We all have had times in our lives when we felt our partner , parent, child or friend was selfish, unsympathetic and difficult. We may even have accused them of being a narcissist. Behaving badly, lacking empathy and being selfish, though not desirable traits, does not alone define you as a narcissist. A Narcissistic personality has a series of severe and long-standing characteristics that are very difficult to change or treat. One of the biggest challenges is that they just don't believe they have any problems.

How do you help someone who refuses to accept help? This can be quite a dilemma and quite a challenging situation to live with.

Becoming aware if you are involved with such a person, can be empowering in decreasing your feelings of guilt and helplessness regarding the difficulties in the relationship by understanding that it's not due to a lack of willingness or cooperation on your part. For this reason I have compiled a list of traits for you to examine. If this list hits home, it could be the first step in knowing who you are dealing with. Before you can have the tools to improve a challenging relationship, you need to know what challenges this particular pesonality presents with and understanding it comes with the territory. These questions don't take the place of a professional diagnosis but might be as close as you can get to one. Read it over and you decide.

1. Does your partner twist and turn facts in order to be in the right?

2. Does he refuse to stay on topic when having a disagreement?

3. Is he is not accountable for his actions?

4. Does he behave in immature and evasive behaviours?

5. Do you feel continually blamed for everything he does wrong?

6. Are you often accused of being unloving, distant or cold when in fact it is your partner acting this way?

7. Is your partner spiteful and mean-spirited?

8. Do you often feel abused - verbally, mentally, financially, and/or emotionally?

9. Do you feel as if you are treated with contempt when he is angry?

10. Do you feel unfairly accused of lying?

11. Does his constant blame and accusations make you question your own judgments and does it affect your self esteem?

12.Do you ever wonder yourself if you are going crazy?

13. Does he often undermine your credibility so that he appears “right” and always wins the argument?

14. Do you feel he has no compassion or empathy for how his behavior affects you and your children?

15. Do you often feel as if you are “walking on eggshells” never sure what will set him off?

15. Does his constant criticisms and judgemental behaviour make you wonder why you ever allowed this person into your life?

16. Do you feel trapped in this relationship?

17. Do you find that he distorts the truth in order to justify his behaviour?

18. Do you often feel like you are being manipulated?

A relationship with a narcissist is not about partnership. These people are totally self-centered and lack empathy and compassion. They don’t accept responsibility for their actions and feel entitled to have what they want when they want it.

The narcissist throws trantrums when he isn’t winning.. He is verbally abusive and he sees you as the enemy whenever you disagree. This justifies his goal to tear you down, to destroy your self-esteem and self-confidence so that you will become and stay totally dependent on him or her.

One of the most destructive and disturbing personality disorder traits is a that this person has a severe lack of accountability. This is in fact one of the biggest red flags to let you know that you are dealing with an individual who has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This lack of accountability often renders you feeling confused, foggy, invalidated and unsafe. The more you try to get through to this person and have him take responsibility, the more toxic the conversation becomes. He or she will use any tools in his arsenal and bring up any past situations or open any wounds to make sure he does not have to admit fault. This person never admits being wrong and doesn't play fair.

It is really important to be aware of how your own mental health may be affected by staying in this relationship. If you find your self-esteem diminishing, that you are questioning simple decisions and your anxiety is through the roof, then you need to recognize that your mental health is at risk. Whether this person is a parent, a spouse, a child or your boss, you may need to find a way to distance yourself in order to save yourself and your sanity.

Please take care and have a great week.

Author's Bio: 

Rhonda has been involved in couple and individual therapy in the Montreal area for over twenty years. She also reaches clients outside of Montreal through her Toll Free Telecounselling service. One of her specialties is offering short-term counselling with long-term results. Rhonda has a solution-focused approach. Her Montreal therapy sessions do more than offer compassion, empathy and active listening. Rhonda is a strong advocate for empowering her clients. To help them achieve this goal, she offers concrete tools and strategies that enable her clients to better manage their lives and cope with any further challenges they may experience in their lives.