaviors such as drug use, alcoholism: They’ve prone to anxiety and stress-related problems.
- Suicidal thoughts-Self harm is common for those who suffer from NPD.
- Physical health issues-Heart problems, stomach problems like ulcers, and weight grain
- Difficulty functioning at work or school-Can’t self govern well. Not used to boundaries or rules. Rule breakers.
- Relational problems in the family causing divorce-Narcissists never get over their divorce. They blame the breakup for the marriage on the other person, never admitting their contribution to the troubled marriage.
Here’s how to leave a narcissistic partner:
You tried, but you cannot salvage this relationship. Here are tips for when it is time to say goodbye.
1. Establish Boundaries
If your partner has a narcissistic personality disorder, you may be used to not feeling respected or allowing them to take control of different situations. They may be the one who makes decisions in the relationship or determines your future together. When you break up with your partner, you can expect them to do what they can to change your mind or convince you that you’re making the wrong decision. You’ll need to establish boundaries to protect yourself and prevent them from convincing you to go back to the relationship.
In some cases, you may need to block their phone number or avoid seeing them until you no longer have feelings for them or aren’t tempted to get back together. Zero contact is important in the first few months or year after you break up because you’re in a vulnerable position where you can easily be lured back in with validation from your ex-partner. You’ll need to take on the mental state of pretending that they never existed and spend time with family members or friends to stay distracted.
You may need to say no to them and stand your ground to ensure that you aren’t prone to returning. Make it a point to look towards the future and know that something better is coming to ensure that you don’t feel like the individual is what you deserve.
2. Process Your Feelings
Ending a relationship with a narcissistic partner can be emotionally challenging and difficult to move on from once you break up with the individual. Allow yourself to process your feelings to ensure that you can heal and stand firm in your decision and avoid anxiety or stress during the transition. You’ll also need to shift your thoughts and stop thinking about the abuse you endured, making it easy to live in the past. Instead, think about what you want for your future and begin making goals that allow you to look forward to meeting new people or returning to your hobbies or passions. Without processing your feelings, it can be easy to return to the relationship or find another narcissistic partner to date.
3. Build a Social Network
Building a social network of friends is necessary to avoid feeling alone or isolated after ending your relationship. Make it a point to stay busy and have fun, which will allow you to think less about your ex and enjoy your time with other people. You may want to join a gym or find dance classes to take where you’ll have an easier time meeting other people and forming relationships with people who treat you better.
Making connections online in Facebook groups or online forums will also prove effective in ensuring that you can find people in the local area.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
Being kind to yourself is necessary to break free from your partner if they have a narcissistic personality disorder. You’ll need to forgive yourself for allowing them to treat you poorly and for remaining in the relationship. Practice self-talk, which will build yourself up and allow you to have more confidence in who you are as an individual. Allow it to be a learning lesson that teaches you how to choose healthier relationships and to avoid being controlled or emotionally abused again.
5. Don’t Practice Honesty
Although honesty is important when you’re in a relationship with a healthy individual, breaking up with a narcissist will require a different approach to prevent them from becoming defensive or manipulative. Act like the decision is best for both of you and don’t make it a big deal. Avoid assigning blame to prevent it from turning into conflict.
Breaking up with a narcissistic is never an easy process but can allow you to break free of the relationship with the right tips followed. By standing your ground and understanding that you deserve more, it’ll be easier to move on with your life and avoid looking back.
Can a narcissist change?
Maybe. Usually, it’s not a matter of not being able to change for the person with NPD, but they feel threatened by it. Their personhood is tied to their narcissism. They feel like being like this is necessary and protects them. This person surrounds themself with people around them who make them feel important and necessary. They like being the center of attention. Because they fear people and a failed reputation, they often move on to other people or situations where they can gain newfound acceptance and praise. This helps them hide their flaws.
A narcissist may change some of the poor relational patterns. They will never totally lose their narcissistic ways, but they may be willing to yield a bit and shift to a less rigid sort of personality. The identity is so wrapped up in being a narcissist that it can be tough for them to let go of these characteristics.
Final Thoughts: Be careful throwing around terms like a narcissist
When it comes to narcissism, you must never jump to conclusions about people at work, school, or in your family as having a narcissist personality disorder. Everyone has their quirky ways. You can have narcissistic tendencies without having NPD. It takes psychiatrists years to evaluate and diagnose a person looking at their childhood and entire life to be sure they’re getting an accurate understanding of them. Since you can’t do that, it’s important to be slow to judge people.