You now realize that you’re dating a narcissist and find it emotionally distressing and hard.
Unfortunately, even if you ended the toxic relationship, you notice you’re still experiencing hardships getting your life back on track.
You find it troublesome to trust others and are afraid to start dating again.
Many people are in the same boat. They dated someone with narcissistic personality disorder, and they have a hard time coping.
Fortunately, you come across this article. Kindly read on to understand your situation, how dating a narcissist changes you, and take steps to start healing.
What Is Narcissism?
It’s essential to understand the difference between a narcissistic personality disorder and being narcissistic.
“Narcissistic” is a term used to describe someone who is excessively self-involved, but people don’t usually refer to others as having NPD.
Instead, people usually describe someone with this personality disorder as narcissistic.
When an NPD person has a bloated sense of self-importance, they may be grandiose, controlling, and deceitful in their social relationships.
NPD sufferers might be emotionally manipulative and use a psychological manipulation tactics to obtain attention and admiration.
How You Change When Dating a Narcissist
Dating someone with NPD can have a long-term impact.
People with deep-seated emotional and relational trauma—where can even suffer flashbacks and nightmares and be too afraid to date again.
How A Narcissist Abuse You
Narcissists and sociopaths can gaslight, inflict criticism, or put down their victims. It is a form of emotional abuse.
Initially, the connection may seem particularly strong and positive at the beginning of the romantic relationship.
However, the covert narcissist makes their new romantic partner believe whatever they say and do, ultimately becoming dependent on them.
The devaluation of the other person, in turn, follows. “A person’s self-esteem and autonomy will be ‘diminished.'”
What Support Is Available If You’re With a Narcissist
It would help if you didn’t get into a troubled relationship with a narcissist because it can jeopardize the quality of your life.
It would be best if you established boundaries, and both parties should acknowledge refusals. Moreover, you should focus on the feedback of loved ones.
Listen to what your friends and family say because they care about you. Bad things may happen at first, but they will eventually come around for the better.
Your family and friends stand by you. But ultimately, professional assistance can assist you in breaking out of the NPD dynamic.
Professional mental health support, such as a therapist, can assist you in connecting to your worth, self-confidence, and people-pleasing behaviors and changing them.
How a Narcissist Can Change Their Narcissistic Behavior in a Relationship
Narcissists should seek professional help, but it’s essential to understand that they are mentally ill and in need of treatment.
The biggest challenge is getting NPD people to see their problem. This chronic mental disorder harms people, and they understand that others do not have to tolerate it.
It’s not a choice to be a narcissist. So therefore, for them, it’s just their personality and view of the world. However, suppose they can be true to themselves.
In that case, they will see a narcissistic behavior pattern ending in arguments, resentment, pain, and loneliness.
As a result, it is infrequent to have long-term friends, family members, or relationships.
Narcissists should pursue self-education and psychotherapy to deal with narcissism.
They should connect and understand what love is for others and themselves. Again, emotional therapy is an excellent place to begin.
How Can a Narcissist Change You?
The narcissist has most likely altered your self-esteem and emotional stability, whether you are dating one or have just recently liberated from one.
Whether the modifications are positive or not, they are inevitable.
1. You Lose Your Sense of Self.
A narcissist’s most significant transformation is making you feel like a plaything. They may begin seeing you as a small, precious thing.
It might also make you feel no one can stand you. In addition, narcissists tend to influence relationships and want their partner to be obedient to them.
In addition to losing sight of who you are, the damage to your self-esteem is apparent.
To maintain their interest, you may start acting more like a narcissist to create an impression.
They may make you feel small and unimportant so that they can seem vital.
One of the most frequent methods narcissists employ is making others feel like children because they are projecting their doubts and insecurities onto them.
2. You Make Excuses or Defend Abuse.
The ugly truth is that you will be abused mentally, emotionally, and possibly physically when you date a narcissist.
You may find yourself justifying their behavior or defending their behavior when asked about it by other people.
Because narcissistic abuse victims often back their offenders as a coping mechanism, they may blame themselves for their nasty demeanor.
You may even chide yourself for their poor behavior. You may think, “They wouldn’t treat me this way if they were with someone else.”
Or “I must have done a wrong thing for them to treat me this way.”
3. You Suffer From Anxiety.
They make everything about them, and you must follow their plans and wishes.
They will blame you if something does not go as planned.
However, that raises the question: Why does love frequently become a nightmare? And what can you do to escape an abusive relationship?
It’s time to face the truth about the narcissistic person you’re dating:
We build up unrealistic expectations and become codependent from time to time, chasing an idealized image of someone who will inevitably disappoint us.
We repeatedly end up in a miserable, bitter routine because we take on the role of champion and victim to “fix” our partner.
