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Understanding Why A Narcissist Would Make Their Partners Jealous

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The most noticeable common behaviors seen among people with narcissism are actions that intimidate their relationships.

Have you dated a partner who flirted with other people, or often chats to attractive strangers?

They may flirt openly while pretending they do not see their partner there. They may even discuss how attractive others are and intentionally point out all the desirable characteristics their partners don’t have.

Narcissists tend to form platonic relationships with beautiful, attractive people and act like it should not upset their partners. They very often do things to make their partners jealous and insecure. They then blame them for overreacting or having issues.

It wasn’t entirely clear why narcissists would put their relationships at risk while seeking admiration and reinforcement that everyone wants to be in their company. Yet, narcissistic people are typically thought to be insecure deep down.

Research by Tortoriello and colleagues reported that narcissistic people might act distant and uninterested, even when they are in a committed relationship.

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 Narcissistic personalities could be classified into two groups. 

Grandiose narcissists are confident, outgoing with high self-esteem, and stigmatized with entitlement. 

Vulnerable narcissists have a strong urge to exploit others for their personal needs, as they have low self-esteem and are insecure.

Dating with a narcissist partner may have a hidden purpose behind all these acts.

Researchers (Tortoriello et al. 2017) have assessed that both types of narcissists tend to sabotage their relationships by their actions in front of their partners, which undermine their relationships. It’s been said that narcissistic people take control of their partners to boost their self-esteem to an extent.

To find out the reasons why narcissists make their partners jealous, they found five motives that the narcissist use to induce jealousy in their partners’ minds. They used a rating tool called MIRJS (Motives for Inducing Romantic Jealousy Scale) to judge the different jealousy motives of the narcissist.

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Here are the 5 motives identified from previous research (adapted from Tortoriello et al.):

Reproduced from Tortoriello, et al., 2017
Source: Reproduced from Tortoriello, et al., 2017

The research notes that grandiose narcissism bears similarities with psychopathy.

Grandiose narcissists are inclined to seek revenge, which may come up in the form of emotional abuse or violence.

Vulnerable narcissists are about insecurity, which leads to offensive and defensive responses from emotional distress.

Yet more research is necessary to find out if these findings go beyond correlation.

It will help if you remember that narcissism often comes from deep insecurity.

If you happen to be dating someone and plan to stay in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic traits, try to figure out what makes them tick by assessing them to see if they are grandiose or vulnerable.

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Assessing them will help you determine whether they are trying to fuel your jealousy on purpose to achieve their goals or whether they are acting from emotions they may not be fully aware of.

Armed with this information, you may be better able to navigate it when jealousy rears its ugly head.

It would be helpful if you kept in mind that narcissism often comes from feelings of deep insecurity. 

Remain calm and keep communication open are the best ways to sidestep insecurity and their tendency to assert control.

Below is a list of what can cause low self-esteem and insecurities?

Unsupportive parents.
Unsupportive influential role figures in their life.
Divorce.
Bad influence from friends.
Stress and anxiety could play a significant role, as well.
Suffered from abuse and trauma in their life.

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