# Narcissistic personality disorder
Living with and Loving a Narcissist
Beware if you love a narcissist. Relationships with narcissists revolve around them – their needs, their entitlement, their vanity, and their moods. Partners are not seen as separate, whole human beings with their own feelings and needs. Because they lack empathy and think only of themselves, narcissists feel entitled to control, belittle, and exploit family members in order to boost their impaired self-esteem and maintain their control. Maintaining power is their primary objective because it makes them feel safe and keeps their deep-seated feelings of shame at bay. Their defenses that are difficult for other people help them do this.
Whether Narcissists Can Benefit from Therapy
Many people ask whether narcissists can change or benefit from therapy. Because they see the cause of their problems as external due to their defenses of denial, distortion, and projection, their ability to be introspective is limited. Thus, they don’t often come to individual therapy.
Identifying the Signs of Narcissistic Abuse
Abused Womanby Darlene Lancer (Affiliate links benefit author if a puchase is made) Narcissists don't really love themselves. Actually, they're driven by shame. It's the idealized image of themselves, which they convince themselves they embody, that they admire. But deep down, narcissists feel the gap between the façade they show the world and their shame-based self. They work hard to avoid feeling that shame. This gap is true for other codependents, as well, but a narcissist uses destructive defense mechanisms that damage relationships and their loved ones' self-esteem.
"Underwear was thrown on our toothbrushes." A sick woman vented her rage on her narcissistic brother-in-law.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) affects an estimated 5% of the U.S. population, which translates to about 16 million people. Given the prevalence of NPD, chances are good that you have come into contact with a severely narcissistic individual. Sometimes the best way to deal with a toxic narcissist is to cut off all ties with that person altogether. However, when it's a member of the family, what can you do?
A Narcissist's Capacity to Love
distant couple (Affiliate links benefit author if a purchase is made)Takmeomeo. Anyone who’s loved a narcissist wonders, “Does he really love me?” “Does she appreciate me?” They’re torn between their love and their pain, between staying and leaving, but don't want to do either. Some swear they’re loved; others that they’re not. It’s confusing, because sometimes they experience caring companionship, only to be followed by demeaning behavior. Narcissists claim to love their family and partners, but do they?
The Difference Between Self-Love and Narcissism
Oscar WildeDarlene Lancer (This post has an affiliate link that benefits the author if you make a purchase.) “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance,” wrote Oscar Wilde. Known for his wit and irony, was Wilde referring to narcissistic love or real self-love and healthy narcissism? There is a difference. Wilde's use of the word “romance” suggests the former. That’s a key to differentiating the two concepts.
How Narcissists Raise Their Self-Esteem
Narcissistic man (This post has an affiliate link that benefits the author if you make a purchase.)Tono Balaguer. We all want to improve our social status and self-esteem, but narcissists feel compelled to. A recent study concluded this is their constant concern. More than most people, they look to others for self-definition and self-esteem, which is very high or low. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, their self-appraisal fluctuates between extreme inflation and deflation.
Red Flags When Dating a Narcissist
You won’t realize you’re dating a narcissist. Narcissists are exceedingly skilled at making you like them. They can be alluring, charming, and exciting to date. In fact, in one study, it took seven meetings for people to see through their likable veneer. When dating, a narcissist has a greater incentive to win you over—sadly, sometimes all the way to the altar. Narcissists are never boring.
The Achilles Heel that Narcissists and Abusers Hide
You won’t guess abusers’ dirty little secret – the one thing narcissists and abusers don’t want you to know. In fact, they find it so shameful that most of them won’t admit it even to themselves. They hide it behind their abuse and bluster, their braggadocio, and their arrogance. Researchers consider them to have defensive self-esteem.
Hidden Reasons that Explain Narcissistic Behavior
Narcissistic womanNicoleta Ionescu shutterstock_1425321824. Narcissists can be charming, charismatic, seductive, exciting, and engaging. They can also act entitled, exploitative, arrogant, aggressive, cold, competitive, selfish, obnoxious, cruel, and vindictive. You can fall in love with their charming side and be destroyed by their dark side. It can be baffling, but it all makes sense when you understand what drives them. That awareness protects you from their games, lies, and manipulation.
Opinion: Narcissists Can Slip Abuse into Almost Every Interaction
My narcissistic father abuses my mother in every one of my childhood memories. How are you supposed to have a relationship with a person like that?. My father denies that he ever did anything wrong. “You should think about the good times,” he says.