Are You Living with A Narcissist?

When trying to figure out if you’re living with a narcissist, you may want to know the true definition of this personality disorder. The Mayo Clinic characterizes Narcissistic Personality Disorder as, “a mental disorder is which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration". People with this disorder truly believe that they are superior to all others and don’t have any regard for the feelings of others. 

So, what’s behind this inflated ego? Shockingly, behind the charm and ego of a narcissist is often a very fragile or non-existent sense of self-esteem that is vulnerable to even the slightest of criticisms or perceived slights. 

How can you tell if you’re living with a narcissist? Your partner, sibling, or parent, whomever it may be, probably gives you a few clues to help you decipher their behaviors as narcissistic. Some of those behaviors include:
Constant need for attention
Always concerned with themselves
Always having to be “right” or “win”
Acting as if they always know best/more than you
Act as if they care about you only when you are serving a purpose to them

Many people who truly suffer from NPD are never diagnosed and don’t often seek help which could be due to their behaviors leading them to believe there is nothing wrong. If you think you are living with a narcissist, there may be no way to know for certain, but approximately 1% of the population suffers from this disorder, so you could very well be. 

Whether or not the person you live with has NPD, living with them while they exhibit these traits and behaviors can be especially emotionally taxing and distressing. If you find yourself in this situation, take proper precautions to shield yourself from the emotional trauma that could be inflicted upon you. 

N.D. “Narcissistic Relationships: The Downside to Loving a Narcissist”. Psychalive. (Website). 2016

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  • on the opposite end of a narcissist is usually someone who is codependent. they actually attract each other quite often.... and feed off each other. the codependent has low self-esteem too, and gets worth out of pleasing or taking care of the narcissist.  the narcissist loves being taken care of...and oftentimes expects and demands it.

    it's a dance that is very toxic...if you are living with a narcissist, you may feel beaten down, worthless, and very tired. you may be scared to may have been verbally, emotionally, or physically abused. there is help simply have to reach out. if you can get to counseling, go. meetings like codependents anonymous can be helpful too. begin educating yourself on narcissism and codependency...

    at the very root of the narcissist is a terrified little boy or girl...who most likely had a dysfunctional childhood... perhaps abandoned, abused, or traumatized in some way. he/she isn't consciously being an a-hole. it's deep rooted in the psyche...this fear, confusion, rage, entitlement, and so on. you're right that most won't go seek help b/c they don't think they have a problem...and that's sad... 

