How to deal with a narcissist according to relationship experts
According to existing studies1 on narcissism, self-esteem, and love, although narcissists enjoy the attention and satisfaction that romantic relationships bring, they are incapable of truly caring for another person and do not appreciate the emotional demands of a relationship.
Their inflated sense of self needs constant validation from romantic alternatives, making them resistant to commitment and in some cases prone to games as a tactic to create emotional distance.
another research 2 A study of the lives of women in long-term intimate relationships with a narcissistic male partner found physical and psychological abuse, social isolation, and financial exploitation. The abuse had a profound negative impact on their independence, well-being, and mental and emotional well-being.
Any challenge to the narcissistic partner’s superiority, sense of control, or distorted perception of reality can lead to violent response2. To avoid conflict, you may feel like you have to walk on eggshells and constantly undermine your own needs in order to satisfy their fickle nature.
This pattern can lead to hypervigilance and long-term emotional trauma. Despite the abuse, the complete loss of agency over time is why you can continue to be in a relationship after it’s over.
According to Parmar, narcissists also extinguish their partners, and while the relationship may begin with love-bombing, it will eventually devolve into devaluation. The narcissist repeats the cycle of rejection and rejection and then love-bombs again.
“At first, narcissists may shower their partner with praise, attention, and affection, making them feel special and loved. However, this phase doesn’t last long,” says Parmar, adding, “Once [the narcissist] feel bored or threatened by their partner’s independence or accomplishments, they may move to criticize, ignore, or put them down.”
Because of the narcissist’s unpredictability and control, and the lack of any real emotional intimacy in the relationship, you may feel anxious and depressed as the relationship continues.