We are not stable with ourselves, which spills over into toxic relationships that are hell on earth.
It’s time to get away from unsatisfying relationships, empty hookups, frustrating relationships, and being let down over and over.
4. You Feel Hopeless and Helpless.
You become powerless and hopeless due to how the narcissist treated you, and you cannot escape the relationship.
Because the narcissist persuades you to think nobody supports you, you may not see your way out of the relationship.
The more time you spend with your selfish lover, the more they detach you from your loved ones, making it more challenging for you to seek help.
5. You Find Building New Relationships Troublesome.
You may find it challenging to develop new connections after being with a narcissist, both spiritual and romantic.
What began as something extraordinary became a nightmare, so what if the same thing reoccurs?
Someone who appears to be perfectly lovely might become another creature. The following describes why you should be wary of meeting another narcissist.
6. You Isolate Yourself From Your Loved Ones.
Because narcissists are jealous and possessive and want to isolate you from everyone else, avoiding contact with your friends and family is a typical result.
Narcissists ensure you don’t speak about them with anyone else, and they don’t want you to do that.
They’ll employ various tactics to isolate you from your loved ones.
7. You Develop Insecurity.
The narcissist belittles you and makes you feel sorry about yourself to control you.
How can you get over this insecurity that’s been bugging you? First, you must identify your strength.
Most of us neglect the vast amount of capability that we possess. We get overwhelmed by doubts and beliefs that limit us. We stop pursuing what makes us happy.
8. You No Longer Trust People.
You may have a challenging time trusting others as a result of having been with a narcissist.
Knowing that someone you cared about had you with a narcissist, you may be stunned as to why you didn’t realize how awful they were.
You may have been humiliated, offended, and abused by someone you trusted, which is why you may have trust issues.
9. You Develop Low Self-Esteem.
If you’re willing to put up with negative behavior from your narcissistic partner, you may lose ground in your self-esteem.
Your narcissistic individual will constantly belittle your abilities and appearance and insist that you are hopeless. You start to trust them, and your self-esteem declines.
Your shattered ideal self-image makes you believe that you are more deficient than you are.
In addition, you will start to question your talents and abilities. You may even develop eating disorders and alcohol and drug abuse.
The consequences of being with a narcissist are widespread.
10. You Think You’re At Fault.
You are to blame for all of the abuse you have endured, correct? You are lazy, sloppy, and so on.
You made the terrible error of not recognizing the signs that your healthy relationship was deteriorating. You should have known better.
When narcissists date, you come to believe everything is your fault, including their displeasure and how they treat you.
11. You Feel Insignificant and Small.
When dating a narcissist, you’ll feel insignificant. If you disappear, you’ll feel like you’ve vanished from the earth.
When another person constantly puts you down and makes you think you’re an idiot, it’s only natural to feel this way.
However, you are not insignificant. On the contrary, you are significant and loved by others.
So you can accomplish whatever you want. You can impact the world.
12. You Avoid Conflict.
You may find yourself being submissive a lot of the time to avoid an argument or any conflict.
You don’t want to handle the narcissist’s issues and don’t want to say or do anything that might precipitate an argument.
On the contrary, you’re depriving yourself of a voice by not speaking up when necessary.
Your mental health must be assertive and even aggressive when necessary.
13. You Don’t Want to Be Alone.
You’re not just afraid of having conflicts. You are also fearful of being alone.
You may fear cutting ties and moving on because the narcissist has influenced and isolated you.
You believe nobody wants to love or be with you. However, you do not want to be alone and can handle being away from people for a short time.
You rely entirely on your partner for all your emotional needs; without them, you feel lost.
14. You Become a Puppet.
If you spend more time with your partner, they will attempt to control you and make you their puppet.
You will lose the power to decide for yourself, and a narcissist’s manipulation will cause you to do things you don’t want.
You might lose your values and morals as you compromise yourself and your beliefs.
15. You Develop PTSD.
You might experience post-traumatic stress disorder after being in a narcissistic relationship pattern.
You may have terrible nightmares, flashbacks, or even dissociation. If you’ve been with a narcissist for years, you will probably experience these post-traumatic signs.
These symptoms are not surprising, given the amount of mental and emotional abuse you’ve experienced. It’s essential to be patient with yourself and seek help.
16. You Fall Into Depression.
You may be devastated after being involved with a narcissist. As a result, disappointments and depressions are evident.
You may fall into a deep depression and feel traumatized and abused. You must seek support immediately from family, friends, or a therapist.
17. You Become Paranoid.
You may think that the narcissist partner will return to your life.
You may think you are being pursued by them wherever you go, that they want to sabotage you, and that everyone is against you.
You may even become doubtful of others around you and assume they have selfish motives.
