If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, there’s a chance that you might not be aware of it. Narcissism isn’t always easy to recognise. You could be experiencing manipulation, a false sense of reality, and distorted self-worth – all without knowing this is happening to you. That’s what’s so damaging about being in a relationship with a narcissist.
This week, we’re taking you through a few of the tell-tale signs that might suggest you’re on the wrong relationship path.
The conversation is always one-way
If you’re living with a narcissistic partner, the likelihood is that they’re constantly talking about themselves. This leaves little room for you to take part in the conversation. Your opinions and feelings will often be overlooked and dismissed, and chances are you’re being told you’re wrong – a lot.
You may also find yourself being repeatedly interrupted, especially if the topic of conversation doesn’t revolve around your narcissistic partner or their interests.
Your boundaries aren’t respected.
Boundaries are important in any relationship. But a narcissist won’t be respecting yours. From dismissing your thoughts and feelings and invading your personal space, to showing disrespect for your personal belongings – disrespecting your boundaries can come in many different forms. Most tellingly, they’ll show little remorse for their actions, and even blame you for not earning their respect.
If you find yourself blindsided when your partner talks to other people about sensitive topics you’ve confided in them about, or when they break promises, you could very well be in a relationship with a narcissist.
Your worth is constantly being questioned.
A narcissistic partner will be very up and down when it comes to how they behave around you. Often, they’ll appear charming and charismatic. When they’re interested in you (for their own gratification), they make you feel very special and wanted.
However, once they lose interest, it’s a completely different story. They may show disdain and disinterest, completely ignore you altogether, or even lash out at you. The bottom line? Once a narcissist feels as though they can no longer use you for their own benefit, they don’t see you as valuable.
In some cases, a narcissistic partner might simply enjoy making you feel certain emotions, just to gain attention, feel powerful, and keep you insecure and off-balance. Damaging your self-esteem will make a narcissistic partner feel better about themselves. You may find yourself craving their attention and approval in order to feel better about yourself, and you’ll have an overwhelming feeling that you can’t be without them.
You’re experiencing manipulation.
Due to the nature of manipulation, this can be difficult to spot.
By definition, manipulation is the skillful handling, controlling or using of something or someone. A manipulative person knows how to twist words, play on emotions and otherwise manage a situation in a sneaky fashion to get what they want.
If your partner is asking you to do unrealistic or unreasonable things, stop for a moment and consider whether or not they’re manipulating you into doing them. Are they sending you on a guilt trip for example? Using a bad experience they’ve had and using it to make you do something in order to make them feel better about it.
Your partner has unrealistic expectations of you.
A narcissistic partner will usually have obvious feelings of entitlement. Due to their grand sense of self, they often expect special treatment from others, and that expectation is heightened all the more if you’re in a relationship with them.
This means they’ll expect you to do things for them without questioning it, and without ever expecting anything in return. And if you fail to do those things, that’s when the manipulation will begin.
If any of this is feeling a little too close to home, then it might be time to consider whether you’re on the right relationship path. At Harrogate Family Law, we know that change can be daunting, and we’re here to help.
Talk to us today and let’s get you on the path to a brighter future. Call 01423 594680.