Narcissist Relationship

Understanding Narcissism

Healthy narcissism is a mature and realistic state of mind (Kohut 1977) that we all need in order to have a healthy level of self esteem. When a person has Healthy Narcissism they understand their worth in the world and are able to create healthy boundaries in relationships and in life in general.

The extreme opposite end of “Healthy Narcissism” is “Pathological Narcissism” or as a diagnosis “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” or NPD.  NPD is a dysfunctional state of mind, a person diagnosed with NPD is immature, unrealistic and completely self absorbed.

Self-absorption occurs when there is an continual need to focus on ones self in almost every situation (Brown 1998, 2001, 2006).

The following are behaviours, attitudes and characteristics typical of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

The Characteristics  Include:

  • Grandiosity – An exaggerated or grandiose sense of self-importance that isn’t supported by reality  – The person will see themselves as super human, with unreasonable expectations and a preoccupation with fantasies of extraordinary success, wealth, power, beauty and love.
  • Entitlement Attitude – This attitude assumes that everyone is an extension of them and therefore others are under their control and exist to meet their needs.  They believe they deserve special treatment because they are special and unique; and that they can only be understood by other special people.
  • Attention seeking – Having an intense need for admiration. NPD tend to speak loudly and talk a lot.  They dress to attract attention and will enter and leave social gatherings in a big way, in order draw as much attention as possible.
  • An absence of empathy – Since they lack real empathy they are easily able to exploit others without feeling guilt or remorse. They are basically indifferent to others emotions and so the impact of their critical, demeaning and devaluing comments and remarks towards others are easily expressed.  On the flip side they are sensitive to others comments and expect everyone to empathic to their needs, wants and desires.
  • Envious – They are envious of others successes, accomplishments, possessions or opportunities because they feel as if they are more deserving than others.  With this grandiose attitude they also assume others are envious of them. This adds to their dilution of superiority over others and so makes complete sense to them that others are jealous of them.
  • Arrogance – The arrogant attitude and sense of entitlement makes NPD talk down to others and behave in patronizing ways.  Boasting about their successes at every opportunity helps to prove themselves as much as to others how much better they are.
  • Empty at the core of self –  Since everything is an extension of NPD, they exists to through the devotion of others.  Since the relationships are purely one sided they find it difficult to form and maintain any real or long term connections.  People closest often find NPD to be do demanding and controlling and if they try to pull away from the domination of NDP, they needy and demanding.  They are always craving more and more from others in order to satisfy their need to feel they themselves are enough.

What to expect from a relationship with a Narcissist

Knowledge is power and so before you invest fully in what could end up being a very toxic relationship with a Narcissist or if you suspected you are already in a relationship with one, here are some of the things you need to look for so maybe you can avoid heart ache.

Typical Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can at first appear to be extremely confident, generally outgoing and full of bravado.

The (NPD) gregarious personality loves the spotlight and enjoy accolades whenever possible.  NPD love to make a statement where ever they go, so you will see them often dressed in the most outlandish of outfits at social gatherings, because drawing the most attention (positive or negative) reminds them how attractive and admired they are by others.

To that same extent they are often extremely loud.  You will hear their flamboyant laughter across the room, letting everyone know they are the life of the party.

Their verbose language ensures every exaggerated story can be used to dragged out the amount of attention they receive, insures all eyes remain upon them as long as possible.

Love-bombing and devaluation

Being an excellent observer and interrogator a typical NPD will be able to quickly assess their environment and find the type of person that will meet their need for control in a love relationship.

Once the NPD has honed in on their love target, they are able to quickly turn on the charm. Appearing completely fascinated, it can feel like they are looking deep to your soul and want to understand you in a way that nobody has before.  (This is could be true but not necessary for the right reasons). They appear to hanging on every every word , absorbed in the details of your life experiences. Adulation and complements are free flowing. With this amount of attention anyone can become intoxicated by their charm.

This behavior is commonly known as love bombing and is found at the initial stages of every narcissistic love relationship.

Maybe your gut instinct told you to hold back, but their persuasive ways swept you into this false sense of security.  Too good to be true is often, too good to be true.

