What is a narcissist enabler?
Enablers are people who will help the narcissist achieve their aim. They will most often unwittingly defend the narcissist, support the narcissist, help the narcissist. An enabler is a person the narcissist recruits to their side. They might not always agree with or defend the narcissist, yet they put up with their behaviour or stick up for them and even bail them out. People usually unwittingly become enablers to the narcissist and often don’t typically have a malicious motive. They can genuinely think they are doing the right thing by the narcissist or that they are trying to keeping the peace, some can become enablers out of fear the narcissist has instilled into them if they don’t conform to the narcissist’s demands, so they have turned to the survival mechanism fawn, meaning they will go along with what the narcissist says, for fear of what would happen to them if they didn’t. Others often believe the narcissists lies and think they’re helping the narcissist when, in reality, they are enabling the narcissist to do their worst. Then we have the narcissists family members who will do anything to protect their family, they either believe the narcissist to be innocent, or they are narcissistic themselves and running in a pack in order to protect the family name.
The narcissist can basically throw one of their temper tantrums, and enablers give in. The narcissist learns they can keep power and control over others. When people forgive them for anything that they do, a narcissist learns they can keep doing it. When people stand up to a narcissist and stop accepting their bad behaviour, they throw even bigger tantrums as they believe they are above all others and should be allowed to behave as they please, regardless of the effects it has on those around them as they don’t have the empathy to care, or put themselves in another’s shoe to understand how it makes someone else feel, they only care about themselves and getting their needs met.
When a narcissist never receives any consequences, they believe they can continue to do as they please.
You can not give what you do not have when an enabler does not have facts and evidence of the truth. They can not make an accurate judgement of the situation they are in.
When a narcissist has a lack in empathy for others, they simply can not care for the pain or suffering they inflict on those around them. The Narcissist will bait, guilt-trip, Pitty play, threaten, beg, distort the truth and triangulate, amongst other manipulative methods, to get those around them to conform to their demands.
Unfortunately, most of us that have been entangled with a narcissist have at some point been an enabler, mostly because narcissism is still a very hidden personality disorder from society. Although the good news is awareness is growing daily. As you are all too aware, not knowing the reality, for seeing the good in others and believing their pity plays, for wanting to help others, to become so weak and so scared of them, most of us have enabled them at some point during the relationship, whether that was a parent, friend, coworker, siblings or partner.
A narcissist enabler is someone who doesn’t have the life skills, the awareness, or the power within themselves (often because the narcissist has stripped all reality from them.) to escape so goes into the natural human survival mode of fawn, meaning they cope by just giving the narcissist what they want, for fear of what would happen to them if they didn’t.
You have the strength and power within you to break free and live a happy life. You can do it, those who have escaped already, be proud you’re amazing. It’s not easy, but as you know, it’s worth it.
When you don’t know about narcissism, it’s invisible to you. Therefore you do what you believe is right at that time. Once out, you become to realise the narcissist’s friends, family and a new partner often can not even see it or understand it, and to be fair, those who have escaped them did not see it for a long time. Therefore we can not judge those close to the narcissist who either can not see it or refuse to view it.
On the outside, most narcissistic people can talk the talk. They can project, blame shift and gaslight their way out of so many situations, sometimes with help from those who don’t understand what’s happening to them.
They come to you wrapped beautifully, promise you all your dreams, yet on the inside, they are fundamentally broken and can only deliver a living nightmare.
They are a bully who intimidates or bribes those around them and is all too often allowed to roam freely, invisible to who they indeed are to those around them.
Some friends and family might never criticise the narcissist, so the narcissist never shows their true colours to that person.
A narcissist will control and punish to win.
While the narcissist gets away with this, others don’t see, as they control so subtly and manipulatively those around often don’t know what is genuinely happening and usually believe they are to blame for the narcissist’s behaviour, with the narcissist’s punishment through silent treatment and other manipulation, they weaken their targets defence system, often the target gives in, and the narcissist wins for the cycle to repeat.
Everything will be ok while the narcissist is winning and keeping control. Only as you already know, if you’ve been around a narcissist, it has detrimental effects on your mental, emotional, physical and financial health. You can never honestly know how to keep them happy, for they themselves don’t know.
Being an enabler can make you powerless to the narcissists, which is shocking as with your caring qualities in truth, you are much stronger than the narcissist,
The narcissist gaslights those around them into a trance to conform to the narcissist’s demands, often leaving those around them with a feeling of guilt when they wake from the trance, remember if you did anything, you most often did what you believed to be right at that time, with good intentions.
If the narcissist’s enabler is their partner, they live in a world of loneliness, hazy memories, feeling crazy, physical illness and powerlessness. The facilitator lives in a world of turmoil with overwhelming emotions that are heightened the longer they are around the narcissist, guilt, shame, paranoia, depression, anger, frustration and fear, to name a few.
An enabler supports the narcissist’s false reality by.
- Accepting the narcissist version of reality.
- Not questioning the narcissist through self-doubt or fear the narcissist has instilled.
- Not being able to stand up for themselves.
- Hiding or cleaning up after the narcissist’s destruction.
- Acting as an apologist for narcissist’s behaviour.
- Defending the narcissist.
- Lying for the narcissist.
A narcissists enabler can be a parent, a child, a partner, a friend, a coworker, a sibling. People become enablers for different reasons. Often a narcissist will brainwash people to not take care of themselves and put all the narcissists needs first because the enablers end up so full of self-doubt, fear, to just not knowing reality. Most people become enablers over time without realising what’s happening to them.
Parents, partners, children etc., are brainwashed into believing the narcissist. Often the narcissist’s targets are left believing.
- I’ve made them act this way.
- If I’d compromise more.
- If I’d trust more.
- If I wasn’t sensitive, insecure, needy, demanding.
- They love us deep down.
- They didn’t mean to do it.
- Relationships have their ups and downs.
- If I was a better person.
- I need to stop being hurt and angry and become more loving.
And so many more.
Enablers might have grown up with narcissistic parents, so they believe their partner’s behaviour is normal and accept things as normal that they should never have accepted. Parents of narcissists and partners might also believe within them self’s they are the only ones who truly understand the narcissist and can help them. You can not help them, and you can help them.
Even when partners wake from the brainwashing trance, the narcissist put them under they stay, believing there is no way out. There is always a way out.
- Having no self-confidence or self-worth.
- Isolated from friends and family.
- No financial resources.
- Threats to take them home and the children.
Others have faced these fears and safely got out and rebuilt their lives into a much happier and calmer way to live.
Take those baby steps, and you can, and you will get out. Not only will you get out, you will recover and heal.
What can you do if you’re still with a narcissist? Safely get out. Yes, if someone mistreats you, you don’t have to stay just because it’s your husband, wife, brother, sister or parent. Staying in only confirming to the narcissist they can treat you as badly as they want, and you’ll put up with it.
There is guilt surrounding walking away from narcissists, and a narcissists are energy-draining vampires that will suck your life away from you. They only take and take more and more from you. They are not you’re a problem. You can not help them; you can only help you. Feel the guilt, understanding that you might not like it, know it needs to be done, guilt will eat you up, you need to let it go, releasing the guilt release so much, let it go.
If you’re out and their enablers are covering for them, understand their enablers are not the problem and don’t understand the situation they are in, remove them from your life, block and delete on all forms of contact not only the narcissist but also their enablers.
With guilt, you’ve got to realise, yes, that’s not who you are or want to be, yet it’s a must for your own sanity, and you’ve got to let that guilt go.
Bring your focus into the present, leave the past behind, hold your head high and build on new dreams for yourself. You can, and you will. Believe in yourself.
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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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