Is my partner a Narcissist?
EVERYBODY has elements of narcissism within them, the important point for consideration is … to what degree.
Should you have insufficient amounts of narcissism, that is, ‘self love’, then you risk having low self-esteem. The other side of the coin however is that if you have far too much narcissism, then you would be considered as being an extreme egotist, ego-centric, i.e. extreme narcissist.
Should you have a moderate mix of narcissism, then you would have a healthy level of self-esteem and self-respect, and are therefore not likely to display the negative, antisocial characteristics of narcissism such as putting other people down to make yourself feel good.
The aim of this article is to discuss what an
“extreme narcissist” is, and what to do should
you find yourself married to one.
Extreme narcissism is not confined to one gender, although it is commonly believed that there are greater numbers of male narcissists than there are female narcissists.
Where did it start?
You may be curious to know where the term narcissist originates. Narcissus was a male character from ancient Greek myth of Echo and Narcissus.
Echo was a nymph who lived in the woods who fell deeply in love with an incredibly handsome and very vain young man, known as Narcissus. Echo died of a broken heart because Narcissus ignored her love for him. Following her death the gods took pity on Echo and became angry at Narcissus’s vanity and pride.
The gods punished Narcissus by making him destined to living a life alone and never to know human love. Then one day, while walking through the woods he came across a pond and was bending down to get a drink from a pool of water, he noticed his reflection and fell in love with himself. As a result, he never left it and he died beside the pool.
This myth helps to elicit the focus of this article, that is, being married to a narcissist. The myth essentially shows that Narcissus was self-centred, and gave no regard to others’ perspectives or experiences of him. Narcissus did not consider how others thought about him or even how his partner or potential partners thought of or loved him.
The myth also demonstrates the impoverished romantic relationship satisfaction that a partner would have with Narcissus as he prefers to fall in love with an unreal image of himself.
It is important to understand that we all have levels of narcissism, the point that counts is the level of insight you have into your own level of narcissism and that of your partner’s. This knowledge will increase your likelihood of developing a healthy marriage as you are able to consider what is a healthy level to narcissism within your marriage.
We have found there is often a blurring of understanding of stereotypical male behaviour that is sometimes similar to a narcissists behaviour. This is often the case when there has been chronic conflict in a marriage and bad patterns of behaviour have developed.
Here, we stress the importance of having a well qualified and experienced marriage counsellor to be able to work effectively in discerning the difference.
We know that people who are selfish or have a strong ego, are not by definition narcissistic.
It is common for a narcissistic person to blame others for anything that goes wrong, we have found nearly all people will occasionally try to shift responsibility. People who blame or shift responsibility may or may not be narcissistic. The consequence of misreading problematic, but normal behavior is that the wrong solutions and understandings will be applied.
An extreme narcissists is a male or female who considers that the whole world and the universe should rotate around them.
A narcissistic person is callous, frequently adversarial, and when a marriage is in a bad state, will be hostile in their behaviour.
Extreme narcissists exhibit behaviours such as arrogance, grandiosity, egocentricity, excessive need for admiration from other people, an overwhelming sense of self-entitlement to privileges, and a huge deficit in their capacity to experience and express empathy for others.
In a marriage, a narcissistic person will behave in a way that ensures they maintain power over their partner, and typically to avoid emotional intimacy. When it comes to nurture, a narcissistic person will instead feel entitled to un-reciprocated gratification and admiration.
How does a person become an extreme narcissist?
Mental health counsellors and researchers do not definitively know what causes narcissistic personality disorder. Most mental health professionals subscribe to a commonly held belief that the person had a wounding or traumatic experience sometime during their childhood or they were excessively pampered by their parents or caregivers as a child.
It is important to state that not all children who experience trauma or neglect will develop a narcissistic disorder. A narcissistic person may not have bonded well with their parents in infancy and this is compounded when their parents did not give them quality attention or praise in their childhood years. As a result, these children have to prove that they are worth loving to their parents.
With this abandoned feeling, the child feels a deep hurt and without being aware of it creates a ‘false persona’. The narcissistic person effectively turns into a chameleon to get what they want, in this case as a means to please their parents.
Tips to Identify You’re With a Narcissist
A narcissistic person will use people, such as their partners to suit their own needs. For example, They achieve a perfect family with perfect kids through constant criticizing of their partner, convincing them that they are not trying hard enough effectively ensuring they try even harder. The moment these people or intimate partners are no longer useful to the narcissistic person, they will simply be discarded, i.e. no longer required for service.
Other identifying characteristics of a narcissist include having a callous, adversarial, even hostile approach relationships. They display arrogance, grandiosity, an excessive need for admiration from others, feelings of entitlement to special privileges, and deficits in empathy.
None of it is real…
In dating and in marital relationships, narcissists use “game-playing” behaviours intended to keep the upper hand and to avoid emotional intimacy. Rather than seeking out soul mates or confidantes, narcissists are more likely to pursue casual sex, to avoid commitment, to be unfaithful, and to “trade up” to “trophy” partner’s who are more impressive in appearance or status, compared to the partner’s they previously had.
Overall, personality disorders, such as narcissistic personality disorder are deeply ingrained within the person. Their behavioral patterns are stubbornly inflexible to nearly all personal and social situations.
Narcissism is most often diagnosed in adulthood rather than childhood or adolescence, simply because young people are going through constant development, personality changes and adjustments, and hopefully maturation.
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