I work with many clients who come to me feeling very frustrated because they are not able to feel fulfilled in their relationships. They are seeking someone to listen, validate and support them and no matter what they feel this is just not happening. They often question if there is something wrong with them, perhaps they are just not lovable. Their self-doubt runs deep.
Once I begin to learn more about the other party it becomes evident that their relationship is with a person with narcissistic traits. Often this insight is new to them, as they have been programmed in the relationship to believe they are “the problem”; leaving them to not trust their own judgement and reality. It is a very frightening and painful experience to endure. This manipulative behavior is often referred to as “gaslighting.” It often takes a lot of retraining of the brain to help these relationship victims understand their own value. It is very challenging to believe you are of worth when you have spent years in an emotional abuse cycle with another. Often there was a parent who behaved similarly to their current partner, so they gravitated toward this type of dysfunctional personality and these destructive messages have been reinforced for a lifetime.
Here are are some common narcissistic traits to be on the lookout for in people:
- Everything they do is deniable, they undermine, or project any faults onto you, they accept no wrongdoing.
- They lack empathy, show no regard for your feelings.
- Require excessive admiration- having a grandiose sense of self.
- Sense of unconditional entitlement, the world should orbit around them.
- They make you look crazy, have a warped sense of reality.
- Very exploitive, seek to take advantage of you for their own personal gain.
If any of the above sounds familiar it is important to explore this further and seek support in how to cope with such a person. Firstly, it is imperative you learn to stop blaming yourself and accepting the distorted reality that has been presented to you. You must work on deciding if you will continue this relationship and if so how to manage the relationship as well as understand how you found yourself there in the first place. Certainly, in time you can feel whole and be at peace again. It is a challenging yet worthwhile journey.
If you or someone you know is looking for help, please contact me to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.