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The Negative Effects of NPD on Relationships

Like all Personality Disorders, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) presents obstacles and challenges for your relationships. The thought patterns and behavioral patterns that stem from NPD affect one’s ego, empathy, communication, and other traits that are vital for building and maintaining healthy, balanced relationships. If you live with untreated NPD, the challenges of the disorder can wreak havoc on romantic relationships, professional connections, and more. 

That is why it is essential to seek out professional intervention and therapy from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who has experience providing evidence-based treatment for individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Learn more about what NPD is, how it affects your connections with others, and how a Licensed Clinical Psychologist is the key to treatment with this overview of the negative effects of NPD on relationships. 

What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? 

One of the biggest identifying traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is an inflated sense of self-importance. Many individuals with NPD have a large ego that leads to an intense desire for admiration and special treatment. This extreme sense of self-importance also causes arrogance and can lead to a lack of empathy for others.  

However, NPD is not just about being self-centered. In fact, most people with NPD struggle with extremely low self-esteem. This struggle leads to perfectionist tendencies, issues with control, extreme envy toward others, and other negative thoughts and behaviors.  

As such, NPD alters your perception of yourself and the people around you. This altered perception makes it difficult to maintain a positive self-image, see the value of others, and identify and care for the needs of other people in your life. 

Traits Associated With Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder influences your thought patterns. Your thought patterns influence your emotions and behaviors. The most recognizable trait stemming from these thoughts, emotions, and behaviors is a grand sense of self-importance. As we mentioned above, this inflated sense of self can lead to arrogance, a demand for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. 

Other traits that can stem from NPD include power fantasies and a preoccupation with your own success and achievements. This can also lead you to disregard or downplay the accomplishments of others. NPD can also lead to a sense of entitlement, which can cause you to take advantage of others, hold unrealistic expectations of others, and seek out special treatment from others. 

Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

Understanding where Narcissistic Personality Disorder comes from helps you and your Licensed Clinical Psychologist address root causes and pursue treatment that has a lasting, positive impact on your life. 

Childhood experiences can also influence your chances of developing NPD. Adverse childhood experiences, such as trauma and neglect, as well as the observation and mimicking of NPD traits in others during early childhood can contribute to NPD in the future. Additionally, overprotective or overattentive parenting can cause a child to expect special treatment and validation in every relationship they have throughout life. This history can lead to poor self-regulation, a lack of empathy, inaccurate views of yourself and others, and other traits of NPD in adulthood. 

Other risk factors of NPD include genetics, family history, the environment or culture you grew up in, specific personality traits, and brain chemistry. 

Relationship Challenges From Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

Many of the symptoms and traits of NPD have a direct negative effect on both personal and professional relationships. High levels of arrogance and a sense of self-importance lead to individuals with NPD prioritizing themselves while neglecting the needs, desires, and emotions of others—even people they care about.  

Meanwhile, a sense of entitlement creates unrealistic expectations within relationships. Demanding special treatment or attention without offering an equal level of care and empathy toward others creates an imbalance in the relationship, leading to feelings of frustration and resentment.  

Narcissistic Personality Disorder also hinders crucial skills and traits of a healthy relationship, such as honest and open communication. It is hard for individuals with NPD to be honest with themselves and others or express themselves in a healthy manner. Challenges with communication make it even harder to overcome relationship issues and build stronger connections with others, creating even more complications in the relationship. 

NPD and Romantic Relationships 

In romantic relationships, symptoms of NPD often pave the way for issues such as manipulation or abuse. If you have NPD, you feel like you need constant validation, attention, and special treatment from your partner to maintain your own self-worth. At the same time, many people with NPD devalue the people around them by consistently disregarding or criticizing them. This imbalance in your relationship can quickly evolve into controlling behaviors, abuse, poor boundaries, and other problems. 

The distorted view of yourself and others that stems from NPD can also lead to judgment and false perceptions of your partner. In many relationships, this false perception leads to different phases of attraction and closeness.  

In the beginning of the relationship, you might develop an idealized view of your partner and the relationship you have. This romanticized perspective of the relationship is the idealizing phase.  

Next is the waning phase, where you begin to lose the idealized view of your partner and your relationship. Because NPD makes it difficult to address any issues that arise in a healthy manner, you may begin to criticize your partner while rejecting any criticisms they have of you. Without professional intervention from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, this challenge can lead to the discarding phase, where the relationship ends without resolution. 

NPD and Professional Relationships 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder can also affect your professional relationships. In the workplace, people with NPD tend to focus solely on their goals and accomplishments while disregarding—and sometimes actively sabotaging—the goals and accomplishments of others. This can lead to behaviors such as stealing credit for other people’s work, demanding extra attention and recognition, ignoring coworkers’ boundaries, and resisting feedback or accountability for mistakes. 

Treating Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

One of the biggest challenges individuals with NPD face is overcoming their negative and unhealthy thought patterns. This is why evidence-based treatment from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist is crucial. Through Psychotherapy, clients build healthier, more productive patterns of thinking that allow for better emotional regulation, a clearer self-image, and stronger communication skills. These traits set the foundation for stronger, healthier relationships with coworkers, friends, family, and romantic partners.  

If you are looking for NPD Treatment in Los Angeles, Irvine, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Bel Air, Century City, Brentwood, Westwood, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, and the surrounding areas, contact Blair Wellness Group. See how our evidence-based treatment plans from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist can help you. 

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