How To Love A Narcissist: A Psychologist’s Advice


If you have a narcissist in your life, you’ll benefit from learning how to navigate the land mines that come with this particular personality disorder. And, if you’ve had the misfortune of falling deeply in love with a true narcissist, you might even wonder if you’re a glutton for punishment. After all, who would choose to stay with an individual (the narcissist) who is so self-absorbed that a loving relationship based on intimacy and mutual positive regard is nearly impossible?

In truth, many people choose to stay connected to narcissists because — in many cases — they have positive qualities that (almost) outweigh the negative elements of deep narcissism. This comes with an important caveat: Given that the narcissist’s negative qualities often lead to abusive behaviors, it’s important to have strong boundaries that keep you healthy and safe. Lovingly tolerating a narcissist’s behaviors does not mean that you should stay in a relationship that is abusive. Your well-being is the most important factor; you deserve to feel safe and loved.

Narcissism as a personality disorder is far different from the life-sustaining narcissist behaviors that all of us naturally engage in from time to time. After all, if we didn’t pause to consider our own needs, we’d neglect ourselves in the most foundational ways. True narcissism, however, is a different matter altogether. A person with narcissistic personality disorder is at the opposite end of the healthy narcissism spectrum. Their thought processes and behaviors are dramatically “me-oriented.” Others’ needs are generally unimportant or a mere afterthought.

Of course, narcissists can be charismatic, attentive, and even seemingly empathic when it suits their needs. But despite any charisma, a tape of self-interest is always running behind the scenes. This makes it difficult — and often unwise — to let down your guard with a narcissist.

That said, provided there is no abuse at play and you feel good about remaining in the relationship, there has ways you can learn how to lovingly tolerate — and even connect with — the narcissist in your life. By following the seven simple tips outlined below (and sticking to them even when it’s tough), you’ll feel better about yourself and your relationship with your “favorite” narcissist:

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