Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Relationships

Page content

Relationships and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder and relationships is a combination that inevitably results in upset and fighting. This is the case whether the relationship is with a casual acquaintance, parents, siblings or a marriage partner. Signs of narcissistic personality disorder are normally easy to see in a person and if the condition is suspected, it is important to seek help.

Emotional Problems with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Relationships

A narcissistic person uses the people in their life to build their own sense of worth. This is damaging to the other person in a relationship and can end in emotional or physical trauma. Here are some signs of narcissism and how they can affect relationships:

  • Narcissists only consider themselves when making decisions. The welfare of a spouse, siblings, parents and friends does not enter their minds. In fact narcissists are the types of people who will force money out of elderly parents or make a spouse behave in a certain manner.
  • A person with narcissistic tendencies seldom takes responsibility for their own behavior. They like to play the victim and will blame circumstances and other people for their problems. This can be extremely damaging where children are involved. A parent may blame a child for driving them to alcohol, abuse and other problems.
  • Narcissism brings with it the false belief that the individual is inherently entitled to money, fame, recognition and attention. Those in a relationship with them will be in the first line of demand as the person will expect them to provide these things.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms include the need and ability of the person to justify their actions. Even if they are clearly to blame, they will twist the situation until it seems impossible to argue with them. This can leave family and friends feeling used and taken advantage of.
  • Because a person with narcissistic disorder uses people, they form light emotional attachments and find it easy to break off a relationship if it is not going their way. This can be hurtful to their partner.
  • Relationships with a narcissist are generally stormy and emotional. They can turn any social event into a nightmare with their expectations, demands and jealousy.
  • Manipulation is a common strategy used by narcissists. They may go as far as self-injury or physical intimidation to get what they want from another person.
  • With a person who has narcissistic personality disorder there is typically a contrast between what they say and what they do. They frequently lie to a spouse or parent and make assurances that turn out to be completely false. This destroys trust which in turn will often lead to more fighting and dissension in relationships.

When looking at narcissistic personality disorder and relationships, it is easy to see that a narcissist will add stress to a family situation. A long term relationship with a narcissistic person can be very damaging emotionally, and in some cases physically. If the person with the condition refuses to seek help, it may be better to limit contact or cut the relationship off completely as a form of self- protection.

NB: The content of this article is for information purposes and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.


Counselling Resource,

Narcissistic Personality,