Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse, by Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach.
When you are around a narcissistic person, they do all they can to keep control over you, most of us don’t see this happening until we are so far under their manipulative spell, that we have to crawl, stumble, walk and then run out of the situation we have ended up in. A narcissist can be anyone in your life, family members, friends, and in the workplace, no contact is always the best approach, yet this isn’t always possible, so the next best thing is, knowing the mind games they play, understanding why they do this, and that no matter what you try, they will not change their ways, and no matter how many times you change yours, often losing your sense of self along the way, you’ll never do right by them, not because of you, because they have a disorder, you’ll never be enough for them, and you don’t need to be, all you ever need to be is good enough for you, find and stay true to your authentic self, let them live how they want to live, leave them to it, and you live how you want to live for you, no it’s not easy, but once you start, you begin to realise it is possible, and it is a much better way to live your life. Some are extremely dangerous, and they are all manipulative, so as much as I’m all for consequences, and justice, sometimes the best way to handle these people is to leave them in the past and walk into your future without them, doing whatever it takes to keep yourself safe.
Knowing your boundaries and sticking to them, will help you, I’ll add a link to the video on boundaries at the end.
Narcissists want control over your life, they want to train you to make all your life choices through them, it’s a battle of wills between you wanting to please them and be you, while they want control over you, and when we don’t understand what they do, the narcissist often wins, yet when we know what’s happening, we have the power to take back control of our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings, by being ourselves, and giving them no reactions and no attention.
A narcissist wants you to
- Doubt yourself, by invalidating you.
- Blame yourself while they play the victim.
- To justify all your decisions through them.
- To sabotage you.
- To fear them.
- To play you off against others.
- To isolate you.
- To punish you.
- To control your finances.
Eleven narcissist manipulative mind games.
1. Gaslighting is an insidious form of emotional abuse, a tactic the narcissist uses to get the target to lose their exact version of reality, and you might have heard phrases such as, “That didn’t happen.” “You imagine things.” “You’re crazy.” And many more from the narcissist.
These phrases disable your self-trust, your ability to trust in others, and it slowly distorts your reality, events that did or did not happen, and who you indeed are. With prolonged gaslighting abuse, targets of the narcissist often are left with inner conflict and can potentially end up gaslighting themselves, as gaslighting causes cognitive dissonance, within the target’s mind.
How to recover from gaslighting.
Write things down, keep notes of everything you need to until you can see what the narcissist does to you, then observe their behaviour don’t absorb. Don’t look to the narcissist for any reality checks, answers or closure. Listen to your instincts, online support groups or trusted friends.
2. The nonsense conversation of crazy-making.
If you’d like a normal, calm, pleasant conversation or discussion, even a debate or to come to some form of compromise with a narcissist, if you don’t know what they are, your boundaries will be broken, you’ll have no clue as to what actually just happened, although if you question the narcissist, they’ll tell you exactly how to think, as they throw word salad your way and completely mess with your mind. They will gaslight, project, blame-shift, talk over you, shout at you, they’ll do all they can to send you feeling, confused and frustrated, distract you from the truth or the real conversation, and make you feel guilty or to blame. In their minds, if you don’t agree with them, you are wrong.
How to disarm.
No contact is the best method, don’t fight your enemy, they know all your weaknesses, and they will use them against you. Walk away from any argument, if you can not walk away, focus on something else and don’t let your ears take in their words, observe don’t absorb, if it is about children or anything they don’t agree on, or they don’t want to compromise on, do not let them take you off-topic, in a calm, rational voice stick to facts, only tell them once, if they don’t want to talk about it, that’s their choice, you also have the opportunity not to discuss what they are dragging you into, you don’t have to take part in every argument you are invited to. Retreat, rethink and only respond if needed. Do not break your boundaries, as when they’ve taken down one, and they will come after them all.
3. Projection. This is the narcissist defence mechanism not to take responsibility for their actions, to place their toxic negative, hurtful and sometimes dangerous actions onto someone else, to avoid accountability and not accept responsibility. They are unwilling and often unable to ever see themselves as the problem, whatever they do wrong, someone else always made them do it. They will not acknowledge their faults, flaws or wrongdoings. Instead of admitting or apologising or working on their inner selves, they’ed prefer to pass it all over onto someone else. They will blame shift everything onto other people. The only time they will apologise is when they believe it will meet a need of their own, and is often done by blaming the other party. “If you’d have done this I wouldn’t have done that.” Or ” because you didn’t let me, I had to do it.” They will change the subject on you to avoid any responsibility for their actions.
How to disarm.
Don’t project your good caring, empathetic nature into them, as they will only ever take you further under, and you can not help them, you can help yourself. Don’t listen to their toxic words observe don’t absorb; they are admitting their wrongdoings with what they are trying to blame you for, the closest you’ll get to the truth from a narcissist, is the things they accuse you of, or what they are accusing others of, If possible, if you can just cut all ties with them and go no contact.
