Loving And Living With Someone With Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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Narcissistic personality disorder can manifest over time and create abusive, unhealthy relationships when unmanaged. As your loved one goes through treatment and therapy, you can start to establish rules for yourself and for a loved one with narcissistic personality disorder in your life. By learning about them and the way their disorder manifests, you can learn to create healthy boundaries while continuing to love them with compassion.

  • Observe them like a researcher: One of the greatest tools someone in a relationship of any kind with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder can learn is to detach with love. Every now and then you have to recognize the difference between who your loved one is and who the narcissism makes them to be. The best way to learn about your loved one’s particular manifestations of narcissistic personality disorder is to observe it like a researcher. Notice when their peculiarities start flaring up. Can you identify their triggers and reactions? It is important to let them learn for themselves, but important for you to learn as well. You can know ahead of time what kind of reactions, manipulations, or tactics might be coming. You will be able to love yourself and love them through the process.
  • Help them notice their behaviors when they can’t notice it themselves: Recovery from all mental health conditions is about progress, not perfection. It will take time for them to learn the triggers and reactions they have to look out for and make choices about. You can learn to make your own choices about their behavior, which might include choosing to help them see what they can’t. Narcissistic personality disorder can so greatly inflate the ego that they are unable to objectively notice the pitfalls of their own behavior. You can help them recognize that the way they are acting, reacting, or behaving is a symptom of their narcissism and not the only option they have.
  • Continue building their ego in healthy ways: Narcissistic personality disorder thrives on acknowledgement, accolade, and praise. In many ways, this becomes dysfunctional and interferes with their ability to have normal and healthy relationships. Instead of feeding their ego through their tactics of manipulation and approval-seeking, voluntarily feed their ego in healthy ways instead. Regularly pay them normal compliments that everyone would enjoy getting. Many loved ones swing the opposite direction and cut off all kinds of compliments in an effort to deflate their loved one’s ego. This can be harmful to the recovery process. Instead, it is better to pay healthy compliments for the things which should and need to be complemented. Remember, it is a fragile and vulnerable sense of self-worth that drives narcissistic behaviors.


Narcissistic personality disorder is often co-occurring with substance use disorders. If you believe you or your loved one might be struggling with co-occurring narcissistic personality disorder, there is treatment available. Avalon By The Sea is certified for providing primary mental health and primary substance use disorder treatment, making our co-occurring disorder treatment unparalleled in quality. For a confidential assessment and more information about our trusted programs, call us today: 888-958-7511

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