If you’re stuck in a relationship with an abusive person, whoever they are in your life, and they keep promising to change. As most people do, you cling onto the hope they will change because of those intermittent reinforcements of their idealisation stages and their future faking. Or you’ve got out, and because you are possibly trauma bonded, you want them back. You can become trauma bonded to an ex-partner, friends, parents, etc. When they come back with the hoover, all the false promises of change, you might think they’re not that bad?. Here are a few reasons to remind you why you’ll never be able to make it work with a narcissist.
Nothing about their idealisation stage is real; it’s all an illusion, it’s all manipulation. It’s all to hook you in and keep you trapped. They treat you better than anyone has ever treated you, everything is perfect, and you believe you’ve met the one, your one true love, your soulmate, and you’re living the fairy tale dream. Unfortunately, none of that is real. They’ve mirrored everything about you, all your loves, all your hates, you fell in love with you, and you can leave the narcissist be, rebuild yourself and fall in love with you again.
Narcissists lead to believe they have learned from their behaviour know they have hurt you. They shall be kinder towards you. Unfortunately, whenever they come playing nice, it’s only because they want something from you.
With parents, neighbours, friends, people in your workplace, or your child’s narcissistic parent, depending on how toxic they are, how well you know yourself, you can try using level up, limited contact, grey rock, when they act nice to the attention, ( not too much.) when they are spitefully towards you provide them with nothing other than Grey Rock.
A narcissist learns everything they can about you and feeds you a false reality, letting you see and believe everything you want to see and believe. They use all your strengths, insecurities and vulnerabilities against you. You have to know yourself so well that they can no longer use you against you.
Narcissistic people have two faces the admiration face, when they treat you so well, to gain positive attention from you, and you live that reality when they treat you well. Yet, they have the envious face, when they are jealous of you, and treat you so wrong, invalidate you, devalue you, to put you down, to sabotage you, hurt you, stop you from achieving, stop you from living your life for you, this is who they are, just because someone can treat you right one minute doesn’t entitle them to treat you wrong the next. As hard as it is to start, you don’t have to put up with their hurtful, toxic behaviours towards you.
As soon as they believe they’ve got you hooked enough, you’ll do anything to keep them happy. They change, like nothing you do will ever be good enough. You might get something right for a day, a week or a month, then they’ll change the rules on you, and you’ll get it oh so wrong again. You can not keep a narcissist happy. They cannot make themselves happy. When you try time and time again to get it right, to keep them happy, your mental and physical health deteriorates, and you get sick and tired.
While trying to please them, with all their manipulation and gaslighting, you slowly lose who you are, your boundaries, your self worth, your dignity and your respect. You start walking on eggshells, blaming yourself through the words that the narcissist has drip-fed your mind, yet because you think it’s your fault. You want the person you met back. You wish your parents would be proud of you, an easy life at work. You feel that you can not walk away from that childhood friend. You try time and time again to please them. They’ll even bring that idealisation stage back in for a while to keep you further confused while they slowly devalue you. Every time you think you’ve worked it out, they change the game again.
Yet, you still don’t give up. You try and try and try, as though all the manipulation and gaslighting you believe within yourself you are at fault, even though by now your instincts are most likely screaming at you, as you don’t know what they are saying, your mind overrides them. Still, your mind is talking to you how the narcissist has programmed you to speak to yourself. You may fear them or believe you’re worthless and don’t deserve any better. You think no one will ever love you, fear of being alone, fear of judgment from others, and that you need to try harder.
Whatever you do, nothing is good enough. You feel like your getting depressed and going crazy. You may feel like you don’t deserve them and that no one else will ever care about you or love you as they do, that it’s all your fault they’re not giving you any attention, even tears of pain, heartache and desperation, they just seem to stand almost smirking at you, not that you notice at the time. They’ll be telling you. “It’s your fault, and you need to sort yourself out.” They may even get you to the doctors for antidepressants, and this is only so they can sink you further into depths of despair.
Your parents are never truly happy for you, always chipping away at something you have or haven’t done, you’re not as successful as they want, you’re not doing the job they wanted you to do, you don’t help them enough, and no matter what you do you feel like you’ve failed them, making you feel a failure within yourself when what you need to do is what makes you happy, the career you want for you, regardless of what they think or say about you.
One minute they will treat you better than anyone ever had and the next worse than anyone ever has, leaving you unsure as to where you stand with your parents or your friends, leaving you wanting those good times, feeling so alone at times while in the relationship, leaving you hurt and confused. They brought you back up to send you crashing back down, releasing so many natural hormone chemicals into your body. When you do break free, you are then faced with weaning yourself off all those chemicals. All those silent treatments, disappearing acts, hurtful actions towards you that they most likely gaslighted and told you, ” If you hadn’t.” It leaves you with self-doubt. Those were never your fault. Slowly but surely, they pick you apart piece by piece. You’re lost in a maze, as they’ve most likely isolated you from other friends and family, the only person you have to turn to is them, and as they drip-feed, you more false reality of “That didn’t happen.” And “if only you’d do this.” You get further and further lost.
