Some things are universally valued. Love, trust and friendship being just a few examples. Narcissists, however, have very different values, and they’re often at odds with the things that you might consider to matter the most in life.
If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s likely that these conflicting values will impact the way you’re being treated. Recognising these values is a good first step to understanding the abuse you might be experiencing. Here, we’ve highlighted the five things narcissists value the most.
Image is everything.
One of the most important things for a narcissist is to keep up the appearance of being successful, attractive and therefore adored. In some cases, they’ll actually sacrifice real financial security for the sake of appearing more financially successful. It’s not unheard of for a narcissist to get into debt to show off their latest car or designer gadget.
Sometimes, they may appear to be an affectionate and loving partner in front of other people, but mistreat and emotionally abuse you behind closed doors.
Ultimately, looking good will attract attention, praise and validation, all of which are things a narcissist thrives on.
They demand respect, and give none in return.
For a narcissist, their needs must always be put first, and they will never reciprocate those feelings for anyone else. The world revolves around them, and everyone who happens to be part of that world should go along with it.
If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you may find that you’re sacrificing things for the sake of their needs on a regular basis, but they refuse to do the same for you.
It also means they’ll do almost anything to others in order to meet their own needs. Whether that’s lying, sharing personal information about them, or harming and intimidating them, they have no real respect for the well-being of others.
Control, control, control.
A narcissist needs to have control over the situation they’re in. Whether that’s in a relationship, in a social scenario, or something else, a narcissist will manipulate the circumstances to maintain control.
In a relationship, this may take the form of your partner telling you lies about people you’re close to in an attempt to isolate you from them. This may convince you to believe that they’re the only one you can trust, which makes you vulnerable to their control. They may even tell you that if you leave them you will be left with nothing.
They need to be the centre of attention.
Part of their need for control stems from a need to be the centre of attention. If they’re the centre of attention, it’s much easier for a narcissist to manipulate the situation to work in their favour.
Often, a narcissist will come across as very charming and charismatic in an attempt to keep all eyes on them in any sort of social situation. They might be the funniest, cleverest or most dramatic person in the room; their main focus is to be the centre of attention.
How useful are you to them?
Your relationship with a narcissist largely depends on how they can use you to achieve all of these values. Can you make them look good? Do you respect them, admire them, give them all your attention? Are they the one who controls the relationship?
If the answer to those questions is yes, then chances are, your relationship with them will continue. But only on their terms. The moment you challenge the status quo, a narcissist will waste no time in making you feel rejected and worthless.
Do you need help?
If you’re struggling with a narcissistic partner, Harrogate Family Law can help.
Just contact us today to find out more about how we can help you take that first step to a better future.