Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), was first categorized as a disorder in 1987, by the American Psychiatric Association. According to Dhawan (2010), and McClean (2007), Narcissistic Personality Disorder occurs in 1-6.2% of the population, the male population exceeding the female population, with a ratio of 3:2. Here is everything you need to know about the narcissist and their partners.
How Do You Recognize A Narcissist?
Being self-confident or self-absorbed doesn’t make you a narcissist; it is never the same. Also, when a person posts so many selfies on their social media platforms, or constantly talks so much about themselves, we might assume or call them narcissists. But do you really know who a true narcissist is?
A true narcissist is actually someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). it is a medical condition that basically concerns mental health. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is mostly characterized by an extreme sense of importance, a sense of entitlement, interpersonally exploitative behavior, a deep and constant need for excessive attention, and even admiration. This set of people lack empathy and are always having troubled relationships. According to Rebecca Weller (LHMC), it is selfishness at the (often extreme) expense of others, as well as the inability to consider others’ feelings.
Narcissists Relationship with Their Partners
Actually, it is almost impossible to detect if someone has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, especially without the diagnosis of the doctor. In fact, knowing the diagnostic criteria doesn’t make it easier, especially in situations where you are romantically involved with the person.
Although, you might not necessarily ask the question; does my partner have NPD? but there are some obvious thoughts in your head, about the healthiness and stability of your relationship. Here are some narcissists’ traits and possible ways to handle the situation.
Love at First Sight
It usually starts as a fairy tale; like messaging and calling you constantly. In some cases, they confess their love for you, and then compliment you; telling you are smart, and how compatible you both would be, even though you’ve just started seeing each other. Narcissists always believe they deserve to have someone as smart as they are. But as soon as you disappoint them, they could go all length against you.
You might even have no idea what you did exactly, and you start to wonder how you both got to this stage. In this case, you need not fear, but be cautious. Give them a little distance, if you can, and try to see through them. Remember, real love has to be nurtured and grown.
They Are Always Full of Themselves.
When you hold conversations with narcissists, you notice how often they hog the conversation, like talking about great they are. In the medical field, it is believed they do this because it makes them feel better and smarter than everyone around them. It also gives them a sense of self-assurance. Even while it seems like they are listening to you, they are also too busy talking about themselves. Now, here is a question to ask yourself;
What happens when you both have a conversation? Do they show interest, like asking some follow-up questions? Or do they make it all about them? Your answer determines your next step.
They Don’t See Your Compliment as A Big Deal
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who feeds off your compliments? In fact, did you know that narcissists see compliment requirements as a must from their partners? This is because they really do need a lot of praises to make them feel good, and if you are not giving them, they’d definitely do it themselves.
This may look like self-confidence, but it is really not the case here. Actually, the major difference between those who are confident, and those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is that the latter always needs people to praise or lift them, while the former doesn’t necessarily need people to do that for them.
They Are Manipulative
Narcissists gaslight you, which is a form of manipulation, and emotional abuse. It has always been their hallmark. They always play the victim, when they are the ones doing the most in the relationship. And they are never remorseful about it. Instead, they leave you wondering if you are good enough, or not, or sometimes, whether you are being too sensitive. They particularly make you feel more anxious and less confident than you used to be.
How Do You Break Free from Your Relationship with Narcissists?
It is usually very hard to cope in situations like this, but you must always stay strong for yourself. It isn’t your fault that you love them, and you don’t always have to be the “bigger person” by enduring what seems like an unending trauma. Always remind yourself constantly that you deserve better while planning the breakup. You are the empath here, strengthen your relationships with other empathic friends. Most importantly, get yourself a therapist.