Can you have a healthy relationship with a narcissist?

You might love your partner, but can you have a good relationship with them if they’re too busy loving themselves? We’ve outlined the difference between someone who displays occasional tendencies towards narcissism, and someone with true narcissistic personality disorder – as well as how to navigate a relationship with each.

Wouldn ’ t it be a fantastic thing if, after a spin through the socially constructed and genic whirlpool of human nature, we all turned out to be decent, caring and humble human beings ?
unfortunately, as we all know, it takes all kinds of people to make a world. potent and healthy relationships form the foundation of our wellbeing, so how do we avoid the perils of unhealthy ones ?

Developing an awareness of those characters who will not be well for us, including those with meaning egotistic tendencies, is one way .

Narcissism – the meaning behind the buzz word

The use of psychological labels such as ‘ self-love ’ has become more and more popular in holocene years. But we often use them without a full sympathy of their think of. These labels were developed as descriptions of human behavior and can exist across a spectrum .
It ’ sulfur true that egotistic traits, tendencies, and ‘ selfish ’ demeanor have become more normalize in western culture in particular, with an emphasis on the individual at the monetary value of residential district. ‘ Individualism is rampant ’, writes Hugh Mackay in his reserve Australia Reimagined .
As you look around, you might see egotistic traits and tendencies in friends, family, your own partner and possibly even yourself. From clock time to time, we all become a short self-focused and arrogant, we want others to admire us and see us as limited, and we might even be a little selfish or insensitive .
This is in fact quite normal, and can even sometimes be healthy. But this demeanor doesn ’ triiodothyronine normally exclude an ability to be medium and caring to others. That ’ south why when talking about the intend of self-love, it ’ randomness authoritative to keep things in perspective .

The difference between narcissistic traits and true narcissism

Most of the time when we refer to person as a narcissist, it ’ second because we have experienced them as systematically acting in a arrogant, selfish and insensitive manner. On the early hand, we might call person egotistic when they are not doing what we want, and we don ’ triiodothyronine like the boundaries they may be setting .
The beneficial news is that these behaviours are a long way from the extreme form of malignant self-love that we call ‘ egotistic personality disorder ’ ( NPD ), which is thankfully quite rare – less than 1 % of the general population, and more common among men than women .
so while person might be inclined to be a little selfish and arrogant, that doesn ’ triiodothyronine base they ’ ra not capable of caring for others. The key factor to look for is whether an person can be caring and sensitive at least some of the clock time .

What is narcissistic personality disorder?

While egotistic behavior exists on a spectrum, person who would meet the criteria for NPD would systematically display at least five of the follow criteria :

  • Has an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with one’s self
  • Needs constant and excessive admiration and expects to be recognised as superior for their exaggerated, often unworthy, achievements and talents
  • Is selfish and lacks empathy across numerous contexts – they are unable or unwilling to recognise the feelings or needs of others
  • Has fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, uniqueness, beauty or perfect love
  • Believes he or she is ‘special’ and should only relate to other special people – looks down on people they believe to be inferior
  • Has a strong sense of entitlement – expects favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her wishes
  • Has a tendency to take advantage of others to get what he or she wants
  • May display ‘caring and giving’ behaviours, but these are usually just to get what they want, or to make them look good
  • Is envious of others or believes others envy him or her.

In addition, a person with NPD will have a distribute invested in projecting an effigy of having a perfect and felicitous kinship. They ’ ll besides want their partner to maintain this charade .
Often their partner will avoid telling others the truth about the relationship. They may seek to avoid overplus or hope that things will improve if they good tolerate or ignore the bad behavior. They besides learn that complaining only makes things worse, because their complaints are a wreathe to the ego of the egotistic partner.

ultimately, people with true NPD broadly can not be changed. person at the extreme point goal of this personality type will find it about impossible to develop penetration into how others see them .
This makes it difficult for them to accept any duty for behavior that make their spouse or partner infelicitous. In fact, they may respond to their partner ’ randomness or other people ’ mho concerns with anger. They may tell lies or twist the accuracy, shift the blame, or even argue that they are the real victim .

Is it ever possible to have a healthy relationship with a narcissist?

If we are talking about a person who meets the criteria for NPD listed above, the answer would have to be ‘ no ’. It ’ sulfur unmanageable to have a genuine and love connection with person who makes everything about him or her. additionally, in many cases, those in relationships with person who has NPD can experience ongoing psychological and emotional misuse – types of domestic violence – at the hands of their partners .
But if you do happen to find yourself in a relationship with person who might merely display egotistic tendencies, there is some hope .
Relationships that survive will rely on the collaborator having good self-esteem, impregnable boundaries, resources that are valued by the narcissist, patience, an equable personality, and a rationality to stay. Over time, this sort of self think of will need good reinforcing stimulus from early parts of your life, like study or friends, to be maintained .
The success of the relationship will besides depend on your spouse being able to learn to respond well to your feedback. They may not respond with empathy and understanding at foremost. But if they can finally acknowledge your requests in some way, then that signals some hope for the kinship .
If they can never accept or take your concerns on board, then the kinship risks becoming a lopsided and potentially psychologically hazardous connection – and one that ’ second ultimately likely to break down .

What the myth of Narcissus and Echo can teach us

many of us are familiar with where the term narcissist comes from – the greek myth about the beautiful young man, Narcissus, who falls in love with his own image in a pool of water. But the character frequently left out of this story is the mountain nymph, Echo, who falls in love with Narcissus and is rejected by him. When Narcissus, unable to stop star at his own image, wastes aside and dies, Echo mourns over his body until she excessively wastes away .
The experience of Echo teaches us an crucial moral in how not to become a victim of a egotistic personality. While narcissists can be attractive, charming and successful people, they can be limited in their capacity to look beyond themselves and care for others. A healthy kinship involves the ability of both partners to give and take .

How counselling can help

To get to a more balanced placement in your relationship, professional rede can be important. You need to understand the basis for the apparent self-focus and insensitivity of your spouse. While these things can come about for a whole range of reasons, they could besides shift with some focused oeuvre with a therapist.

however, if your partner refuses to consider your views or the possibility of working on the relationship, and even suggests you should equitable look at yourself ? These could be signs that transfer is going to be less probable, and it may be time to consider walking away .

If you think you might be in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder, it’s important to seek help. Relationships Australia NSW offers individual and couples counselling to help you explore options and find ways to move forward. Contact us to find out more. 

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Category : Healthy