This fast paced love relationship has sufficiently hooked you in and before you fully understand what is happening, their socks and underwear are in your top draw and their favorite picture of themselves is sitting on your mantle piece.  Locking you into a commitment before see their flaws is part of this fast paced strategy. Very soon you are fully invested, hook line and sinker into a potentially unbalanced relationship.

Moody and Broody Stage

As the relationship progresses you will notice their mood fluctuations increase. Their light-heartness and outgoing personality is slowly being replaced with a more cynical and impatient temperament, as they noticeably accommodate less of your needs and more of their own.

As you both become more entangled in this relationship, more things about you begin to bothers them, and they are willing to point them out at any opportunity.  Things like “the way you chew your food” or “how often you use the bathroom” can become a problem to them. Often this is combined with personal insults For example  the way you wear your hair is now not attractive or the type of clothing you go out in is drawing too much attention.

All this criticism and general nit picking leads you to question yourself more and more.   You might have been a confident and self assured at the beginning of this relationship, but now you feel the need to check in and ask for reassurance from NPD to make sure your doing the “right thing”.  As these small digs become bigger your self worth is slowly shrinking.

As their unpredictable mood swings increase, you find yourself tip toeing around topics and issues, feeling like you are walking on egg shells most of the time, afraid to upset their general mood for the day.

At this point you are really being tested by NPD, they are assessing how much you care about them. Each time they push your personal boundaries you are expected to give more and receive less in return.

Remember the NPD’s world is solely focused on their own need to be happy  and now that you are in their world, this things have become your job too.

Control and Manipulation

Overtime their mood swings have increased and now they escalate without much effort.  Keeping NPD happy has become more challenging. You will see more of their inner toddler behaviour showing up in the form of adult sized temper tantrums.  These can be displayed as either withdrawal or sulky behaviour, to aggressive out bursts of insults, blaming or shaming.  Things escalate anytime they don’t feel that they are getting their own way.
You are beginning to regretting sharing your life history with them, because (NPD) is now finding ways to regurgitate the distorted facts to belittle you and remind you of all the mistakes you made before you met them.  This is another way to fool you into an unconscious dependency on them, you maybe starting to question if any of your previous choices had been positive at all.


This is no longer a relationship based on love and connection, it has now become a power play and NPD loves winning at any cost. This means more power, more influence and more control is required for them to feel superior in this relationship.

Gaslighting is a tactic used to control and manipulate. The more destabilized you becomes the more power (NPD) has over you and the less self confidence you have.  This brings some level comfort to NPD because it creates a false sense of security.

Gaslighting works to distort and erode you sense of reality and because of this you may find yourself frequently going back over conversations or situations, feeling confused and unsure about what exactly happen.

NPD manipulative controlling behaviour is designed to convince you that everything is basically your fault and that they are always right.  If you are unhappy its because you have misread what was said or experienced not because of anything they have done.

Now anytime you try and defend yourself or disagree on any point they are likely to use statements such as   “That didn’t happen, “or “You have a great imagination” or “Are you really that stupid?” These statements are used to make you feel insecure and help  (NPD) feel more powerful.

Generalization and Lack of Empathy

Generalization and blanket statements are another very effective way to have power and deflect from  situations or issues that you want to address. Distorting the facts ensures they are never at fault.  For example if you point out something they said or did to offend, humiliate or belittle you, don’t expect an apology because you are more likely to hear a response like  “gee can’t you take a joke?” or “Cant you get over it?”

If you comment on how much it hurt when they brought up a very personal story to their friends that you shared with them in a private moment, you might get a response like   “Gee what’s wrong with you, your so sensitive”.

This is another form of gaslight making you think that their insensitivity is normal behaviour and should be accepted.

Neglect has stunted NPD ability to have empathy and insight for towards others. This it is one of NPD’s greatest deficits, so don’t expect any apologies or any regret no matter how mean or nasty they can be.

If you call them out for embarrassing you because of a cruel joke they made about you, they are more likely to be personally offended at you for not laughing at the worlds greatest joke.

With zero to nil emotional intelligence finding any understanding and insight in NPD towards their behaviour is like asking a blind person to appreciate a sunset. 

Remember their entire world is solely focused on their needs, wants and desires and if your in that world the same is expected of you.

