Living with a narcissist in your life is extremely painful.
As they only genuinely care about themselves, getting their own wants and needs met, they do not care for yours unless it meets a need of their own. As they lack in empathy, object consistency and cognitive reflection skills, narcissists have a disorder, and that’s who they are. They are brutal, cruel, abusive, destructive, hurtful, deceptive manipulators.
With the narcissists lack of empathy and a willingness to exploit, many can not love anyone on a genuine level. They will destroy your self-esteem, Your reputation, Your support system, Your family, Your hopes and your dreams. They will destroy everything in your life. They want to take away your sanity just because they can. They are a con artist that will sell you the perfect dream in the idealisation stage, matching all your likes and dislikes. Then in the devaluation will deliver you a living nightmare as they pull your mental health, physical health, relationships and finances apart little by little until most of us are left with nothing.
You are everything that they are not and something that they can never be. They are incredibly jealous and envious of who you are, the qualities and strengths that you have, and to feel powerful and in control, they have to take you down as they believe they are above all others.
Once you’ve identified you are dealing with a narcissist, be it a friend, family member, co-worker or partner and that they cannot love or care for you, how you deserve to be loved and cared for the best advice is No contact if no contact isn’t possible, limited contact and grey rock.
A narcissist can not be helped, and they can not be saved. People with empathy always want to help those around them. With a narcissist, they will just pull you under with them.
So if you have children with them and you can not do no contact. I know in some cases, the children have no contact. Others move miles away. Some of the narcissists have managed to get a court order. Some of you have managed to set up limited contact.
I have a few things for you to remember if the narcissist is still in your life, to remind you that they will never ever change, they are incapable of change, they will always go around in circles playing their silly games, they do not know any other way to act. This also helps if it’s a work colleague.
The narcissist will always use you and your children with manipulation. They are abusers.
They don’t see other people for people or care about other people’s feelings, and they are just a stepping stone to them to get what the narcissist wants. They go around exploiting people to get their own needs met, without any care for the destruction they leave in the wake. They lack cognitive reflection skills, meaning they can not look back at their mistakes and learn from them. They can only blame all others for what is wrong within theirs lives. Why they project and blame shift. They will provoke an argument to get a reaction so that they can blame you if you stop listening to their words and only their actions. All they do is use people to get what they want. This will never change. They lack empathy to care for others. The only empathy some might have is cognitive empathy, so they can think empathetic, to suit themselves, they can not, however, think emotionally empathetically, so they can not relate to how someone else might be feeling, or reflection on how they’ve made someone else feel.
A narcissist only sees people as an extension of themselves. So they are unable to see others as having their own wants, needs, opinions and beliefs.
To a narcissist, other people are just an appliance to them. Where you see an iron. You think of it as an object that will serve a purpose, of getting creases out of our clothes. We don’t know the iron as having want or needs of its own. We use it for what it was created for.
With a narcissist, they see people as that appliance to serve their needs, from getting attention and emotions out of them to money and power. To make up for what they are lacking in their own life, as they are envious of others. While ever you let them, and you have something they want, they will continue to use you. It makes them feel smart, powerful and superior, using manipulation to get one over on others.
A lot of us view them as helpless people who we can help, especially those who play the victim. So remember, they can not change. You can not help them. They have a disorder. It’s who they are. The play nice is who they are, the admiration face to pull you in and under their trance, the envious hurtful face is who they are. To take control or destroy those they feel are not meeting their needs or are achieving more than them, you don’t need that negative nastiness in your life, just for those odd times they play nice. You are worth so much more, and you deserve to be happy. It’s a waste of time trying to help them. They are either incapable or do not see a problem within themselves, so they do not want to change. As to them, everything is always someone else’s fault.
A relationship with a narcissist will never be about give and take. Many think they misunderstand and try in vain to teach them about equality and compromise. They are not interested in that, and they are only interested in themselves.
The narcissist does not want to be equal. They want to win, they want all the power and control, they want to be first always.
When in a relationship, if you try to be independent or put forward your views, the narcissist sees this as extreme threats or criticism to them. They will manipulate until you are back under what they perceive as their control. You will be attacked for daring to have feelings and thinking your feelings matter.
These are not just selfish people. Yes, selfish people exist, yet they will love and care about those around them. A narcissist can not do this.
A narcissist can act that they do. If you pay close attention to how they treat everyone, you will see, they can only truly ever care about themselves. If you’ve been with a narcissist, you will know just how destructive they can be.
If they can not control and destroy another person that they were intimate with, odds are they will keep trying. If you have children, they will use this to try and achieve this. No, never ever react directly to them. Instead, focus your time and attention on validating your children’s feelings as a narcissist is unable to do this. Also, spend that time on yourself. The narcissist doesn’t see themselves as a problem and will feel powerful if they are getting to you. So even if they are still getting to you. Do not let them know. They are not interested in what you have to say, just your emotions and reactions.
The narcissist will always manipulate it around that you are trying to control them.
