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Being in Narcissism Relationships Is Like Playing With Fire. It Is Risky.

Being in Narcissism Relationships Is Like Playing With Fire. It Is Risky.

If you’ve ever fallen in love, you would know how good it makes you feel. It’s an exciting and at the same time terrifying sensation. You might be falling hard for the person and expect the relationship to lead to the beginning of your fairy tale. But be aware, it may not be what you think it is, but a fake love trap with a malignant narcissist.

Narcissists are everywhere. It is no surprise that we encounter such self-serving individuals at home, at work and in our everyday life. In reality, all of us have some degree of narcissistic traits. Some individuals, however, are over the top in serving themselves and cause emotional harm to others. In fact, Narcissist Personality Disorder wasn’t categorized as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association until 1987 as too many people share some of the traits and it’s very difficult to diagnose.

“Yes” to these questions? Chance is you may have a narcissistic lover.

First, ask yourself the following questions to see if you would recognize some of narcissistic signs in your toxic lover.

  • Do they have issues with his mother or father?
  • Are they emotionally immature?
  • Are they more of a taker than a giver?
  • Do they have grandiose tendencies?
  • Do they have questionable moral standards?
  • Are they perpetual liars or manipulators?
  • Do they lack empathy towards others?
  • Do they blame everybody for their problems and never take responsibility for their life?
  • Are they argumentative?
  • Are they control freak?
  • Do they show a lack of remorse?
  • Do they have anger issue?
  • Does being around them make you feel confused and chaotic?
  • Do they often say hurtful things to you and then accuse you of overreacting or being too emotional?
  • Do you feel worse emotionally now than you started dating?
  • Do they make you feel bad, worthless or critical of you?
  • Do they seem to be exceptionally attractive?

If you answer YES to some or all of the above, you’re in love with a narcissist. Not only are you in a relationship that can be more than painful but also downright dangerous. If you are not convinced yet, read on and RUN before they destroy your precious self and your life.

24/7 with your lover doesn’t mean thorough understanding. Check these signs:

Additionally, here are 8 signs that you should look out for in them to understand who they truly are.

I am the best (not really).

You might think they love themselves. Actually, they dislike themselves immensely. Their inflated self-flattery, perfectionism, and arrogance are merely covers for the self-loathing they don’t admit usually even to themselves.

Instead, it’s projected outwards in their disdain for and criticism of others. This is why they don’t want to look at themselves and have intense need for admiration to fill very low self esteem. They’re too afraid, because they believe that the truth would be devastating. Actually, they don’t have much of a Self at all. Emotionally, they’re dead inside.

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They believe that they are special and unique, and can only be understood by, or should associate with other special or of high-status people. They unreasonably expect special and favorable treatments to feed their false ego.

You can’t catch me.

It’s easy to fall in love with narcissists. Their charm, talent, success and charisma cast a spell. They’re often super-attractive. They also tend to want to move fast in the relationship. They may appear charming on the surface but the emotion runs very shallow. They simply manipulate you to lower your guard and allow attachment to occur.

Because the relationship starts out so well, and because the ugliness seems to come out of nowhere, even the most grounded people can get caught by surprise. They might later admit to having seen plenty of red flags but because the illusion of the narcissist’s great qualities is so vivid, they tend to be ignored.

They even watch porn and cheat as they think they’re god’s gift to the world. They’re known to make their partners go without sex as a way to frustrate, punish, and even humiliate them out choosing porn over sex with them or just to hurt you.

Thus, pace the relationship in such a way that your dating partner’s true self comes forth gradually so you are well aware of who you are dating and what they are capable of. This honeymoon phase though ends quickly as they reveal their true self and being with a narcissist soon turns from loving, devoted and committed to cold, critical and most heartbreaking, unfaithful. None of it make sense, does it?

You just listen to me, okay?

It’s all about them and never a two way communication. They don’t like to hear No and have difficulty with compromise. Setting boundaries threatens them. They’ll manipulate to get their way and to make sure you feel guilty if you’re bold enough to risk turning them down. If you give in, they mistake kindness for weakness.

Should you challenge a narcissist or call them out on their bad behavior, you’ll instantly be confronted with narcissistic rage. Underneath the narcissistic exterior is a rage and disgust most people couldn’t fathom.

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Having a daily relationship with a narcissist takes a lot of mental work to figure out the motives or intentions. There’s never a dull moment in a relationship with a narcissist, which can be exciting in the beginning but ultimately feels draining and infuriating.

I need no rules (I don’t follow them anyway).

One of the most frustrating experiences with a narcissist is that rules are broken and boundaries trespassed, but they will never take accountability for it. They can’t bear the thoughts that they are wrong. Their ego is so inflated that they truly believe they’re perfect. In reality, it’s quite the opposite. Instead, it’s that a narcissist’s true ego or sense of self is so incredibly fragile and insecure that they cannot tolerate any hint of criticism. They can’t take accountability for any hurts or boundary-crossings because they aren’t internally sturdy enough to synthesize and integrate complex feelings.

The narcissist is so averse to criticism and accountability because he sees the world through a lens of entitlement. Narcissists feel entitled to indulge any thought, feeling or whim they happen to have in a given moment, and automatic compliance from others is expected and even demanded.

I am the boss.

