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3362 Big Pine Trail, Suite A, Champaign, Illinois 61822

“Narcissist” is a term we tend to throw around to describe a person that’s overly vain, arrogant, and selfish. The actual personality disorder is much more profound and can be devastating to experience within a relationship.

The most common traits are entitlement, grandiosity, and dismissiveness. Someone with a narcissistic personality tends to grow jealous and resentful when others are in the spotlight and have outrageous expectations for how their needs should be met. 

If any of this sounds familiar, read on to learn about how to recognize these traits in your relationship:

 

  • They "love bomb" you. One of the most effective ways of manipulation, love bombing, is the practice of showering a person with excessive affection and attention to gain control or significantly influence their behavior. The love bomber's attention might feel good. Still, in particular, narcissists are known for their skills at manipulation. They may use praise, charm, and attention as means to appear as if they're the perfect partner.  Narcissists move swiftly to avoid exposure, so the more someone tries to flatter you into obedience, their motives should be explored more diligently.

 

  • They feed off your compliments. They may come off as overly confident, but someone with NPD lacks self-esteem. They need a lot of praise. If they don't get it from you, they'll get it from wherever they can. That's why they're continually looking at you to tell them how great they are. Narcissists feed off of empathetic people. They rely on them to supply their sense of self-worth. Confident people won't rely on you or other people to feel good about themselves.

 

  • They lack empathy. Lack of understanding, or the ability to feel how another person is feeling, is one of the hallmark characteristics of a narcissist. Narcissists cannot validate and understand you. They don't understand the concept of feelings and is often the reason why their relationships fail. 

 

  • They gaslight you. A form of manipulation and emotional abuse, gaslighting is a hallmark of narcissism. Narcissists may blatantly lie, falsely accuse others, and make you feel like you're crazy.

Signs of gaslighting include the following:

  • You feel more anxious and less confident.
  • You question if you're too high-strung or sensitive.
  • You feel like you're always in the wrong.
  • You start to question yourself. 
  • You're often apologizing.
  • You make justifications for your partner's behavior.

Narcissists flourish off of power and being worshipped, so they use manipulation tactics to get you to do just that.

  • They’re never wrong. Arguing with a narcissist feels impossible because they think they’re always right. Narcissists refuse to compromise or take any responsibility because they rarely, if ever, think they're wrong. 

Getting help

Remember, these signs aren’t meant to diagnose your partner. It's meant to outline unacceptable behaviors and help you identify if your partner's actions are a sign of NPD.

If you determine you are struggling in your relationship, contact us today to learn more about how you can cope. 

 

Being in a relationship with someone who's always criticizing, belittling, and gaslighting you is exhausting. These behaviors can make you feel like you’re losing your mind and can pose an actual threat to your mental health.

If you suspect you’re in a one-sided relationship with a narcissist—here are a few ways you can handle them:

 

  • Accept them for who they are. Those with narcissistic personalities can turn on the charm whenever they see fit. This can contribute to their success at work, as they can be quite persuasive. Initially, they’re wonderful to be around. 

 

Despite having a "charming" personality, they often treat people much differently behind the scenes. Someone with NPD rarely cares about your needs and is often resistant to resolving this issue. Rather than trying to change them, accept them for who they are. It causes more unnecessary stress trying to persuade someone that believes they can do no wrong. 

 

  • Stop focusing on them. Attention seems to naturally gravitate towards a narcissistic personality-regardless of whether it’s positive or negative. Being in the spotlight is like gas in a car for a narcissist. This can become incredibly overwhelming for you, as the time and energy spent pushing your own needs aside seem like it’s never enough. Remember to prioritize yourself even if they won't. Your needs are just as important, and it's not your job to fix them.

 

 

  • Speak up for yourself. You’ve probably learned that the best way to manage them is by praising them or avoiding conflict in general. This only allows them to continue their behaviors, become that charming person again, only until the next conflict arises. Don’t expect them to understand, but if you'd like to maintain a relationship with this person, speak up for yourself. 