If they feel they need to compromise for someone else, it’s a huge problem. If you bring up your needs and feeling about them, they will project this back onto you as it’s all about them. The narcissist only feels validated when they can control and be more powerful than those around them.
Everything a narcissist says is a lie, a con, a manipulation to exploit those around them. A narcissist can be very charming and manipulative and will do all they can to hold onto you. Because of this, it’s tough to say no. Often, people don’t even realise they are being abused.
If they think they are losing you, or they’ve lost you and still need you for something. Suddenly they will see the light, and they will manipulate their apologetic words around onto you. They say exactly what you want to hear to use it against you, and they will crank up that charm. It’s all fake to get their needs met again. This is all an illusion, all they have it’s their false self, lies and manipulation.
If today they have come round to apologise for lying again, usually they will use “ I only did it because you didn’t” I’ll let you fill the rest In as you’ve probably heard one of many. If they are telling you they’ve seen the error of their ways, it’s all lies and manipulation. If you’ve done this before with them, when you say no, they do another 180 on you. They will then claim you forced them to apologise because of what you did to them. They will twist events so that you are either lying, confused or, in fact, and you are the abusive one. If you stand up to them on this, they will fly into a rage to get control of the situation, along with the “ what are you doing” they will manipulate it all back around onto you. They only apologised because they wanted to resolve the situation, and you made them. This is why you left thinking you are the crazy one. You are not; otherwise, you’d not be reading this, and you’d have never doubted yourself. You wouldn’t have the empathy to care and want to help them. They don’t care you caught them red-handed or that they’ve lied thousands of times before. They only want their needs met.
If apologising doesn’t work, they will switch the tactic to denial. “ you’re stupid.” “You’re crazy.” “You’re controlling.” Etc. If that doesn’t work, they’ll make out you’re attacking them. They will say “ they can not do anything right.” “ they can not make you happy.” When that doesn’t work, they may go onto meltdown to guilt you. Or rage to frighten you. If that doesn’t work and they still don’t get any response from you. They may take a few days, weeks, months or years. They will try to come back and start again at the beginning with that false projected apology.
They will go around in circles with this while you are saying no, as they are never accountable for anything they do. It will always be someone else’s fault. They just want to control everyone with these tactics to achieve what they want. They will use the silent treatment, projection, gaslighting etc., to achieve their own wants.
The only coping Strategy, a narcissist, has is to spread their misery onto others, to feel better about themselves. I often wonder if the narcissist is hoping to get that Freaky Friday moment and have a personality swap with those close to them. They can see the emotions those around them have. Yet, they can not feel them. So are they hoping to offload all their bad into you, in the hope they manage actually to escape themselves? People with empathy are just everything a narcissist can never be. Narcissist wants to absorb all the emotions from others while passing over all their bad traits onto the other person. They want to control and dominate others, to strip them of the good qualities.
When they lie and smear other people’s good names, they are actually trying to convince themselves that the other person is wrong, that they are a hero for trying to help them and putting up with them for so long. With all the lies they tell and never being accountable, they no longer even know their own truth. They’ve actually manipulated their own brain into thinking how they do, so they can simply never see the damage they cause to others. As to them, it is all your fault.
If they make out, others are crazy, and they are not the crazy ones. If they make others weak, then they are powerful. They can only take from others they can not give. In the beginning, they take everything from you by mirroring you. They suck you. I’m with flattery only because they need it back. They project all their negativity onto others. As soon as they are called out on this, they see it as to why you are doing it to them.
They will never acknowledge within themselves what they do, and they will
Always be looking to deflect onto you.
Even those who might know what they are. See you as the problem of having emotions and being weak.
Narcissist actually enjoys hurting others, as they hate themselves so much. They get a kick out of making others feel bad. Those that know enjoy the fact they can play the master puppeteer with peoples emotions whenever they require some.
Educate yourself on the kinds of people you are dealing with, grieve the losses of the past, learn from any mistakes made, like trying to help people who don’t want to be improved, work on the trauma bond, CPTSD, and then leave it all in the past, learn your boundaries of behaviour you will and will not accept from those around you. You don’t have to hurt a narcissist, and you can kindly leave them in the past. It’s hard not to focus on them when they come after you with the game after game. It’s a learning curve, but learn not to, focus on you, pattern interrupt, whenever you feel your thoughts slipping, like when you are telling someone something, they interrupt you, and you forget what you were saying, when those thoughts crop in of the past, interrupt them with thoughts of your future and focus on that future you deserve.
Write down six things you’d like one year from now. As you do this, think and feel like you already have them, focus on them and the future, and you’ll find the way to achieve these.
Find something that makes you laugh every time they come at you. If you can not do no contact, when they pull a new stunt, think and believe, ”that’s the last one, no attention from me.” then find something that makes you genuinely smile and laugh to bring your mindset into those positive, happy emotions.
Work on building yourself back up, creating a new, much happier life for you. Leave the narcissist to their own destructive path.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.