How narcissists manipulate, so you fear them, and how to step over your fears.
A healthy fear of rational things is good to protect us, but use that fear to protect yourself the right way, never to keep you stuck in a place you shouldn’t be.
Fear is a powerful and natural human emotion, caused by the real or perceived threat of harm, danger, pain or threat.
Fear changes our behaviour such as taking flight, fleeing from the situation, or fawning, trying to please others to avoid confrontation, freeze, not moving forwards due to past events.
A narcissist gets you to fear them through many manipulative tactics, meaning you will conform to their demands out of fear. With subtle threats, that make you wonder if it’s a real threat? If they’re messing around? If they will act on this threat or leave it be? They do this on purpose, to confuse you, so you are worried about the threat. Still, at the same time, you don’t want to make a fuss, or you also fear if you speak out to the narcissist for fear of reactions, or speak out to other people, for fear they would not believe you, for fear they’d think you’re stupid, you might think you’re overreacting, as the narcissist will gaslight by downplaying their toxic behaviour and telling you, “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re overeating.” or things like “You are imagining things.” Or they say things like ”What would your parents say, what would they think of you.” You become fearful of those around you finding out.
You are not overacting any threat should be taken seriously, and you do not imagine things if it happened it happened.
The types of intimidation they use so we fear them.
1. Isolation, things like using triangulation, so they are cutting you off from friends and family, making sure you have no support, taking your phone off you. Destroying your personal property or hiding passports, giving you no access to finances, or when driving in a car, they could start an argument, start threatening. Hence, there is no way out for you making it all the scarier. Taking you to isolated places
2. Causing arguments or drama, accusing you of not caring about them, keeping you busy, so you’re tired and drained, often creating arguments before you go out, accusing you of things you’re not doing, or when you get home. Hence, you begin to dread going out for fear of those consequences when you return, even going out with friends can cause anxiety as they might not overtly argue, they might continuously message while your there, they might want you to put you location setting on, they’ll explain theses away with “It’s because I care, I need to know you’re safe and you’re ok.” Or something similar. Then if we don’t do it or respond to those messages, they can guilt-trip us once home, so we feel bad. The next time we go out, we feel uncomfortable having to message them. Slowly the discomfort of letting friends down, losing out hobbies becomes less comfortable than just no longer making plans and just staying in, without realising that comfort zone is what’s causing us so much pain, we fear going out, we fear staying in, we begin to shut down, and the narcissist furthers their control.
3. Standing over you, looking down at you, or getting in your face, breaking things, smashing televisions, punching walls and doors, raising their voice, to get you to fear them. Covert threats of. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Or ” How will you afford to live without me.” Or overt threats like ” I’ll make you pay.” Or the “I will.” Followed with some form of punishment. “Things like. “You’ll never see the children again.” Or ” You’ll have nothing without me.” ”Who would believe you?” To stop you from doing something or leaving. Threatening to harm family members, pets so you fawn and give in to their demands for fear of what could happen to loved ones, the threat of not being able to find work when it comes to bosses with things like ”I’ll make sure no one employs you.” Pity plays of “I’ve got nothing without you.” So you go and help your parents out, don’t leave your partner. Again people not on the disorder can say these things. Usually, because they are, trauma bonded or genuinely believe they would have nothing without the narcissist. A narcissist says it to guilt-trip those around them into doing what the narcissist wants.
4. Restraining you, hiding keys. blocking doorways, locking doors, throwing your phone out of the window, taking your car, physically holding you back, often claiming “It’s in your best interest.” Anything to cause you to feel trapped with no escape, threats of “I’ll tell everyone you’ve done this.” Often using your biggest secrets against you, so you conform to the narcissist’s demands for fear of others knowing things you don’t want them to, causing you to feel trapped with no choice but to do as the narcissist says.
