Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

Living with a narcissist

If you are living with a narcissist or you are dating one, you may often be left with an uncomfortable feeling. A feeling of unease but you aren’t able to put your finger on it. You question yourself regularly and wonder why things feel ‘off’ in the relationship. This usually begins to happen once you have stopped buying into the version the narcissist wants you to project. They want to seem like fantastic people but their selfish needs and controlling nature often create trouble in a relationship. Once you start to see this and don’t perhaps idolise them quite as much as you did in the beginning, the trouble sets in….

“I love the way you make me feel about myself”

Generally speaking, most people with narcissism want to feel good about themselves, and tend to gravitate towards people and relationships that they feel reflect the version of themselves that they want to identify with.

For some narcissistic people, this might include:

  • People who they think are impressive in some way, and therefore they would feel more impressive themselves by being in a relationship with that person
  • Someone who avoids narcissistically injuring (doesn’t point out their faults or shortcomings) them as much as possible, and who generally makes them feel good about themselves in the areas that matter to them
  • Someone who they believe reflects well on them in the eyes of other people around them
  • Someone who validates their feelings, is an admiring audience, and represents ALL of the ideals that they are searching for in a partner

Of course, many narcissists are chasing a unicorn, that often does not exist. They tend to have unrealistic expectations for their partner, as well as unstable object constancy, which frequently leads them to being unhappy in relationships once the initial sparkle has worn off, and their partner shows their more human and flawed sides.

The point is…

Most narcissists are constantly searching for external means to self-regulate their unstable emotions and self-esteem. They often pick partners through this same lens of narcissism of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, based on how they feel about themselves in this person’s presence.

If you don’t idolise them and start to confront them about their bad behaviour, your days will most likely be numbered. They can’t stand any threat to being seen as anything less than wonderful. They find it hard to look at their own behaviour and understand how this may have led to the other person pulling back slighty. They expect you to be devoted to them no matter how they treat you. Like I said…they are chasing a unicorn.

Mandy X

Scroll to Top