Here’s what happens when you break up with a narcissist

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From Business Insider:

It is challenging and exhausting being romantically involved with a narcissist, and they can also cause havoc when they leave. Breakups are always hard, but when you’ve been in a relationship with someone who uses others and is obsessed with themselves, it can be even harder.

On the surface, narcissists can seem charming, engaging and charismatic, which can make them difficult to leave in the first place.

Dr Judith Orloff, a clinical psychiatrist at the University of California Los Angeles, told Insider that narcissists can make you fall in love with them quickly, because they’re very adept at becoming the centre of your universe.

“Narcissists present a false self, where they can seem charming and intelligent, and even giving,” she said. “Until you don’t do things their way. Then they get cold, withholding and punishing.”

Here’s what to expect if a relationship with a narcissist ends.

It can feel brutal and sudden

One minute you may feel like everything your partner has ever wanted, and the next you’re left wondering what on Earth went wrong. This is because narcissists are great at playing a part while they’re getting something from you, according to Orloff. But when they’re done using you, they have no difficulty in casting you aside like a used tissue.

There will be no apologies or remorse, and you may well never hear from them again, regardless of how long your relationship was. If they do return, it will be because they’ve realized they can get something from you.

Be prepared for begging, pleading, or bargaining

If you’re the one who chose to leave, good for you, because that’s hard to do, Orloff said. They are likely to give you the fight of your life because they’re not done with you yet. Narcissists hate losing their supply, so they won’t let you go easily.

Prepare for them to promise “to change.” They might suddenly start doing things for you that you’d been complaining about. They may say “you’ll be lost without me,” or “you’ll never find someone like me.”

Don’t listen, Orloff advised. It’s just a trick to get you to come back to them out of fear.

If that doesn’t work, they may try different tactics

If their begging isn’t successful, narcissists can turn mean. Psychiatrist Dr. Edward Ratush told Insider that narcissists are master manipulators, and will have learned over time how to use your thoughts and behaviors to control you.

“Strategically, separating from a narcissist can resemble defending oneself against a shark: you have to punch them right in the nose,” he said. “Despite the fierceness of their appearance, they often crumble when confronted. Their bullying ways will quickly dissolve and reveal what’s beneath.”

The best defense against the narcissist’s tactics is a good, strong sense of self, Ratush said — “a solid grasp of your needs and how they can be used against you.”

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