A narcissistic personality disorder is quite different from the meaning of the term “narcissistic” in popular culture. While being narcissistic usually refers to vanity, a narcissistic personality disorder is a little bit more complex. Those who have this disorder are very manipulative. Being in a relationship with one can be very hard, and here are five ways they use to manipulate you.

Idealize, devalue, and then discard

There are three stages in a relationship with a narcissist.

The first stage being the one where your partner will idealize you and make you feel like he can’t live without you. This sudden attention can be very pleasant, however, be aware that he is just making you dependent of his constant praise.

The second stage is the one where your partner will devalue you. After idealizing you and making you addicted to his attention, he will slowly start to criticize you and dispraise you.

He will alternate between the idealization stage and devaluation stage leaving you confused. By doing this he is going to convince you that maybe there is something wrong with you and that it is your fault.

During the devaluation stage, your narcissist partner will show his real face. You have to forget about the partner you used to date in the beginning, it was just a parade to get control over you.

Your narcissistic partner needs your attention more than you need his, but he makes you look like the needy one in your relationship. You wonder, how did he do that? Well, at the beginning he set your expectations by constantly praising you, and once he stopped, you began to miss his attention.

The third stage being the discard stage, in this stage your narcissist will abandon you, convincing you that you are worthless. Don’t expect a normal break up with this kind of person, prepare yourself to see him go away with a new lover, he will ignore you for a long period and he will humiliate you. This way they try to make you feel useless, like breaking up wasn’t enough…they have the need to completely destroy you and make it clear that even if you are no longer together they still have an influence over your feelings.

Self-doubt

Your narcissistic partner will do everything to convince you that you are not being abused. He won’t consider your feelings and he is going to make you doubt yourself. It’s always your fault, you are the one who needs too much attention and you are the one who is oversensitive. Narcissistic men have the perfect technique to make you doubt yourself and you will start to question whether you are abused or not. He is going to convince you that the abuse is your fault or that it didn’t even take place. By self-doubting, you will start to mistrust your own instinct which is disabling you to leave this abusive relationship.

Gossips

Narcissists have the constant need to be the center of attention. Everyone needs to see how gorgeous and wonderful they are. And they are good at it. They know how to charm the people around them. Don’t be surprised if your narcissistic partner dispraises you in front of other people. It’s in their nature; they have to be better than everyone. Unfortunately, they are also going to devalue you and make you look like the abuser just so they can have the attention they lust for so much. He will start rumors about you and not by chance should you let him do that. Speak the truth and don’t let him manipulate you. You’re the victim, not him. If you don’t speak up it means that he still has the control over your life.

You are not the only one

Don’t be surprised if your narcissistic partner cheats on you or gives you the impression he is going to. He is making you jealous to get “over attention.” By creating fear he is once again manipulating you and bringing all your attention to him. He is slowly destroying your self-confidence, and you will begin to think that you are the problem and you are not good enough. The problem isn’t in you, HE is the problem. No one should suffer like this. If he can’t keep it in his pants it is his fault, not yours.

Multiple personalities

You never truly know someone. And when this someone has multiple personalities it is certainly impossible to know him for sure. At the beginning he was perfect and now it is like you are lying in bed with a stranger. One thing is for sure, it is really confusing. And no wonder why you’re self-doubting. Don’t be fooled by the illusion he gave you at the beginning, trust your instincts and run as far away as you can. Don’t let anyone denigrate you because you deserve better.