They target people to use as narcissistic supply to fuel their ego. They are out to get intelligent, self-sufficient, empathetic individuals as partners. They tend to lack core identity and need narcissistic supply to fill their empty psyches. They feel a sense of challenge in targeting highly successful, attractive individuals who may already be in other relationships or who express a sense of vulnerability.

Narcissists are masters of love bombing which is an attempt to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection. They do this to make you dependent on them, while also testing your boundaries. Once they discover that you are not perfect after all, you’ll not only be told the opposite, but you’ll be punished for your imperfections, which are often exaggerated and sometimes nonexistent projections.

Punishment often includes terrible statements meant to degrade, demean, humiliate or stonewall you. They withhold affection and may even spread nasty rumors about you behind your back.

I am charming and gentle outside, rude and ruthless inside.

Ahhh, these three little words can change your life. But when a narcissist says it, those words take on an entirely different meaning than what you’d expect. It’s the act of tempting you with those things you will never get that keeps you with them.

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In public, narcissists switch on the charm that first drew you in. People gravitate towards them and are enlivened by their energy. You’re proud to bask in their glow, but at home, they’re totally different. They may privately denigrate the person they were just entertaining. You begin to wonder if they have an outward double personality.

Ever since they were denied genuine love and support as a child, they cowardly take it out on you with hurtful words and manipulative tactics under the guise of love. But we all know it’s not real and can see through the mask. Eventually their masks are coming off and be ready to jump off the ship when it happens.

You most likely won’t be the only one.

They are unable to form healthy attachments with other human beings. So even though they may say they are in love, they always have their eye out for the next best thing. And there is always a next best thing.

Even if they are in what appears to be a committed relationship, rest assured they are dabbling on the side. If there is the opportunity to get more attention and adoration from a potential love interest, the narcissist will take it. Anyone who thinks that their narcissist is capable of being faithful is fooling himself/herself. They are always on the lookout for something better no matter what they say to the contrary.

You should just be as good as me.

You begin to doubt yourself and worry what they will think. After a while, you start to lose self-confidence. Your self-esteem may have been intact when you met, but your narcissistic partner finds you coming up short, and doesn’t fail to point it out. Most narcissists are perfectionists, and nothing you do is right or appreciated. Talking about your disappointment or hurt gets turned into your fault or another opportunity to put you down.

Narcissists have no boundaries and see you as an extension of themselves, requiring that you’re on call to meet their needs. You might get caught up in trying to please them. This is like trying to fill a bottomless pit. They expect you to know without having to ask. You end up in a double-blind – damned if you displease them and damned when you do.

Most individuals are emotionally traumatized by their toxic encounter with a narcissist. They are not only grieving the loss of the relationship, but they are also processing the unreality of a fake relationship.

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People with narcissistic characteristics may be prone to causing harm by invading personal boundaries, lying about almost anything and everything, engaging in abuse, and exhibiting no empathy or remorse for emotional harm they have done.

What you must learn about a narcissist.

There is no way to fix or improve the behavior of a narcissist.

If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, it is in your best interests to get yourself out of the relationship as quickly as possible. Pick up the shattered pieces of your life, take them with you and never turn back.

However, with a narcissist is that making a clean break is almost impossible. By the time a break up is on the horizon, the partner of a narcissist is has been so beaten down psychologically they are unable to move on. Besides you’re likely to be unpleasantly surprised to see the narcissist partner to react with rage, insult you, hurt you in any way possible, lie about you or half-apologize and to explain themselves. SO, keep the contacts at minimum and create solid boundaries.

It’s okay not to be okay.

Feel your feelings. You will have good days and not so good days. You might feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster at times. Openly discuss your feelings. Join a support group. The support of people who understand exactly what you are experiencing is vital to healing and recovery. Take an honest self-inventory. Were you at a low point in your life when you met the narcissist? Was your self-esteem compromised? Were you lonely or did you just come out of a bad relationship? Do you lack good boundaries? Do you have childhood wounds, perhaps an unavailable or narcissistic parent?

Don’t dwell on what-ifs.

Breaking up with a narcissist is painfully harder than a normal breakup. One of the many reasons for this is they pummel us with manipulation, assault our self-worth, and stealthily erode our self-esteem. Then when the relationship is over, we beat ourselves up for the things we did or did not do, and berate ourselves for staying longer than we should have, and for the signs we failed to recognize.

Accept that the narcissist as who they are. They are totally incapable of love and deep connection. Nothing you did or didn’t do would have changed the outcome. You were not loved for you as a person. You were used for the perks you were able to provide. You were their human helium tank that maintained their inflated view of themselves. I know it sounds harsh, and it’s a very painful realization to accept. But the acceptance of this fact is also the very thing that will accelerate your healing and set you free.

Blessings often come in disguise.

Narcissistic abuse is a betrayal of the heart, soul, mind, and spirit, and often the wallet too. It corrupts and completely shatters what we thought was reality and tarnishes our faith in humanity. For this reason, it takes a while to restore our equilibrium and process the trauma of our experience. Putting the pieces of your life back together and rebuilding yourself is not an easy, painfree process, but it is worthwhile in the end.

You will be strengthened and move on. You will come to view the breakup as a blessing. You will realize that through your relationship with the narcissist, you were given the gift of self-discovery, transformation, and renewal. You will never be the same again but you will be a better, stronger, wiser and an infinitely happier version of your old self.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

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Kris Lee

Emotional health and communication writer

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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