    very interesting topic. 
  • I believe my girlfriend is codependent on her narcissistic sister. They repeat the same cycle every year. I have been with her 4 years and have seen it every year. Her sister try’s to control her in different ways. She set up a bank account in their names to use in case “their husbands/boyfriends abandon them”. My girlfriend Laura is 33, her sister Annie is 40. Laura tells me stories of them growing up, how Annie would put her down, manipulate her and abuse her. As Laura grew up, and to school, got a job, had relationships... Annie would act out to make Laura feel guilty. Their father passed away in Laura’s early 20’s and Annie holds onto a lot of guilt from that. Ever since I began seeing Laura, Annie has tri d to sabaotage our relationship with false asunotions and accusations of who I am. Not even knowing who I am but telling Laura how I will be. I’ve proved her wrong over and over in her assumptions and when I finally met her, she had nothing bad to say. Instead she acted out towards Laura as a victim of Laura not caring about her. Laura had grown so much out of being emotionally dependent on Annie since we’ve been together that Annie will try different tactics to feel her back. Money is the primary way. This account they have together is a control piece for Annie. she constantly tells Laura if she needs it she can use it. Last year, Laura suggested they use that money for the 2 of them to take a vacation. Nothing to do with me. Annie was waiting for the day to use a response and blew up saying this money isn’t to blow on trips with Laura’s boyfriend included. Never once did Laura say I was included but the accusations Annie three suggested she was tested by Laura with the money wanting me to have my assumed greedy hands involved so I can finally be proven as someone not good in Laura’s life. I ended up paying for their trip unknown to Annie for a while. This incident caused Laura to be uneasy and confront Annie. Annie then became defensive and brought up past issues to make Laura feel guilty, then cut communication for a year. This was the 4th no speaking terms they have been on. Recently, Annie started talking to Laura again only after Laura reached out. Annie came to visit and they had a weekend to themselves. Annie made comments as she was pretending I was not on Laura’s life. Annie has zero desire to even see me in person or say Hi to me on a phone call. They had a good weekend together and Laura is once again reeled back in. Annie makes subtle comments showing her true self is waiting to come out again. Laura is a nice agaIn doIng well with career progression and was happy to tell Annie. Annie passed it all off as just being lucky. She made a comment that because she had been going through a hard time she lost her luck to those around her. This is so reminiscent of how she treated Laura years ago when Laura was advancing quickly in her career. Besides all this, Laura and I have dreams of opening our own business in the future. She told Annie and now Annie wants to be a share holder in our business. I told Laura that’s not a good idea because it’s just like the bank account they have together. A control piece to have over laura and a way to have a say in mine and Laura’s life’s. Laura got upset with me and said what is she supposed to do, it’s her sister. I want to know if I am right or wrong in not wanting to allow Annie to have any part in what me and Laura build.
  • Pardon the typos... autocorrect doesn’t always help.
  • @Rc121 hello and welcome. thanks for reaching out. it does sound like they have some unhealthy dynamics to their relationship.... it's not uncommon for siblings to grow up opposite like that (narcissist vs. codependent)... it can become an uneasy relationship for sure.

    just my opinion, but i agree that you and your gf ought to leave the sis out of any partnership in business. it's alright to have boundaries, and that is probably a very WISE boundary and decision. your gf will feel like she is a bad sister and person if she does not include her sis (knowing from past experiences that what sis says ought to go)... and she likely won't want to "hear it" from her sis.

    still, your gf is the one who has to decide how she wants her life to go... including relationships... i used to be quite codependent...and it was awful. but i took a few years and really worked on me b/c i did not want to be that way, and i wanted to have healthy relationships. i went to counseling, codependents anonymous, and learned a lot about codependency... all of those things could help your gf, but only if she wants to address it...

    the narcissist is cunning....and they certainly have their way of baiting others to hook them... learning to set and keep boundaries will help. it's a journey and i hope your gf will embrace a new journey toward freedom.

    hope this helps...
  • Hi @Rc121 , As Dominica has said, their relationship isn't healthy. My wife has something like this going on with her controlling, self centred sister. her sister has found a way to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, and she is now working for "us". week on, week off.. although she is extremely lazy, wakes up at lunch time, makes food (she considers that part of the working day), drones about till 4 and then complains that she's tired, the task is too hard, it's too time consuming, there must be an easier way.
    Holidays are the same.
    My ultimatum for 2018 is this "There are two people in a couple, not three.... i want to be either in a couple, or out. I'm not saying to choose between us, I'm just asking that you consider me as a partner, and consider your sister as someone that lives and exists outside OUR household. i bought this house with you... not with your family, and I would like, after a life of never having my place, never feeling like I had privacy or dignity, to finally feel at home in my own house.
    You have till March 5th. it's not about what you say. I know what you say. It's about what you DO."
    I sent her that. The ball is in her court. You might do something similar.
  • @zozzie good for you for setting your boundaries... a couple is two.. and a selfish family member should not be allowed to control YOUR relationship...

    hope it works out in a good way for you... and that lessons can be learned all the way around.

    merry christmas and happy holiday!
  • @Rc121... You've gotten some great advice from @dominica and @zozzie. You might want to suggest that your girlfriend read Melody Beattie's book Codependent No More. If she's willing to read it, I think it might be pretty eye-opening for her.

    @zozzie... Good on you for making your feelings be known!
  • Thanks for your thread and let us know about this. i even didn't aware of this.
  • @avishek3 you are quite welcome. Come here to share anytime.
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