The Painful Truth of the “Perfect” Narcissist

IAOL 4 | Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissists! Given the masks they wear, you often can’t spot a narcissist until you’re knee-deep in the relationship. Sadly, a relationship with a true narcissist can be extremely toxic and challenging. Those who suffer from narcissist personality disorder (NPD) are secretly terrified of engaging in emotionally connected relationships. Although often successful in the material and superficial realms of life, the true narcissist can make intimate relationships hellish. Join Dr. Carla for a deep exploration into NPD and how the disorder manifests. Discover how to notice red flags and spot narcissists before it’s too late. And, if you’re already in relationship with a narcissist, Dr. Carla offers supportive coping strategies and tips for staying sane.

Books by Dr. Carla Manly:

Date Smart: Transform Your Relationships and Love Fearlessly

Joy From Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend

Aging Joyfully: A Woman’s Guide to Optimal Health, Relationships, and Fulfillment for Her 50s and Beyond

The Joy of Imperfect Love

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The Painful Truth of the “Perfect” Narcissist

A Deep Dive into the Red Flags and Challenges of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

You may suspect that you have a narcissist in your life but worry that you are misapplying this often-misused term. After all, it’s hard to believe when we choose or we’re chosen by a person with narcissistic personality disorder. In truth, living with a narcissist can be extremely tough. We’ll focus on this real-life question, “My last partner was a full-blown narcissist, and it took me ages to recover. I’m finally back to dating, but I think the person I’m seeing is another narcissist. There are so many red flags. I’m sure I’m not seeing them all. Is it me? Am I a magnet for narcissists?” With that question as the focus of this episode, this is Imperfect Love.

IAOL 4 | Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissism Defined

Narcissism is a fascinating topic and one that we hear a lot about in this world. We want to take care when using the term narcissist, that we’re not just talking about a person who has some narcissistic traits, but about narcissistic personality disorder. In order to properly address the question submitted, I want to dive into some background about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ll set out some terms just so we all have a clear foundation.

Join Dr. Carla for a deep dive into narcissistic personality disorder. In truth, you often can't spot a narcissist until you're knee-deep in the relationship. If the narcissist isn't interested in changing, take notice. Now might be the perfect time to… Click To Tweet

First, let’s look briefly at the history of the term narcissist. Narcissist comes from Greek mythology. This beautiful young man fell in love with himself in the reflection of a pool. He becomes so self-absorbed and enchanted by his reflection that he can’t see anything else. Not even the beautiful nymph, Echo, who has fallen in love with him. Echo is a lovely counterpart to the story because she shows us the risk of becoming involved in falling in love with the narcissist. She could only stay and hear the echo of her voice because the narcissist didn’t reflect anything on her. He could only see himself.

The Narcissistic Personality Disorder

When we use that very beautiful and sad metaphor as a background for understanding narcissism, we can see that hoping that the narcissist can look up and turn toward another person and see them for who they are, what they want, and what they have to offer, is sometimes a very risky proposition indeed. Let’s look at what the DSM-5 has to say about narcissistic personality disorder. The DSM-5 is the manual used by psychologists and other medical practitioners and mental health practitioners to explain certain mental health disorders. Narcissistic personality disorder is indeed a diagnosable mental health disorder.

When we look at narcissism, we want to be very careful to understand it occurs on a continuum. We all have an element of narcissism in us. We must because if you don’t care at all about yourself, you’re not going to remember to eat, drink, sleep, or take care of yourself with good food. When we look at the continuum of narcissistic personality disorder, we have one end of the pole which is very low self-concern. We then have most people who are somewhere in the middle, some a little bit low on self-absorption, some a little bit higher on self-absorption. When we get to the other end of the continuum where we look at narcissistic personality disorder, then we are seeing a pervasive pattern of narcissistic traits.

Characteristics of Narcissism

I’ll outline some of these very interesting and often very destructive patterns that we see with narcissistic personality disorder. These characteristics are red flags. For those of you who are in a relationship with someone and you’re wondering whether or not they’re a narcissist, look for some of these red flags. Not just 1 or 2. You’ll be looking to have many of them pop up in the relationship.

Grandiosity. A sense of grandiosity, whether it exhibits in real life or in the person’s fantasies, is a constant need for admiration. This may look like being the clown, the funny guy, the star of the show, the boss. All of those things can reflect this important element of narcissistic personality disorder. Another key piece is the person must be interpersonally exploitative. When I say that, they take advantage of other people. They want to get their needs met, and they will do whatever they need to get their needs met. That is a hallmark of the narcissist.

