What is the narcissist’s isolation?
Insolation. The state of being in a place or feeling alone leading to feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety.
Narcissistic people isolate you from others, so they have more control over you, as you only have them left to go to for reality checks. They will invalidate your thoughts, feelings and efforts, so you feel unworthy, so you never feel enough, and become unable to trust in others with a narcissist’s many manipulation tactics, including triangulation, where they play people off against each other to divide and conquer, they will put you down, so you work harder to please them, they will cause arguments, so you walk around on eggshells trying your personal best not to set them off. They do it so the narcissist is the only person you can turn to for support, not understanding they are the ones trying to destroy you.
Narcissists use withholding any emotional support and a ton of criticism, followed by no emotional support; when you study narcissism, you’ll notice this pattern in almost everything, if not everything they do. You are a hostage, and you need to find a way out. Or if you’re out, you need to stay out.
Even if they don’t move you miles away and isolate you from support, they’ll put you in a state of emotional and phycological isolation, where you daren’t speak out for so many fears, from sounding stupid to being misunderstood, overthinking to doubting reality from all the cognitive dissonance that occurs while in a narcissistic relationship.
When you’ve been isolated from friends and family as they blamed your parents or your friends, even your children from previous relationships, for the problems in your relationship. At the same time, in that idealisation stage, they convinced you to move miles away from those who love you. When they have done this, and you’ve got no support, they can manipulate further with the silent treatments and many more controlling mind games.
Being denied emotional support when you so desperately need it feels like your soul is dying.
A narcissist can and will take anyone down, no matter how intelligent you are; they mirror you and find out all they can about you so that further into the relationship, they can use you against you, often leaving you so full of self-doubt and self-blame, drained emotionally, mentally and physically feeling confused. Like you’re going crazy, full of anxiety, anger and pain, they will take your job, home, bank accounts, your children; they will take all they can from you down to who you are. They will leave you as broken as they possibly can.
Why do they do this? To gain control so they can exploit people to get their own needs met. They lack the empathy to care for those they hurt. They feel entitled to do as they please because they have a disorder, the narcissist personality disorder. It’s who they are. You can not change them. They often lack in cognitive reflection skills, so they don’t see within themselves the mistakes they’ve made. Instead, they will provoke others to make those around them react, so they can blame them and use their reactions in their smear campaign against them; they will invalidate you, to feel better within themselves, they play the victim to gain sympathy and attention from those around them. When the narcissist views someone as doing better than them, they’ll not look for ways to better themselves. Instead, their envious face will come out, and they’ll seek to destroy those who go against them or have more than them.
Anything a narcissist does is for themselves and their gains only.
They know how to hook you in the first place; they see your empathy and learn about your vulnerability; if you’re compassionate, trusting and full of compassion, they will idealise you, Mirror you, plan a fake future with you, making you feel like you’ve met your soulmate, like life, couldn’t get better, so whenever things aren’t going great, as they’ll have passed the blame onto you, you think your the one who needs to change to please them, fawning to their toxic behaviour and walking on eggshells around them, then when you do as they say. They’ll offer those intermittent play nice, so you’re going to always live in hope, wanting to get those good back; every time they drag you through the bad, those highs release dopamine, which is highly addictive and lows, those lows release cortisol to deal with the stress, this causes a chemical bond with the narcissism, you become trauma bonded with them.
Parents will raise you up to drop you low; like any other narcissist, they will pity play and guilt trip. Hence, you conform to their demands, again often offering those intermittent plays of being nice to suck you back in, or using covert ways, so you’re not sure what is genuinely happening; even though you might feel uncomfortable as a young child, it’s all you know, so you can not see clearly that there are much happier ways to live, as they are parents we accept things as normal that we should have never accepted.
No matter what you do for the narcissist, nothing will ever be good enough. They really loved that hot pot you made for them last week, yet every time you’ve made it since something has been wrong with it, the meat was too chewy, the veg too hard, the potatoes not soft enough, then too soft.
How do they isolate?
Getting you to move.
So many plan a fake future with us and try to get us to move miles away from any support network, only once we arrive, those plans and dreams we made with the narcissist turn into our biggest nightmare, right under our nose without us even knowing, until we’re in so deep, we are in the fight of our lives to get back to safety.
Triangulation is another one of the narcissist’s manipulative tactics. To make us feel guilty to Coercive Control us into doing something we wouldn’t normally do, breaking down our Boundaries, to make us feel sorry for the narcissist and help them achieve something or get one over on someone, to drive a wedge between those people who would be there to help and support us, they can even gain our own friends and family as their supporters, Enablers and Flying Monkeys for the narcissist, by playing people off against each other, to divide and conquer, to play the puppet master and isolate us from help.
