Narcissistic relationships manifest as nonreciprocal affiliations that allow no room for genuine partnership or cooperation. The trait of narcissism is more prevalent in men than in women. However, Egypt’s powerful patriarchal culture has prevented adequate scholarly examination of narcissistic relationships. The current study intends to bridge this gap in knowledge by examining two objectives: a) to investigate the nature of experiences of Egyptian women in narcissistic relationships and b) to elucidate how Egyptian women remain resilient in the aftermath of narcissistic relationships. Data were collected via qualitative, semi-structured interviews conducted with 27 literate women aged 24–54 years who had experienced narcissistic relationships for at least a year. Four main themes emerged: a) the abusive experiences suffered by the women, b) perception of the narcissist as abusive partner, c) the negative impact of the narcissistic relationship on the women socially and psychologically, and d) women’s sources of resilience after leaving this relationship. For the abusive experiences, women suffered from different types of aggressive behaviors (e.g. physical, psychological, and verbal) and they tended to doubt their rationality which is called “the gaslighting effect.” The findings indicated that narcissists were perceived by respondents as dominators, vampires, nonempathetic, aggressive, manipulative, and deceiving actors. Accordingly, their relationships with narcissists were detrimental to the psychological and social wellbeing of the women. The results suggest that women need long-term social and emotional support to fully recover from the after-effects of their narcissistic relationships. Social networks and spirituality were the most frequent sources of resilience. The present paper contributes new understandings of narcissistic relationships as a common type of toxic relationship in Egypt.
Shousha, Nayera Mohamed
"Now, You Can Breathe: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences and Resilience of Egyptian Women Victimized by Narcissistic Relationships,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 25:
1, Article 14.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol25/iss1/14