There’s also a genuine and flagrant lack of empathy. There’s no empathy. It’s not there. Sometimes they’ll try to muster up empathy, but it tends to dissipate, so it’s often there for appearances and they’re trying to show it, but underneath there’s a true lack of empathy. There’s also the self-absorption. Everything circles back to what the narcissist wants.

That means that they may do kind things, but there’s always going to be an agenda. They may strike up a conversation and show that they’re interested, but again, underneath that is not a true desire to know about the other person. It is a true desire to either hear themselves speak or to talk about something that they are interested in. To be not self-absorbed is very difficult for the narcissist.

They also often have fantasies of limitless success or power. They may not talk about it, but inside, they’re always hungering and thirsting for more. Not more for other people, more for the narcissist. They also tend to be very clever. Often, they’re great at business in many cases because they are clever. They’re often very clever at roping people into their lives. It’s part of the narcissist’s cleverness.

Narcissists often have fantasies of limitless success or power. Click To Tweet

Again, they can be very externally successful and externally in the material world but tend to have low success rates in healthy interpersonal relationships. There’s a lack of reciprocal interest, and this is key. The narcissist may try to show interest in you, but in the end, they aren’t interested in what makes you tick. They may not want to converse about what makes you happy. They may do it because they feel they have to, but learning about your internal world is not going to be interesting to the narcissist. Remember, everything is about them. It’s going to turn back to, “What matters to me.”

Little capacity for personal insight. This is a very interesting piece about the narcissist because that’s why they can’t get out of their way. They will claim they’re not narcissistic. They may see themselves as the most generous, wonderful person interested in others, but they’re not able to reflect to see how hollow that may be, how they are only able to show interest in others when they’re getting something out of it.

That’s an interesting component, that lack of capacity for personal insight. It’s not necessarily that they are doing it consciously. They just are afraid of looking inward. The reason they’re afraid of looking inward is there’s often not much going on inside or what’s inside due to past trauma of some sort or another. It’s very scary for them. They’re highly defended about going inside and looking within. Very sad but true.

They also can be bullying. They can certainly lack remorse. They can do all sorts of horrible things to other people emotionally, physically, mentally, financially even sometimes, and not show too much if any remorse. They also wear masks. Mask on, mask off, we’ll talk about this more in a little bit, but notice that maybe three vary or more distinct sides to the personality. They’re also generally often unwilling to take responsibility and to give genuine apologies. For example, if they cause trouble in a relationship, they might say, “It’s your problem. You have something up your behind. You deal with it. It’s not my problem,” even though they were a huge part in instigating it.

They are often very entitled. They maybe claim that they’re not entitled. The sense of entitlement shows up with unreasonable expectations and often, this request for automatic compliance with what they want, and that can change on any given day. Narcissists like to be in charge. They’ll keep shifting the rules on you. Once you get used to something they’re about off, they’re shifting the rules to something else. Why? It gives them power and narcissists love power. They feed on it. Why do they feed on power? It’s because the inside is so empty and often a very sad place to be.

Narcissists love power. They feed on it. Click To Tweet

Let’s continue. Inconsistency. The narcissist can be highly inconsistent. They’ll say they want consistency. They’ll say they want peace, tranquility, and a lovely relationship, but they won’t be willing to engage in the consistent, predictable, kind showing-up behavior that would allow for trust and safety to build in a relationship. That’s a hallmark of the narcissist. Even though they may say they want a healthy and safe intimate relationship, they are terrified of it. Because of the wounding that is unaddressed from their childhood, they are genuinely fearful of being engaged in an authentic emotionally connected relationship. It’s sad but true.

They are often envious of others. They may not show it overtly, but they may try and take people who are important to a partner and put them to the side and devalue them so that they don’t feel threatened by what they perceive to be competition. That’s another part about the narcissist. They’re highly competitive in relationships, in sports, and they may chase down different relationships, not for the joy of connection, but to be able to say, “Got another one. That challenge is done.”

Thus, narcissists can treat people like disposable objects. They’re object-oriented and externally oriented. Often, they will accrue people and have them come and go at their whim, which often makes it difficult to be in a relationship with a narcissist. You’re often treated like an object rather than a real-life human being with deep feelings, thoughts, and needs of your own.