Isolation and Jealousy

Initially all their fussing and obsessive interest appeared flattering, but pretty soon into the relationship you will find the idea of you doing anything independently will send them into a tale spin.  The closer the NPD becomes to their love interest the more their fear of rejection and abandonment kicks in and this is when you will begin to this more possessive persona.

NPD needs to make everything about them and once the short lived honeymoon period is over and their real personality has shown you that sharing your attention with anyone else is painful for them and basically not acceptable.

Having a heightened level of jealousy and need to have control, they will begin to nit-pick and find fault in your friends and family to isolate you from your close connects.

Statements like “all your friends are boring” or ” I don’t like you when your with them” or to add a touch of guilt “they don’t even like me” are typical statements designed to prevent you from maintaining any support net work around you apart from them.

NPD is are excellent at projecting their thoughts and feelings onto others.  So don’t be surprised if they start telling you who you like and don’t like.

As their need to isolate you grows, they will find ways to manipulate how you think and feel about the people around you. Let’s say you mention wanting to catch up with a friend after work, NPD will be quick to remind you of the off handed comment you made about this friend months early, and and how much you don’t really like being around them anymore.

Don’t bother trying to explain what you said or meant about your friend, because NDP isn’t interested in facts, they are not to hear the truth, they just want to keep you at home. So you find yourself cancelling your catch up just to keep them happy.

As the relationship progresses with NPD you may find yourself being invited to less social events because your friends are noticing how often you are saying no to them and yes to NDP.

All this criticism towards loved ones and friends is designed to pull you away, isolate and control you.  The less influence others have in your life the more attention and control they have over you.

Making sure you keep connection with your close family and friends is vitally important in a narcissistic relationship.  This will keep your perception of yourself grounded in reality not the confusing world they are try to create around you.

Guilting & Shaming

Since mentioning doing anything independent from them will trigger NPD insecurities and make them feel unloved.  Guilt and shame are fantastic motivational tools to use to stop you in your tracks. Playing the weak and insecure card is another way to bring you back under their spell.  Statements like “why don’t you want to do those things with me?” , “If you go I will be home by myself” or “If your always with your friends how will our relationship work “?

These are all ways to guilt and shame you into giving into NPD’s demands. Although it can be a more subtitle approach than some of their other methods guilt and shaming is a very powerful tools to help manage your behaviour.

Of course NPD will always have different rules for themselves than for you. So if the reverse was to apply and they have been invited their friends, don’t NPD them to follow the same protocol.  If you try the guilt trip on them you might be hit with the suggestion that your way too clingy or needy. Hypocrisy is another trait you need to endure if you are in a relationship with NPD.

Manipulation & Belittling

The longer you are in a relationship with NPD the more their emotional enmeshment intensifies their need to control. Not wanted to exposing any of their flaws becomes even more important and their right to have say in everything becomes more of their focus.

NPD will use any anything to manipulation and belittling as long as they remain in control.

Twisting facts and making you feel very small are two very effective methods to confuse and dismantle your self-esteem.

Winning at all costs is the name of the game when you go head to head with NPD.  Nothing is off the table.  If lies or exaggerations don’t work then insults, and bullying and cruel remarks will have to do.  Whatever it takes for NPD to come out on top. Your vulnerabilities have become their ammunition that they can use against you whenever they feel as if you are not giving them what they need.

If you are wanting  to talk through an issue or raise something that NPD has done. Rather than dealing directly with facts NPD will use circular and blanket statements to win arguments  ‘You always”,  “I never” are deflective statements that are commonly used. Please don’t expect a fair and even discussion.


Projection is another common trait used by (NPD) to confuse you and help them avoid take responsibility for themselves.

To NPD any of their flaws and mistakes means “I am not good enough and ultimately unlovable” and so to admit any type of shortcoming means that they have been exposed.

Therefore rather than acknowledgment and taking ownership for their behaviour, they will project their their own flaws, imperfections and wrongdoings, onto you.

Projection and gaslighting as mentioned are used to disorient you and to ensure you remain off track if they feel challenged or cornered into admitting they are wrong.

If you disagreed even slightly with NPD don’t be surprised to receive an onslaught of criticism, complaints and ridicule and abuse, and expect to come away feeling completely exhausted and deflated. 

