I’m not sure how I first heard the term “critical narcissist,” but it was like a light bulb went off in my head. I knew that’s what my ex-girlfriend was. Up until that point, I just thought she was critical and demanding.
But once I learned about the narcissist, everything made sense. If you’re dealing with a critical narcissist, you know how difficult they can be to deal with.
They always put you down and make you feel like you can’t do anything right. So what is a critical narcissist? And why are they so difficult to deal with? Let’s take a look.
What is a critical narcissist?
A critical narcissist is a person who is highly critical of themselves and others. They are often very judgmental and have high standards for themselves and others. They may be very perfectionistic and demanding, expecting others to meet their unrealistic expectations.
How do they behave?
The narcissistic person's behavior in a relationship is often confusing and frustrating for their partner. Here are ten ways a critical narcissist might behave in a relationship:
1. They may frequently put down their partner and make them feel inferior.
2. The narcissist may be very demanding and expect their partner to meet all of their needs.
3. They may dismiss their partner’s feelings and needs.
4. The narcissist may criticize their partner and find fault with them.
5. They may be verbally abusive, using cruel or hurtful words to put down their partner.
6. The narcissist may be emotionally distant and not responsive to their partner’s emotional needs.
7. They may refuse to do anything that doesn’t benefit them and will always put themselves first.
8. The narcissist may be secretive and keep things from their partner, often hiding something they don’t want them to know about.
9. They may be chronically negative and always look for the bad in everything their partner does.
10. The narcissist may invalidate their partner’s feelings and dismiss them as unimportant
Why are they so difficult to deal with
1. They are always right and will not hesitate to tell you so.
2. They need excessive admiration and often require excessive praise.
3. They are highly sensitive to criticism and can be easily hurt by it.
4. They often have a grandiose sense of self-importance and can be very arrogant and condescending.
5. They can be cold, callous, and manipulative towards others.
What can you do to manage the relationship?
1. Keep your expectations low and manage your own emotions.
2. Don’t take their bait, and don’t argue.
3. Set boundaries and stick to them.
4. Find ways to validate yourself outside of their approval.
5. Seek professional help if the relationship is too toxic to manage on your own.
Can critical narcissists change their ways?
Can critical narcissists change their ways? Yes, critical narcissist can change their ways, but it will be a long and challenging process. The narcissist must recognize that they have a problem and be willing to seek help.
They will also need to make many changes in their thinking and behavior. Narcissists will not likely be able to do this on their own, so that they may need the help of a therapist or counselor.
I have been dealing with a critical narcissist for the past few years, and it has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I have learned a lot about them, but there are still times when I feel like I am at my wit’s end.
If you are in a relationship with a critical narcissist or work with someone narcissistic and vital, please share your experience in the comments below. It can be really helpful to hear from others who are going through something similar.