The narcissist is also very unaware and disinterested in others. Again, you might get confused about that because they can be completely engaged and interested if they’re wanting to hook you. The minute that they get you or what they want from you, they no longer see the value in your internal world or anything about you, so that can be confusing. There is often a devaluation of others’ contributions and achievements. They may not be grateful. They may have you do something or you might do something for them, and then they’ll always look for the fly in the ointment, what you didn’t do right. It’s about control. It’s about devaluing the other person. Why? It’s so that the narcissist can feel better.

Remember, inside that narcissist is a sad and lonely little child often who is trying to fill up that empty hole with more. When it’s a bottomless pit, that hole isn’t easily filled, if ever. Again, it’s sad when you start looking at the internal world of the narcissist. You can have a lot of empathy for them. I’m not saying these behaviors are okay at all. I’m helping you understand them so that we focus back on the question. We can understand a little bit more about these points and how they are red flags.

Inside that narcissist is a very sad, lonely little child who is trying to fill up that empty hole with more and more and more. But when it's a bottomless pit, that hole isn't very easily filled. Click To Tweet

The narcissist is also highly defensive. They can dole out criticism right, left, front, and center. If you try and say something to the narcissist, even if it’s intended to be helpful, they will push back. They will call you critical. They will call you mean. They will say all sorts of things because inside, they are often very sensitive and unable to take feedback. Even if you’re not being critical, feedback is often extraordinarily difficult for the narcissist. This can come up for the narcissist in a strange way where even if you say something kind, the narcissist will put it away, almost like a rat putting away food, and then bring it out later, hold it against you, or throw it back at you.

The narcissist tends to be very unforgiving and holds onto resentments. They can’t process an issue very well because they lack that inner understanding. They collect hurts, real or imagined, and are unwilling to let them go. You can see how that is very sad and makes it difficult for narcissists to move forward in life because they’re holding on to so much angst and anger from the past. They will say they aren’t.

The narcissist will say, “I let go of everything.” No, the narcissist doesn’t. The narcissist is a scorekeeper. They’re also highly competitive. They can be aggressive and bullish. Wrapping it up with this last piece just to emphasize it. They are very sensitive to injury from others and sensitive to criticism. They see that as a defeat. When they feel defeated as if they’re wrong, that sets the narcissist on fire.

Am I a Magnet for Narcissism?

These are all important pieces for us to look at for the question, “Am I a magnet for narcissism? How did this happen? Am I repeating this? Is it me?” In truth, it’s important to note that you might have a narcissist in your past. You might have had a narcissistic parent, a narcissistic sibling, usually an older sibling, or a very narcissistic caregiver of some sort, who often makes narcissism feel familiar, comfortably uncomfortable in a negative sense. You are drawn to this type of person.

On the plus side, that means that the more aware you become of the narcissistic tendencies and the red flags, the more you can hold your boundaries and not get drawn into them. Thus, heal that part of you that tends to be drawn toward that familiar energy. It does not make this your fault. No shame here. No blame. It’s about looking at patterns.

Now, we also can see for this reader and all of us these huge red flags. There are so many of them and it’s so hard to track them. It’s no wonder that the narcissist tends to draw in people because the red flags often appear over time. They can be very subtle and the narcissist can be charismatic. Not necessarily physically attractive or unattractive, but often it’s this charisma that draws people in.

Back to some other underpinnings about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it’s important to note that NPD can share characteristics with other personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. There are key pieces of, for example, antisocial personality disorder that are impulsivity, aggression, and chronic deceit, being very dishonest. They can be characteristics of NPD, but not always so.

Remember, there are some characteristics here that are shared with other personality disorders. You don’t want to diagnose a person with NPD on your own. Often, the truest diagnosis, which is difficult to get, is from a mental health clinician who’s experienced with it. Getting a person with narcissistic personality disorder in to see a therapist to be evaluated and to have them undergo the thorough evaluation that’s required is often very difficult because the person with NPD thinks they are perfect. That’s what they’ll say inside. They could dig down. They’d see that they’re not like all of us who need to learn, grow, shift, and evolve, but that’s very difficult for a person with narcissistic personality disorder.

