Living With a Narcissist – new resource


I have bolded and *’d those traits an ex of mine (Dan) exhibited regularly. Basically, ALL of them.

_ _ _ _ _

Rage *

One of the most unpleasant aspects of living with a narcissist is watching the narcissist having fits of seemingly uncontrollable rage. These fits of rage will tend to happen in the privacy of the immediate family rather than in public situations since fits of rage in public situations would endanger the admiration and attention from outsiders which the narcissist craves. The narcissist’s face will often turn a florid red and his/her face may look contorted with anger. The narcissist may hurl a hail of shouts and verbal obscenities. Usually the rage is expressed verbally but some narcissists will become physically violent. Sometimes these fits of rage will be triggered when the narcissist is interrupted or confronted but sometimes they will arise from seemingly trivial things (e.g. the toilet paper installed the wrong way round, or at least not the way the narcissist likes it to be installed). Sometimes the rage is less dramatic and takes the form of rancour, where the narcissist hurls repeated criticisms and hurtful remarks rather than shouts and swearing.

These attacks of seemingly uncontrollable rage can have benefits, from the point of view of the narcissist, since they lead to the narcissist gaining attention under the very circumstances in which the narcissist finds it so difficult to command undivided and constant attention (i.e. with the family in private).

It is important to appreciate that persons outside of the family do not obtain the opportunity to witness these bouts of narcissistic rage and will not be aware that they exist. Outsiders will often perceive the narcissist’s behaviour to be outgoing, fun or ‘laid back’. Hearing outsiders making comments such as these are hard to bear for those who live with a narcissist and who are painfully aware of the narcissist’s private persona.

Lack of empathy *

The narcissist seems to be very focused on his/her own needs and preferences and consequently seems almost oblivious to the needs of others or contemptuous of the preferences of others. The exception is when the narcissist is in the company of someone whom he/she is seeking to impress.

Controlling *

The narcissist often feels the need to control others, particularly people whom the narcissist considers to be in some ways dependent upon him or her. With people outside of the immediate family the narcissist may still wish to control but will do so with care – often seeking to modify the plans of others in subtle ways and with a charming smile. With immediate family, however, the narcissist is much less likely to use charm and is more likely to insist that family members conform to the narcissists wishes.

Criticizing *

The narcissist seems to critise others endlessly, whether in public or in private. In public, however, the narcissist can make his/her criticisms look like genuine concern.

On the other hand the narcissist cannot bear to be criticised by others and is hypersensitive to criticism. If people outside the family criticise the narcissist, the narcissist is likely to take revenge by speaking ill of the person later. With immediate family the narcissist is more likely to respond to criticism by overtly aggressive behaviour.

Projection *

Often the narcissist will criticise you for things which you are not guilty of but which in fact the narcissist is guilty of. An example of this is that the narcissist may accuse you of being angry when in fact it is the narcissist that is showing signs of anger. People who live with a narcissist, therefore, can often be accused of being selfish, inconsiderate, envious, dishonest, arrogant etc. (i.e. the very traits that are typical of narcissists)

Gaslighting *

Sometimes the narcissist will claim to have said something which he/she did not actually say, and may claim that you were not listening when he/she said it. Alternatively the narcissist might claim not to have said something which he/she did say. Sometimes this behaviour is so ingrained that the narcissist can contradict himself/herself within the same sentence!

Mendacious exaggeration *

While it is often said that narcissists lie a lot, the lies often take the form of exaggerations rather than new fabrications.

Ingratitude (or reluctant gratitude) *

When someone does a favour or a task for a narcissist the narcissist is often reluctant to acknowledge the person’s good work, sometimes arguing instead that it is the narcissist that deserves the thanks for having organised the person to carry out the task. This is not to say that a narcissist does not proffer “thanks”. The narcissist will proffer “thanks” but the level of genuine gratitude is low.

Interruption *

A narcissist will often feel entitled to interrupt others in conversation but, on the other hand, can become angry (either overtly or covertly) if another person interrupts the narcissist. The tendency to interrupt is one of the narcissistic traits that reveals itself in public and semi-public situations.

One thought on “Living With a Narcissist – new resource

  1. I can so totally relate to all of the above. My relationship was mind boggling and so incredibly painful. I constantly read about Narcissism for months trying for figure it all out. I am so glad to be out of the fog. It takes much work, but is worth it to get yourself back!

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