Being around narcissistic people isn’t only mentally and physically draining; it is soul-destroying and takes who you are away little by little. Part of reclaiming who you are and who you want to be is rebuilding your self-esteem, which is all about working on your inner confidence.
Narcissists, through many manipulation tactics, slowly destroy your self-esteem, self-respect, dignity and confidence. It’s up to us to take that power away from them and take back control of our lives. Take back your ability to control your own Self-worth, self-respect, confidence and dignity.
How do narcissists destroy these in us?
1. Gaslighting words.
Narcissists are the masters of cruel and sometimes calculating manipulation.
Mainly through the words they use, it’s not always what they say. Sometimes it’s the way they say it that makes it so hard to see it while you’re living it. Significantly if narcissistic parents raised you, narcissist partners, friends, teachers could also have a massive impact on you. When you don’t understand, it’s hard to know what’s happening to you.
Mainly through the narcissists gaslighting, we end up doubting our ability, our reality, ourselves, and our mind starts to work against us.
Narcissists will say things like. “You misunderstood me.” Or. “That never happened.” Or “you’re too sensitive.” “You’re overreacting.” These are to make you doubt yourself, make you think you’ve overacted, and it’s all your own personal issues. Leaving you with more and more personal issues.
How to handle.
Suppose you’re still dealing with these people or have the misfortune to come across more. Know your truth. Yes, you can misunderstand people if they then go on to explain and be genuine about what they meant and don’t use it against you. You misunderstood. If they make you feel worse, know they meant every word. If you know something happened, it happened, don’t let their words infect your mind. You’re more aware and understand what you are dealing with now. Walk away.
2. Gaslighting projection.
When narcissists give you the “you’re so dramatic.” Or “you’re awkward.” “you’re selfish.” And the rest. So it suggests you are to blame for all conflict within the relationship. Making us doubt our own abilities, making us feel like the fault lies within us.
How to handle.
If you’re still dealing with them, know it matters to you. They can not take that away from you, look at the whole story and who indeed created the drama.
3. Gaslighting invalidation.
The subtle ” Are you wearing that.” To the obvious. “You’d look better in that if you lost weight.” Regularly negative comments like those and countless others. “Are you really going to do that?” Or “I wouldn’t do that if I was you. All these negative self-doubting comments instilled into us by others is hugely damaging when our minds absorb these regular and repeated toxic negative digs, making us doubt who we are and how we look, our ability to be who we want to be, fearing judgment and fearing consequences of our own actions.
How to handle.
If you’re still dealing with them, know that no one is entitled to belittle you. You are who you are. The problem is with them, not you. Genuine people will love you for who you are and raise you up. Know your own truths; don’t let others’ words play in your mind. With good intentions, you’re allowed to do what you please. Those that tell you ”you can not.” have an issue within themselves. Show them you can. Genuine people will have your back and want you to succeed.
4. Creating conflict.
They will create conflict between people. Narcissists actually thrive off drama, especially when they’re not the centre of attention. They will play others off against each other, play them against you with words like. ” they talk about you behind your back.” Or ” they don’t really like you.” To make you doubt who’s actually your friend and what’s wrong with you, they provoke to cause arguments with you, usually so they can blame it all on you. Narcissists will also happily spread gossip, rumours and your innermost secrets, especially to those you didn’t want to know. This is a massive drain on your confidence.
How to handle.
If you’re still dealing with them, if they’ve said someone is talking about you, go and ask that person and see what their version of events is. Narcissistic people lie, so the other person might not have said anything. Those who want to talk about you, that’s up to them. Those people don’t deserve to be a part of your life anyway. The narcissist did you a favour.
They will learn all your insecurities, vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Then they will use them all against you, anything that hurt you in your past. Anything that’s dear to you, any secrets you ever told, they will pick on these, point them out as often as they can, tell others about them. This leaves your vulnerabilities wide open and is soul-destroying that someone you loved so much is happy to use everything that hurts the most against you.
How to handle.
If you’re still dealing with them, understanding that everyone has vulnerabilities and you’re not alone, genuine people raise each other up. They don’t use them to bring you down.
6. Reward punish.
Who they are, from the narcissist that showers you with attention to the narcissist that destroys you. When you reach breaking point, they’ll bring out the nice narcissist, so you doubt yourselves. When things aren’t going their way, envious narcissist comes back out to play, leaving you on edge, walking on eggshells, paying more attention to their happiness and less and less to your own—no longer knowing what makes you truly happy.
Playing nice or playing nasty that is who they are. They don’t change. They have a personality disorder with different sides to them; no matter how much they play nice, remember how much pain they cause and walk away.
Narcissists are the masters of negativity. Living in a toxic negative environment rubs off on you. Once in that cycle, your once happy, carefree state of mind is slowly driven out, left full of negative emotions towards yourself and those around to you. Leaving you questioning so much.
How to handle.
Focus on shifting those negative emotions out and finding the joy in life again.
They lie, lie after lie after lie. At first, you might think something is off as those lies appear, and you might question them. They twist it all around, leaving you doubting reality, doubting yourself and doubting those around you. How could this once loving, respectful person lie so much and hurt you so much? They downplay everything, leaving you questioning and blaming yourself, shattering your trust within yourself and those around you.
They will seek others to take their side, manipulating others and lying to others, smearing your name. They flip the stories, so you end up isolating yourself from the world, shattering your confidence within the world around you.