They change the games on you, up their manipulative games on your time and time again, yet there is no rule to these games. There’s only one winner in a narcissistic relationship, and that is the narcissist. They promise to do something, then don’t deliver, gaslighting you with phrases like. “I never said that.” They make plans without you, then saying to you. “I told you last week.” Even though they didn’t, if you question them, it’ll be. “You’re losing your memory.” Or “you’re losing your mind.” They’ll ruin holidays, birthdays, and Christmas. And special occasions or any event where they are not the centre of attention, they place you into an unsettled state of mind. They’ll go all happy and full of life, making you look grumpy and crazy, to help with their smear campaign against you when they are getting ready to discard you for someone new, ( a narcissist can do this with new partners, a new friend or idealisation of an old friend, in the workplace, parents playing siblings or other family members off against each other.) When that someone new isn’t working how they wanted, they’ll swoop back in with the hoover and false promises, and as you’ve not released all the trauma bond, you are grateful they’ve come to make amends, and the cycle begins again. The only way to break it is to get out and stay out, with no contact or grey rock.
Nothing will ever change; they will not be held accountable and do not see themselves as the problem; they are stuck with who they are. They either don’t know what they are and see no reason to change, or they know and still don’t believe they have to change. If they know what they are or not, change for them is not an option as they think they’re always right. They believe it works for them as they have to keep power and control over all others. If they can not do it directly, they’ll do it indirectly. Positive or negative attention they do not mind. Attention is attention. A relationship with a narcissist will only ever sink you. With some, you need to get out and stay out safely, some are physically violent, and some are dangerous. Others are mentally violent, and once you know who you are and no longer take part in their mind games that you didn’t even know you were in, until years down the line, you can go for limited contact, whatever that limited is for you.
I always recommend no contact with these people, realistically if they were a partner. You had no children, this is easier to do, yet a friend you might bump into when you see other good friends, a parent or sibling you might see at a family event, or those work colleagues that just seem to have it on for you, you have children with them, no contact isn’t always entirely realistic.
When no contact isn’t always going to work for you, learn, know and stick to your boundaries. No means no.
As well as learning what you’re dealing with, learning about yourself and what you want from life also helps you navigate your way through life and yourself around toxic people.
Learn to focus your mind on what it is you do want from your life.
As much as you try to move away from pain, your mind may still be focused on it, meaning your emotions will be too.
Humans are designed to survive at all costs. Therefore you will focus on the pain to find subconscious coping methods for your fight for survival. Human minds are more interested in survival than they are in your happiness. So your mind is always on the lookout for danger.
The narcissist caused you lots of pain through manipulation, words and possibly physical violence, and now your brain is focused on them, confusing you even more.
If your subconscious is filling your mind with negativity, it’ll take you there, So now you need to take control of your mind and consciously think positive thoughts, visualise them in your mind or looking at old photos. You’ll subconsciously take yourself there, looking at new things you want from your life and consciously take yourself there, feel the emotions like you’ve already achieved these new dreams until you train your subconscious to find a way to get there.
Undoing your subconscious programming takes work, yet that work is worth it. Losing your limiting beliefs that are stuck in your subconscious takes practice, pulling these all up and out and changing the way you talk to yourself from “I can not.” To “I can.” Transforming “I’m not good enough.” To “I am.” You have to consciously pick yourself up on the negative self-talk and reprogram what’s been programmed into you over a long period of time. It’s going to feel uncomfortable. Just like learning anything new, mistakes will be made, don’t beat yourself up over them. Instead, recognise, learn and grow from those mistakes.
Turn you thinking from “I have a problem.” To “I have a challenge.” Then find the solution to that challenge.
Write down your goals, and start taking action in achieving them. Focus your time and energy into putting positive affirmations into your mind, consciously removing any negative ones.
It’s time to reprogram your own mindset, into a positive, happy person, to where you want to be. We are allowed off days, just deal with them and move past them. Start working on your mind and your future today.
Repeatedly telling yourself what it is you want, then going out and getting it for you.
What you resist persists. What you focus on grows stronger, so keep those positive thoughts. Great things can happen for you. Only you have to action them.
So start thinking about what you do want from life, then go to work on achieving it.
Anything is possible if you can see someone else doing something, you can do that too if you want to.
The trauma bond.
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Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
The narcissist illusion.
Whey they always think they are right.