Narcissistic women lack sensitivity and the ability to empathize with others as their fake confidence belies their fragile ego. A narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which the person considers themselves to be too important and superior to others. It is because they dwell in their bubble of superiority and are unable to handle even the slightest criticism (1). Dealing with such women can easily take a toll on your mental health. Read on to know about the common traits of a narcissistic woman and ways to deal with them.
12 Traits Of A Narcissistic Woman
A narcissistic woman can hamper your self-esteem and confidence. Here are some signs you’re in a relationship with a narcissistic woman (2).
1. She refuses to accept interpersonal boundaries
A narcissistic woman does not respect boundaries in any relationship. She is self-centered and egotistical, which leads her to think she deserves preferential treatment over others, disrespecting your need for personal space. She enjoys putting you in a spot by often crossing the line.
2. She takes pleasure in your pain
She suffers from low self-esteem, and to feel better she tries to put others down. She makes snide remarks and overly criticizes to make you feel inferior. Even when you share your achievements with her, she displays haughty and arrogant behavior and brushes your accomplishments off as unimportant.
3. She tries to ruin your other relationships
A female narcissist would like to keep you under her control at any cost, and so she ensures to create a rift between you and your dear ones. She does this by spreading rumors about you or by causing misunderstanding and miscommunication between you and others.
Janet Christy, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, writes about her experience with a narcissistic colleague who, she says, tried to one-up her in every situation. She says, “Once I was having a very serious conversation with our boss (this was of course when the narcissist and I were peers before she became my supervisor). She came into the room, sat on the edge of our boss’s desk and said, ‘I had a dream about you last night.’ She was not only competing with me, she was also attaching herself to the more important person in the room — our boss (i).”
4. She talks only about herself
Talking highly of herself is what a narcissistic woman loves to do. She is so self-absorbed, smug, and self-obsessed that she will exaggerate her achievements and create a grand but false image of herself. She will convince you that she is a highly desirable woman so that you admire her.
5. She plays the victim card
For a narcissistic woman, her life’s struggles and pain are bigger than anyone else’s. She may not be boastful of her difficulties in life, but when you try to share your problems, she will divert the topic to her problems and make herself look like a martyr.
6. She blames you for her mistakes
A narcissistic woman believes she never makes a mistake, so when something goes wrong, it most certainly has to be the other person. She will never admit her mistake and look for ways to push the blame on someone else.
7. She cannot tolerate slights
If a narcissistic woman ever finds you criticizing her or speaking ill of her, she quickly defends herself. She overreacts in such a manner that it makes you feel bad and guilty for doubting her.
8. She has no regard for your feelings
Showing no empathy is a distinctive hallmark of narcissistic people. Caring for you is not something that comes easily to them. You may be having a fever, but she still complains about you falling ill the day she wants to spend time with you. She guilt-trips you into doing things the way she wants it.
9. She swings between idealizing and devaluating
During the initial days, a narcissistic woman will love bomb you and get you addicted to her affection and attention. Once she feels you have grown dependent on them, she will swiftly pull the rug from under your feet. She enjoys playing with emotions by idealizing and devaluing you.
10. She is materialistic
The outer appearance and public image are extremely important for a narcissistic woman, and so her love is also concerned with only material benefits. Once the benefits dry up, so does her love. She does not get involved with someone who has nothing beneficial to offer.
11. She believes everyone envies her
Maintaining long-term friends or relationships is difficult for a narcissistic woman as she feels everyone is jealous of her. Since she is vain and considers herself superior to others, she refrains from acknowledging others’ achievements over hers, which often damages her relationships.
12. She withholds sex as a punishment
As a partner, if a narcissistic woman feels that you have let her down, she will find ways to punish you. Giving you the silent treatment or withholding sex is her way to ensure that you do not ever try to make her feel unimportant or inferior.
Ways To Deal With A Narcissist Woman
If your partner shows all or most of the above signs, she is likely to be suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. Here are some ways in which you can deal with them.
1. Acknowledge the fact
You need to acknowledge the fact that the woman you are with is a narcissist. She may be sweet and loving at first, but her attitude changes when you make a mistake. You may feel that your shortcomings prompt her rude and self-righteous behavior, but in reality, she is a narcissist, and nothing you do will change that about her.
2. Establish clear boundaries
Once you know how your narcissistic partner behaves, create firm and clear boundaries. This is to protect yourself from her presumptuous behavior while also keeping your relationship intact.