18. You Learn From Experience.
While the list above may look pretty grim, it is not all bad. Dating a narcissist will make you more resilient and more assertive.
You will learn from the experience, trust your instincts, create healthy boundaries, and have an early notification system for potential problems.
You will understand what you want in a partner and be less likely to have another narcissist as a romantic lover.
In other words, you’ve endured a lot, but if you try to heal from a narcissistic relationship, there’s still a silver lining!
19. You Cope With Grief.
Having a narcissistic partner is challenging because they are physically, mentally, and emotionally destructive. They will whack at your self-esteem until you have nothing left.
You will go through a lot of loss—your hope, identity, trust, and self-esteem—due to being with a narcissist.
When you exit the relationship, you will know how to cope with grief, as all of these things are part of your exit from the relationship stronger.
20. You Spot Red Flags Better.
You’ll recognize narcissists quickly once you start dating again because you’ll recognize the wrong little things.
You’ll also recognize the individuals in your clique and their behavior.
21. You Get Closer to Your Loved Ones.
After severing ties with the narcissist, you’ll finally turn to your loved ones for support.
However, you might have a difficult time initially, but you will come to understand that your family and friends have your back and that you have nothing to fear from them.
You will bond with them more than you did before the narcissist.
22. You Become Compassionate.
It makes you realize that everyone has faults in some way or another and that you must be more compassionate toward others and more understanding of their problems.
23. You Learn to Stand Your Ground.
By the end of your narcissistic relationship, you’ll learn to say “no” and advocate for yourself.
You’ll be able to say “no” and stand up for yourself in a way you couldn’t initially.
24. You Learn to Set Boundaries.
Narcissists taught you how to set boundaries, and now you can finally learn how to do it.
Having poor boundaries, which opened the door to being with a narcissist, may have led to your current relationship.
You’ll be better at saying no and setting boundaries in the future. You will no longer require other people’s approval or validation.
You will be happy in your skin and won’t need their approval.
25. You Learn Self-Worth.
The most significant thing is that you learn to value and respect yourself. After being involved with a narcissist, you might have lost your self-worth.
You can develop more effective coping mechanisms to deal with your issues. Finally, you can recognize that you are worthy of joy.
What You Can Do After Dating a Narcissist
1. It Would Help If You Understood How You Fell in Love With a Narcissist.
You need to realize that you did not intentionally attract the narcissist into your life.
To avoid getting involved with another narcissist, you must recognize where you were susceptible and how the narcissist manipulated you.
It would be best if you continued studying your weaknesses to avoid repeating them in future relationships.
2. Focus on Your Healing
It’s impossible to banish Narcissus from your mind instantly. It’s necessary to focus on yourself and your repair to recover.
It would help if you made the following your priority:
- Eating right
- Drinking water
- Getting enough sleep
- Spending much of your time outside
It’s also critical to be kind to yourself and be patient while healing. Finally, taking care of your body and mind is a must.
3. Ask For the Help of a Therapist.
Talking to a non-judgmental person about everything that’s happened while dating a narcissist is a terrific way to cope.
You can discuss your concerns and issues without feeling judged. Instead, you’ll have the support and compassion of a non-judgmental person.
Your therapist can help you understand the damage that your partner has done and how to heal. If you have any questions about counseling, please ask them now.
4. Spend Time Alone.
It’s crucial to carve out time for yourself during this troublesome period. It would help to have time to process, cry, and grieve to avoid repressing and hiding your emotions.
It is critical to let your emotions flow during difficult periods, but keeping the pain trapped inside prevents you from addressing it.
You may, for example, take a bubble bath or go for a stroll around the park.
5. Be Positive and Believe in Yourself.
You must turn to the light again and regain your faith in yourself. The narcissist has ruined your life and turned it dark.
It is time to concentrate on all the beautiful things and trust yourself again.
Consider formulating some affirmations for yourself to repeat daily.
Affirmations are statements you make to yourself repeatedly, altering your perception and improving your self-esteem.
Here are some examples of affirmations you may use:
“Things will improve from here on out. Everything will improve.”
“I have gained knowledge and stature due to this ordeal.”
“Individuals wonderfully love me.”
“I will overcome this trouble.”
“I am worthy of being happy.”
Make these declarations every morning and night. Then, you can concentrate on the advantages of life.
6. Rebuild Your Confidence.
You must rebuild your confidence and increase your self-esteem since it might be low.
To do so, do yoga, volunteer, and be active and social. Spend more time supporting individuals who love you.
7. Harness Your Power.
When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s easy to feel weak and insignificant.
They act like the most influential person, whereas we feel like the least significant person.
The reality is that you’re more robust than you’d like to believe. As a result, the only individual who can influence your life is you.
So remember it, and don’t let a narcissist decide what happens to you. You’ll make it through this challenging time and come out on top.