Walking on eggshells, what is this? The effects it has on you and how to deal with this now.
Walking on eggshells is the term used when the narcissist grooms you to tiptoe around them for fear of the narcissist’s reactions, fear of anger, or fear of abandonment.
You hide your authentic self and true feelings and opinions to please someone else. It is a subtle form of abuse by cohesive controlling you. It’s slowly training you on how to behave around or for the narcissist.
Walking on eggshells is what people end up doing around negative, toxic or abusive people; most often, unconsciously, we end up doing this over time in order to protect ourselves from further abuse. Usually, when you still can not work out, you’re in an abusive relationship, and you are slowly losing your own values, beliefs and boundaries.
Most of the time, we don’t even realise we are being abused. Most abusers will create an environment of insecurity, instability, confusion and fear, so they gain full power and control over you, all while telling you they love you.
We then end up walking on eggshells to please them. Some examples are.
1. If you’re afraid to Communicate about your thoughts, feeling or opinions in case you cause an argument for fear of reactions, fear of abandonment through the narcissist’s past behaviour such at the narcissist’s silent treatments, to which they blame you for them falling silent on you. You were told, “you’re too sensitive.” And never getting your feelings validated, just crushing your self-esteem all the more.
2. Fear of receiving anger from them or passive-aggressive reactions.
3. Fear of making a noise that might disturb them and never knowing what their reactions might be.
4. Fear of dressing how you want for fear of what they might say or do. Overt narcissist “You look fat/ too thin in that.” Or covert narcissist “are you really wearing that?” The covert doesn’t directly point it out like the overt, and both ways still plant seeds of doubt in your own mindset.
5. Fear of not responding to their messages or phone calls instantly, as you know you will have consequences from them and questions of why you didn’t, where you were etc., it’s a case of they say jump, and we say how high.
6. You are afraid to live your life and be exactly who you want to be.
7. Fear of asking others for help in case they don’t believe or understand you.
8. Fear of not making their meals right for reactions.
9. Fear of going out with or talking to friends, so slowly you end up becoming cut off from those who do love and care for you, they cause arguments before you go out, or when you come home, or they fall silent on you, or they say things like. “They don’t even like you. Why go out with them? They only talk about you behind your back.” a form of triangulation.
10. Fear of being judged by others if you speak up.
Once out, you may still suffer from these as they have been programmed into you so you continue to think this way, until you retrain your brain. You might fear reactions from others who wouldn’t react to you in an abusive way. You have to focus on your freedom now, even if it’s things like turning your music up loud when you please, hoovering whenever you’d like to.
Effects of walking on eggshells are.
1. Anxiety. You may now fear the phone ringing or a message coming through even though that’s your past and not in your present. As your mind has been subconsciously programmed to respond that way to the phone or tuning the hoover on, fear speaking up for yourself to others who are not abusive in case they react, and saying no to others, you might become a people pleaser in order to protect yourself from judgment.
2. Loss of self-esteem, from the criticism and put-downs the narcissist has drop fed you over time.
3. Feeling completely shut off from the outside world and others, no longer feeling able to express yourself or your feeling.
4. Constantly apologising to others.
5. Leaving your own inner critic sounding like your abuser and continually putting yourself down. Does your inner critic ask if you’re going to wear that? And do I really need to hoover now?
6. Loss of personal self and freedom due to anxiety also, no longer wanting to do things for you, as you’ve been programmed to ask the narcissist first. Or avoid situations full stop as you already know how they’ll react.
7. Fear of speaking up for yourself.
What can you do about it?
1. If you’re still in the relationship, start working on a safe plan to get out safely, be careful.
2. Start working on yourself. Some are dangerous, so I wouldn’t recommend doing it in front of them if you’re working on a plan to get out. If you are out, start to express yourself again, and your own personal likes and dislikes, your needs and your wants.
3. Surrounding yourself with positive, happy people who are happy to show any and all emotions, and this will set you free to do the same.
4. Create new boundaries. If something doesn’t feel right to you, say no, and stick to your no, and you must enforce these boundaries.
5. Create new core values and standards of the things that matter to you.
6. Choose to surround yourself with those who raise you up and walk free from those who drag you down.
7. Keep asking yourself. “Who am I.” Or “Who do I want to be.”
8. Reconnect with old friends. Those good ones will be understanding. Ask yourself if this was one of your old friends, and they came to you with your story. Would you want to help? Most people would definitely want to help.
9. Take those baby steps. It’s the only way, and keep going each day. You’re allowed to step back now and again. Just dust yourself off and go again.
Stay strong, and you’ve got this.
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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.
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