3. Do not let her mess with you
Her manipulation tactics might compel you to work hard to be on her good side. However, your efforts might never be enough for her. Instead, have faith in yourself and do not let your self-confidence dwindle. Do not allow her remarks to affect you deeply.
4. Avoid criticizing her
She is not someone to take criticism easily due to her conceited nature, so try to avoid it as much as you can. Instead, frame your words in such a way that it does not look like a reproach, rather a suggestion that will benefit her in some way.
5. Speak up when needed
At times when she crosses the boundaries, you need to speak up for yourself. Let her know how her actions impact you, and that you won’t tolerate certain behavior in a relationship. Do not let her feel that she can walk over you without any consequences.
6. Remember that it is not your fault
There will be times when she will blame you for her misery but do not lose sight of the fact that you probably are not to be blamed. Do not accept any accusation when you have done nothing wrong. Do not let her negative attitude get to you and affect you in any way.
7. Create distance between you and her
When you feel her narcissistic tendency is overwhelming you, do not hesitate to put some distance between you and her. Take a break and spend some time away from her to focus on yourself. Do things that make you happy and rejuvenate your energy so you can heal from any pain.
8. Avoid reacting
Whenever your narcissistic female partner tries to gaslight you, try to avoid reacting to her. Count to six seconds in your head. It is a great tool to gain self-control when the situation gets escalated. If she does not get any reaction out of you, she will give up eventually. And you will escape a bullet unhurt.
9. Maintain other relations
Do not cut off from your friends and family. Being in a difficult relationship can impact your other relations. Make efforts to keep in touch with those who matter to you. Having a social circle helps you take your mind off unwanted stress.
10. Seek professional help
Dealing with a narcissistic woman is not easy. When you feel you are unable to handle it anymore, get support from a professional counselor. You may seek help for yourself, and if possible, for your partner too. A good professional counselor will guide you on how to tackle your partner without hurting their feelings or yours.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How common are female narcissists?
According to research, narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) prevails in 4.8% of females and 7.7% of males (3).
2. Can a narcissist woman ever change?
A narcissist person may change with continuous and rigid counseling and the willingness to get better. If the person is unwilling to change, counseling may not have the desired results (4).
3. What are some potential causes of narcissism in women?
It’s important to note that the development of narcissism is a complex process influenced by multiple factors. Overindulgence, excessive praise, or overvaluation by parents, as well as inconsistent or neglectful parenting, can contribute to the formation of narcissistic behaviors. Societal and cultural factors can influence the development of narcissistic traits. Experiencing childhood trauma, such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, can also lead to the development of narcissistic traits.
4. How can a woman’s narcissism impact her parenting style and her relationships with her children?
Narcissistic individuals often struggle to empathize with others, including their children. They may have difficulty understanding their children’s emotions and needs. She may prioritize her own needs for attention and admiration over meeting her children’s needs. Narcissistic mothers often exhibit inconsistent parenting styles which can create confusion and anxiety for children.
5. What are some common misconceptions about narcissistic women?
There are several common misconceptions about narcissistic women that can perpetuate stereotypes and misunderstandings. One misconception is that narcissistic women are always overtly arrogant. It’s often assumed that narcissistic women are always confident and have high self-esteem.
6. How can society as a whole address and prevent the negative impact of narcissism, particularly in women?
Addressing and preventing the negative impact of narcissism requires a multi-faceted approach involving individuals, communities, and society as a whole. Building empathy and emotional intelligence skills helps individuals understand and relate to the experiences and feelings of others. Encouraging individuals to cultivate diverse social connections and support networks can help prevent the development of narcissistic tendencies.
Being in a relationship with a narcissistic partner can eventually take its toll on your mental health and confidence. Narcissistic women tend to blame you for their misdeeds and actions, so you end up blaming yourself for everything. But, while dealing with such a relationship, you mustn’t lose sight of what is right and wrong. Your feelings are valid and so is your desire for a healthy relationship. Therefore, establish clear boundaries, speak up for yourself, and ask for help if you feel like you cannot handle it on your own.
Are you married to a narcissistic wife? Discover 10 possible signs of such behavior and effective strategies on how to deal with it from this video.
Personal Experiences: Source
i. Are narcissistic women really more likely to succeed in careers?;
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- Nicolas Hoertel et al. (2017); Examining sex differences in DSM-IV narcissistic personality disorder symptom expression using Item Response Theory (IRT);
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder;
- 13 Signs You’re Having Sex With a Narcissist & How to Leave.
- What’s the difference between male and female narcissists?