5 Reasons Your Narcissistic Mate Deflates Your Happiness

 / 

,
Reasons Narcissistic Mate Happiness

Here’s why narcissist deflates happiness of his or her partner…
Why so many partners with NPD ignore or sabotage their mate’s successes.
Written by Dr. Elinor Greenberg

I am often asked some version of the following question: “Why can’t my mate ever be happy for me when I have a success, or when I am pleased about something? It seems like every time I feel great and try to tell my mate about it, instead of joining me and saying something complimentary, my partner says or does something that deflates me.”

This type of insensitivity is common in relationships where one partner is extremely self-involved, competitive, or envious. It also can be a red flag for something more serious. People who routinely deflate their mate’s happiness often qualify for a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. When this is the case, it can be an early sign that more active abuse will occur later in the relationship.

Note: I am using the terms narcissist and narcissistic as shorthand for someone who qualifies for a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder.

Here is a typical example:

Barry: I am beyond happy. I just discovered that I passed my licensing exam with flying colors. I am thrilled. I got one of the highest grades!

Jill: Did you bring the car in for servicing like you said you would?

Barry: Wait! Don’t I even get a “Congratulations, I am happy for you”?

Jill: We all knew you would pass. What’s the big deal? I need the car tomorrow. You promised you would take care of it.

So, why does a narcissist deflates your happiness? It is usually due to some combination of the following reasons:

1. Narcissists lack emotional empathy. 

narcissistic partner lack empathy

A lack of emotional empathy means that seeing someone else—even a person that they claim to love—excited and happy does not make them feel good inside. Narcissistic partner could not care less, which makes him or her careless with their words.

Related: What You Should Know about Narcissists, NPD and their Partners

In the above example, Jill has a narcissistic personality disorder and is not capable of sharing her mate’s joy. It actually does not even occur to her that supporting her mate’s good feelings would be an appropriate response.

2. Narcissists suffer from “one-mindedness.” 

This means that people with NPD can only see things from their own viewpoint. Not only that, they see all other points of view as wrong. They always want their partner to be on the same page as them: their page. Whatever they are focused on at the moment is on their mind much more important than anything you care about. It is out of this one-mindedness, narcissist deflates your happiness.

Related: Why Narcissists Twist The Truth: Logical Explanation

From Jill’s narcissistic point of view, nothing could be more important than her priority of getting their car serviced immediately. As it is the most important thing to her, she literally cannot understand how something else could be a priority for Barry. The only conclusion that she can reach is that Barry is wrong.

3. Narcissists are competitive. 

Narcissists are always comparing themselves to other people. Their shaky self-esteem can make it painful for them to see other people succeed. They may brag about their partner’s success to other people as a form of narcissistic supplies. However, praising their partner face-to-face can make them feel as if they are admitting that their partner is somehow better than them.

Related: Are Narcissists Predictable? The Playbook They Use To Manipulate You

Jill has a hard time being supportive of anything that might make Barry think he is better than her. She cannot grasp that Barry is not competing with her. But this will not stop her from bragging to her friends about how smart Barry is and that he passed with one of the highest grades. In fact, when Jill tells the story, she will claim that Barry actually got the highest grade of everyone. 

4. Narcissists suffer from envy. 

It can be hard for people with NPD to applaud their partner’s successes because they wish it were them getting the praise. Narcissistic partners are likely to experience envy whenever someone else does something special. This is why your partner narcissist deflates your happiness.

Related: 3 Dead Giveaways Of How Narcissists Act In Romantic Relationships

Jill is very conflicted about every success that Barry has in life. On one hand, she enjoys the financial fruits of his successes, and on the other hand, she wishes it were her having success and not Barry. Barry’s joy stimulates her envy. 

She thinks: “Why does he get to be happier than me?” 

5. Narcissists are hierarchical. 

You can think of a narcissistic partner as having an immensely tall invisible ladder in the mind. That ladder only has room for one person at a time on each rung.

It represents status on those attributes the narcissist considers very, very important.

There are only two places other people can be on this ladder vis a vis the narcissist: above them or below them.

Narcissists idealize those above them on the ladder and devalue those below them. If someone on their way up in status tries to be on the same rung as the narcissist, there will be a dominance fight initiated by the narcissist until one of them becomes the clear winner. The winner gets the rung and the loser goes down a rung in status.

Related: Are Narcissists Evil? Or Are They Just Helpless?

Every time Barry has success, he moves up the status ladder in Jill’s mind. He and she are still quite close in status. This automatically stimulates Jill’s fear of being surpassed, which then leads her to unconsciously ignore or devalue Barry’s achievements.

Punchline: 

When the narcissist’s partner has a win or even just finds something besides the narcissist extremely pleasurable, it is a potentially threatening situation for the narcissist. It can arouse envy, fear of being surpassed, a potential loss of the mate’s own dominant status, or simply be seen as unimportant.

If you find this post helpful, leave a comment below. Also, feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones trapped by narcissistic partner.