Remember, narcissism occurs on a spectrum. You may have someone who has extraordinarily high NPD traits and can be diagnosed with NPD, or someone who’s a little lower on the spectrum and just may have a lot of narcissistic traits. Don’t second-guess yourself. If you’re seeing what you’re seeing and you’re confident in it, even journal about it, write it down because people with NPD are very good at making you second guess your truth. Keeping a private journal can help you remember your truth and what you are experiencing so that you are not second-guessing what your gut knows, what your heart knows, and what your brain knows.

People with narcissistic personality disorder are very good at making you second-guess your truth. Click To Tweet

Another piece about NPD, up to 75% of those with NPD are male. In the general population, you might be wondering, “I hear so much about this. 50% of people must have NPD.” No, it’s much lower. True NPD occurs in up to 6.2% of the population. These statistics, it’s always hard to know exactly the number because so many people with NPD don’t seek treatment.

Also, our society tends to idolize, in some ways, people with NPD because they often have so many of the traits that people admire. The aggressiveness, the outward success, the materialistic streaks, and the egocentrism. Some people find that very normal, although it can be extremely unhealthy, especially at the far end of the continuum. There are many people sadly who admire that.

Types of Narcissists

You might also hear terms such as overt narcissist or covert narcissist. These are not terms that are used clinically, but they’re often used in order to help people better understand that NPD manifests in a variety of ways. For example, a person with overt narcissism will have a lot more of those red flag characteristics I described earlier, whereas the person who is a covert narcissist may have more of this sensitivity and low self-esteem that makes it a little harder to see them as what we traditionally see as that very competitive all-about-me narcissist.

Regardless of the type of narcissist, no matter what term is used, you want to remember with great empathy that at the core of the narcissist is this often-empty deep hole, often deeply insecure. That comes generally from a combination of genetics, childhood environment, innate personality, and life choices along the way. It can be difficult for us to realize because the narcissist appears so big and often grand. It can be very difficult for us to realize that inside that narcissist is a very deep and sad hole. Again, this does not excuse the narcissist and the often abuse of tendencies they have. It’s simply offered as an explanation.

The Root of Narcissism

We looked at some of the roots of this. One other key route when you’re looking at narcissism is often the parents of the narcissistic child were either overly doting and spoiling of the child, one or both of the caretakers. Also, they were so narcissistic and self-focused, the child was more of a placeholder in their lives. In some cases, as well, one of the parents may take the child and use it as a surrogate partner.

They may not get on very well with the husband or the husband may not be interested in doing activities. The mother, for example, might take the child along on a lot of activities, and that builds this, “You are my special golden child connection.” That can occur with any gender. It’s not necessarily male to female, female to male, or whatever.

Let’s look at the person who sent in the question. How did this person end up with a narcissist and then another narcissist? Again, I mentioned charisma. The person who is drawn in by the narcissist is often drawn in by the charisma, as well as that sense of familiarity if there was a narcissist in their childhood. This helps explain why that pattern presents itself often over and over again. Here’s the gift, because we are all imperfect and we all get drawn into relationships of one sort or another, where we go, “How did I get here?” It doesn’t mean you are bad or broken. It simply means it might be a possible avenue for you to grow and learn if your partner is willing for the partner to grow and learn.

That’s a key piece for all of us to remember. If a partner, whether they have NPD or not, is willing and interested, if you can get that hard shell cracked open enough for them to say, “I do want to evolve. I do want to be a better person,” there’s your hope and the potential. We all have the potential to learn and grow. Those with personality disorders have a more difficult time of it. Why? It’s just more hardwired in. It’s more part of their character, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t change if they put their minds to it.

We all have the potential to learn and grow. Those with personality disorders have a more difficult time with it. Why? It's more hardwired and part of their character. Click To Tweet

The Masks

The other reason, let’s go back to why we might get drawn in the masks. I promise to talk more about the masks. The masks are what do us in if we get drawn toward a narcissist because the narcissist draws you in with this lovely, kind, often doting, wonderful, bigger-than-life sometimes behavior. It’s often not into its 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, and sometimes not until after marriage or a commitment is cemented that you get the glimpse that the narcissist has one mask, and then another mask. It can be discombobulating and confusing.

With the narcissist, it depends too on how much time you spend with them. You could be in a relationship with a narcissist and not see them much, not a lot of concerted time together, not a lot of heavy-lifting time together. You may not see that shift in personality for quite some time. Also, with the narcissist, we want to remember that there are often co-occurring disorders like substance abuse. Narcissism might occur with borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder. You may have two or more co-occurring disorders that keep you confused. That’s an important piece to know why this person could maybe get drawn in and drawn in again.

