Disagreements are often normal parts of a relationship. However, if arguments continually arise and consistently devolve into your partner criticizing, berating, or attempting to control you, there may be underlying issues. These are typical signs of narcissism.
If you suspect that your partner’s behavior is outside the realm of typical relationship patterns, ask an experienced attorney for further information on narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Understanding the psychology may help with effectively navigating a relationship with a narcissist.
Identifying the Narcissist in a Relationship
In Georgia, people often use the term “narcissist” to describe anyone who is behaving selfishly or cruelly to their partner. However, the true definition of a narcissist is far more complex. To manage a relationship with a narcissistic person, it is helpful to fully understand what NPD means and what may have caused the troubling condition.
A narcissist is exceptionally self-centered with an exaggerated sense of self-importance. They need admiration from everyone around them, idealize their own attributes, and often lack empathy. The narcissistic personality is a complex emotional defense structure typically caused by early childhood trauma and emotional pain.
Patterns of Narcissistic Behavior
Arguments are part of any healthy relationship. However, if your partner has narcissistic personality disorder, any conflict may become manipulative or verbally abusive.
When dealing with a narcissist, an innocent discussion can quickly become a fight for control. Narcissistic people are often unable to engage in normal “give and take” due to a lack of genuine empathy and reciprocal feelings.
Unfortunately, it may be difficult to see these patterns early in your relationship. Georgia residents who are in relationships with narcissists are often misled to believe that they are special to their partner, or that their partner truly cares about them. Their real personality may only begin to show after some time has passed.
Narcissistic Traits in a Partner
While the narcissist may hide their true self in the early stages of your relationship, concerning traits may emerge over time as your partner becomes more comfortable with you, including:
- A disregard for your emotions;
- An exaggerated sense of self-importance;
- A constant need for others to admire them;
- A sense of entitlement;
- A belief that they are so unique that traditional rules of behavior and boundaries do not apply to them, or;
- A need to control others.
These traits may lead to uncomfortable “push and pull” dynamics in many Georgia relationships involving narcissists. In these scenarios, the narcissistic person constantly needs the presence of their partner, only to push them away when they want to isolate. This often results in exhaustion in the relationship due to the narcissist’s mixed messages.
Dealing with the Narcissist in a Relationship
Learning to manage a relationship with a narcissist is not easy, but there are some helpful tactics you can use. For one, do not allow your narcissistic partner to take over your life. Establish boundaries, maintain your core values, and hold them accountable for their actions.
Furthermore, do not let them get away with repeatedly hurting you. They cannot empathize with you, so they may never realize how they are affecting you if you do not point out their narcissistic actions. Identify their most toxic behaviors and set limits to minimize the hurtful consequences.
It is also important to build a strong support system and stay connected with family, friends, work, and other interest groups. Those dealing with a narcissistic partner in Georgia may benefit from seeking nearby counseling for objective support in addressing their situation.
Finally, do not expect the narcissist to change. It is nearly impossible for them to modify their behavior because their emotional survival depends on keeping their defenses intact.
Stay Informed to Effectively Navigate a Relationship with a Narcissist
Sadly, narcissism is not something that you can fix in a partner. If you need genuine empathy or support from a narcissist in your relationship, you may never get it. However, there are several useful strategies in navigating a relationship with a narcissist. Staying informed about narcissistic personality traits and behaviors can help you protect yourself and manage your relationship more effectively.