Whether it’s a spouse, supervisor, or someone you’re dating, you may know a narcissist. So, you need to be aware of the signs of a narcissistic relationship. Spotting the signs of a narcissistic relationship may prevent you from letting a narcissist control you. There are some challenges to look for.
1. You Will Never Satisfy Them.
Deep down inside, a narcissist feels as if they’re not good enough. However, they’ll do everything they can to hide this. So, they strive to win the admiration and attention of others—including you. Yet, it will never be enough. It’s not you; it’s their deep wound that needs healing. They will need to ask for help, while you will need help recognizing it isn’t your fault.
2. You Feel Controlled and Powerless.
If you don’t recognize your value and worth, you may feel drawn to a narcissist. They look to individuals to meet their need for validation.
By giving in to the demands of a narcissist, you are losing your identity in the relationship. Instead, stay true to yourself and use boundaries. You teach people how to treat you by what you will and will not allow in a relationship.
3. You Believe Everything is Your Fault.
Narcissistic abuse is subtle. A narcissist says things to make you feel like you’re wrong— and they’re right. It can almost be a type of verbal and emotional abuse or gaslighting. For example, they may say things like: “You’re not good enough;” “You can’t live without me;” or, “You need me.” If this is happening, talk with someone who is safe and you can trust. Or, see a counselor and share your story with them. Counseling can provide tools to help you be aware and protect yourself from narcissistic abuse.
4. You Give But Don’t Get Much in Return.
A narcissist will use praise, flattery, and gifts to draw you in. Initially, you’re mesmerized by them. As a result, you make them a priority over your own needs and desires. But instead of giving back, they take and don’t meet your needs. Are you already disregarding your needs but don’t know what to do? Learn to develop healthy ways to meet your needs through other relationships where you are respected and heard.
5. You Are Stuck in a Love-Hate Relationship.
Narcissists will love you one day and hate you the next. The use of these love-hate tendencies will hurt you. You may feel stuck in this toxic cycle, but there’s hope to break free. Work on becoming a stronger person yourself by developing yourself. Learn how to say no, even if it means separating or ending the relationship. Reconciling the relationship is possible; yet, it’s only possible if the person is aware of the narcissism, gets into counseling, is willing to make amends, and shows they have truly changed.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist may leave you feeling lost, worthless, and stuck. But please know there’s hope to finding your way. We recommend you get a copy of Understanding and Loving a Person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Call 800-639-5433 to get it today, as well as to find a licensed counselor in your area.