Toxic people come in all shapes and sizes. When you’re infatuated with someone, it can be extremely difficult to look past the good they bring to your life and critically analyse their harmful personalities. A relationship is meant to be a loving partnership between two people. Still, one partner may often be more self-absorbed in themselves rather than interested in the relationship itself.
Some surface-level traits of narcissists, such as self-absorption, may be apparent to observe, extreme self-obsession being the key one. However, if you’re in a romantic relationship with one, the task of identifying such a person becomes more difficult – this is because your feelings cloud your judgment and logic. In that case, here are five signs to determine whether you are dating a narcissist.
Perhaps the most defining characteristic of narcissists is their self-obsession. They have an exaggerated sense of self-worth as if they consider themselves admirable above all. They may go above and beyond to maintain their supposedly perfect appearance and reputation. Because they are so self-involved, you might notice that they do not give nearly as much attention to you and your relationship.
Because narcissists assume that the world revolves around them, it is natural for them to think your life will. They will always expect you to contribute more to them and your relationship. They may become overly possessive and refrain you from attending to your other relationships. In their view, you are supposed to prioritize them and devote all your energy and love to them above everything else.
For narcissists, everything is about them and what they feel. No matter the issue or the event, they will always put their feelings and experiences above all. They might express clear disinterest in conversations or topics concerning you. In their eyes, their needs will always precede yours. Therefore, you will not receive the love or care you give to your partner, leaving you upset and resentful.
On a more dangerous level, narcissists may have an easy time manipulating other people, especially their emotionally vulnerable partners. It can be difficult enough to refuse a partner you love, even more so when someone is a narcissist. A covert Narcissist will often use their physical or mental illness to manipulate their partners emotionally creating a trauma bond. A narcissist will always compare your faults to their successes and degrade you in your endeavours. If you indulge in activities that you have fun doing, they will manipulate you into thinking that you are selfish and obsessed with your pleasure rather than your partners. When children no matter the age are involved a narcissist will use the children to manipulate and degrade you. Often causing your children to lose trust in the victimized parent.
Even if you are an independent and confident individual, sometimes, you might be subject to self-esteem issues as well. Narcissists tend to make their partners feel extremely insecure by conditioning them to think they are the best they can deserve. Their harsh words may leave you questioning your self-worth, and you may become more insecure about your capabilities. The idea is to leave you wanting even a sliver of praise or affection from them.
Many of my clients feel as though they are dealing with Mr. Jekyl and Dr. Hyde. Over time they swallow their emotions out of fear of being rejected by their partner or belittled for crying. They also may carry a lot of emotional pain from being the breadwinner of the family yet their partner dismisses their attributes or contributes. Mostly, feeling isolated or alone is a big indicator that your relationship is not healthy and it may be time to rescue yourself.
Getting out of a narcissist relationship is not easy. Oftentimes, partners of narcissists are confused. They call recall good things that their partner has done. They also can name the many times they have been embarrassed, dismissed or belittled by their partner. Having someone to talk as you move through a breakup or divorce is vital to regaining your confidence, self worth and ultimately being in a healthy relationship with a healthy partner.
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