In previous articles, I introduced and talked about the concepts of narcissism. (See: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/narcissists-what-to-watch-for-97/ and codependency https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/codependency-maybe-its-you-101/). In sum, a narcissistic person lacks empathy and is selfish, self-absorbed, and often disrespectful and abusive to others. A codependent person is generally overly giving, very accommodating, and others oriented to an extreme degree, putting them at risk of being mistreated and even exploited in relationships. The reason I have written this article combining both relational concepts is because narcissistic and codependent individuals tend to attract and end up with each other in relationships. Such relationships are usually unhappy, unhealthy, and include abuse. Like opposite charges of a magnet, narcissists and codependents are a strong, natural fit with each other. Hence, both tend to seek out and end up with each other. Unfortunately, even though such relationships make for a natural match, these are, again, very unhealthy relationships.
Tips to Avoid the Narcissistic/Codependent Relationship:
*Know if either concept applies to you. Are you narcissistic or codependent? Which traits of either apply to you? Whichever apply to you, know it, own it, and work on improving yourself away from these problems. There is therapy, support groups, self-help materials: videos, audios, and books, hypnosis, and other helpful resources. Although these traits tend to be stubborn, rigid, and personality based, improvement is possible when regular efforts are made with these resources. To learn more about these concepts and how to work on these issues, please read more at the article links given above.
*Know if either concept applies to the other person. Whether or not you are already in a relationship with someone or you are just getting to know someone, become familiar with both narcissism and codependency. Next, note which of these traits the other possesses. Then, based upon what traits you notice and how extreme these traits exist in the other, decide where to go from there. If the narcissistic or codependency traits are extreme and troublesome, it would probably be best to end the relationship and move on to a healthier relationship pick. However, if the troublesome traits you notice are not extreme, it might be worthwhile to bring up these traits of concern to the other person before deciding about the relationship. If the other can acknowledge the traits and shows a genuine willingness to work on their issues, the relationship may still be promising and may still be (or become) healthy. Personality disorder traits all exist on a continuum and every person is different. Of course, pray about these individual cases as well as you make the best relationship decision possible.
*Learn about and strive for healthy relationships. Not every relationship has narcissistic and codependent individuals. Some are complimentary in a healthy way, including mutually respectful and caring behaviors. If the parents you grew up with did not show you a healthy example, you will need to learn about what truly makes for a healthy, happy relationship and marriage. You can learn this information from study. Even though there are many decent resources out there that clarify healthy relationships, here are some resources I would suggest to read or listen to. Even if you grew up with healthy, happy parents with a good marriage, this is still good information to learn more about and brush up on.
*Get outside perspectives. As you try to assess whether these unhealthy traits apply to yourself and/or your dating partner, sometimes one can be too close to the situation to make a clear determination of the problems by themselves. So if this is the case, it can be helpful if you have a trusted friend or family member review and assess the traits or narcissism and codependency in you and your partner. Even give a second opinion. How we see ourselves and others is often tainted with bias and blind spots. Sometimes we don’t want to see and deal with the negative traits and problems that may be there. So, getting some extra data from outside individuals that know you and/or the other person can be helpful.
Most unhealthy dating and marriage relationships include one partner with narcissistic traits and the other with codependent traits. If you study and apply to ideas and suggestions of this article, you can avoid or escape being in such a relationship. And you can work on whatever of these traits may apply to you as well. Because if a relationship is going to be forever, it needs to be based on healthy principles and positive mutual treatment which needs to be learned and applied to succeed. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2022-01-31||Randy Gilchrist||Healthy relationships, Communication|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).