Breaking Up With A Narcissistic Personality

Breaking up with someone can be tough, but ending a relationship with a narcissist can be even more challenging. Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Narcissistic individuals tend to pursue their own interests and desires at the expense of others. If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, breaking up will require some careful planning and preparation.

Recognizing Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In a relationship with a narcissist, you may have felt like you were walking on eggshells or that your needs were never considered. Recognizing the signs of narcissistic personality disorder early on can help you avoid getting too deeply involved with someone who may not have your best interests at heart. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance
  • A need for constant admiration and validation
  • A lack of empathy for others’ feelings and needs
  • A tendency to exploit others for personal gain
  • An inability to handle criticism or rejection
  • A sense of entitlement
  • A tendency to idealize oneself and devalue others

Preparing for the Breakup

Breaking up with a narcissist can be emotionally draining and challenging. Here are some steps you can take to prepare yourself for the breakup:

1. Build a Support System

Reach out to friends and family who can offer you emotional support during this difficult time. A strong support system can help you stay grounded and make the breakup process more manageable.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

If you’re living with a narcissistic partner, it’s important to make sure that you have financial stability before the breakup. If you have joint accounts or shared assets, it may be necessary to work with a lawyer to ensure that your finances are in order.

3. Set Boundaries

Before you have the breakup conversation, make a list of boundaries that you want to set for yourself. For example, you may want to limit contact with the narcissist or avoid discussing the breakup with mutual friends.

Breaking Up With a Narcissist

Once you’ve prepared yourself for the breakup, you’ll need to have an honest and direct conversation with your narcissistic partner. Here are some tips:

1. Stay Calm and Focused

Narcissists tend to get defensive and can become angry when their sense of self-importance is threatened. Stay calm and focused during the conversation, and avoid getting sidetracked by emotional outbursts or insults.

2. Be Clear and Direct

Make it clear that you’re ending the relationship and explain your reasons for doing so. Be direct and avoid getting pulled into arguments or debates.

3. Avoid Blame and Criticism

While it’s important to be clear about why you’re breaking up, avoid blaming or criticizing the narcissist. Instead, focus on your own needs and feelings, and stay true to your boundaries.

4. Plan Your Exit Strategy

After the breakup, it’s important to have a plan for how you’ll physically separate from the narcissist. If you’re living together, you may need to make arrangements to move out or have the narcissist move out.

5. Stick to Your Boundaries

After the breakup, it’s important to stick to the boundaries that you’ve set for yourself. Narcissists may try to manipulate or guilt-trip you into staying in contact or rekindling the relationship. Stay true to your boundaries and prioritize your own well-being.

Navigating Life After the Breakup

Breaking up with a narcissist can be a difficult and emotionally draining process. However, it’s important to prioritize your own well-being and take steps to regain your sense of self-worth. Here are some tips:

1. Practice Self-Care

Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Prioritize activities that make you feel good, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

2. Seek Professional Help

If you’re struggling with the aftermath of the breakup, consider seeking professional help. A therapist or counselor can offer valuable insights and help you work through your emotions.

3. Set New Goals and Priorities

After a breakup, it can be helpful to set new goals and priorities for yourself. This can help you move forward and focus on the future rather than dwelling on the past.

4. Consider No Contact

If the narcissist continues to try to contact you or make demands after the breakup, it may be necessary to consider implementing a no-contact policy. This can help you move on and regain your sense of autonomy and well-being.


Breaking up with a narcissist is a tough process, but it’s an important step towards regaining your own sense of self-worth and well-being. By recognizing the signs of narcissistic personality disorder and preparing yourself for the breakup, you can successfully navigate this challenging process and move forward towards a happier and more fulfilling life.


FAQ 1: What are the common signs of a narcissistic personality?

Narcissistic personalities often display a range of behaviors, such as being excessively self-centered, craving attention, lacking empathy, and needing constant admiration or validation. They may also have grandiose beliefs about their abilities and achievements, and find it difficult to accept criticism or failure.

FAQ 2: Why is breaking up with a narcissistic personality particularly challenging?

Breaking up with a narcissistic personality can be particularly challenging as they may struggle to accept rejection or end of a relationship. They may become defensive, manipulative, or even aggressive when their sense of superiority or entitlement is challenged. It is important to approach the breakup with caution, planning and seeking support from trusted friends or professionals.

FAQ 3: How can I heal after a relationship with a narcissistic personality?

Healing after a relationship with a narcissistic personality can take time and effort. It is important to seek professional help if you are experiencing emotional distress or trauma. Additionally, building a support network of people who understand and validate your experience, setting clear boundaries, and practicing self-care can all aid in the recovery process. Remember to treat yourself with kindness, patience, and understanding as you navigate this challenging journey.


1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®). American Psychiatric Pub.

2. Fossati, A., Maffei, C., Bagnato, M., Donati, D., Donini, M., Fiorilli, M., & Novella, L. (2003). Brief communication: Criterion validity of the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 (PDQ-4) in a mixed psychiatric sample. Journal of personality disorders, 17(2), 188-193.

3. Miller, J. D., Lynam, D. R., Hyatt, C. S., & Campbell, W. K. (2017). Controversies in narcissism. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 13, 291-315.