Six Unexpected Ways Narcissists Change Your Life!

With the continued growth of social media, you can find information about just any topic online, including relationship issues. This dynamic has called considerable attention to the effects of being in a relationship with a narcissist.

If you’ve dated or even married a narcissist, you know all too well that these relationships are difficult. You can expect a relationship with a narcissist to challenge you and change you to your core. Learn more below. 

How do I know I’m with a narcissist?

Before diving into the specific changes that come when you’re with a narcissist, it’s helpful to do a little check-in to see if you’re actually dating a narcissistic person. People throw around the term “narcissist” so often, that you might not necessarily know what it means.

When someone is labeled as a narcissist, people are usually referring to traits that come along with narcissistic personality disorder.

Not everyone who shows traits of narcissism has this disorder. However, the features of this disorder correlate with the troubling behaviors people encounter when in a relationship with a narcissist. 

If you’re with someone narcissistic, whether they meet criteria for the personality disorder or simply have some narcissistic traits, you’ll notice some or many of the following behaviors.

No empathy 

Individuals with narcissistic traits will have limited empathy for your experience. When you’re having a bad day, or you’re hurt by something they have done, they’ll come across as callous. 

The narcissist has no time for your hurt feelings, so don’t expect them to validate you. Instead, you’ll feel a lack of empathy when you’re upset or struggling.

Extreme arrogance

Narcissists feel they are special and worthy of praise and admiration, so you can expect arrogance from them. They may exaggerate their achievements or remind you why they’re superior. 

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Ultimately, they feel they are the best at what they do and want to be recognized. They probably won’t want to recognize any of your achievements or successes, because they prefer to be the center of attention.

Entitlement

Also common among narcissists is a strong sense of entitlement. When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, they’ll feel that your time and energy belongs to them.

They feel you should always be available to them, regardless of what else you might have going on in your life. The narcissist will also expect you to comply with all their demands, with no regard for how it might affect you. 

Jealousy

Narcissists struggle with envy, which can manifest in numerous ways. First, they are envious of those around them, including their partner. This can cause them to put you down to make themselves feel better.

Narcissists also assume that others are envious of them, which can lead to their becoming quite possessive in a relationship. Their assumption that others are jealous may cause them to worry that someone else will take their place. 

Taking advantage

In relationships, narcissists can be downright exploitative. They will take advantage of your kindness to further their agenda.

This can look like asking to borrow money but never repaying you, expecting you to assist them with business interests, or using your success to elevate their status or self-esteem.

6 Ways How The Narcissist Will Change You

Over time, the challenging behaviors and traits associated with narcissism can take a toll on your well-being. Ultimately, this can cause some negative changes in your life. 

Below, let’s dive into these changes.

Loss of your sense of self 

When you’re with a narcissist, it’s easy to lose yourself in the relationship. Most of your time will be spent catering to the narcissist’s needs and managing their moods.

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Over time, you can lose your sense of self. You’ll no longer have time for your own hobbies and self-care because you’re so focused on the narcissist. You may forget who you are and what you enjoy outside of the relationship. 

Low self-esteem

Chances are that you’ve become quite accustomed to the narcissist putting you down. They may criticize everything from your appearance to your career to your hobbies. 

This leaves you with low self-esteem, as they completely distort your view of yourself. Perhaps you were once confident and self-assured, but now you see yourself in a negative light. 

Questioning your own view of reality

Narcissists struggle to take responsibility for their negative behavior. Instead of admitting to their mistakes and apologizing, they will shift the blame onto you or deny that they made any sort of mistake in the first place.

In many cases, a narcissist will resort to an abusive tactic called gaslighting, in which they insist that they never said or did the harmful things you’ve brought to their attention. They will convince you that you remember incorrectly or that you’re “crazy” or “too sensitive.”

After repeated instances of gaslighting, you will begin to question yourself. You may start to believe that the narcissist is right, and you are remembering incorrectly. 

Believing you are deserving of abuse

Narcissists can be quite abusive in relationships. They will take advantage of your kindness, wound you with repeated insults, and blame you for their bad behavior, while completely lacking consideration for how it’s affecting you.

After a while, you will believe that you deserve the abuse. Because the narcissist avoids accountability and insists that you’re to blame for their mistakes, it’s easy to start feeling as if you deserve this punishment from the narcissist. 

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Financial and professional consequences

In relationships, narcissists are demanding of their partner’s time, energy, and attention. They are also willing to use your financial resources whenever they see fit.

This can leave your financial and professional life in shambles. The narcissist may convince you to empty out your savings to bail them out of a financial crisis, or they might demand so much of your time that you cannot hold down a job.

Negative views toward love

Being with a narcissist can leave a sour taste in your mouth. If the relationship ends, you’re likely to feel bad about love. 

After all, loving a narcissist has probably exposed you to psychological abuse, and you’re likely to believe that relationships aren’t worth this drama. It’s not unusual for people to end a relationship with a narcissist and decide that they don’t want to be in a romantic relationship ever again. 

Moving Forward 

There is no doubt that a relationship with a narcissist can change you for the worse. However, these changes don’t have to be permanent. 

Learning something from these unhealthy relationships is possible and emerging much stronger. Commit to a healing journey so you can prevent yourself from falling for another narcissist in the future.

With time, support from loved ones, and in some cases, professional guidance, you can heal your wounds, rebuild your self-esteem, and learn how to set healthy boundaries in relationships. 

Let the relationship with the narcissist become a learning opportunity, and try to find the silver lining in the changes you’ve undergone.

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