Let me introduce you to the narcissist. Narcissism is a personality disorder, which is a maladaptive and deeply ingrained pattern of behavior and personality style. It can develop from our genes, early childhood and teen experiences and the environment in which we are raised. In general, the narcissist displays a sense of grandiosity and entitlement which can cause him/her to be manipulative, critical, envious of others, and demanding.
Narcissists feel easily slighted, exaggerate their talents, expect special treatment, want the best of everything (because they deserve no less ! ) and are swift to blame others. They are arrogant, to various degrees, need constant attention, and lack empathy. If they fall short, they are fragile and experience vulnerability and humiliation. Under the bravado and charm, is a core of insecurity, often unconscious. Narcisissts look down at those they consider to be inferior. There are legions of narcissists on our public stage in all fields of life.
Are you in a relationship with someone who only seeks to fulfill his/her needs? Does it seem that their attention to you, and others, is a means to appear giving but is more about getting attention or having their way. Their charm may have attracted you but, as time passes, you observe that it is superficial and geared to serving their own interests. What is underneath that public charm is not so pleasant. You will be told that you have stopped being interested, proud and supportive and that is why your relationship has deteriorated. It’s never their doing. If your partner cannot recognize or acknowledge any part of their contribution, do not expect any cooperation. Once they can no longer seduce you into their web, they will accuse you of all the problems in the relationship (please note: we all have some input).
If you admit to some your shortcomings, and that doesn’t make any difference, it may be decision time…to stay or leave. Such decisions are painful and deserve deep consideration. If you cannot tolerate your situation and decide to come apart, be prepared. Try to avoid ‘pressing’ certain buttons that may encourage more abuse. Do not be reactive to your partner’s behavior. Focus on protecting yourself, your assets and, if applicable, the children. It will not be easy early on but eventually you will be freer to pursue your own goals. In addition to family and friends, a counselor and good lawyer are critical supports to help you extract yourself.