Remember, the narcissist is confusing. When we get confused and we’re a little bit off our game, that’s often when the narcissist moves in a little deeper. The quality of the relationship can deteriorate over time in almost imperceptible ways. You might not be aware if you’re in a relationship with a narcissist that this has changed and that has changed. This expectation has not been met. This promise is broken. This lie is uncovered here, and this is happening over here.

Before you know it, you wake up and say, “I’m ashamed to be caught in this spider web. I’m second-guessing myself. Have I fallen for this or fallen for this again?” That takes us to the question that was submitted of how difficult it is when you realize that you are in a relationship with a narcissist. Can you extricate yourself? Should you extricate yourself? Can the narcissist be healed? Is there hope for the relationship?

Staying or Walking Away

You can extricate yourself. You can get mental health support to get your power back and find out the next best step. You can ask the narcissist in your life to go to therapy with you or ideally go to therapy on their own and face their issues. You can choose to stay in the relationship. If you choose to stay in the relationship, remember that it’s important for you to get clarity on your boundaries, on your own needs, on what you want from the relationship to have discussions with the partner about what he, she, or they can bring to the relationship and what they are willing to bring to the relationship. It’s also important.

Narcissists don’t like having agreements. They don’t like it because they like two standards. When you ask the narcissist to be accountable to create agreements with you, they will often not want to create agreements. They’ll want you to sign their agreements, but like, “Here’s an agreement. Sign this prenuptial agreement or this business agreement, or whatever it is.”

When it comes time for the narcissist to sign your agreements or talk about your agreements, they won’t like that. Remember, it’s all about them. One set of standards for them, another set of standards for you. If you find yourself in that predicament, it’s going to be a lot about you coming into yourself, finding your power, standing up for yourself, and not engaging with the narcissist.

They’re going to throw out hooks. They’re going to want to get you to spiral. They’re going to want to see you throw a fit. They’ll sometimes get great joy in seeing that they’ve upset another person. If you’re crying, they may think, “They’re just crying to put on a show. Those aren’t real tears.” They’re only saying that because they’re often not capable of real tears.

You wouldn’t believe how many clients I’ve worked with who say, “I’m in a relationship with a narcissist and I fell asleep in bed crying. I went and slept on the bathroom floor and cried myself to sleep all night. They didn’t even think anything of it. They went right to sleep with a smile on their face.” That’s the narcissist. That is a sad predicament because so many people in a relationship with narcissists feel very alone.

Back to the question that was submitted, do you need to stay with the narcissist? Of course not. You can walk away anytime you want. If you’re feeling unsafe, it’s better to walk away sooner than later. That’s a key piece. Sometimes the narcissist can be incredibly abusive, physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, or spiritually. They can whittle away a thousand digs at you over time until you are bleeding internally and they will not care. If that’s the relationship you are in, I would suggest that you seek therapy, a domestic violence support group, and as much reinforcement as you can get so you can leave that abusive relationship.

You don’t need to stay with a narcissist. You can walk away anytime you want, and if you're feeling unsafe, it's better to walk away sooner than later. Click To Tweet

If you want to stay and you believe that the narcissist in your life is going to work on themselves, that’s an important commitment. To get the narcissist commitment that they are going to work on evolving. If they won’t commit to that, that is probably the hugest red flag of all. To me, whether someone in a relationship has a narcissistic personality disorder is just a regular Joe or whomever, we want to evolve in relationships. We want to become our best selves by working with our partners regardless of the absence or presence of mental health issues. Isn’t that one of the most beautiful parts of our relationship, a healthy relationship, that there’s room to grow?

We’re all imperfect and there’s always something to work on. For a person with NPD or some other mental health disorder, there may be a lot more to work on. That is the big picture of narcissistic personality disorder. It’s not an easy one because there’s such a power imbalance with the narcissist. The narcissist will generally choose people who don’t have as much as them mentally. They may choose people who don’t have much to their name. Why? It’s because they like that power imbalance. They like to pull the rug out from under people. One of the ways they can do that is to be with people they perceive to be less than they are, especially in the material world or the intellectual world. They’re also threatened by those they perceive to be better or even equal to them.

