What to Do if You Are in a Relationship with a Narcissist
It’s common for people with heightened sensitivity to enter a relationship with a narcissist. It’s easily done, given that we’re very accommodating to other people’s differences and characteristics and have hard time setting boundaries.
Narcissistic people have huge ego
and are looking for people to maintain their self-absorbed image of greatness and superiority. Some of the features of narcissists are wild reaction to criticism, lack of empathy, demonstrating arrogant, haughty and overproud behavior, using others to achieve their personal goals, constantly seeking attention and support and more. For the outside world, they may seem like the outgoing extrovert, the heart of the company, someone funny and knowledgeable.
Highly sensitive people are attracted to this open, interesting persona.
They subconsciously like them because it’s like an antidote for their introverted nature and they find it exciting.
The issue arises when we start a relationship with such a person. From the inside the reality is quite different from what is projected to the world. The seemingly confident person is actually full of fear and minority complex and in order to feel good about themselves, they desperately try to control, manipulate and put their partner down. Often this escalates to verbal, mental or emotional abuse. This is irrelevant of gender, as both men and women can be narcissistic.
One of the biggest struggles in the highly sensitive person’s life is the low self-esteem.
We’re aware that we’re not our society’s ideal and sometimes we feel awkward. Our low self-confidence easily attracts abusive partners. Being as affectionate and loyal as we are, we find it hard to break up, even when that’s the most rational and obvious solution. And how can you blame us, we’re looking for our special someone and our romantic side easily takes over… There is nothing more normal than that, we’re humans and we crave connection and unity.
But what can we do if the negative emotions and experiences with a narcissist outweigh the positive ones?
Unless you’re comfortable with filling in an endless chasm of insecurity and fright, you have to take an action in order to protect yourself. In my opinion, there are two ways.
The first one is to build a very strong foundation of your self-esteem, define healthy boundaries and don’t let your partner cross them.
If you like to learn how to set boundaries in your life, you can check out my ‘Setting Boundaries’ worksheet. I have to say this could be exhausting in the long term because it may feel as an ongoing battle for domination – the narcissist won’t like your new sense of freedom and independence and will try even harder to keep you under their control and put you down.
The second way is to end the relationship.
I know that this is very painful and with the heightened spectre of sensations that we have, it could feel like the end of the world. Inevitably, you will keep asking yourself where you did wrong, why it took you so long to figure things out, wouldn’t they change in the future, why you invested so much time and energy and so on. It’s normal to have these thoughts but try to see past them.
Try to connect with your inner wisdom,
get quiet and listen, it may take a while until you hear something but be persistent. Ask yourself if this is really the treatment you deserve and the love that you want to experience in this lifetime.
I’m not a supporter of the idea of getting rid of relationships as a single-use commodity but sometimes you have to let it go.
And once you release yourself from the grasp of a narcissistic relationship, you give a signal to the Universe that you know your self-worth and you’re ready for a meaningful, respectful, embodied relationship with a partner who truly loves you. So be strong and love yourself, what is meant for you will find its way to you.