There are certain things that we are willing to tolerate from certain people. You know, those quirks or goofy mannerisms that develop over time with a personality. Some of those things are really rather cute and then there are some things that we could just do without. Sometimes, those personality quirks or mannerisms can be changed and shifted into something that is tolerable.
Then there are certain things that are just intolerable yet are difficult to identify when dealing with a difficult person – like a narcissist.
A narcissist is a person who has a grandiose sense of self. They appear to be a lot of things: confident, strong, and well adjusted. And then as time passes certain traits and mannerisms start to develop and a pattern forms. You start to realize there are certain things that are just not up for negotiation when it comes to the narcissist and your relationship with them.
You might recognize a few of these things that a narcissist never does:
1. Choose to be happy: His happiness is based on you, your actions and your words. It is your mission to make him the one and only in your life. There is no other way and there is no compromise. When you don’t live up to his expectations he is not happy and it is YOUR JOB to make sure he is happy. He may even count (and recount) the things he “does” for you to support his argument and get you “back in line.”
2. Collaborate: There is no working together but there is his way and then there is the highway (his highway). If you don’t choose his way, he will wear you out so that you give in. After a while, you condition yourself to give in sooner because it is “easier” than dealing with him even when you don’t agree.
3. Admit he plays to the victim: Despite his past emotional injuries, he will not admit he suffers from a mental health issue even though he will always claim to be the one who has it worse than anyone else.
4. See himself as anything but SPECIAL: In spite of his low self-esteem, he cannot see himself as anything other than special. He views himself as the best at anything he attempts, he is the best husband, the best at his job, the best at whatever he is involved in. He will devalue your accomplishments so that he can maintain his feelings of superiority. He owns the spotlight, which you are supposed to shine on him.
5. Take accountability: You know this trait as it exposes itself with the statement: “If you had not done ‘this’ I wouldn’t have had to do ‘that’.” So few things are his fault; however, every so often, he will take the blame. This is to balance out the number of times he blames you (or others). Because he doesn’t take accountability often it can be a pretty impressive when he does and gives the impression he might be changing. (Don’t fall for it.)
6. Never give you what you need: This is the most difficult thing to remember or realize about a narcissist because as the prey, you have seen that softer, gentler side when the relationship was new. You know it is there and you believe it is because you’ve been on the receiving end of it. This only encourages you to be his well-conditioned enabler. Bottom line, he won’t change back to the guy he was when you first met. Unless it is to exert control over you.
Throughout your time with him, you’ll grow tired of his antics, his negativity, and his abuse – just as you are ready to escape he will change. He is nice, loving, gentle, and thoughtful, he is the guy you fell for but only long enough to reel you back in. And this cycle continues throughout the relationship.
It can be difficult to identify these things and recognize that they are a part of your life. Knowing you can’t change the narcissist can be a challenge to embrace and it won’t come without an often-painful realization. Once you learn that the narcissist won’t change you find the power you need to leave the relationship. In the end, you’ll recognize your needs and follow your instincts. He may not change, but you can.