Managing a relationship with a narcissistic personality trait can have a negative impact on your well-being and mental health. Set clear boundaries and rely on a support system of people you can trust to help you.
The term narcissist is frequently used. It is used to describe people who appear self-centered, only concerned with themselves, or manipulative of the people in their lives.
Some people may suffer from the mental illness narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
Based on the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, only a qualified mental health professional can diagnose this condition (DSM-5).
Other people may exhibit some narcissist traits but do not meet the criteria for an official diagnosis.
You can learn how to deal with a person in your life who has narcissistic personality traits, as well as what you can do to establish healthy behaviors and boundaries around this person, by visiting this page.
Characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder
The term narcissist is commonly used to describe someone who is self-centered and lacks empathy.
However, it’s important to remember that NPD is a legitimate mental health condition that can cause significant difficulties for those who suffer from it. It can also make it more difficult for others to maintain a relationship with the individual.
Nonetheless, some people can exhibit narcissist traits without being diagnosed with NPD. These could include:
- Having an overinflated sense of self-importance.
- Creating a fantasy world to enhance their sense of grandeur.
- Requiring constant adoration and praise.
- Possessing a sense of entitlement.
- Without shame or guilt, taking advantage of others or exploiting people.
- Not being aware of or concerned about the needs of others.
- Insulting or bullying others.
- Monopolizing discussions or meetings.
To complicate matters further, people with NPD or narcissistic tendencies are frequently overly sensitive to feedback from others.
If confronted, they may erupt in rage. They can also become enraged if they feel belittled or ignored.
Here are some tips for dealing with someone who has NPD or narcissistic tendencies, as well as some for recognizing when it’s time to move on.
Relationships and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder
People who do not have NPD or other similar mental health conditions typically consider a relationship to be a selfless equation.
It is about giving something to someone else without expecting immediate or equal compensation. That is not always the case with people who have narcissistic personality traits.
Relationships are frequently viewed as transactional or as something that must benefit them.
People with NPD are often charming, magnetic, and compelling. This can make them appear irresistible, even sexy.
However, people with narcissistic traits frequently have troubled relationships that are rocked by jealousy, anger, and abuse.
A person suffering from NPD is not always capable of the reciprocity required for healthy relationships.
They may attempt to blame others for their shortcomings or failures. In heated debates, they can be volatile and sensitive.
They may also use lies or manipulation in some cases to avoid accountability. This can exhaust, drain, and deplete a partner.
Partners of people with NPD may decide that it is easier to go along with their partner’s demands and manipulation rather than defending themselves or setting boundaries for their own mental well-being.
How to Avoid Narcissistic Tendencies
Confronting someone with NPD about their behaviors rarely yields positive results. They will frequently try to maintain the upper hand and are often resistant to change.
Instead of attempting to “fix” someone with NPD, it is best to focus on your own behaviors and well-being.
Setting boundaries and forming a stronger support system of friends, family, and professionals to help you navigate the ups and downs of a relationship with this person are important steps.
Some tips related to handle this kind of a person:
- Become knowledgeable about NPD.
- Increase your self-esteem.
- Advocate for yourself.
- Establish firm boundaries.
- Practice skills for remaining calm.
- Locate a support system.
- Demand immediate action rather than promises.
- Recognize that a narcissistic person may require professional assistance.
When it’s time to move on
Some narcissistic personalities are also verbally or emotionally abusive.
The following are some warning signs of an abusive relationship:
- Insults and slurs.
- Patronizing, humiliation in public.
- Threatening, yelling.
- Enmity, accusations.
Other warning signs to look out for in the other person are:
- Blaming you for all that goes wrong.
- Tracking your every move or attempting to isolate you.
- Telling you how you should or should not feel.
- Routinely projecting their flaws onto you.
- Denying obvious things to you or attempting to deceive you.
- Minimizing your needs and opinions.
Treatment for narcissistic tendencies is possible, but it takes time, effort, and patience.
If you still decide to keep a relationship with someone who has NPD during treatment, you must establish realistic expectations and healthy boundaries.
To read our blog on “How To survive in a toxic workplace,” click here