If you’re like most people, you probably think that dating is hard enough already without having to worry about the possibility of encountering a narcissist. Unfortunately, though, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to wind up in a relationship with one of these damaging individuals. So what happens when you do?
1. You take the blame for everything that goes wrong in the relationship
One of the most common strategies that narcissists use to deflect from their own unacceptable behavior is blaming you for anything and everything that happens within your relationship. The minute you disagree with them, or fail to meet their demands, they’ll start making accusations about how it’s all your fault. Of course, this is ironic given that narcissists are all about blaming others for their own shortcomings and mistakes, but such irony goes right over their head.
2. You learn to question everything you’ve ever believed about love and relationships
When you’re involved with a narcissist, it can be difficult not to doubt your own perceptions and ideas about love and relationships. If you’ve ever been in a relationship before, you’ll know that it’s perfectly normal for disagreements to occur from time to time, but with a narcissist this won’t be the case. Their sense of entitlement means they’re always right and everyone else is wrong, so why would they ever listen to anything you have to say? Because of this, you’ll start to question whether your way of thinking is actually the right one or not.
3. You spend most of your time together feeling exhausted and drained
If you’ve ever had a friend confide in you about having an extremely demanding partner who always expects them to be on their feet, ready for whatever it is the individual wants to do, you’ll know just how exhausting and draining feeling obligated all the time can be. Sadly, if you’re involved with a narcissist yourself, this will be something that you soon come to learn all about. Not only do narcissists drain their own friends and family of energy because they always need special attention paid to them, but they also drain you because you’re expected to be thankful that their love and affection is finally with you.
4. Your self-confidence plummets
Forget all about your self-esteem taking a nosedive when you first meet someone new who doesn’t know you very well yet – narcissists are the kings of this kind of low self-esteem. If you’re seeing a narcissist, it’s likely that their constant barrage of criticism and insults is going to leave your self-confidence in tatters. Before long, you’ll start doubting your own abilities to ever be able to find someone who really loves and accepts you for who you are.
5. You become less and less motivated
As if your self-esteem isn’t low enough as it is, narcissists also take great pleasure in lowering your overall motivation to do anything by constantly telling you that you’re not good enough. Now, what kind of motivation can you expect to have when not only are you constantly told that love doesn’t exist, but also that you are the reason for this? Your narcissist will take it upon themselves to be your motivation for everything, so without them by your side you’ll feel lost.
6. You start believing that everyone else is just like them
When you’re involved with a narcissist, they can have an extremely negative influence on how you perceive everyone else around you. Why? Because it’s all part of their game – to make the people they come into contact with feel inadequate, not good enough or “lesser” than them in some way. Narcissists do this because it allows them to feel superior, which is what they’re all about. Without knowing it, you’re likely to start adopting these beliefs about the people you meet, and this leaves you with very few options in terms of potential partners.
7. You always end up feeling like it’s your fault
No matter what happens within your relationship with a narcissist, or how many times they tell you that everything is your fault, there will always be something that you end up believing to be your responsibility. Whether they’re constantly arguing with you or not, the person you’re involved with will always make it seem like there’s something wrong on your end of things. It doesn’t matter how many times they accuse you of doing something wrong – the moment that thing is cleared up, another problem seems to appear.
8. You lose your friends and family over it
The moment you become involved with a narcissist, the chances are that you’re going to lose contact with some of your closest friends and family members – why? Because they likely won’t understand what’s happening in your relationship, so they’ll try to stay away from you so as not to make things worse. They might even think that you’ve started taking drugs or something, because the way you act when you’re with your narcissist is extremely odd.
9. You find yourself constantly seeking their approval
No matter how many times a narcissist tells you how inferior you are compared to them, there will be this voice in your head telling you that one day they might just love you enough to finally accept you for who you are. Unfortunately, this voice will never shut up and it will continue to haunt until the day comes when your narcissist finally tells you that they do indeed love and accept you – only by then it’s likely to be too late.
10. You lose your sense of self
Once you start spending time with a narcissist, they’ll probably start to change the way you act and think – why? Because they want to be able to control everything about your life. If this sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re already living under their rule and haven’t even realized it. They could change your career path, the way you dress and what you like to do in your free time. If this is happening, then it’s likely that they’ve already torn apart everything that made you who you are.
How to leave a relationship with a narcissist
If you have noticed any of the signs mentioned above, then it’s likely that there are issues with your relationship. You might even find yourself asking if leaving is the best thing to do – if so, here are some tips on how to leave a narcissist behind:
- Cut your ties completely – no contact whatsoever. No answering their calls, no replying to their texts and definitely no meeting up with them.
- Start hanging out with your old friends again – if any of your relationships were affected by the narcissist, then this is your chance to rebuild.
- Start doing things on your own for a change – go on dates, do what you used to do, make friends and build your own life.
- Read up on narcissists – sometimes it’s hard to see them for who they truly are because you’re still under their spell. The more you learn about the way they act, the easier it will be for you to shake them off.
Once you’ve followed these steps, staying away from your narcissist will be a lot easier. Although it won’t always feel like the right thing to do, it’s definitely for the best. Remember that the only way to achieve true happiness in life is by doing things that make you feel whole. If you can manage to leave a narcissist behind, then it will be much easier for you to live the life you’ve always wanted – free of control, manipulation and tears.