Through triangulation, they get others to doubt each other, to fight each other over the narcissist, and they gaslight people into doubting themselves and shattering people’s self-worth. When they triangulate, people often don’t even know what’s happening, and most of the time, neither party knows the truth.
The takedown who we are little by little. Our trust within ourselves and our own thoughts, feelings and actions, as well as our trust in others, so we no longer know who we can safely turn to. The extent of the manipulation and lies they do to us, we lose our self-trust, we lose trust in others, our trust and faith in humanity, not sure who would believe us, as it all sounds so unbelievable, as who would do this to another? Narcissistic people, that’s who. Questioning and over analysing anything and everything, others’ motive towards us, including our own motives. In a state of hypervigilance throughout the devaluation and after the discard with all the games they throw our way, if the narcissist hasn’t already isolated us, we very often isolate ourselves.
Often throughout the devaluation stage. When our thoughts, feelings, opinions, weight, shape, Job, and relationships it can be severe as, everything about who we are and what we do is rejected, ignored, criticised and judged by the narcissist again. Hence, we doubt who you are and question if we are enough, to the extent we become grateful to have the narcissist, and as a narcissist will program our subconscious to believe, we genuinely think, “who would have us?”
They intimidate us in so many ways, from the threat of “who’d believe you.” To threats of telling people things about us that you don’t want others to know, even releasing photos we don’t want others to see. By isolation, by destroying our personal property or hiding passports, giving us no access to finances, or when driving in a car so there is no way out for us. Taking us to isolated places, cutting us off from friends and family, making sure we have no support, taking our phones off us, and throwing them out of the window.
Financial abuse is one of the most powerful ways to keep control over others and to keep us trapped in a toxic relationship. Mostly it happens in a romantic relationship; however, narcissistic parents, children and bosses can use financial abuse against you. 98% of abusive relationships have financial abuse, especially when children are involved.
What do they isolate you from?
Friends, family and support.
With their pity plays, guilt trips, triangulation and financial abuse, even down to the relationship’s idealisation stage, a narcissist will slowly try to cut us off from our friends, family and support.
Career, Further education.
Narcissists can make it increasingly difficult for us to work or study; they might sabotage child care, our finances to study, and our arrangements to get to work. They may even claim they need you at home more and find ways to guilt-trip you. ”If you cared about me.” down to keeping us up or waking us in the night, so we become too exhausted to work. Through their invalidation of us, so we doubt if we are even capable of studying.
Narcissists use manipulative threats over money, so if we let them know, we are leaving. You may hear. “ You’ll not be able to afford to take care of the children, so I’ll have to take custody.” So we fear leaving and doubt our abilities to take care of ourselves and our children.
They control money to stop us from visiting friends, to stop us from going out because they can no longer afford to. They use arguments, either before we go or after we return, to stop us from going out for fear of reactions, isolating us further from support.
Without friends or family to turn to, living away from the place you’re used to, feeling like you’re going crazy, lack of finances, having your every move and social media stalked, it can feel incredibly lonely with nowhere to turn to other than the narcissist, and that’s the narcissist’s intention with isolation to make you feel there is no way out, there is always a way out, don’t let them fool you.
Our hopes and dreams. At the start of the idealisation, they pretend to love all that we do, making false promises to fulfil all those dreams with our soul mate. Then during devaluation, they slowly take all our dreams, hobbies, passions and hopes away from us. Most of us are left with nothing, an empty shell of our former self, full of self-doubt, fear and anxiety to get up and go again, with no idea as to who we are.
Once they have control over our friends so we no longer have people to go out with, once they have control over our finances so we can no longer afford to go out, they’ll accuse you of cheating with someone from your running group, they put the hobby down, that they loved in the idealisation stage, they’ll suddenly comment on how ”silly .” it is. Or complain it takes up to much of your time, so you feel guilty for going.
They might claim they don’t use social media as they prefer to live in the real world, make false accusations about their friends on your Facebook, want all your passwords etc., not because, as a couple,” you don’t need secrets.”
It’s not easy to see while we live it; in fact, while we live it, we don’t see it. Only once out when those light bulb moments hit one after the other, and they can be difficult to process, but we have to process them to leave our past behind and use our present to focus on our happier future, only when those light bulb moments hit, or we try to explain it to those around us do we begin to see the extent of the situation we were once in.
Be it parents, friends, partners or bosses, that is who they are. You can not help them; you can, however, help yourself and break free.
You need to detach from the narcissist, heal and find that everything has a silver lining.
You can, and you will recover; it starts from within, starts believing, then starts doing, then seeing you are achieving.
You can leave that narcissist behind, you can find yourself again, you can find your self-love, self-respect, self-worth, standards, values, boundaries, passions and dreams, and you can move forward to an amazing, incredible new life.￼
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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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A relationship with a narcissist.
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