Relationships with Narcissists
Known as excessive admiration of oneself in its simplest form, narcissism is a personality disorder. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder strive for fantasies of unlimited power, intelligence, success and love. They tend to believe that they are “special” and unprecedented individuals. They use others to reach their fantasies, and they are not willing to understand the feelings or needs of others. Although narcissists show grandiose behaviors, they have a low perception of self and try to eliminate this deficiency through the compliments and approvals from others.
3 Ways How Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder Manipulate Their Partners
Survival requires one to have an optimal love for oneself; nonetheless, this case is observed at extreme levels in those with narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissism is usually mistaken for self-confidence, yet they are completely different things. Narcissists consider their partners a reward under their own domination and may expect their partners to adore them throughout the relationship. The manipulation they make is an emotional abuse, and if narcissists feel that they cannot direct a person, they show specific behaviors:
Jealousy: When they are afraid of losing a person’s attention, they may tend to create situations, which might cause jealousy in their partners, in order to obtain power and control in their relationships. Moreover, having fragile egos, narcissists build their self-confidence after ensuring the security of the relationship by causing jealousy in order to take revenge from their partners and by testing the relationship.
Guilt: If narcissists think that their partners disrespect them or show insufficient devotion behaviors to them, they try to make the other party feel guilty; they can make them feel guilty by twisting the words or actions of the other party.
Threats: Narcissists can make threats to end the relationship in the event that their partners start to show independence or behave in a way that contradicts the expectations of the narcissist.
Narcissists have difficulty in criticizing themselves as they feel uncomfortable with being criticized. Thus, they don’t think they are in need of treatment. They generally do not accept psychotherapy as they are capable of doing the self-assessment, which is required by the nature of psychotherapy. The psychological violence inflicted by narcissists on their partners in a relationship can change the way the partners perceive themselves. It would be beneficial for the partner to get a psychotherapy support in order for the partner to understand their own feelings against the narcissistic personality and to prevent manipulations.
– DSM-V, Amerika Psikiyatri Birliği, Ruhsal Bozuklukların Tanısal ve Sayımsal Elkitabı,5. Baskı, Tanı Ölçütleri Başvuru Elkitabı, Çev. Köroğlu E, Hekimler Yayın Birliği, Ankara, 2014.