Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Phases of a narcissistic relationship

I've recently become aware of something called a narcissist.  I hadn't previously known much about this disorder, and many times I wish I still didn't know about it.  But, the reality of it is that at some point in our lives we will come into contact with one and it's best to understand what it is and how it can affect well as how to avoid it like the plague.

This could be a parent/child relationship, a working relationship, or a romantic relationship.  There are different kinds of narcissists as well, and it's important not to lump just anyone who has a big ego into this category.

It's also important to understand what about you led them to you (yes our energies attract this) and what in you was Ok with being treated the way you were/what was drawn to this personality type in the first place. I'll cover that in future articles.

In this article I am going to highlight the 3 phases of being in a relationship with a narcissist.  Unfortunately, you won't know you are in this kind of relationship unless you're in phase 2 or later.  Because stage one is so euphoric and "perfect", we people pleasers/fixers/dreamers tend to fall head over heals with this person in stage one.  But, sadly (or luckily, depending on how you view it), it won't last...

Phases of Narcissistic Relationships:

**The Idolization Phase** (aka "lovebombing")
They are hyper-vigilant in their pursuit and will project the perfect image that their victim wants them to be. They are excessively caring, loving and attentive at this stage. They shower their targets with attention, compliments and literally sweep them off their feet.  It is likely that you will be presented with gifts, trips, special thoughtful acts and they will make you feel like you are “their soul mate” or that “they’ve never loved anyone this way before.”  

Narcissists need approval and lots of it. And they need attention and lots of it. (you’ll find them on lots of social media/posting many selfies carefully crafting the image they want people to believe.) This “new supply” you are providing gives them this attention…for now…and they use it to their advantage.

**The Devaluation Stage**

They become moody and agitated easily, blaming you for even the slightest transgression. They pick on your insecurities and highlight them under the guise of “helping improve your life”. You find yourself walking on eggshells, trying to avoid arguments.  The narcissist will be heard saying things such as "You're the only person who misunderstands what I say. You're totally over-emotional” or "You're the only person in the world I have these problems with.” The gift giving fades away and the gaslighting begins (making you feel “crazy” for your beliefs and causing you to doubt your own reality) They are never wrong, and you find yourself apologizing for things that are not your fault.  You may begin to see red flags and sense you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, but most of the time you make excuses because “they are usually so loving” or “this only happens occasionally”.

**The Discard Phase**

It is almost baffling to watch the ease at which a narcissist can pull away from his partners. Many targets are left asking themselves, “Did he ever love me? Did I mean anything to him?” The narcissist discards you when your usefulness has run out. They are almost incapable of not being in a relationship and move on almost immediately, oftentimes before the other relationship has ended.  It will be as though the relationship never happened, and in some cases the narcissist will start discrediting the victim as a way to keep their “perfect” image in tact.  Remember, the narcissist is never to blame and will defend tooth and nail anything others deem inappropriate or wrong.

The ending of this kind of relationship can be very damaging and it's extremely important NOT to blame yourself or lower your self worth (especially if they moved on quickly with someone else).  It is very important to forgive yourself for "falling for it" and learn as much as you can to avoid it in the future.  Learn to LOVE YOUR DAMN SELF and get on with being amazing.  xo

Have you had experiences with a narcissistic relationship?  Comment below!