4. Changing the goalposts and always nitpicking at you. While there is nothing wrong with constructive criticism, a narcissist will only ever give destructive criticism, sometimes disguised as constructive. Narcissistic people are extremely jealous and envious of those around them; they do not want people to better themselves; they want you to fail. They will pull people down, nitpick and scapegoat others, anything you do well at; they will find a way to take credit for. Or drag you down over it. They will also raise the goalposts, every time you believe you’ve got it all worked out, and life’s right again, they’ll will up the ante, they will make sure by the time they’ve finished with you, you’re an empty shell of your former self, lacking in self-work, self-confidence, self-respect. Instead of helping you with insecurities and weaknesses, they will rip them all wide open and watch you bleed out. You will bend over backwards to help and please them, and they will continue their hideous manipulation.
How to disarm.
If someone doesn’t want to help bring out the best in you, then they are not worthy of you, let them go, leave them in the past. Find good people who love you for who you are, change your Limiting Beliefs and start to believe in yourself.
5. Overt and Covert threats due to their false sense of entitlement and that they think they are above all others. They will make unreasonable demands of you, and if you don’t conform, they, through the silent treatment, gaslighting and many more manipulative tactics, will punish you. They will threaten to punish you, Overts are more outspoken. They’ll say things more like. “You’ll lose your home and children a Covert would say. ” how do you think you’ll manage without me.” All to place fear and doubts in your mind.
How to disarm. Keep a diary of any threats, call the authorities to build up a picture of the abuse.
6. Name-calling, they do this to fill you with self-doubt, insecurities, alter your beliefs, opinions and reality. Things like ” are you going to wear that.” The Covert way or “you look fat/ far to thin in that.” The Overts way. Due to their real lack of self-worth and sense of entitlement, they will call you “idiot, stupid, insecure, sensitive.” Anything they can to break you down.
How to disarm. Don’t play the game; remember it’s a reflection of who they are, not who you are. I’m all for don’t judge others, you’ve not lived their life, yet if someone wants to belittle others, make the judgment that they are toxic, turn your ears off, know yourself so well, that others can no longer use you against you, then walk the other way.
7. Lovebomb, devalue, discard, hoover. At the start they will mirror everything about you, come across as your perfect soulmate, then they will slowly take you down, to just up and leave, when you think you can not take any more they swoop back in playing all nice to sweep you off your feet again, this is a pattern they will repeat, while people who don’t see who they genuinely allow them to do so.
How to disarm. When you meet someone who’s taking things way to fast and wanting to move in, watch their reactions when you say no, do they accept it or keep coming at you until you give in. The only way to stops the cycle is to get out and stay out. No contact is the best thing you can do.
8. Smear campaigns and stalking, when a narcissistic person can no longer control you, or control who you are yourself, they will do their best to control how others see you, through playing the victim or playing the hero, they will go all out to bring you down, they also might stalk you in order to put fear in your mind, and so you’re always living on edge.
How to disarm. Stay mindful, do not react to their games, this is hard to start, it is human nature to want to defend yourself, by defending yourselves you are playing straight into their hands. Be prepared when you don’t play their games they will up their games, call authorities over any stalking issues, check your phone and car for tracking devices, stay alert but keep living your life for you.
9. Appealing to your emotions. Instead of using any form of logic, they will appeal to your fear, guilt, loyalty, and caring side, a narcissist is lacking in emotional empathy, so they can not feel how someone might feel, yet they often have cognitive empathy, meaning that they can think empathetically and use your caring side against you. Whatever the situation requires them to do, it’s always to meet their own need at that time. They will also use over the top pity plays on you. Things like. “My ex cheated on me, and I know how it feels so I’d never do that to you.” Or. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Then the. “After everything, I’ve done for you, and you’ll not do this one thing for me.”
How to disarm. Listen to your instincts; if something doesn’t feel right, most likely, it’s not. Remove all guilt from your past let it go, so it doesn’t eat into your future.
10. Pressure. “Everyone else is doing it. My ex used to let me, my friend’s partner lets them.” “You’re brother/sister would.” Again making you feel guilty or inadequate, to get you to break down your boundaries.
How to disarm. Remember first the others probably aren’t, and even if they are or did, they are not you, you are entitled to live your life your way, exactly how you want to, you need a million ways to say no, and once you’ve said it, stick to that no. You do not need to explain or even continue the conversation.
11. False compromise. If they look like they’re going to meet you halfway, think again, so if pay for a holiday when they say they’ll pay you half, they might not pay at all once paid, or they might offer 25% and justify with something they’ve done for you. Or something you haven’t done as to why they shouldn’t pay any more.
How to disarm.
Do not loan people money who don’t pay you back, learn after the first time, don’t give others the benefit of the doubt, people can make a genuine mistake and do so more than once, they will apologise sincerely, and they will have to give and take Abilities within good people.
Stay strong, keep learning, keep working on you, keep healing and keep growing.
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