Relationships with Narcissists
- Do you find that no matter how much you try to communicate that your voice is not heard?
- Do you feel like most of the people that you have a relationship with, are manipulative, untrustworthy, abusive, or toxic?
- Do you have a history of being in relationships where your partners have cheated on you, lied to you, or been abusive towards you; yet you continue to give them "chance after chance" despite having difficulty trusting them?
- Do you have difficulty with acceptance, or with others respecting your boundaries?
- Do you put everyone else's needs ahead of your own?
How I can help:
There is a saying that "you can understand a lot about a person by the quality of their relationships." This is true. Often the way a person functions in their relationship is an indicator of how they were treated in their early relationships with their parents/caregivers, who were our primary role models for how to express love and affection. Our early relationships and bonds (or lack there of) with our parents teaches us about our values, and how we should love ourselves and others. If you were raised by a parent who was narcissistic, never expressed love/affection/interest in you unless it benefited them in some way, and was also abusive towards you; then you may struggle with having healthy adult relationships of your own. You may find that your emotional/physical/financial/intimate needs are never met in your relationships, and often have feelings of being "used and abused." However, despite feeling unhappy and unsatisfied in your relationships, you continue to stay. If you feel like most or all of your relationships are destructive, or make you feel as though you just stepped off of a roller coaster, there is a good chance that you are "serial empath" who is involved in relationships with narcissistic people.
In my work with clients who have relationship issues, I evaluate your relationship history. This is often done by discussing your earliest relationships with your parents/caregivers, siblings, and previous romantic relationships; and examining those relationships for patterns. How we interact in our own relationships is built from our ability to form healthy relationships with our family. It is necessary to retrace the steps of past relationship history to understand whether you apply the same script to current and future relationships.
Another way I help you to explore relationships, is by helping you evaluate your self-esteem and your internal voice. How you allow yourself to be treated in a relationship, often reflects how you feel about yourself internally. This can easily be determined by understanding and evaluating acceptable and unacceptable behaviors established in your relationships. I work with you to help you establish healthy boundaries, boost your confidence, and to rebuild your self-esteem.
Difficulty communicating or connecting intimately with others can occur when your feelings are not validated, and your voice is not heard. When this happens, we often feel insignificant and invisible. Through counseling, we work together to learn new methods of communication, and eliminate abusive and toxic communication patterns.
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