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As if explosive fights weren't bad enough, narcissists also have a knack for convincing you that you're actually the drama queen who starts all the conflicts, all the time.
"Narcissists are manipulators who have no qualms about twisting a partner’s words or actions in a way that would make the partner feel guilty or remorseful about things they have no reason to feel bad about," Degges-White says.
The reason fights with narcissists are so volatile and deeply confusing is actually very simple: They're never wrong.
Degges-White says that while a narcissist may agree with your complaints in the dating phase of the relationship, that all goes away in time.
And maybe "crazy" isn't so much used as "difficult," "had issues," "loved drama" when describing all their past partners.
What started out as you asking them to please text when they're running late turns into a huge fight at home because you "ruined the whole night" by bringing it up in public.
When bae first met you, they loved EVERYTHING about you.
Now, those same things–the sound of your laugh, your penchant for wearing Doc Martens, your love of bad reality TV–are a problem."Narcissists tend to hold some specific image of what they want their partner to be like and they don’t 'challenge you' to grow, they try to force your 'growth,'" Degges-White says.
A narcissist's self-inflicted pressure to be flawless doesn't end with them–once you're his or her partner, you're obligated to fulfill the Insta-perfect ideal of the power couple he or she wants to be.
"When a narcissist feels that they're losing face publicly, it creates a lot of inner distress because they cannot tolerate failure, and public humiliation is the worst type of failure [ to them]," says Degges-White.