Narcissists have a problem in social functioning, which may adversely affect people who love them or spend time with them. A research conducted in Personality and Mental Health aimed to examine how people with narcissistic loved ones are affected. Many negative outcomes outlined increased anxiety, depression, and somatic concerns.
Narcissists have dyslexian social relationships that may include aspects such as controlling, vindictive, or manipulative behavior. Besides, they favor mind games, deception, and often react angrily or violently. Illogically, narcissists report higher levels of distress.
This approach seeks to consider some of the limitations of using self-reported measures from narcissists, rather than on those who are closest to them.
According to study authors, Nicholas J. S. Day and colleagues used 436 participants who had a parent who had surpassed the threshold of a narcissistic screening tool. Participants provided a narrative about their relative and then completed a questionnaire, so that they could also identify their closest friends.
Some common concerns between many participants were identified as emotional or physical abuse, stealing, debt, unreported sexual behavior, infidelity, addition, withholding, demanding behavior.
One participant told the researchers about a narcissistic father who had nothing to show for it and would not discuss it with me. He told me about how much money we had and did not pay our bills. Eviction notices piled up.
Similarly, narcissistic relatives created cycles of idealizing and then devaluing their relatives, which can lead to confusion and poor self-esteem, as well as create confusion that keeps individuals trapped in abusive situations without leaving.
Interpersonal dysfunction is a key feature of pathological narcissism, and these findings provide clear examples in the context of intimate relationships, according to scientists. These findings also assist clinical practice, such as the need to assess for interpersonal violence in the treatment of individuals with pathological narcissism, as well as dealing with potential conflicts about dependency for partners and family members.
This study aimed at improving understanding narcissists by asking for guidance from those closest to them. Despite this, it has its limitations. Depending on their perspective and view of the relative, most of the relatives studied were female and the narcissists they were describing were male. The results may not generalize to other gender combinations.
Nicholas J. S. Day, Michelle L. Townsend, and Brin F. S. Grenyer, both authors of this study, Pathological narcissism.