All you will get from them is a distorted, biased perception, endless lies, and emotional abuse. They are compulsive liars and probably lie, abuse and manipulate more in one day than you do in a lifetime. Nevertheless, they will still point the finger at you if you do even one thing wrong. You cannot trust the narcissist's definition of you. What they say about you is usually very different from how they actually perceive you. They want you to think that you are no good. Some narcissists get so caught up in this denial, that they actually believe it themselves. The narcissist's perception is distorted and inaccurate. How can you trust the perception from someone who abuses and manipulates you? How can you trust the perception from someone who devalues you? How can you trust the perception from someone who does all of this and sees nothing wrong with it? They are not credible sources to judge, criticise or value you in any way. So you should really stop believing in them. Once you remove the belief, they are going to find it very difficult to abuse you emotionally.
A person who believes in their own value is harder for a narcissist to break and this is potentially the best defense against them. But by being a person of high value you can still become a threat to them. Narcissists have an inferiority complex. They recognise your self worth, self esteem and self respect. Then realise that they do not have these qualities. The hate, anger and envy builds within them as they realise that you have all of the qualities which they want, but do not have. This causes the narcissist to become very competitive and to develop a one-up complex. Now they are doing everything they can to prove themselves to you, to compete with you. But self-worth is supposed to come from yourself, that's why it has "self" at the beginning. The narcissist is trying to obtain their worth from external sources and this results in them never achieving true fulfillment. I am an optimistic and self-assured. It is completely irrelevant what anyone says or thinks about me, because I know that another person's thoughts or words can never define me. If someone compliments me, the compliment does not define me either. It might boost my confidence and improve my mood, and that's fine. But it is my thoughts that define the person I am. It is my self-perception which is independent of anyone else's view of me, whether they are narcissists or not. Self-reflect, look within and perceive who you are as a person. Identify your qualities, good or bad. Then ask yourself, what kind of person would not find those qualities attractive? Maybe someone who is full of self-hate, anger and envy? People who are full of self-hate, do not like those who have self-love. There is an old quote, "misery loves company" and this couldn't be more true. People who self-hate are attracted to people who self-hate. The Human Magnet Syndrome states that narcissists and codependents (or SLDs) are attracted to each other. Both of them are self-hating disorders. Which means that if you were in a relationship with a narcissist, you were most likely hating on yourself. I know this is a difficult truth to accept, but acceptance is key to learning from this and then healing yourself towards self-love. Maybe you didn't have self-hate before you met the narcissist, maybe you did. But using gaslighting and other manipulative tactics, the narcissist managed to change your core beliefs, values and principles. The self-belief, self-assurance and other good qualities you had before the narcissist did their work on you, was what attracted them to you.
A self assured person of high value will really wind up a narcissist just by being in their presence. It triggers them to attack. But the narcissist learns over time that if they attack in the beginning, they are going to lose you. So they make you believe that they really admire your qualities and a part of them actually does. But when they realise that these qualities cannot be theirs, that's when you become the enemy to them. They begin to hate and become very envious of you. It's like they love someone so much and admire them so much that it turns to hate. Any small sign of your progression or fulfillment only fuels their hate, anger and envy to destroy you. You are a level above them, so naturally they have to bring you down. If they really saw you as being below them, why would they ever waste their time manipulating or abusing you? Narcissists are triggered by people who believe in themselves. They are triggered by people who are optimistic. People who say yes, when everyone else says no. People who still want to try, when everyone else has given up. The reason why this is a trigger for the narcissist is because it reminds them of everything they are not. This trigger then leads to the abuse and manipulation. It's a coping mechanism for their misery. It is also a defence mechanism because by trying to progress and by being happy, they feel like you are attacking them. The reason for this is because you are showing them everything they are not. They are not trying to progress and they are not happy. They cannot accept responsibility for their own emotions or behaviors. Instead, they try to project their emotions on to you and expect you to own them. They cannot own their own thoughts, beliefs or emotions. It is definitely caused by childhood abuse, neglect or other traumatic experience. But although they didn't choose to develop this disorder in the beginning, they had a choice on whether or not to keep it. Traumatic experiences are what have made them feel out of balance and out of harmony with themselves.
If you are not in harmony with yourself, how can you be in harmony with someone else? They are even more out of harmony with people who are in harmony with themselves. They hate that, it shows them everything they are not but wish they were. But although they didn't choose to develop this disorder in the beginning, they had a choice on whether or not to keep it. The narcissist does a manipulative dance with you. It weakens you and makes you look crazy. They do this so that people will only see you at your worst. They already know how great you are at your best, that's why they try so hard to bring you down. If you were nothing special, there would be no point in trying to tear you down. They would just leave you to it. The narcissist has to manipulate and control you at all times to prevent you from displaying your true, great self. One of the narcissist's greatest fears is for the world to see their victim as their best self. This is why they do everything they can to control you. They are trying to prevent you from achieving greatness. And they will even manipulating the perceptions of other people, so that everyone sees you the way that they want you to be seen. Which is never going to be anything good... because they are full of hate, anger and envy. Their minds are completely obsessed with negativity. They are always dwelling on the past or being anxious about the future.
Look at your life and compare it to before you were around the narcissist. I bet your life was much better back then, you had a lot more to be happy about. Compare your life to a few years ago, even if the narcissist was still around. Notice how it's like a downward spiral, your life keeps getting worse the more you're around the narcissist. It might be difficult to see this while you are still with them, they're clever at creating an illusion that you have everything you could want. But if you look within yourself and discover what you're really dreaming about, you'll find that your reality is far different to the illusion they have presented to you. Focus on improving yourself and your life. Remember all of the things you used to love doing before the narc? Do them and better yourself. Find the root cause of your codependency disorder or SLDD.
Work on healing yourself so you will no longer attract these types of people.