Couples still escape

Narcissists: Eleven Tips to Combat Psychological Terrorism in a Relationship

Sure, there is a bit of Gockel in most of us. We live in the age of narcissism, it is often said lightly. And indeed: each of us has narcissistic traits. "We need them to keep our self-esteem stable," says psychotherapist Dr. Bärbel Wardetzki. We strengthen our ego with praise, recognition and love. It becomes difficult when there is no self-esteem at all and someone constantly needs a "narcissistic supply" to feel worthy at all.

Then caution is advised. The author of the book “Vain Love. How narcissistic relationships fail or can succeed. ”(Kösel) prefers to speak of a“ person with narcissistic structures ”instead of a“ narcissist ”. “And that ranges from very strong to very weak,” says the psychotherapist. Such people can be downright dangerous, especially if you want to have a romantic relationship with them. We reveal how you recognize a “person with narcissistic structures” (in the following we call him “narcissist” for short) and how you best deal with him.

1. Don't be dazzled

Anyone who gets into a relationship with a narcissist usually believes at the beginning that they have found the dream prince or woman: he carries you on his hands, lets red roses rain down and constantly emphasizes how happy he is to have found you. Christine Merzeder calls this strategy “Love Bombing”. She was with a narcissistic partner for twelve years - and then a psychological and physical wreck. With her recently published book “Wie creeping poison. Surviving and curing narcissistic abuse in relationships ”(Scorpio) wants to make her aware of the victims.

"If everything is too good to be true at the beginning - it usually is," she sums up. Usually a bad gut feeling tells you that you are wriggling on the hook of an egomaniac: Because it feels strange how he lifts you on the pedestal (“You are the most beautiful woman in the world), unbelievable that he shares all of our hobbies, overreaching when he also orders for you in the restaurant, in short, “always a corner too great”, as Bärbel Wardetzki puts it aptly and casually.

2. Take warning signs seriously

On cloud nine, it's easy to ignore the chaos below. For example, that Mr. Right has left a hell of a lot of scorched earth elsewhere: he went bankrupt with his company, divorced many times, fell out with his ex, no more contact with the child ... But of course that's not his fault: “Typical for narcissists is to always blame others for their problems, ”says psychotherapist Wardetzki. One should also pay attention if one scores too well in comparison with previous partners: "They only took advantage of me - but everything is different with you." Another common pattern: relationship hopping: The glow of the last partnership is probably still warm, if he kindles a new love fire.

3. Expect to always want to be the center of attention

The reason why narcissists often get involved in a new relationship so quickly or lead several at the same time: "Narcissists are like junkies," says Merzeder, "they cannot be without narcissistic input." That the opposite is not a person with their own feelings for them , Desires and needs are only gradually noticed. “You don't have a sense of togetherness,” says Bärbel Wardetzki. They are not looking for a partner at eye level, but a mirror that shows them their own greatness. “Our song” does not exist, only the “I, I, I” record plays. Also typical: “You don't get a word in conversation with him. He doesn't ask “How are you?” And forgets important information about the partner, “says Bärbel Wardetzki.