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.
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.
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.
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.
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