Related video:


Written by: Elinor Greenberg
Originally appeared on Psychology Today

Reasons Narcissist deflates Happiness
5 Reasons Your Narcissistic Mate Deflates Your Happiness

— Share —

— About the Author —

Responses

  1. Frank Avatar
    Frank

    Thank you very much Doctor Greenberg.

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Dive Into The Mind Of A Distancer: The Partner Who Pulls Away

Discover The Mind Of A Distancer: Things To Know Well

Pursuer distancer relationships cause a lot of heartache, especially for a pursuer. Learn about the mind of a distancer to understand your own or your partner’s behavior so you won’t take it personally.

As codependants, we usually gravitate toward insecure relationships where we’re a distancer or a pursuer. We may be a distancer in one relationship and a pursuer in the next. This is due to early attachment problems and dysfunctional parenting.

Reacting makes it worse! A distancer reacting by withdrawing or the pursuer reacting by pursuing exacerbates conflict and unhappiness.

Understand The Mind Of A Distancer



Up Next

What Is Unintentional Gaslighting? The Surprising Ways You Might Be Gaslighting Without Knowing It

What Is Unintentional Gaslighting? How Good Intentions Can Go Awry

Ever found yourself questioning your own reality after interaction with someone you know? Unintentional gaslighting can sneak into conversations, leaving you feeling disoriented and invalidated, even when no harm is intended.

Accidental, unintended or unconscious gaslighting in relationships can make you doubt your own thoughts, feelings, or even sanity. Someone’s words or actions can make you feel uncertain, dazed & confused without even realizing it.

Gaslighting, a term derived from a movie titled “Gaslight,” refers to the act of manipulating someone into doubting their own experiences and perceptions. But what is unintentional gaslighting?

Let’s explore this lesser-known concept and shed light on



Up Next

Lost Connection: How To Heal From Emotional Neglect In Marriage And Find Hope

How To Heal From Emotional Neglect In Marriage: Tips

Do you know why some marriages appear to be thriving while others seem to be crumbling? What is it that creates such distance among spouses? While there can be various reasons behind marital distress, one often overlooked but significant factor is emotional neglect in marriage.

Emotional neglect can quietly erode the foundation of a relationship, leaving both partners feeling lonely, disconnected, and unfulfilled. Let us delve into the depths of emotional neglect in marriage, exploring what actually is, signs, underlying causes, and most importantly, how to heal and nurture a healthier emotional connection with your spouse.

What is Emotional Neglect in Marriage?

Emotional neglect in marriage refers to a pat



Up Next

Vulturing: Beware Of This Latest Toxic Dating Trend!

What Is Vulturing Dating: Toxic Signs To Be Wary Of

In the world of dating, there are more online trends than you can swipe in a day. The new one on the block is called vulturing dating. Let’s find out what it means in a relationship.

So, What Is Vulturing Dating?

Among the colloquialisms of modern dating, this one is called “vulturing.” In a similar vein to the predatory bird it’s named after, vulturing entails someone hovering around people who are on the brink of ending their relationship.

They wait until they can swoop in with malicious intent on damaged hearts — sometimes as soon as possible after their former partner cuts them loose and they’re emotiona



Up Next

Conditional Relationship? 8 Red Flags Indicating You’re in a Relationship with Strings Attached

Conditional Relationship: Signs You Are In One

Relationships can be an incredible source of happiness, love, joy and contentment. However, not all relationships are the same; while some might feel as comforting as a warm blanket on a cold night, some are like an annoying sweater that doesn’t fit well. Being in a conditional relationship can make you feel like the latter.

Conditional relationships, in particular, can make you feel unsure and alone, because the relationship and the “love” comes with strings attached. So, how can you know if you’re in a conditional relationship or not?

We are going to talk about the signs of conditional love, what does cond



Up Next

How To Deal With An Obsessive Ex That Won’t Leave You Alone: 5 Steps You Can Take

How To Deal With Obsessive Ex: Urgent Steps You Can Take

Dealing with an obsessive ex is one of the most horrible experiences one can go through. What are the best ways to handle obsessive people? What are the effective steps you can take when it comes to dealing with an obsessive ex? Let’s find out!

There are certain people who just can’t handle being dumped. They go crazy. They hate losing their “control” and “power” over their partners.

Recently my good friend ended an abusive relationship. Thankfully he realised he was in a relationship with a narcissist and that his only way forward was without her. Soon after the relationship ended, he found a new partner — he was ecstatic, he was just about to ride off into the sunset with his sweetheart.

There was one issue — his e



Up Next

The “False Self” Of A Narcissist: Look Beyond The Facade!

Hidden Narcissist False Self: Make Believe Traits in Them

The narcissist false self is charming and confident, masking underlying insecurities and emptiness beneath. Let’s find out other secrets they hide!

Narcissists have a false self. They’re master illusionists. They behave like a little king or queen — whether bragging or sulking. Their whole personality is a charade crafted to deceive you into believing they are confident, superior, self-sufficient, likable, and caring.

In studies, groups of people met with and liked a narcissist, but after 6 more interviews, they discerned the narcissist’s true nature and changed thei