What To Do If You Are Living With a Narcissist
If you are in a relationship with a Narcissist in Altrincham or Eccles, in his/her mind, you are an extension of him/her and he/she must always win, so his/her eruptions of temper and ego and devaluations and guilt are sharp and designed to cut you to the core, leaving you wounded.
So, in an overall sense, you will experience problems with his/her lack of honesty, humility and empathy for your feelings. Jamie Harrison is here to offer free help and support to people in and around Manchester who are currently living with a narcissist.
Also, he/she will have difficulties with intimacy with you. Honestly sharing your thoughts, feelings and desires with each other makes the Narcissist very scared and vulnerable, so he/she will avoid it.
He/she is unable to relate to other people other than in terms of their own inflated self-image and unrealistic projections of himself/herself onto others, so as his/her partner you are expected to provide adulation and perfect responsiveness. When you fail to do this, you can expect to be devalued, by raging, blaming or the silent treatment.
These rapid vacillations between absolutely overvaluing (and idealising) you, and then completely devaluing you make a healthy relationship almost impossible to sustain, as Jamie Harrison knows all too well! You are not alone, support is available.
Stand up For Yourself Against the Abuser
The best advice is to be aware of and recognise what is happening and stand up for yourself on each occasion. How effective this strategy will be will dependent on your commitment to not back down, and his/her degree of Narcissism.
Most partners find that standing up for themselves in the relationship is fraught with difficulties, as often the Narcissist will double and treble his/her defensive responses when you start to do so, in order for you to retreat to the way you were, so realistically, most partners find that the support of a good counsellor/Psychologist who understands these challenges is usually needed.
Can your relationship be helped? Here’s the Jamie Harrison Take:
If both you and your partner are committed to make your relationship a healthy and happy one, then I believe this is worth working on.
Finding a Psychologist who is familiar and experienced with these conditions is important as Narcissism can be notoriously difficult to pick up in a few sessions if the Psychologist is not trained in this. (Education on Narcissism is taught in Psychology courses but does not fully explain the widespread occurrence of this condition, and also the full ramifications of this, particularly to the partner.
Jamie Harrison is committed to ongoing education and training in these areas and in supporting you in managing yourself and your relationships.)
The success of relationship and marriage counselling depends on many factors, but is largely due to the commitment of both partners to see their patterns and contributions, and be willing to change. Your partner’s ability to do this will depend on their level of Narcissism.
You will often not know how willing you and your partner are to do this until you attempt to do so. You will be able to see for yourselves over 3 to 6 sessions what real effort each of you are putting in to see the problems, own your contributions and make changes.
If, after reading the information here, you feel you are definitely living with a Narcissist, I suggest you go to the first session (or book a Skype session) on your own.
If you feel your first choice is to work on your relationship, then you can then follow your first session with a session with your partner individually, then commence couples sessions with both of you.
Jamie Harrison also suggests that there is a Plan B in place, so that after an agreed on number of couples sessions, if you feel you are not achieving the changes and results you want, then you continue coming to sessions on your own to look at your options and be supported in doing your own work of rebuilding your Identity, boundaries and possibly new life.
Can the Narcissist be helped?
Narcissists in Altrincham, Eccls and throughout Manchester & Salford are usually extremely satisfied with themselves, therefore it follows that they see no reason to come for counselling or help when they ‘do not need any’. The fact that they are causing huge problems for others around them, including their children at times does not tend to enter their consciousness.
Here again, it really depends on how severe their narcissism is. The more defended a Narcissist, the less likely he/she will see themselves with a problem, and the less likely he/she will stick to therapy.
A severe Narcissist will usually only admit to a problem when he/she has been abandoned, and feels destitute and devastated, when he/she feels he/she doesn’t want to feel any more of this pain.
Even when he/she does attend therapy in Altrincham or Eccles, either as couples counselling or on his/her own, there can be a lack of follow through and continuation beyond a few initial sessions, and his/her behaviour can revert easily.
Having said that, therapy is really the only way a Narcissist has to help himself/herself lose his/her over inflated Grandiose self, his/her underlying anxiety and develop a true self with the resulting contentment and happiness that this delivers.
This needs to be initiated (and acknowledged) by the Narcissist and I believe is worth trying, even if results are mixed.
Individual Empowerment help for you as a Partner
You may choose to go for individual sessions on your own, if you prefer to continue to stay in the relationship and also work on your own self empowerment and assertiveness in your sessions with the Psychologist. If your partner’s degree of Narcissism is not severe and he/she is more benevolent, this can be worthwhile and helpful to develop your capacity to find your own strength and hold your ground with him/her.
If his/her degree of Narcissism is more severe and you would like help in breaking away from him/her like Jamie Harrison did, then we can assist and support you in doing so also. It can be a profound act of self love to accept who he/she is and to step away for your own well being.
As you leave a Narcissist, most partners go through the 5 phases of grief: Denial, rage, bargaining, sadness and acceptance.
Without the support of a helping knowledgeable Professional, many partners find it very difficult to get past the denial stage, or repeatedly go back to their partner (in the bargaining stage), or can become stuck in rage against their partner.
Additionally, it is very easy to unwittingly “attract” another Narcissist into your life in your next relationship if you haven’t been able to look at your own patterns of why you have attracted, accommodated and tolerated this kind of behaviour.
Therefore it is important to understand, process and learn from this painful experience, so that you are rewarded with a stronger sense of self, compassion for yourself, and are able to move on to a mutually beneficial real loving relationship in the future.
Contact Jamie Harrison – Eccles & Altrincham
Jamie Harrison offers free support groups in Eccles and Altriincham for victims of narccistic abuse. He also is happy to take call or answer any emails. All help and support is offered completely free of charge. If you need a listening ear and somebody to speak to who understands exactly, and all too well what you are going through please call direct on 07986 847060