Connections Between CEN and a Narcissist Partner
It may be surprising (or not) to know that there is a connection between Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) and narcissism. People who grow up with Childhood Emotional Neglect have a strong tendency to view themselves and their own needs as unimportant while those with narcissism are known for putting themselves and their own needs first.
If you have CEN, you may have been in or are currently in a relationship with someone who exhibits narcissistic traits. Narcissism exists on a continuum, from traits to the more extreme clinical diagnosis. These can range from characteristics of a person being self-centered, willing to step on others to get to the top, all the way to someone having a desperate need to be admired, an inability to feel empathy for others, and a need for power and control.
Someone with Childhood Emotional Neglect has had messaging all of their lives that their “feelings don’t matter,” so they are adept at pushing their feelings down and blocking them out. This disconnection from feelings can leave someone feeling unfulfilled and keep relationships lacking. The troubling part of CEN and being in a relationship with someone who exhibits narcissistic traits is that the CEN partner can take on a role of making the self-centered partner feel valuable and important, but at the expense of themselves.
People with CEN are drawn to narcissists and vice-versa. Deep down you feel so unimportant, and don’t ask for much, and you don’t allow yourself to want or need much. Because those with narcissism are the opposite, they often put their own feelings and needs first, taking up a lot of space. This predisposes people with CEN and narcissists to feel comfortable with each other. However, these relationships rarely work out well.
If you are wondering if your partner is narcissistic and often feel like you don’t matter in the relationship, know that you and your feelings are important. Life can be more fulfilling, but it can require some change and an improved relationship with yourself.
I invite you to explore that relationship!
#Alpharetta #Roswell #Atlanta, GA #Therapy