Superior Attitude, They No Best

As the relationship continues NPD will not only behave like a toddler at times but they also assume the role of the parent, providing contemptuous smirks and unnecessary digs to remind you of their superior standing in this relationship.

With this heightened sense of superiority and this unhealthy entanglement NPD will always assume that they know what’s best for you.  This can go as far as friends, foods, career, interests and anything else that you might identified with. By telling continuously telling what you like and don’t like NPD gains a feeling of elevation above you and a deep level of satisfaction similar to a parent managing a naughty Childs behaviour.

All of this is sure to create confusion you and overtime you actually forget what you do like and what is important to you.

When this level of control has gotten into your psyche their cruel words can begin to play out in your subconscious its time to consider if this is the right relationship for you.

Smear Campaign

And now the final nail the controlling coffin.  NPD will infiltrate and control your support net work from the outside in if they feel cracks are forming in your relationship.

If they feel as if you a painting them in a negative light they will be quick to play the martyr and label you as the dysfunctional one in the relationship.

Once the relationship is over creating a smear campaign on social media is a powerful way to sabotage your reputation and slander your name.

You may be initially oblivious to what they are saying about you until the relationship ends and then you will have a big mess to sort out, trying to prove your innocence against all the gossip and backstabbing they have use to discredit your reputation.

They could even result to stalking and harassment of  you or the people you know as a way to supposedly “expose” the truth about you; this exposure acts as a way to hide their own abusive behaviour while projecting it onto you.

They often use social media as a way to create smear campaigns, by creating stories of you being aggressor is a great tactic and cover story for any future love interests if they find themselves looking for a new relationships either whilst or after your relationship is over. The Amber Heard and Johnny Debb story is a great example of this.

The best way to handle a smear campaign is to not to reaction with your emotions no matter how upsetting they can be. Sticking the facts and waiting until their lies unravel is the best tactic in these types of situations. If it feels like its really getting out of hand document any form of harassment, cyberbullying or stalking incidents taking legal action may be the only way to control their behaviour. Remember if it does come to that always speak to your narcissist through a lawyer whenever possible.

Remember your character and integrity will speak for itself in the end, so hold yourself high, NPD’s are not as powerful as they believe themselves to be.

Signs of Abuse

Below is a list of common signs of psychological abuse that can be linked to the behaviours of a person with NPD:

  • verbal insults, frequent criticisms, or put-downs
  • being screamed or yelled at often
  • threats of physical harm or to remove something you hold dear
  • controlling your routine, like when you eat, sleep, or see family and friends
  • forcing physical or emotional isolation
  • invasions of privacy, such as checking your phone or reading private text messages

What to do if you are in a narcissistic relationship

Now that you have read through some examples of what it is like being in a relationship with a narcissist you might be recognizing some of the patterns in your own relationship.

Abuse is abuse and if your needs are not being met and you are feeling shamed for having your own point of view  you to rethink if this is the best type of relationship for you.

I have had many clients feel like they need to stay in miserable relationships because they have felt like nobody else will love them, but that sacristy mentality will only keep you in a situation often much longer than you deserve to be.

I can assist you with:

  • Building your self confidence
  • Creating healthy boundaries
  • Understanding you worth in a relationship
  • Learning to say No
  • Feeling less co-dependent in your relationships

Treatment for someone with NPD

Since hypnotherapy is such a powerful way to help build insight, if you have been diagnosed with NPD you may need assistance with the following:

  • Learn to relate better with others so your relationships are more intimate, enjoyable and rewarding
  • Understand the causes of your emotions and what drives you to compete, to distrust others, and perhaps to despise yourself and others

Areas of change are directed at helping you accept responsibility and learning to:

  • Accept and maintain real personal relationships and collaboration with co-workers
  • Recognize and accept your actual competence and potential so you can tolerate criticisms or failures
  • Increase your ability to understand and regulate your feelings
  • Understand and tolerate the impact of issues related to your self-esteem
  • Release your desire for unattainable goals and ideal conditions and gain an acceptance of what’s attainable and what you can accomplish

Whether you need help building back your self worth or need assistance coming out of a a Narcissistic Relationship or you need assist navigating your way out of it, I am here to help.

There is one thing important thing to understand about relationships – If its healthy love it doesn’t hurt.

If you would like to book a session and begin the healing process please contact Donna on 0424 300 678