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Narcissist Personality Disorder Traits: How to Recognize and Deal with a Narcissistic Person or a Narcissistic Relationship

Does this sound familiar?

  • Your mother is angry and frustrated with you most days and nothing you do is ever right.
  • Most people see you as a kind, considerate, bright person, but your partner doesn’t.
  • You explained something mundane to your father in public and he accused you of being uncouth and embarrassing him.

If you can relate to any of these statements, then your partner or parent might be a narcissist based on these scenarios that outline narcissist personality disorder traits. Narcissists can be very charming. At their core, however, they also have an intense need to be seen as perfect. As a result, they tend to see any problem as someone else’s fault. Manipulation is their master skill and they tend to exhibit traits of paranoia believing that others are out to betray them, take advantage of them, or invade their homes.

Disentangling yourself from the manipulation and emotional abuse of a narcissist can be difficult. I tell clients that getting out of a narcissistic relationship is like trying to get out of a spider’s web; just when you think you have one hand out, your foot is stuck. When your foot is unstuck, you find your backside is stuck. You need support!

An excellent resource I recommend to individuals who believe a partner or parent may be a narcissist is, “The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists.” This is a gem of a book by Eleanor Payson. It is an easy read and clearly describes the behavior of a narcissistic person.

If you determine that you need professional support due to a narcissist in your life, it is important that you find a therapist who understands narcissists and can help you work your way out of feeling “crazy.”

Sue Watkins, M.A., LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist both in Texas and California. She did her graduate work at Fuller Theological Seminary. She also was an adjunct professor at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA.  She currently provides her excellent counseling services through achievebalance.org, and she can likewise be found at her website suewatkins.net.

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