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Narcissism – How to make a relationship work with a narcissist

I’m sure most of you will have heard of the term narcissism thrown around to describe people who are vain or full of themselves and constantly putting others down. Maybe you have stumbled across it in a google search or a friend has pointed it out to you. Even though I am not a big fan of labels as I have seen so many people change through my coaching, I am going to address narcissism as this is a main reason why men and women come to me for help. 



Do you know the true meaning of narcissism?

X1 The definition of a narcissist is someone who suffers from a mental health condition called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). People who have NPD and exhibit narcissistic behaviours genuinely believe in delusions of grandeur – where they are truly in love with this perfect, ideal image of themselves – which is most often far from the truth and a coping mechanism for deep rooted issues that they want to keep hidden.


This constant need to turn their back on the issues inside them is what causes this unpredictable, unstable and downright hurtful behaviour towards others. They are so consumed with hiding their flaws or insecurities that they tend to lack empathy for others and come across highly ignorant and selfish. This leads on to the reason why narcissists really struggle to change their behaviour and act out when someone calls them out for behaving so bad. The irony is their reactions to loved ones telling them about their behaviour causes them to act out more because they are so sensitive to criticism – even though one of the traits of narcissistic behaviour is to highlight the flaws of others, they can’t handle the situation being flipped on them.


Today I want to talk about narcissistic behaviour and relationships – what you can do if you want to make your relationship with a narcissist work, or what do to if you want to leave peacefully.


So, before I get into my tips on the above, I want to briefly go over what narcissistic behaviour looks like. I mentioned one of the main traits of narcissistic behaviour earlier, but there are so many more. 

Here are some of the most
Delusions of Grandeur
They falsely believe that they are far more important, better, successful that those around them, regardless of any hard facts to show them otherwise. For example, they will talk about how intelligent they are compared to all of their work colleagues, successful friends, family, famous people even etc and will continue being persistent in their beliefs. Even if we all are taken back, not believing that surely they are more intelligent or successful people than them, it can seem like such a lie and unimpressive, when they are trying to impress.
False World
People who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder will not only believe their delusions that they are the best but they will also go as far as to create a world around them that support those dreams. They make up stories to make them look a certain way in front of others, they will also do whatever they can to support this fake life – for example, if they are pretending to be super successful and living the high life they may take out loans just to buy luxurious cars and portray an image of being really rich.
Seeking Praise or Attention
Because those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are hiding a lot of insecurities and practically living a lie, they are constantly in need of attention or getting praise. This is because they know deep down that the life they are portraying isn’t real, so in order to further support their false beliefs and to feel good about themselves, they will seek constant praise and reassurance that they are as amazing as they think they are.
Sense of Entitlement
From the points I’ve mentioned already, you can tell a narcissist thinks extremely highly of his or herself and wants the world around them to support their delusions of grandeur, this is why they live with a sense of entitlement. They want people around them to cater to their every desire and will often have ridiculous demands just because they can show that they are higher up or deserve more than people around them. For example, not allowing families to eat unless they are at sat at the head of the table.
Lack Empathy
For people with narcissistic traits, they are so focused on themselves and hiding their true identity and insecurities, that they tend to lack empathy for anyone else around them – no matter how much you cater to their every desire. Even if you give a narcissist the world, it will never change the way they see you as their life is about them – they can’t put themselves in other people’s shoes as they can only see or care about their own life. Even if you break it down to them, they will never understand it. I often do empathy coaching for men and women in my couple package as it can be such a special gift to give to your loved ones and some are not trained in it.
Exhibit Bullying and Manipulative Behaviours
If a narcissist comes into contact with someone who threatens their false world they immediately act out and do what they can to break the other person down. For example, if they are married to someone who is more successful in their career, they see it as a threat and will put them down – telling them they are no good or ridicule things their partner does or says in an attempt to soothe their own ego. A major form of manipulative behaviour is controlling, making someone say, act, wear and do things they want to do on their terms. Limiting a person’s free time, who they talk to and where they go can be common also.

