Living with a narcissist in any capacity is never easy, especially if you are forced to spend time with the narcissist regularly.
If a narcissist is accusing others of being narcissistic, they are doing so because those who are narcissistic tend to use projection as a weapon.
The use of projection can cause others to feel gaslit if they are around a narcissist and are being accused of the very same behavior that the narcissist exhibits.
Learning to navigate an individual with narcissistic tendencies can help you to prevent unnecessary strain and stress in your life.
If someone is a narcissist, you’ll be able to tell pretty easily. Typical narcissists will appear to have massive egos that cannot be tamed or squashed.
In fact, those who have officially been diagnosed with NPD, or narcissistic personality disorder, will have a difficult time not complimenting themselves or patting themselves on the back.
When someone is a narcissist, it can be next to impossible to ignore it, as they will find it challenging to communicate with others without making a conversation about themselves or about how great they are as a person.
A few signs that an individual may be exhibiting narcissistic behavior or that they may actually be a narcissist might include:
- A larger-than-average ego
- The inability to talk to others without monopolizing each conversation they have
- Boasting constantly about their skills and abilities, even without the ability or desire to prove them to others
- Oversharing about themselves and boosting themselves due to low or fragile self-esteem
- Constantly interrupting others to share stories about themselves
- Manipulating others in order to maintain control of individuals or to control a particular situation or environment
Can someone have narcissistic tendencies without being diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder?
Yes. In fact, this is much more common than one might think, especially if you are unfamiliar with narcissistic behavior and actions.
A true narcissist who has been diagnosed with NPD, or narcissistic personality disorder, may have a difficult time coming to terms with the diagnosis or accepting its legitimacy.
Most individuals, on the other hand, have experienced and/or exhibited narcissistic traits and behaviors at some point or another throughout life, whether they do so on purpose or even subconsciously.
Many individuals can display narcissistic tendencies and behaviors given the right situations and environment.
If someone is feeling self-conscious, struggling with their self-esteem, or has a difficult time keeping their ego in check, they are more likely to appear narcissistic than others.
Those who lack self-awareness may also allow their egos to go to their head much more than those who are cognizant of their ego and how they are viewed by others at all times.
In many cases, narcissists will accuse others of what they are doing as a classic form of projection.
To save and preserve one’s own self and one’s own image, the narcissist will turn and blame a situation on any individual who gets in their way.
You may find that a narcissist is comfortable with accusing others of exactly what it is that they are doing, as they are extremely talented at manipulating others as well as situations for their own benefit.
Narcissists may also accuse others of what they are doing to draw attention away from themselves.
If a narcissist feels threatened or as if they are about to be found out or discovered by another, they will not likely take any issue with throwing someone else under the bus or redirecting the blame to someone who is completely innocent.
If you believe a narcissist is accusing you of exactly what they are doing, you may need to ask yourself why and what they could be trying to hide or protect.
Oftentimes, when a narcissist accuses someone else of being narcissistic, it is genuinely because they lack self-awareness of their own behaviors, actions, and how they come across in front of others.
A narcissist who accuses others of acting narcissistically may have difficulty taking their own personal inventory and actions seriously.
You may also notice that the narcissist will have difficulties when it comes to accepting blame and responsibility for their wrongdoings, even over seemingly minor issues.
It is not always easy to understand why a narcissist may do what they do to others, especially without a formal diagnosis and ongoing therapy or treatment.
If you are living with a narcissist or if you are in a relationship with a narcissist, it can quickly wear you down if you are unsure of the root cause of the individual’s own narcissistic behavior and tendencies.
In some cases, you may have some luck with getting a narcissist to understand that their actions and behaviors are inappropriate, hurtful, or just downright wrong.
However, this task will be much more challenging when dealing with individuals who have been officially diagnosed with NPD, or narcissistic personality disorder.
Those who have NPD will not likely take advice, which may be taken as criticism or as an attack, depending on the overall fragility of the individual’s own personal ego and self-esteem.
The best way to get a narcissist to understand their own behaviors is to allow them to see it on their own.
This may take time and ultimately, damage many different relationships, which can make it extremely difficult to stick around if you are not related to the narcissistic individual.
If the narcissist you are around is unwilling to admit that they are struggling with their own ego, it may be best to move on or to keep distance between the two of you as they work out their own internal struggles.
You might believe that you could never fall for a narcissistic individual romantically, even if you have experience in dating or in marriage.
However, this is, unfortunately, not true. A true narcissist is extremely covert in his actions, behaviors, and emotions, making it difficult for even the most experienced conversationalists and negotiators to detect.
If you believe your partner is a narcissist, you may need to take time to reevaluate your relationship and whether or not it is salvageable.
It can also be difficult to admit and/or accept that a partner is a narcissist, which is why building a support group is necessary, especially if you believe you will have difficulties breaking away from the relationship.
This one is not always easy, especially for married couples and for those who have been cohabitating for years.
In some instances, it can take years to figure out that your significant other or partner is a narcissist, which can be extremely devastating and hurtful.
If you want to take some time to distance yourself from your partner but you are living with one another, consider the following tips:
- Find work with opposing schedules, allowing you more breathing room and time apart when you are not working, providing you with time to focus on yourself.
- Spend more time investing in yourself, rather than attempting to please and/or appease your partner.
- Make new friends or spend more time with existing friends and family members that you are close with, figuratively and literally
- Dive head-first into a new hobby, skill, or activity that is a source of joy.
- Ask family members and friends for additional moral support. If necessary, ask them for somewhere to stay while you take time apart from your partner.
If you are living with a narcissist who enjoys monopolizing your time or dictating your daily routine, you may need additional support from relatives and loved ones as you work to break free from toxic and controlling lifestyle patterns.
Distancing yourself from a narcissist who does not want to allow you your freedom may need to be done covertly and on your own.
You may need to plan ahead of time to move out or to move your belongings to a new and safe location.
Although not all narcissists are physically violent, many narcissists do have a tendency to manipulate and utilize various psychological tactics to maintain and gain control of others.
If you believe your partner or significant other is capable of manipulating you, it is important to distance yourself as quickly as possible while letting your support group know that you need additional moral support.
Anyone who is living in a relationship that is potentially dangerous or that experiences physical abuse or harm should also reach out to proper authorities as quickly as possible.
Living in an abusive situation with a narcissist or any other individual is never acceptable and should never be tolerated under any circumstances.
Narcissists can be charming, charismatic, conniving, and extremely cunning, especially if they do not believe they are in control of a situation or if they do not feel as if they are getting their way.
If you believe you are dating a narcissist or that you are married to one, cultivating a support group of family members and friends is highly advisable as this group will lend the support you need to regain your own independence.
A narcissist may have a way with words, causing you to feel guilty about wanting to leave or distance yourself from them even after repeatedly lying to you or causing you to feel hurt and pain.
If you have difficulties with saying no or standing your ground, the narcissist will pounce, ensuring you stay trapped and stuck exactly where you are at.
When you have a support group of family members and friends, they can help you in the process of cutting ties or keeping your distance for the time being, especially if you are living with or are married to a narcissist.
Understanding how to go about identifying narcissistic behavior and pinpointing potential instances of abuse can help you to steer clear of becoming entangled in the web of a narcissist, even an extremely covert one.
While it is never easy to be accused of being narcissistic by a narcissist himself, knowing how to identify common practices and behaviors can help you to direct and control how the relationship interferes with your own life.