When you think about your current romantic relationship, do you ever feel:
- Abandoned by friends or family? Almost as if your significant other is the only one who cares?
- Made to feel guilty when you tried to socialize with others?
- Worthless, or that your mistakes override the hard work you do for your relationship?
- Like you can’t bring up things that make you upset that your partner has done?
- Spend the majority of your time trying to find ways to make your partner happy?
- Questionable of your own sanity?
If so, you might find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist.
Before going into this field I remember thinking that a narcissist was a buzzword for someone who was just selfish or inconsiderate. After learning about this personality disorder, as well as other personality disorders, I have come to find that it is quite common in the clients I see and often linked with histories of abuse.
Narcissistic personality disorder can be diagnosed if someone has 5 or more of the following qualities
(according to the DSM V):
- Exaggerates own importance
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence or ideal romance
- Believes he or she is special and can only be understood by other special people or institutions
- Requires constant attention and admiration from others
- Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
- Takes advantage of others to reach his or her own goals
- Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
- Is often envious of others or believes other people are envious of him or her
- Shows arrogant behaviors and attitudes
People with this disorder will typically be very rigid and stubborn and have difficulty making/keeping friends or having close relationships with others in general. To be in a romantic relationship with someone who has been diagnosed with this personality disorder, is especially stressful and anxiety provoking. Many times the clients I work with won’t realize that the behavior their partner executes is actually emotional/mental abuse. Emotional/mental abuse comes into the relationship if you are finding yourself questioning your own self-worth, or sanity. Many people with Narcissistic personality disorder use a technique called Gaslighting. Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality (Psychologytoday, 2017).
If you would like to learn more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Gaslighting, how to safely exit a relationship, etc. Please feel free to contact Lauren Rodman at email@example.com. She would be happy to give you psycho-education and work with you if you find that this blog hits home for you. Also stay tuned, Lauren will be creating a follow up blog related to emotional abuse and more in depth explanation of Gaslighting.