If you’re dating someone, you might like to hold their hand from time to time as a way of being affectionate. But narcissists are people who think only about their own needs. Almost everything they do, they do with an agenda. Still, it seems like holding hands is such a harmless display of affection. Would even holding hands be something a narcissist only does when they are trying to prop up their false image?
If a narcissist is holding your hand, it’s because they have an agenda. Narcissists seem very affectionate at the beginning of a relationship, but that quickly falls away. They usually steer clear of affectionate displays because they fear intimacy, and that’s why they don’t ‘wanna hold your hand.’
If you’re in an intimate relationship with a narcissist or considering getting into one, you’ll need to realize a few things about what it’s like. Narcissists are difficult intimate partners, at best. At worst, they’re extremely abusive. It’s important to learn the most that you can about it in order to make the best decisions for you. Let’s take a look at what it’s like.
Why Don’t Narcissists Like to Hold Hands?
When the narcissist was a child, they came to realize – either because of abusive or overly protective treatment – that their true self is hopelessly flawed. They came to be filled with shame and self-loathing as a result.
They also buried their true self. In its place, they constructed a false self-image and infused it with grandiose ideas about superiority and perfection. The problem they have is that they don’t have an actual identity mechanism to support those grandiose ideas.
That’s why they learned to manipulate other people in their life. They need them to prop up their grandiose egoic ideas. As a result of all this, they live in constant fear that someone in their life will uncover their true self and see how flawed they are.
They don’t want to let anyone get too close. It doesn’t matter to them how they might really feel about someone, they can’t afford to let them expose their true self. Even if they truly love someone, those feelings are overwhelmed by their fear.
You’ll not likely see their fear, however, since they’ve become very adept at projecting those grandiose ideals. They act entitled, and when you don’t live up to their unrealistically high expectations, they erupt in a violent rage.
The way they treat you won’t feel like love, including the fact that they won’t want to cuddle or engage in other displays of affection. They don’t like either emotional or physical closeness. That is simply too threatening to them.
If they are engaging in displays of affection, it’s because they want something or they are trying to project an image of closeness. It usually has little to do with genuine affection.
Why Will a Narcissist Hold Your Hand?
There are times when a narcissist might want to hold your hand. It will likely seem odd to you, but there is a reason for it. There are typically two main reasons why they might reach out.
They are Painting an Image
A narcissist may reach out to hold your hand if they want to show someone how close the two of you are. They may be painting the image of the perfect relationship. They want to show someone how much you love them.
They may also see that other people are engaging in such displays, and they want to show that the two of you are equally as affectionate as other couples. For example, you might be out with other couples who are holding hands. The narcissist doesn’t want to miss out on anything, and they don’t want to seem as though they are not part of the ‘best couple.’
In their relationships, narcissists need to appear they are the best at that too. They want friends, family, and colleagues to see them as the best romantic partner available.
They are Possessive
Another reason a narcissist may reach out to hold your hand is to show that you belong to them. They may be out in public and could notice other people looking your way. That sparks their jealousy, and they become territorial.
They want to show everyone how great they are because of how great you are, and so, they take your hand. It’s a way of showing off their trophy. Additionally, they are making a statement to anyone who might be interested that you are not available.
How Can You Make a Narcissist More Affectionate?
As mental health nurse and narcissistic abuse survivor, Chloe Nabarro says, “Do anything and everything that pleases them and do everything they ask of you.” Basically, if you want more affection from them, you need to flatter them and show them how attracted you are to them.
It’s also helpful to reinforce their positive behaviors with certain kinds of rewards. Maybe you do something special for them or perhaps you praise them verbally. That last one works particularly well if you do it in front of their friends.
The more you praise them, the more they respond with those positive behaviors. It also props up their ego when you act attracted to them. That’s not so strange, because after all, everyone likes to feel attractive. So if you make it seem like you find them irresistible, they will respond with more physical affection toward you.
They love nothing more than someone seeing them as desirable. It’s part of their personality disorder. It makes them seem superior to other people. That’s why if you do it in a way that others will see how attractive you find them, they will soon be eating out of your hand.
In the End, Be Honest with Yourself
While there are ways to manipulate a narcissist to give you what you need, you really need to be honest with yourself about the relationship. It’s important to decide if this is right for you.
If you’re not getting your needs met, you need to admit that, at least to yourself. The truth is that a narcissist will never strive to meet your needs. They expect you to do that for them, but they don’t give in return.
In most relationships involving a narcissist that last a long time, their partners end up needing to readjust their expectations. If you are determined to make it work, you need to realize that you will have to get certain needs met by other people in your life.
For example, your need for deep conversations about your personal growth will probably be better served with a close friend. If you have a need for affection, you might get that met with a loving pet.
If you really want it to work, you’ll need to adjust your own expectations about what the narcissist can do for you. They just can’t focus on anyone else’s needs other than their own. That’s the reality of the relationship with a narcissist. If that’s not for you, you might need to end that particular relationship and look for someone who is better able to give you what you need.
A relationship with a narcissist is not likely to involve displays of affection. At least, those will be rare and only occur when the narcissist has an agenda. There may be ways to manipulate them into giving you more than what they are normally able to do, but those still come from a place that meets their needs more than yours. This can be triggering for you, and that’s one way a narcissist can manipulate you.
To avoid having that happen, you’ll want to try my 5 Step Roadmap to Heal Emotional Triggers. It will help you recognize your emotional triggers and heal those old wounds behind them. That will allow you to react in a more stable way to anything the narcissist does to trigger you. To get a free copy of this handy guide, just click on this link, and I’ll send it directly to your inbox.
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