10 signs of a narcissistic relationship and how to end it
Narcissism describes a particular pattern of behavior characterized by inflated self-esteem, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy, says clinical psychologist Anniya Raja, Ph.D. According to the American Psychological Association, people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) tend to have a sense of belonging and often take advantage of others, making it difficult for them to maintain relationships.
Narcissists often have unrealistic expectations of others, value their own experiences above those of others, and exhibit controlling behaviors in relationships. “Narcissists may use subtle manipulation tactics to influence people and situations in their favor—this can include things like passive-aggressive behavior, playing the victim, or subtly undermining others to maintain control or boost their self-esteem,” says Raja. mbg. They may also expect others to satisfy their whims, refuse to take responsibility for their actions, be jealous, or compete with others.
While all relationships look different, narcissistic relationship patterns are generally unhealthy and unbalanced. “Narcissists tend to be exploitative, often building relationships based on what they can get out of them, rather than a true emotional connection,” explains Raja. “They may strategically choose romantic partners, friends, or colleagues who can provide them with status, wealth, or connections. And once someone no longer serves a purpose for them, they will often vilify or reject them.”
Narcissists can also be very charismatic, which can make them easy to fall in love with, both romantically and platonically. “However, this charm is usually short-lived and just when they think they’ve won someone’s admiration or loyalty, their true colors start to show,” says Raja. This dynamic can cause a variety of problems and even narcissistic violence,
Here are the most common stages of the so-called cycle of narcissistic abuse: