So many of us have been there. Left scratching our heads…asking ourselves the questions, “Did I just date a Narcissist? Or am I crazy? What the heck just happened?!”
When you date a Narcissist, the relationship often starts in a whirlwind of excitement, reaching a level of intensity only seen in a romantic comedy. You feel swept off your feet, and at times wonder if it’s too good to be true. Only later to realize, it was.
Narcissists thrive off of personal flattery and intense admiration. So to feed this inner need, they pull out all the stops, dress to impress, and take you on their roller coaster of excitement and adventure.
This adventure makes people fall madly with the Narcissist and for a time, makes the Narcissist feel loved in return. But the Narcissist often carries a heavy secrete of shame, self doubt, and inner disappointment. A hurt so big, they wonder if anyone could ever really love them for who they are. To cope, they play the roll of a confident, successful, and courageous person, never letting anyone into their inner world of disappointment and shame.
Though wildly exciting at first, get too close to the Narcissist and experience harsh push back and criticism. Ask the Narcissist to empathize with your concerns or hurts, and watch them make the issue your fault. See if they can consider your needs, and witness the Narcissist’s inability to make room for anyone’s needs but their own.
Over time, the relationship with the Narcissist begins to disintegrate despite your best efforts to make it work. The Narcissist can only believe this lie for so long and over time will lose confidence in the relationship. The need for total admiration is too strong, and the only solution is for the Narcissist to find someone new.
And this is where it may hurt the most.
The relationship that was once so loving and meaningful, is quickly thrown away and replaced with someone else. When asked to empathize with your hurt and pain, the Narcissist shows little remorse or care for your feelings. They are already focused on the joy they are experiencing as someone else now meets their insatiable need for admiration. And you are likely left wondering, “What did I do wrong?”
Many of us are tricked by the Narcissist’s lies. We trusted with our whole hearts and were quickly dismissed in the end. But this is not the end of the story. Not all relationships look like this. Hope can be found through healing from this break-up.
Dr. Melissa Estavillo is a Licensed Psychologist and founder of Biltmore Psychology and Counseling. With over 7 years of experience, she specializes in both individual and couples therapy in Phoenix, AZ. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques stemming from Emotionally Focused Theory, Psychodynamic Theory and Other Evidence Based Practices to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client.