October 12, 2016

Is Your Partner Narcissistic? Recognize the Signs and Learn How to Cope

Written by Rachel Eddins

houston sky at dawn over the water

A true narcissist is more than selfish and vain. They carry traits that run much deeper and that cause lasting harmful effects for anyone involved.

Entering a partnership with anybody has its ups and downs. After all, it means two individuals with very different backgrounds, needs, and expectations are joined together in a close relationship. Even if both are the most congenial people, there will be problems to overcome.

But what if the problems just seem to mount up, day after day?

What if they’re unwilling to listen to anything?

What if they always find a way to blame others when things go wrong?

What if your partner seems to be the most self-centered and vain person in the world?

Should you be concerned that they might be suffering from a personality disorder? Is it narcissism? How would you be able to tell?

Recognizing the Signs of Narcissism

A true narcissist is more than selfish and vain. They carry traits that run much deeper and that cause lasting harmful effects for anyone involved.

Does your partner display some of the following narcissistic traits? The more they exhibit, the worse their problem may be.

  • Acts as if the world revolves around them
  • Constantly tells you what to do
  • Thinks they’re always in the right
  • Pursues power and control at all cost, always having to have things their way
  • Is highly demanding and has unrealistic expectations of others
  • Pushes you to get involved in things they like, but never want to do things you like
  • Refuses accountability for their own bad behavior
  • Always blames someone else when things don’t go right
  • Lacks insight and denies their own feelings and behavior
  • Seems to have no concept of right and wrong when it comes to their own behavior
  • Carries long-term grudges against others
  • Is always critical, contemptuous, and judgmental of others
  • Mistrusts everyone
  • Takes advantage of others
  • Is manipulative and lies
  • Recounts events in ways to make themselves look good
  • Expects constant admiration and appreciation from others
  • Magnifies their own abilities and accomplishments
  • Diminishes the contribution of others to their success
  • Is overly concerned about image
  • Is excessively worried about how your behavior will reflect on them
  • Contributes little to any relationship
  • Resists listening to anything you say
  • Always puts you down, making you feel that nothing you do is good enough
  • Downplays your feelings, lacks empathy for anyone
  • Is only kind and considerate to you when others are around to see it
  • Acts jealous of your success and tries to compete with you
  • Has extreme mood swings

How to Cope With a Narcissistic Partner

While your partner’s behavior might be frustrating, irritating, or downright hurtful, you may still love them and want to stick it out. But what can you possibly do to cope?

  • Accept that you can’t change your partner – only they can do that, if they’re willing
  • Focus on the positive aspects of the relationship – even if there are very ew
  • Don’t take their behavior personally – view it as the reflection of their own insecurities and intentionally resist the idea that you’re responsible
  • Establish boundaries – consider what behaviors you cannot accept and decide on the consequences for violating those limits
  • Boost your self-esteem – remind yourself that you are intelligent and lovable, even if your partner attempts to make you feel differently
  • Take time to focus on your own emotional needs – permit yourself to think about things other than your partner and relationship. Do the things you like
  • Manage your own insecurities – the less emotional baggage you have to carry yourself, the easier it will be to protect yourself against your partner’s criticism
  • Share your problem with a trusted person – someone that you can trust to keep what you say between the two of you alone

If you’re ready to learn more skills in coping with a narcissistic partner, contact a licensed counselor at Eddins Counseling Group for more information. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.

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