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Howard, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 181
Experience:  I have worked 6 years with adolescents with behavioral issues, especially addictions.
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I am in a relationship with a man who i think may be

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I am in a relationship with a man who i think may be narcisstic.When we have a minor disagreement he total shuts down and refuse to talk to me.He refuses to apologize even when he is wrong .HE Shows no empathy when he hurts my feelings .Sometimes he stands me up for dates and then try to make it seem like it is my fault.He is a very hansome and intelligent man who treats me well in all other areas,but i am not sure if i should say in this relationship.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Howard replied 6 years ago.
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Howard :

Hi, I'm Howard.

Howard :

If you have a relationship with a narcisistic type person, you might recognize some of the following common traits:

  • An inability to listen to others, and a lack of awareness of another person’s deadlines, time frames, or interests.

  • An inability to admit wrongdoing, even sometimes when presented with evidence of their ‘wrong’ behavior.

  • Coldness or overly practical responses to interpersonalrelationships, a sense of distance or matter-of-factness emotionally.

  • Can be prone to severe bouts of anger.

  • Has the ability to write friends off forever, over one percieved or actual transgression.

  • Pride in the accomplishments of children if they have them, often combined with an overly developed desire for control over their directions and activities. An above average interest in social classand importance may be seen.

Howard :

Here are some basic tips for maintaining a productive relationship with a Narcissistic type person. Of course, each situation is unique, and symptoms and severities vary.

  • Keep your relationship on a practical level, if you find yourself otherwise involved with distressingly argumentititve situations, or those that are overly filled with tension. Narcisistic people respond well to practical goals achieved, be they yours or their own. Define the goals you wish to pursue, and give clear guidelines for those you wish them to assist you with - for instance, by a certain date or time.

  • Keep your contact distant if it is not reciprocated and causes you distress. A narcisistic person will not understand your own emotional needs; trying to make them acknowledged will often merely lead to more frustrations. Admit that your needs will be met differently, by different individuals and according to each’s abilities and sensibilities. This is not a narcisistic personality’s strong point, so you may have to look to others if you require strong emotional support.

  • If you find yourself in constant disagreement with such an individual, it may be helpful to define some limits or taboos in your interraction with them. This need not be verbally communicated; simple internal guidelines or limits to spheres of discussion or debate may be just as effective.

  • If you feel controlled or overly manipulated by a narcisistic person,do not try to argue or reason with them. A person with severe narcissism traits will not be able to modify their behavior. It is best to be clear and brief with such individuals, about what you are doing and when. Simply do not get into discussion, and if you must arrange a sudden appointment to escape a difficult situation, then do so.

  • Do not, for your safety and theirs, look for resolution throughconflict with a person with severe pathological narcissism. Such types have a well documented obliterative response to rage - you will conform to their world view or be obliterated from it - usually through cutting off of all ties. The possibility for physical violence is not common, but should not be disregarded.

  • A more sensible approach than conflict with a person with a Narcisistic Personality Disorder is to gain some understanding of their condition, avoid conflict, and to work with the situation asconstructively as you can. Two authors that it is usually beneficial to read more of are Kohut and Kernberg.

  • The cause of excessive Narcissism often stems back to parental issues for the individual, for instance having a narcisistic or overly controlling dominant family member. For this reason, it is important that the children of a narcisistic parent be taught skills such aslistening to, considering, and understanding the opinions andperspectives of others. Asking questions during conversation is a basic, important example of such an education.

  • If we are to compile a simplistic, yet revealing, sketch of the narcisistic individual, he or she may be considered as having an overly developed regard for their own point of view, and world view. This world view is always right, good, and done for the best intentions.

  • Individuals that have working relationships with these individuals usually fit precise roles that strengthen, and often aggrandise, their idea of self worth. Deviating from these roles is often met with displeasure, and arguing with some of the basic principles (or facts) can be met with honest and sincere self avowal and self delusion.

  • An example of a Narcisistic interraction may be that an individual has a conflict with such a person, and there arises some conflict, either overt or unspoken. A verbal disagreement may erupt, during which the Narcisist (in ‘obliterative phase’) may strike out, verbally or physically. This may be done by striking out through the channels of other relationships.

  • The non-Narcissitic personality may later bring up these actions, and point out errors in acting as they did. The narcisistic person will often honestly have no knowledge of doing so - particularly if the action is overtly and obviously beyond the pale. This is because their self image is inherently ‘good’ - if told they have acted wrongly the other individual simply must be mistaken.

Howard :

Does this sound like this man?


This is so much like him.he is a police officer who seems to think he is invensible.I think i may have lost my good friend forever this time he still will not speak with me after four days.Thank you so much.

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