Lets start out with a simple enough fact: No relationship is easy; it includes a tremendous amount of understanding, compromise, patience and unconditional love. Despite how much we romanticise unconditional love, in reality just like relationships, that too isn’t at all simple or easy. Take the case of loving a narcissist.
If you have ever fallen for a narcissist or are currently dating one, then you know how other relationships seem like a pleasant breeze as compared to your own. Loving a narcissist is extremely draining and the relationship itself is built on the narcissist’s conditions.
Narcissist Personality Disorder is a very real and worrisome psychological illness. Individuals with this disorder perceive themselves as superior to others in every aspect, and believe that their needs are much more important than any one else’s – including that of their partners. However, only about 5% of the people have this disorder, others only have some of its very emotionally draining traits. So while they may not completely be a narcissist, they are still in need for some psychological help if things get too messy.
As mentioned above, loving a narcissist is not an easy business, so for you, here we have today some tips on how you can at least try to make the relationship more pleasant.
Love A Narcissist? Here Are 9 Ways To Make Your Relationship Better!
Step One: Identify If They Really Are A Narcissist
The first step you need to do is to identify if your partner is really a narcissist (completely or just possessing most traits) or do they have some other disorder.
Research shows that many other disorders can be mistaken for narcissism, like: Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, etc.
Engage yourself in some extreme and deep research and try to observe your partner’s behavior in the most objective way possible. Take help from a friend in this matter.
Step Two: Embrace The Reality
You are in love and in a relationship with a narcissist. That’s the fact, plain and simple. Acknowledge and accept this condition truly. Do not expect a normal relationship, do not expect normal understanding, do not expect normal reaction; do not expect normal.
The most increasingly self-destructive act people in a relationship with narcissists do is that despite the fact that they might say that they are aware of their partner’s illness, they fail to prove it through their behavior; they start expecting normal and when their expectations fail to deliver, they sulk. Loving a narcissist is emotionally draining and challenging. Accept and embrace this.
Step Three: Do Not Ignore Your Feelings
Narcissism is a very real psychological illness, and its effect on the surrounding loved ones can be dire too. As mentioned before, narcissists can be emotionally draining romantic partners, and thus, feelings of stress, anxiety, loneliness and tiredness every once is a while is completely normal. Acknowledge these feelings and do not, under any circumstance ignore it in terms of guilt. If you suppress these emotions and feelings, then they will resurface at some point or another in the form of hatred for your partner.
When you’re feeling stressed, best remedy is to accept the stress, take a break and treat yourself to some pleasant activities.
Step Four: Get More Educated On Narcissism
The best way to establish a better control and peace in the relationship is to understand the behavior. Research on Narcissism’s basis, types, feelings a narcissist goes through, their point of view, etc. This will allow you to perceive the illness more objectively as well, and will also allow you to not take the narcissist’s behavior more personally.
A better understanding of your partner’s behavior will ensure a much better relationship.
Step Five: Try Not To Lose Sight
Loving a narcissist is difficult and challenging. The relationship is built on conditional love from their side and is also on their terms. They put their needs before your own at every term and demand the center stage at all times. This can very well result in feelings of anger, resentment and tiredness. In moments like these, try not to lose sight of why you are in the relationship. Humans are known to act out harshly in moments of anger; they perform things which they sometimes regret later.
In moments of anger, take a deep breath, go to a separate space and try to calm down. Listening to some calm music or ASMR can really help as well!
Step Six: You Are Important!
Amidst the narcissist occupying the center stage at all times along with the added emotional weight, you can lose your self-esteem and confidence. Narcissists are afraid of being anything less than perfect and so they always put the blame of their mistakes on others. Since you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you will be subjected to the blame and the never ending manipulation, guilt tripping and other abuse prone behavior patterns. This can seriously affect and intervene with your self-respect, self-confidence and overall self-esteem. Refer back to point number four, do not take the behavior personally and always remember that you are your own person, your own individual and that you matter, are important and are valid.
Step Seven: Patience And Compromise
Loving a narcissist demands a high intensity of unconditional love, patience, understanding and compromise. It is unbelievably emotionally draining, difficult and stressful. At moments, the only way to keep the relationship pleasant with a narcissist is to practice patience.
Step Eight: Get Help When Needed
There are different degrees of narcissists, if your partner’s behavior starts to get way out of control and incredibly dangerous, then recognize when they need help and consult a trained psychologist.
Step Nine: Next Move?
Having a clear idea of the sort of stress you’ll have to go through with in a relationship with a narcissist, allow yourself to think if you should leave or stay and keep trying for a peaceful relationship. If you believe that loving a narcissist can be too much for you then the best choice is to leave, otherwise you’ll be stressing both yourself and your partner.