There is a lot of pages on this website dedicated to narcissism, but no matter how much we write, new questions arise all the time. It’s not surprising: Narcissists by definition are some of the most frustrating people. Their behavior is so confusing — perfectly healthy individuals might doubt their own mental health after being around them for a while.
Earlier we covered 10 major signs you are dating a narcissist, but in real life things might not be as obvious. It’s not always a matter of checking items off the list; so if you are in doubt, we would suggest to focus on your overall experience with this person. The ultimate question is how does that person makes you feel?
- Does your heart ache constantly?
- Are you experiencing a new kind of anxiety you never had before?
- Does it feel like you almost got your hands on a treasure and lost it as if it were a mirage?
- Are you waiting by your phone for calls and texts that were once initiated by your partner much more frequently?
- Did your partner lose interest in you in the blink of an eye?
- Do you constantly feel on edge?
- Do you spend a lot of time analyzing your partner’s behavior?
- Do you feel like you need to hide some perfectly normal parts of your life in order to avoid dealing with narcissistic rage?
- Do you spend a lot of mental energy preparing to defend yourself from hypothetical attacks by your partner?
Your feelings will tell you all you need to know. The simple truth is that if a person makes you feel bad, then obviously they are not right for you. It doesn’t matter whether your partner is truly a narcissist or a sociopath or some other toxic kind. If it doesn’t feel right, there will be no future.
Giving up on what you thought was “ideal” love is always hard, but it’s particularly hard when you are in a relationship with a narcissist. Narcissists trick people to fall in love with them by grooming them first, by idealizing them, by feeding them fantasies of a perfect movie-like relationship many of us crave. Perhaps you even feel guilty for rejecting someone who was not as romantic but genuine in favor of the narcissist. A part of growing up is to realize that obsessive love promoted in popular culture is never healthy in real life, even if narcissism isn’t involved.
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At this point you are likely to blame yourself and feel stupid for being so naive. Your self-esteem and self-respect are likely to take a hit. You might begin to pick yourself apart relentlessly criticizing yourself. Don’t do it.
Regardless of the narcissist’s intentions, your love was real. Whenever they are grooming a new target (you, in this case), narcissists use a manufactured persona that is lovable, passionate, romantic, courageous, you name it. This is the person you fell in love with, and there is nothing surprising or “stupid” about it. Once you are hooked, they reveal their real persona that is abusive, manipulative, arrogant and controlling. If they were to show their real face from the beginning, none of this mess would take place. Falling in love with someone so amazing is a very logical and natural thing to do, and it’s not your fault that someone tricked you into believing that person exists. Now that the masquerade is over, it is your responsibility to take care of yourself and move on as quick as possible.
Here are some tools you might want to use to help yourself recover from narcissistic abuse:
- Recover from a manipulative relationship. This is a self-hypnosis download that is particularly useful if you’ve already broken up. It will help you put the past behind you and separate yourself from the abusive experience.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a good way to deal with emotional and mental health issues. Entirely science-based, CBT is a short-term goal-oriented method to teach you challenge your thinking patterns, which in turn should make you feel better. Due to its effectiveness, CBT is one of the most popular types of therapy. You can get CBT offline or online. For example, this website offers an entire CBT platform (including a private CBT therapist) at a very affordable price. They have a number of programs to choose from; for relationship issues choose their “Relationship Problems” program.
- Dealing with narcissistic behavior is another self-hypnosis download that is very helpful if you are still in a relationship with a narcissist. It will help you relax and calm your mind, then figure out what you must do to feel better. It focuses more on what to do about yourself rather than what to do about the narcissist. It teaches you to detach yourself from the narcissistic behavior that comes your way and rebuild your self-esteem.