My girlfriend is a narcissist
(United Kingdom - Southampton)
My story is very much a work in progress, my girlfriend is a narcissist and we have talked about ways in which we can make things better and I have told her that if we keep arguing all the time and if we can't make things better then we need to end our relationship. I thought I'd share her narcissistic behaviours and how we agreed to try and tackle them:
Starting off with the two biggest things that upset me the most:
- I've made a decision that I feel strongly about, but because she does not agree, she not only tells me it's wrong, she tries to change it
She is generally a controlling woman and she said that she had trouble recognizing when she had gone too far. So we said when I think she is trying to control something important to me, I will go "Beep!!". That will be her signal to back off and accept my decision, bearing in mind, these situations only happen once every couple of months and not to be used all the time to get my own way.
- One Sided Conversations, for example, I would talk about my day at work, then immediately she would talk about her today, not asking me any questions. If I try to continue what I wanted to say, she would even interupt at times to talk about herself
This is something we are practising at the moment, when I start a conversation, for example, how my day was at work, she must always ask two quesitons, it has to be two, not one, because it forces her to think about me, if it was three questions then it might lose its effectiveness. Then she can talk about herself, upon which I ask her two questions, she then has the option of asking me more questions, if not, she needs to ask me about another subject, for example, my family, and the process begins again, of course, if she starts the conversation, then I ask her two questions so the process remains fair.
The other points are simpler resolutions:
- She gets angry if I have my breakfast first before I brush my teeth
This would happen everday but after reading about it, it is actually better to brush your teeth before breakfast so I agreed I would change and I now do my routine differently. I think it is important to mention this because sometimes it is about compromise.
- She gets angry if I don't wash the dishes the way that she wants
Again, we agreed that as long as we weren't living together, I could wash the dishes the way that I want but if we got our own place together, I would do it her way.
- She gets angry when we are in town and I walk the wrong way
I told her she instead of getting angry, she just needs to say "David, this way", and I will go her way
- She snatches something off me or can be forceful if she wants to see something I am reading or in posession off
I told her she must say things like "Please, can I have a look?", or if she needs me to move my hand, she can put her hand on mine and say "Excuse me"
- We are on a crowded underground train and we need to get off, she is stood behind me and gets angry because I can't get off fast enough
Suggested Resolution: I just pointed out that this is dangerous and she needs to be more patient
- She loves taking pictures but if I take a bad picture, she will grab the camera off me to show me how to take it
Suggested Resolution: I asked her if she does not like the picture then she must use her camera to retake it
I am happy that she is happy to accept her shortcomings and that we have been able to talk about it, I know that we love each other. I don't know if we can change things for the better, it does feel like so much effort. I think if after a period of time, if nothing has changed and I still feel emotionally drained then maybe it will be time to walk away but I think the fact that we tried, will help her in the future when she finds someone else. I think for anyone else in this situation, if they cannot even talk about it with their partner, then end the relationship, its hard enough to deal with even if you can talk about it together.