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 Problems of Living with a narcissist

1. The Isolation Game of Narcissists

Narcissists masterfully twist reality, making you doubt your own memories and beliefs.

They’ll suggest your loved ones don’t understand you like they do, slowly pulling you away from your support network.

This isolation leaves you feeling alone and reliant on the narcissist for emotional support and validation.

They cunningly gaslight you about your friends and family, so that you stop trusting them and become solely dependent on the narcissist.

2. Narcissistic Abuse of Kindness

Narcissists will prey on you if they perceive you as weak or submissive.

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.

3. The Trap of Mind Games

Narcissists will often play mind games to get what they want from you. They might pretend to be nice or act like they’re the best, just to trick you into doing things for them.

They might use reverse psychology, where they say one thing but mean the opposite, hoping you’ll do what they actually want.

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 will somehow make you feel guilty and sheepishly take the blame for their wrongful behavior.

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

Meanwhile, if 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?”

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 your questioning them or their sources. 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 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

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 often deny you the chance to defend your own needs, easily violating your basic rights.

Such actions are not just inconsiderate; they’re tactics to assert dominance and control.

They won’t even let you stand up for yourself. You will have your most basic human rights being trampled over.

They might dictate when you can eat, prioritizing their hunger over yours. They may expect you to stay without food 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.

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.

There will come a time when you will be surprised that they did not use your bad past against you at the “right” moment.

Final Words

A few things you may do to handle a 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 yourself. You don’t need to compromise your values or beliefs to please anyone, the least of all a narcissist.

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

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