Narcissists relate to others in some highly problematic ways. The very manner in which they perceive themselves and look upon others impairs true intimacy and depth in relationships. As mentioned in last week’s post, narcissists come in two main varieties. (See: Ways Vulnerable Narcissists Relate.) And relationships with the vulnerable narcissists can be particularly challenging when it comes to intimacy
What Vulnerable Narcissists Crave
Some call vulnerable narcissists the “compensatory” type. That’s because the inflated image they project masks an underlying insecurity. In their insecurity, they seek to be admired. They frequently fish for recognition and praise. They seem to need constant reassurance. And they constantly compare themselves to others. It matters to them how you think they stack up against the competition. And they’re not happy unless they think they’re at the top of the heap.
Relationships with any narcissist suffer because it’s always about them. They’re so wrapped up in themselves and their desires that there’s no room to consider others. And because they can’t really concern themselves with you or your needs, intimacy suffers.
What Vulnerable Narcissists’ Relationship Partners Crave
From our earliest days, we humans crave intimacy. Infants can’t even thrive without close physical and emotional contact. And this need for human “connection” never goes away. In fact, our need intimacy needs only appears to grow over our lifetimes. The biggest single complaint hurting relationship partners have is a loss of closeness.
Pay attention to them or give them positive strokes, and vulnerable narcissists can act like they really value you. But ask something of them – especially caring concern for your wants and needs, and it’s another manner entirely. They don’t know how to be close. That’s because they don’t know how to care. They can’t step outside themselves and their own wants and needs. And that means they can’t concern themselves with the needs of another. This leaves their relationship partners starving for affection.
Another Type of Narcissist
As mentioned before narcissists differ in type. The grandiose narcissist makes an even poorer relationship partner than the vulnerable type. And we’ll be looking at why in next week’s article.
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