One of the key characteristics of narcissism is not taking responsibility for him or herself. Usually demonstrated through an inflated ego, the way someone with narcissism goes about this can differ. They might make a mistake and simply refuse to accept responsibility for it. When told they have done something wrong, they might chronically blame other people, almost like an immature child. In more subtle ways, they will convince others that the fault really does belong elsewhere. Being the loved one in a relationship with someone living with narcissistic personality disorder can mean losing sight of what responsibility truly belongs to you or not. Psych Central highlights a few examples. Here, we explain the reality of each unrealistic responsibility.
- You might feel as though your loved one acts the way that they do because you cannot successfully make them feel loved enough or secure enough. While creating love and security in a relationship is important, it is never the responsibility of just one person. You cannot make someone feel anything, let alone convince them that they are loved ‘enough’. You can do the best you can do at any point in time to be as loving as possible in a way that is healthy for you and for them.
- You might feel as though there are things you have done which have permanently damaged them, causing them to act the way they do. You know they are minor offenses, but because they are so sensitive, they take them seriously. Everyone is capable of recovering from harms done to them in relationships. More importantly, everyone is empowered in their autonomous ability to choose how they want to feel about any situation.
- You might wonder why they won’t listen to simple pleas regarding medication, seeing a therapist or working on problems together. Narcissistic personality disorder is deeply entwined with ego. Your loved one isn’t “crazy” but struggling to manage a complex personality disorder. They will have to agree to treatment and working through their issues on their own. Unfortunately, it truly has nothing to do with you.
Through therapy and treatment, everyone can heal from the damaging reach of narcissistic personality disorder. Often, NPD can be co-occurring with substance use disorders and other issues. Avalon By The Sea is one of California’s only primary mental health care treatment centers. For a confidential assessment and information on our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.