Most articles we read about relationships with narcissists are focused on the narcissist and not the partner.
In fact, most of the of blame is also placed on the “narcissist.”
Let’s tweak this and use an example that is stereotypical: Man is the narcissist. Woman is dating him.
What I know from my own experience working with thousands of women in this dynamic is that women looking at this from the outside tend to blame both the man and the woman in this situation. Whereas men looking at this from the outside will typically blame the woman for dating a narcissist. So, women are getting blamed for this twice as much as men and twice as many women as men are doing the blaming. Interesting, right?
Regardless, if you are dating a narcissist, here are two simple steps to change the relationship dynamics:
1. Get the focus off him (or her) and onto yourself. Not to blame yourself, but to take responsibility for your situation and to do something about it. It can be tempting to try to figure him out, analyze, read article after article about them… But that does little to help you understand your part in this.
2. Once you stop focusing on him so damn much, and start looking in the mirror, you’ll want to take a long hard look at your self-worth. Let me explain:
In the beginning of this type of relationship, an insecure woman, stereotypically, who has low self-worth tends to be drawn to a man who has a great mask of power and authority.
This woman is drawn to a guy like this because he’s giving her a lot of attention and she’s not used to this. So to her, he comes across as confident. Her own confidence isn’t high, so this is attractive and gives a great boost to her self-esteem—to have a man like this interested in her. She feels special and desired and this feels really good.
But, soon enough, this man can’t deliver and begins to pull away due to his own unconscious terror of intimacy. She gets insecure and takes it personally. Deep down, he’s even more insecure than she is, but has worn a mask his entire life as a strategy to protect against his deep feeling of worthlessness and inadequacy. Believe it or not, he feels deeply inept underneath his confident exterior.
So, the only way for this woman to get out of this dynamic is to learn how to value and empower herself. That’s also what couples therapists, Jeff Pincus and Rachel Cahn, say in this podcast interview.
If you are this woman or know someone like this, I’m offering a free training on how to deal with this type of push/pull dynamic.
If you want to leave a guy like this or want to get his heart back, it should be helpful.
Author: Jayson Gaddis
Image: Sweet and Lowdown (1999)
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren