10 Worst Problems of Living With A Narcissist

— by Dr. Sandip Roy.

Living with a narcissist is a daily struggle. You have to handle challenges from emotional manipulation to boundary violations.

Find out how difficult it can be to live with a narcissist.

10 Worst Problems of Living With Narcissists

1. The Isolation Game of Narcissists

Narcissists isolate you from your support system, making you doubt your loved ones.

Narcissists can masterfully twist reality. They can spin highly detailed tales to make you doubt what you remember, or believe, or saw.

  • They can drop a sequence of hints to “prove” that your family and friends don’t trust or understand you.
  • They can gaslight you, cunningly turning you against the last of your well-wishers. So that you stop trusting other people.
  • All along, your narcissist plants it in your mind that only they can understand you and do what’s best for you.

The narcissist systematically isolates you from your support system, manipulating you into doubting and disconnecting from loved ones.

To the point that you become emotionally and psychologically dependent solely on them for any sense of validation or self-worth.

2. Narcissistic Abuse of Kindness

Narcissists prey on your kindness and good nature.

And if they perceive you as weak or submissive, they will exploit you into yielding to their unreasonable demands.

If you are being kind to them, they will use your good-heartedness and get you to acquiesce to their unreasonable wishes.

Over time, they learn to read your mind so well that they will catch you at your vulnerable worst to slave for them.

They can even disallow your refusal to comply with them.

10 Problems of Living with a narcissist

3. The Trap of Mind Games

They play incessant mind games to get what they want from you.

They use tactics like pretense, reverse psychology, and the “influencer” trap to manipulate you.

Pretense: They would pretend to be nice. Your narcissist can act like he is the best human you will ever meet. As you give in, they will unbox more of their tricks to make you do things for them.

Reverse psychology: Where they say one thing but mean the opposite, hoping that you’ll do what they actually want.

“Influencer” trap: They’re also good at putting on a show to make people fall into their “influencer” status trap, making people think that being close to them will bring great future advantages.

4. The Blame-Shifting Scheme

Narcissists are experts at shifting the blame, keeping you in a constant state of guilt for no fault of yours.

They can make you apologize for their wrongdoings. They have ways to somehow make you feel guilty for pointing out their misdeed, and sheepishly take the blame.

Even if they admit they made the mistake, they will get you to believe you caused their bad actions. And this makes sure that you’re always apologizing to them, even when you’ve done nothing wrong.

If ever they are cornered into saying ‘Sorry,’ it will most likely be a fake apology.

5. The Narcissist’s Tendency To Cross Lines

They will, by default, push your personal and professional boundaries.

They can’t take “No” for an answer. They react badly when you say to “No,” as they see it a personal attack, not a boundary.

They see it as a challenge to overcome. So they often push harder, using guilt or anger to break down your resistance.

This pressure can make you feel trapped, realizing that they don’t respect your freedom or choices. They can brand you “selfish” for asserting yourself.

They can insult you for “curbing their relationship rights” when you set boundaries with them.

This relentless pushing strains relationships, making you question your right to set boundaries.

It’s a cycle — the soul-sucking abuse cycle — designed to wear you down until they get their way.

6. The Art of Narcissistic Provocation

Narcissists love to provoke arguments and conflicts.

They can incite you into a rage outburst — they just know how to — and then get others to see your “irrational” behavior.

They are ace at playing the victim. They can turn the situation around to make themselves look like the wronged party.

The fact is, narcissists thrive on stirring discontent, and then skillfully triggering your anger. Making it appear you’re the aggressor and painting themselves as the hurt party.

Their knack for button-pushing is unmatched, so that over time, you start believing that all your outbursts were unwarranted.

This does two things:

  • one, discredits you, and
  • two, garners them sympathy for being the victim.

Personal experience: I once had a middle-aged couple for therapy. The husband had recorded the wife’s angry outbursts and her loud-complaining spells. He had even recorded her crooning to herself standing near the bedroom window at 2 AM. After sharing those with me, he asked me, “How long will this woman’s insanity last? How long do I need to tolerate her?”

“Narcissists can provoke arguments and conflicts, only to paint you as the irrational aggressor and themselves the victim.”

7. A Narcissists’ Monopoly On Truth

Narcissists demand unwavering belief from you in their version of events. If they have told you something, they want you to believe them without any scrutiny.

They badly hate it when you question or fact-check their claims. They block your attempts to get a reality check or external verification.

They can weave a complex web of fabricated truths and half-truths to make you give in to their narrative.

This control tactic is called gaslighting—manipulating you into questioning your reality and memories. It keeps you from doubting their words, as you realize it is too exhausting to resist their endless argumentation.

Ultimately, it gets harder for you to spot the real from the fake.

To understand it better, watch the movie Gaslight. And read this — The Unbearable Mental Weight of Unconscious Gaslighting.

Problems of Living with a Narcissist - PIN
Narcissists blame you for your own hurt feelings, labeling you overemotional.

8. Denial of Emotional Responsibility

Narcissists blame you for your own hurt feelings, pointing out that you are the cause of your distress.

They hold you responsible for your tearful emotional states, often telling you that you brought it on to yourself.

They can callously dismiss your most tragic emotions, labeling you as “hyperemotional” and that you can’t handle the harsh “reality” — which is actually their harsh behavior.

By pinning your emotional responses to your own weaknesses, they not just absolve themselves of any wrongdoing, but also point out that you deserve the pain that you are going through.

9. Their Trampling of Your Basic Rights

They can trample on your basic human rights. And even deny you a chance to defend your statement or stance.

The actions of a narcissist are not merely inconsiderate; they are tactics to exert complete dominance over you.

  • They can dictate when you can eat (only after they have been served food), prioritizing their hunger over yours. They may expect you to stay hungry until they have eaten.
  • They can disrupt your sleep by turning on the bedroom lights and switching the TV on loud if they cannot fall asleep. It is a dirty trick to wake you up in a startle — revealing their little regard for your well-being.

Worse, they will not allow you to speak for yourself or express your needs.

Sadly, someone I know is a narcissistic husband who does odd things to startle her ill wife out of sleep, to tell her he can’t sleep because she is snoring.

10. Using Your Secrets as Weapons

Narcissists will often gather detailed information on you, get you to confide in them your deepest secrets, and especially try to make a list of your weak points.

They excel at collecting personal information, persuading you to share your most guarded secrets and vulnerabilities.

They meticulously note your weaknesses, waiting for the perfect time to use them to their advantage.

This “strategic gathering of intel” is not for empathy but for leverage. They will later turn your own words into ammunition when it suits them.

They can use your private details and dark past to get revenge on you at the “right” moment.

There may come a time when you’ll be surprised if they did not use your negative points against you.

Final Words

Your narcissist’s constant belittling, criticism, and not giving you validation will erode your self-esteem and self-worth.

Worse, they will keep you trapped in this pitiful state, reacting aggressively when you set boundaries or assert your rights.

Things you can do to handle your narcissist who won’t change their ways (and most of them won’t):

  • Set consequences for their actions: Tell them there will be consequences, and then follow through when they act bad again.
  • Maintain a support system: Having a strong support system of friends and family can help you navigate the challenges of dealing with a narcissist.
  • Seek therapy or counseling: Dealing with a narcissist can take a toll on your mental health. Seek therapy or counseling to help you navigate the situation and maintain your mental well-being.

Finally, stay true to your needs and yourself. Don’t compromise your values or beliefs to please anyone, least of all any narcissist.

√ Also Read: Do Narcissists Like Other Narcissists (Unravel The Paradox)

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