 

 

  • Set clear boundaries. A person with NPD is quite self-absorbed and may feel entitled to cross whatever boundaries they see fit. Own your boundaries and be firm in establishing what behaviors you refuse to tolerate. When things start affecting them personally, they'll likely begin to pay attention. Remember that you are in control of your life, regardless of how you’re treated by them. 

 

 

  • Find a support system. Dealing with narcissism is emotionally draining, so it's essential to have a healthy support system. Spend more time doing the things you enjoy and with people you feel comfortable with. One of the best things you can do if you can't avoid the person is to strengthen your current relationships.

 

 

  • Recognize that a narcissistic person may need professional help, even though they rarely recognize that they're the issue. They get easily offended despite your good intentions. And while NPD is a mental health condition, it doesn't excuse threatening or abusive behavior.

 

Getting Help

Remember that their actions aren’t your responsibility. And while you can’t change them, you can change how you respond to them. Contact us today to start your healing process, as there’s no need for you to go through it alone.

The pain that comes with a loss can be incredibly devastating. You may feel all sorts of challenging emotions-from confusion to anger, or disbelief, and intense sadness. Nobody could know exactly what you're going through, and you may not be sure what to do with these intense emotions.

While grief is a universal and inevitable part of the human experience, it's not easy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while coping with grief:

Seek social support.
Talking to loved ones doesn't always mean talking about your grief, but it's a good place to start. Feeling connected is important. If you're not up for talking about your feelings all of the time, don't put pressure on yourself. Your grief process is your own, so how and when you choose to talk about it is up to you. 

Don't put time limits on your grief.
Although grief does decrease with time, knowing exactly when is hard to predict. Putting an artificial deadline on your grief can do more harm than good. Be patient with yourself and release any expectations.

Get outside.
Being outdoors is a relief. There are no questions, and nothing asked of you. Don't forget that nature plays a supportive role in nurturing our overall well-being and health; a key factor in easing the pain of grief.

Tend something.
Water your plants or brush your pets. Bake your favorite pastry or send a care package to someone you care about. Giving love and thinking of others allows you to get out of yourself for a while.

Sit with your pain.
Take the day away from your plans and relax in a comfortable space. Give yourself permission to cry and feel what you need to feel. Allow yourself to feel anger and name it for what it is. It's a healthy part of the grieving process and a normal response to feeling out of control or helpless about your loss. Remember, nobody is good at this.

Care for yourself.
Taking a shower, remembering to eat, and staying hydrated are all important to remember. These small tasks can feel like too much at times, but you'll feel a bit better.  Sometimes it's better to aim for getting through the next few minutes rather than an entire day.

Get creative.
Painting, writing, or playing music can be a powerful mood regulator. Whether it’s a journal entry or a blank canvas and a paintbrush, expressing emotion in an artistic form when you are hurting can be therapeutic.

 

Getting Help

Everyone grieves differently, and not every suggestion will resonate with you. Take it day by day, and remember, tomorrow is never far away.

 If you're grappling with grief for a lengthy period, working with a therapist can help you better understand your emotions. They can teach you coping skills and assist you in dealing with grief and finding relief.

 

Insight Therapy offers grief therapy and grief counseling. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

About Insight Therapy

Insight Therapy is a professional mental health private practice located in Champaign - Urbana. Insight Therapy offers individual therapy, couples counseling, family counseling, and professional mediation services to clients of all ages and issues.

Contact Information

Insight Therapy, LLC
3362 Big Pine Trail
Suite A
Champaign, Illinois 61822

Phone: (217) 383-0151
Fax: (217) 633-4555

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Practice Areas

Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Addiction, Couples Counseling, Eating Disorders, Sexual Abuse Survivor, School Anxiety, Women's Issues, Relationship Issues, BiPolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, Family Issues, Couples Counseling, Mediation, and more!