Listening to these traits I know some of you may be thinking why would someone want to stay with or live with a narcissist? But the reality is there are people who have fallen deeply in love before seeing or realizing that the person they are with is a narcissist. They are good a showing intense love at times, promising the world, showering you with compliments until you fall deeply in love with them again.



Narcissists are also capable of making up fantasy worlds that make us believe they are special and we would be nothing without them. So it can be hard not to fall for someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Many find it very hard to leave also as they cannot handle rejection or be the person that is being left. They will beg and make endless promises and as it is often what that person wants to hear, they stay in the hope that the relationship will be good and the love and attention shown in the beginning will last.


So, what can you do if you are in a relationship with a narcissist and you truly love them and want to support them so you can have a healthier relationship? 

Here are some of my most successful tips that have helped many couples in a similar situation –

For more relationship support please check out the facebook group I have created to support one another through these difficult times


Book a free 30 minute consultation with Nicola

If you would like to explore what the relationship and transformation programs look like you can book a free 30 minute consultation with Nicola Beer.

Mihaela BotnariMihaela Botnari
12:54 17 Mar 23
Thank you for destroying my relationship. My partner reached out for support and you advised him that there is nothing for him to heal and that he should send his girlfriend for therapy, like this is your place to tell him. I’ve been through therapy myself and I know how to make the difference between a good therapist and someone who just wants to get more money, and the second seems to definitely be your purpose!
Helen HHelen H
19:13 10 Nov 22
Nicola’s support and advice proved invaluable when my marriage was struggling. Over a series of meetings (online and fact to face, to suit our needs), Nicola helped steer us through a very difficult time. She was always calm, neutral and never made us feel like we had failed or had ‘messed up’. Nicola has a wealth of experience and keeps up with current research, but has a very unique approach to getting you back on track. With regular support materials and just being there, she helped us realise that our relationship could go on; by making us look at ourselves and helping us consider the tools we needed to move forwards. I can honestly say that I don’t think our marriage would have survived such a difficult time without Nicola’s expertise. I often listen to Nicola’s podcasts on Spotify when I’m needing a bit of extra support. Thank you, Nicola
Justin LossJustin Loss
13:23 30 Jun 22
Nicola has been a massive help. I had tried traditional counseling and it had seemed to be moving me further away from what I wanted. After listening to several of Nicola's podcasts I decided to reach out to her. The discovery call was enlightening and she described a process that was more focused on creating a better future vs reliving the pass. From there I went through her Breakthrough Program...All I can say is Wow! Her program and guidance has quickly changed my mindset which has in turn improved all my relationships and overall stress level. I highly recommend working with Nicola and can't thank her enough for her help and care.
Ciaran CarlisleCiaran Carlisle
22:16 23 Jan 22
My partner and I spent a number of sessions with Nicola discussing our relationship difficulties, both together and one on one sessions. She has been so good to talk to - incredibly helpful and understanding with our problems.My partner and I have come out of this with a better understanding and move love for each other. Nicola has taught us many techniques to use in situations were we feel at odds which has been fantastic. We would recommend Nicola 100% for relationship advice.Thank you so much again.
Loida Delgado-PerezLoida Delgado-Perez
03:09 22 Jan 22
Nicola's marriage counselling have been life changing for both my partner and I. The learnings have been exponential and have transform us individually and as a couple. We reached out to Nicola at the lowest point of our relationship and about to break apart. Her compassionate and smart yet practical advice and exercises transform us in such a way that we are now at the best we've ever been personally and as a couple.As a result we've decided to get married and book Nicola every year for a couple's check in! I couldn't recommend her sessions more to anyone feeling stuck and wanting to be in a better place. Best investment of time, money and effort EVER. Thank you Nicola, you are an inspiration to me and many others :)
Christianne KaddoumChristianne Kaddoum
17:19 20 Oct 21
The hours I’ve spent working with Nicola have been the most valuable of my life.I now feel equipped to do things differently. It’s been the most liberating and empowering experience and I’ve learnt things that will stay with me forever.Through the excellent help from Nicola, it is now possible for me to have a different and healthier approach to various situations.She has professionally helped me to consider my perspectives in a way I hadn’t before.I can finally begin to reframe my life experience and see them in a whole new light.Thanks Nicola!