5. Aggression. There are many types of aggression they may use. Spitting, slapping, pushing past you, shoving, playfully sitting on you yet you’ve requested them to stop as they are hurting you, so they do it all the more, saying “You’re boring.” Or “It’s only a game.” Only it’s not a game to them, and it’s causing you pain, it is them trying to let you know they are strong, so you fear them. Things like making you feel guilty over saying no to sex and trying to guilt-trip you, or they may sulk to break down your boundaries and get you to change your mind. Tickling you but to the point it causes pain, and you know they are not playing. Hitting you with something, throwing things at you, hair pulling. Strangling, kicking, biting, burning, force-feeding or denying you the right to eat, shaking you, pinching you, punching you and many more. They will always find a way to justify their behaviour. It’ll not be a case of a person pushed to their limits, who understands this is not an excuse to hurt another, knows the error of their ways feels guilty and will never do it again, or a person throwing things to defend themselves (reactive abuse.) The Narcissist will find a way to twist all the blame onto you and see no fault in their own behaviour.
6. As those close to the narcissist become used to the behaviour and gain a level of tolerance to the abuse, the narcissist can recognise that if you haven’t fawned to their demands (fawn meaning complying to what they ask of you, walking on eggshells around them to protect yourself from further harm.), some will escalate their intimidation to verbal threats of killing you or your loved ones, physical violence becoming more regular often with the “If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t.” And “who would believe you, you’re crazy. ”
Threats should always be taken seriously, always call the police and still find a safe way out.
Living under constant fear with a narcissist no matter what the extent, no matter who it was, parents, siblings, friends, bosses, partner, can have many lasting effects if we don’t handle our fears, from the fear of what they may do, the fear to be ourselves due to the constant criticism and put-downs, the fear of speaking to others for fear of reaction as our subconscious has been trained, we can become scared of talking to others, or when we try those words just don’t come out, fear applying for that job, painting that picture, taking that course because we’ve been intimidated and invalidated. Then when we try, and we make a mistake as everyone makes mistakes, those doubts arise. We can quit before we indeed got started. Good things take time. Great things take patience.
Losing your fear, after coming out of a narcissistic relationship, where you lived day to day on edge in anxiety mode and living in fear of what will happen next?
If you’re still in a relationship where you live in real fear of what will happen next, that is who they are. The fear you need to lose is the fear of leaving, think about what you want from life, think about your happiness, if your day brings drama and negativity from those around you, safely move away from those around you, it’s hard enough losing our own fears, without having others place fear into us.
Once out, you may have carried that fear from your past with you, living in fear, hurts our state of mind as we are not living in the present day of the hear and now, we are fearing events that have happened in the past or haven’t even happened. After a narcissistic relationship, this is normal, yet not helpful in our present or future.
Bringing yourself back into reality, never fearing the unknown. It’s ok to be prepared for events, but don’t dream them up to actually happen. Instead, manifest thoughts of great things that are going to happen, to make your reality a good one.
Similar to anxiety, when in fear, we can begin to hyperventilate, fear is our emotional response to fear, anxiety is our fight or flight reaction to our emotions of fear. Box breathing can help reduce stress, close your eyes, breath in slowly counting to four, taking the air into you lungs, calmly hold the breath in while counting to four, slowly exhale the whole breath while counting to four, and keep going three of four times and you’re starting to feel calmer.
Whatever is not happening right now, is in your mind. Your mind is your imagination, your past memories are memories of your past, yet as they are in your past, if they are not happening in the present, they are our imagination of our past, some of those memories are very real as they happened. However, we have to learn not to allow the pain of our history continues to cause us pain in our present as it’ll then cause us pain in our future.
Bringing our focus on the present and not on the bad things that happened in our past, or that could happen.
We have to learn to let go for our happiness. It never means someone’s mistreatment of us was ok. It means we no longer allow their mistreatment to impact our life.
Imagination is a powerful thing when used correctly, but you need to imagine great things.
Use any fear of the unknown to your advantage, use that fear to motivate yourself, fear is a product of your emotional mind, do not let it control you, learn to control your fear the right way, do not allow others to control you through fear, instead move away from those, people, take steps to protect yourself and enjoy your new life.
Fearing things that don’t exist in the present doesn’t benefit you.
Fearing change, you need to embrace that fear, you need to decide to make a choice of how you want to live, who you want to be, and how you are going to do it.