Final Red Flags

Again, I’m going to go through some of these final red flags because that’s what the question of the day is. There are all these red flags popping up, but have I noticed them all? We talked about a lot of the red flags before when we were looking at the characteristics of NPD, and then we’re going to wrap it up with these other elements, these other red flags that this person and all of us would want to be looking for moving forward.

The power imbalance that they like. The threat they have from those whom they perceive to be their equals or better. Again, that comes from that scary place inside. They’re often highly charismatic, especially in the public eye. When they take that mask off and they’re in their intimate relationships and sometimes in their professional relationships, it depends, but they can be exceedingly contemptuous, disrespectful, demeaning, racist, and all of these other things that boggle the mind.

Also, this is a restatement of something I said before that’s worth pointing to. They have the willingness to do whatever needs to be done to get their needs met. They will often lie and manipulate without thinking anything about it. They’ll always have an excuse, “I did this or I lied here because of that. I manipulated here because of that.” Again, that’s that lack of ability to self-reflect. When you can’t self-reflect, you can’t grow because growth comes from the ability to self-reflect.

When you don't have the ability to self-reflect, you can't grow, because growth comes from the ability to self-reflect. Click To Tweet

Narcissists can be prone to temper tantrums and anger outbursts if they don’t get their way. They also often have difficulty regulating their emotions, particularly in intimate relationships. They can fly off the handle fairly easily. They have difficulty in their intimate relationships. Again, they can be highly successful in the external world, but not in a very long-term committed relationship where they see a partner on an ongoing basis. That’s the key, the ongoing basis. They may have a lot of difficulty holding that down.

Remember, this is a key piece. Understand that if you have unhealed wounds from your past, that you grew up with a narcissistic caregiver or family member, that you may be unconsciously drawn toward narcissists due to it feeling familiar. Again, this is not your fault. It is programming. The upside to programming is that we can change it, heal it, and surely engage in therapy and self-help work to shift it.

For the person who wrote in with this question, in her healing that was required from the first relationship, you might be wondering why so much healing was needed. It’s because the narcissist can get into your skin that your self-esteem dwindles, you lose your sense of who you are, your groundedness in the world, and you can suffer from chronic anxiety that you never had before. You can start shutting down emotionally. Whereas, once you may have been connected to yourself, you may start retracting. You may suffer from panic attacks. You may start self-isolating. Some people find that they use start using substances to cope with being around a narcissist or use twice as much to cope with being around a narcissist.

All of these pieces, if you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, you may find that you need a lot of healing time because being in a relationship with someone with NPD can be extraordinarily draining. Moving forward, remember, if you decide to stay with the narcissist, or you have a narcissistic boss, friend, or family member, remember to seek mental health support.

Remember that the narcissist can choose to change, but they may choose not to change. You have the right to leave the relationship. If the relationship is unsafe, leave as soon as possible and as safely as possible, and get help. Never hesitate to call 911 or other emergency hotlines if you’re in danger. Don’t engage with the narcissist. Narcissists love to hook you and get you spiraling.

Know your boundaries first, so that you can hold your boundaries. Take the high road. The narcissist often likes to get you low so they can laugh at you, taunt you, or almost disembody you at times. They like seeing you go into that state of shock. Take the high ride. Seek accountability from the narcissist, but don’t chase them. Hold your ground. Create clear agreements with the narcissist. Those are the pieces that if you choose to stay in a relationship, you’re going to have to be strong.

If you choose to stay in a relationship with a narcissist, there’s an upside in an interesting way. It helps you work on yourself. It helps you get stronger and clearer. In truth, if you’re able to hang out with somebody with a narcissistic personality disorder and hold your ground, you’re doing great. If you’re in a relationship with someone who has NPD, they’re seeking help, and they’re working to change, there’s a lot of upside and room for growth. That’s a positive sign.

For the question that was submitted, are you a magnet? Maybe a little bit. Is it your fault? No. There’s no use in shaming or blaming yourself. Instead, embrace the resources that we talked about and others that you can find that are solid resources. Learn and grow from the situation, and move forward in your life in the most empowered and centered way possible.

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One Response

  1. Thank you for this article, it is very thorough and confirms a lot of what I have been through and going through in my divorce. To have shared custody with an NPD person is a living nightmare – they gave you caught in the net and control and i am also on foreign grounds. I have decide for my health I have to leave my beautiful boys who he does not allow to move with me. I will fight for them to come with me so that we can have limited contact with their father and I hope the courts see through his personality disorder only he is extremely manipulative…

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