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What are the Dangers of Being in a Relationship With a Narcissist?

Dr. David B Hawkins shares the danger of being in a relationship with a narcissist. He also shares coping strategies for how to grow even when in a relationship with someone who has NPD traits.

What Are the Dangers of Being in a Relationship With a Narcissist?

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be an incredibly challenging and detrimental experience. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or NPD traits can have serious consequences for both the person involved with a narcissist and their overall well-being. In this article, we will explore the dangers of being in a relationship with a narcissist and discuss some strategies to cope with and overcome these challenges.

  1. Feeling Overwhelmed: One significant danger of being in a relationship with a narcissist is the overwhelming sense of being overshadowed and minimized. The narcissist’s self-centeredness and need for attention often dominate the relationship, leaving the partner feeling small and insignificant. The constant emotional and psychological demands can lead to feeling overwhelmed, causing individuals to suppress their own feelings and thoughts, ultimately resulting in a loss of self-identity.
  2. Feeling Confused: Narcissists can be highly manipulative and skilled at distorting reality. This manipulation often leads to confusion and self-doubt in the partner. The narcissist’s ability to shift blame, minimize their actions, and rationalize their behavior can leave the partner questioning their own perceptions and judgments. The constant gaslighting and psychological manipulation can create a spinning cycle of confusion, making it challenging to trust one’s own thoughts and emotions.
  3. Feeling Afraid: Being involved with a narcissist can instill a deep sense of fear and threat. The narcissist’s overpowering and self-centered nature can cause the partner to fear losing their sense of self, their beliefs, and their own reality. The constant emotional volatility and unpredictability of the narcissist can create an environment of fear and anxiety, where the partner feels constantly on edge and uncertain about what might happen next.

Coping Skills and Strategies

While being in a relationship with a narcissist can be challenging, it’s important to remember that there is hope for recovery and growth. Here are some coping skills to help navigate the dangers of being in a relationship with a narcissist:

  1. Hold Firm to Your Convictions: Take time to reflect on your beliefs and values. Identify what you know to be true and hold firm to those convictions. Knowing your own truth can provide a solid foundation and help you stay grounded amidst the confusion and manipulation of the narcissist. Trust your intuition and your own experiences.
  2. Set Clear Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for yourself and communicate them to the narcissist. While they may not always respect these boundaries, setting them is essential for your well-being. Boundaries act as a protective fence around your emotional and mental space, ensuring that you have a sense of safety and control. Be prepared to enforce consequences when boundaries are crossed.
  3. Stay the Course: Recovering from a relationship with a narcissist is a journey that takes time and patience. It’s crucial to stay committed to your personal growth and healing. As you hold firm to your convictions and set boundaries, you will gradually regain your sense of self and create a healthier dynamic within the relationship. Remember, change is possible, and as you change, the narcissist may respond differently as well.


Being in a relationship with a narcissist poses significant dangers to one’s emotional and psychological well-being. The overwhelming nature, confusion, and fear that can arise from such relationships are real and should not be taken lightly. However, by understanding these dangers and implementing coping skills such as holding firm to convictions, setting clear boundaries, and staying committed to personal growth, individuals can navigate the challenges and find a path towards healing and thriving.

Remember, seeking professional help and support from therapists, counselors, or support groups specializing in narcissistic abuse can provide additional guidance and assistance in coping with the effects of being in a relationship with a narcissist.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: What is Narcissistic Victim Syndrome?

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


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