Though fear We can stay stuck in a place we were never meant to be, and staying stuck is a very uncomfortable place to be, facing fear to step out of your comfort zone, that’s not all that comfortable right now, to step into a new zone, where you can find your happiness.
On the other side of your fear, can come the most amazing and incredible things you’ll ever experience.
How to overcome anything in life you have to take the first step, then the next and the next, until before you know it, you’ve overcome it. Don’t look at the whole staircases; just take it one step at a time.
If your thinking “I can not.” Stop and look for something you thought you couldn’t in the past, yet you did it. Then tell yourself. “I can.”
Living in a relationship with real fear is not healthy, so if you’re still in it, embrace the fear of the unknown, find a safe route out. It will take steps, it will take work, but you will bring better things into your life, being free from the narcissist, will one day be the most amazing and incredible feeling, even if you don’t see it to start, being able to be yourself again and fill your life with happiness again.
Don’t allow fear to hold you back in places causing that fear, use it to move out of those places, all you need to do is take the step, into a new direction, baby steps one day, leaps the next, back to baby steps. Sometimes stepping sideways or taking one backwards, but get up and go again, keep taking those steps until you make it and once you do, keep taking those steps.
We all make mistakes, we all fall down, the beauty is to learn, to get back up and to go again and again until you make your dreams a reality. What if? Is no excuse, what if? Means you stopped yourself. What if? Is holding you back. Take precautions, get out safely, keep yourself safe, but never let those what-if moments stop you. It takes time it doesn’t matter if you stumble on your way out, or you’ve tried to leave a few times but failed, failure is better than nothing, just go again, until you understand it’s time to get out and start living for you.
Behind every fear is either a person you don’t want to be around. Or a person you now want to become.
That person who causes you fear, move away from safely.
That fear of leaving is preventing you from becoming who you indeed are.
When you fall down, you stand back up, when you release yourself from fear, you rise again.
Abuse is abuse, don’t make excuses, don’t rationalise, don’t accept being disrespected, no longer accept less than you deserve, and you do deserve better, no one is entitled to abuse you.
The first step is to take action, and you may need to plan a safe route out.
Once you are out, be cautious and be prepared, other than that, don’t let your fears hold you back, you’ve made the biggest step, now keep going, onwards and upwards.
When our minds wander to the past, we can stay stuck in the past, stop yourself and imagine your future as you want it to be for you, then take those steps to achieve, if we put our minds to it, then our actions to it, we can all achieve the life and the happiness we want, for ourselves.
There’s nothing wrong when you are out and trauma bonded feeling like you want them back, to face the fear to remember those hurtful times, to grieve and to cry, and to remember why you shouldn’t go back, once you’ve remembered why you need to stay away, remover the thought and focus on the present day.
The fear of telling those around you, if you want people to know, tell them, yet only tell them once, you’ll learn who’s willing to listen, help and be there for you, and who’s simply not listening to you, some people just do not care, others are too busy living life, and some are grateful it wasn’t them. You don’t need to explain yourself to all who will listen, all you need to do is be you if you want to tell your story to everyone, tell it, just don’t expect everyone to listen or indeed understand, it’s hard enough for those who’ve lived it to understand it. If you don’t want to talk don’t, just never let the pain of your past, keep you trapped in the past, don’t let the fear of judgment or the fear of being misunderstood stop you, know yourself that well, that others can never use you against you. If you want to tell just a couple of people to tell them, not everyone needs to know your business, unless you want them to, how you live is by what feels right for you.
Today and for the next five days, write out what you want out of life to be, like you’ve already got it, feel and imagine like you are already there, after the first day you write it, take a look at how you wrote it, any negative change, to things like, ”I am grateful.” ”I am happy.” ”I deserve.” ”I am elated.”
Don’t be afraid of asking for too much from your life, with a good heart you deserve the best.
Create a vision board of the things you’d like from your life, put it as a screen saver, or inside your wardrobe, somewhere you will look every day, so when days get hard, it reminds you what you are working towards. Acknowledge any achievement you make along the way.
Use your imagination to work for you, you can, and you will.
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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.