When you’ve been told for long enough, you’re not good enough, and you’ll not find any better and all the other narcissistic gaslighting phrases. Your mind starts to believe it, and you begin to act it.
We all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The narcissist does not have the final word on your self-worth. You do. Other people, in general, don’t. Others’ judgment of you is not for you. Be who you want to be. Treat others with respect, even if they’re not respectful to you. You’ll feel better for doing so.
Your dignity self-worth all starts within you and the inner confidence of your own abilities, achieving your own dreams. Once you build yourself up from the inside, those negative people will no longer be able to take it away. Yes, they might be able to affect you at the moment but shifting onto how you think quickly and being true to you. Learning how to be confident within yourself will not solve everything for you; life gets hard sometimes. Situations and problems hit. It will give you the ability to handle these better. Confidence is not about knowing everything. It’s about being able to control yourself, overcome obstacles and mistakes, learning along your life journey.
Being confident and trusting in who you are and your own abilities will help you in all areas of your life, from relationships to work. What you wear, how you talk to yourself and others and the friendships you make.
When you constantly doubt yourself and those around you, questioning your own abilities. You’ll focus on those doubts and not move forward. It’s not easy to build. However, you can do this.
How to reclaim your confidence?
It all starts with how you hold yourself when you’re telling yourself, “I’m shy.” You don’t speak out. When you tell yourself, “I can not.” You don’t. When you’re feeling sad or negative, you curl up, drop your shoulders, slump. Drop your head and lose your smile.
Purposefully holding your body right helps massively on the impact of your inner feeling. Power pose when alone in front of a mirror. Give it a try. It might make you laugh too. If you’re telling yourself, “ I feel silly.” You might, and you might just laugh. When laughing, notice how much better you feel within.
Even if you think you’ve nothing to smile about. Go and find something to smile about something that makes you happy, stand tall and put that smile on your face, notice your energy shift.
When trying new things, or handling difficult situations, don’t focus on what could go wrong. Focus on what will go right. When you focus your mind on what you want, you’re more likely to receive the outcome you want.
When meeting new people if you’re thinking. “No one will like me.” You’ll walk in different you’ll talk differently. You’ll avoid eye contact and sit in the corner if you walk in with. “Hey, I might meet some great new people.” Standing tall with a smile and a hello to everyone you meet, you’ll get that smile back and that hello back. You might strike up that conversation with great people, making that eye contact and connecting with others.
Find positive, uplifting, inspiring people to surround yourself with, and it also rubs off on you. Don’t settle for those who aren’t worthy of you.
When something knocks you off balance at the start of your day, and you say to yourself, “it’s going to be one of those days.” What usually happens? One bad thing after another.
When you get up, and everything’s going great, most often, you pick that momentum up and keep going. When a problem arises, do you let it knock you off balance and spend the rest of the day feeling negative? If you do, it’s time to recognise the problem for what it was. Can you do something about it? Yes? Then do it. No? Then go focus on something you can do.
Losing negative thoughts by finding things to be grateful for. It’s hard to feel emotions like such as pain, anger, hurt when you are finding things that make you feel happy. Yes, some negative emotions, problems need dealing with. Life’s hard at times. It gets rough at times. Dealing when it hits, then move consciously back into the positive emotions.
Look at and recognise how you are taking to yourself “what’s the point.” You’ll not find the point and do it. “What if this happens.” It will stop you from trying. “I’m not good enough.” You’ll not see your worth. “No one will love me.” You’ll not find your love. Instead, it needs to be “I must do it because.” And tell yourself the point, find the point, find your reason why. Look at the outcome if you succeed. Tell yourself, “I am good enough.” Until your mind believes it, look at things you’ve done in the past and achieved. “I’m learning to love me.” As you progress. “I love me.”
When you’re feeling down, we all have those down moments. It’s all about breaking the pattern of your thinking and bringing yourself out of them if you’re feeling alone or miss understood. Connection with those who do understand you, good online support groups are great for this to start, connecting with those who’ve lived it, you can dump the thoughts that aren’t severing you, and people will give you the acknowledgement that you’re not alone in how you think or feel, tips of what you can do. If you’re feeling down and like you can not do something, tell yourself you can, look at when you’ve done something similar in the past, so your mind knows it’s possible or look for someone who has done it before you to show your mind it’s possible.
Confidence is something we create within ourselves, and life gets hard at times. Even confident people aren’t confident all the time, you have the power within you to recognise when your thinking is working against you and consciously shift those thoughts to make them work for you.
When something happens that makes you feel those negative emotions, know this is normal. We all have moments, especially when narcissistic people come at you to bring you down, or life hits hard out of the blue when the thing we’re going great, deal with those emotions there and then at that moment. Then adjust your thoughts, find the things within your life to be grateful for, find the lesson. Sometimes it might be a few months later where you suddenly think, ” oh, if that hadn’t of happened, I wouldn’t be doing this.” Find reasons to be blessed, not depressed.
We’re human, we make errors, focus on the lesson, focus on the outcome, and our mind will find a way. Don’t be hard over mistakes. It’s not there to beat yourself up, and it’s there to learn.
Your past doesn’t define your future. It’s a learning curve retraining your own mind. It takes time and practice, and once you’ve achieved, you keep going. If you take a step back, go again. Think about the outcomes you want. Know why you want them, and you will always find a way.
Using your own mind to work for you, other people do not define who you are, situations, people you’ve been around might have shaped you, you have the power within to change you into who you want to be, how you want to feel, and how you think.
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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.
How to handle yourself around a narcissist.