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Subscriber active since. Narcissists tend to be incapable of something called "object constancy. For example, once they are fired up for a fight, they can be incredibly cruel, because all they can comprehend in the moment are feelings of resentment and anger.
Posted February 11, Reviewed by Devon Frye. The human search for love is one that is largely universal.
The plethora of dating apps, self-help books, bridal guides, and relationship experts point to our deep need to be understood, seen, and appreciated. An estimated 90 percent of adults marry at least once, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting over 2.
Although the divorce rate hovers aroundannually, Americans tend not to stay single for very long. Most divorced adults end up remarrying or at least cohabiting within three and a half years after the separation.
Types of narcissism
Ultimately, no matter how bad the end of a relationship, there is statistical progression and emotional drive to fulfill the human need for love and relationship stability. Unfortunately, the blind desire for love and acceptance can sometimes lead to one of the darkest psychological partners: the narcissist. This is due to the ego blotting out room for anything else beyond the self.
Narcissists typically prefer exploitative relationships with others that will provide something they need: for example, attention or devotion, financial stability, or sexual fulfillment. Relationships of any type—romantic, professional, friendshipor family—are often created, maintained, and destroyed for specific purposes and fulfillment.
These relationships can be painfully one-sided, self-serving, and destructive to the non-narcissist. Sadly, the feelings of these individuals are of little concern to the narcissist. Outwardly, narcissists often appear to have unflappable confidence and self-esteem. They may have perfect relationships, beautiful homes, great children, and the white picket fence.
Attracting and keeping a partner maintains the narcissist's supply of attention.
However, self-esteem is not the same thing as the superiority flouted by narcissists. In fact, the two are unrelated; the narcissist has rock-bottom self-esteem but covers it with ego and lies. The ego of a narcissist is akin to a fancy car that is constantly on the brink of the red, glaring E, and unable to be fully fueled. The fuel is provided by those in their life: children, partners, family members, co-workers, customers, etc.
Narcissists are, by nature, braggarts who showcase their real or perceived talents obnoxiously to make other people jealous. The drive for constant pursuance of status is what keeps a narcissist moving through life: the shaping and maintaining of social acceptance and the appearance of being better than the people around them are of paramount importance. Due to the lack of emotional connection with others, narcissists have poor track records in relationships.
Here's how to stop an argument with a narcissist from spinning out of control
If the narcissist-controlled relationship does manage to celebrate anniversaries or weddings, the outward picture is by no means a true representation of what goes on behind closed doors. Those with strong narcissistic or histrionic traits tend to have very low levels of relationship satisfaction and a high risk of cheating; in turn, they are very quick to become bored sexually and seek excitement outside of their partner.
If the partner is to find out about the indiscretions and threaten to leave or end the relationship, the narcissist will resort to two methods of mate retention: benefit provisioning behaviors or cost-inflicting behaviors. Both types of behavior are methods of control. The purpose is to reduce the likelihood that the narcissist will be abandoned before he or she is ready to do the abandoning. Narcissists cannot be left; they can only leave.
If a narcissist resorts to benefit-provisioning behaviors, the abuse is covered up with Controlling a narcissist sweetest smelling excuses. The wronged party will be showered with gifts, surprises, flowers, and jewelry. Social media will be flooded with posts showcasing devotion and the literally picture-perfect, Photoshopped relationship: since wrinkles can be blurred out, so can any indication of discordance.
1. don't argue about 'right' and 'wrong'
If the couple fought about the division of house responsibilities, for example, and the non-narcissist stated an intention to move out, the narcissist might make a whole show out of cleaning and scrubbing the house top to bottom. Not only does this present the other partner as being in control, but the narcissist looks remorseful and endearing and the lies can continue. Rest assured, the narcissist will keep this episode filed away for future reminders and attacks on their partner!
The second method of retention, cost-inflicting behaviors, is far darker and intimidating and just as abusive as the gift-giving method. Cost-inflicting narcissists rely on the use of bullying and threats to keep their partner in line. Violence can either be actual or insinuated against the partner or other people. Narcissists also enjoy inducing jealousy in their partners and will utilize their unbarred sexuality for this purpose.
Openly flirting or making suggestions about a romance with another is a cruel manipulation deed to devalue and emotionally damage the partner. By flaunting their alleged desirability, the narcissist attempts to inflame jealousy in the discarded partner but also insinuates that he is easily replaceable and not at all special.
Empaths and honest individuals are easy targets for narcissists. Narcissists thrive off power and the ability to control others and can be exceptionally sneaky at succeeding.
S of narcissism
All of us that are out there looking for love need to remember that power and control do not need to be willingly handed over to another. It is only by respecting ourselves and creating boundaries that protect our hearts and our minds that we can maintain our individual power and weed the narcissists out from the good people in the world. If you are in need of help and need to speak to someone about getting out of a narcissistic or abusive relationship, do not hesitate to dial or your local emergency.
There is sunlight after this. To find a therapist, please visit the Psychology Today Therapy Directory. Cavanaugh, J. Adult development and aging 7th edition.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Set, Z. Social malicious personalities: The dark triad. Current Approaches in Psychiatry, Vrabel, J. Narcissism and perceived power in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 37 1. Ziegler-Hill, V. Narcissism and mate retention behaviors: What strategies do narcissist individuals use to maintain their romantic relationships? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 37 Kristy Lee Hochenberger is an ABD doctoral student of psychology at Capella University, d funeral director, certified life coach, and adjunct faculty member at Syracuse University.
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Narcissism The Narcissistic Control of Relationships Attracting and keeping a partner maintains the narcissist's supply of attention. Narcissism Essential Re. References Cavanaugh, J. About the Author. Online: LinkedIn. Read Next.
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