Being around narcissistic people leaves many feeling emotionally. Physically, financially, psychologically, mentally, and spiritually drained, the power narcissists have over our subconscious thinking process leaves us with many mental, psychological and physical issues, such as depression, confusion, anxiety, memory loss, and no longer feeling enough, with little energy and little self-confidence, ultimately making easier for the narcissists to control us by provoking emotional responses within us, so we no longer know who we are, as we’ve lost touch with our reality, left feeling like we are indeed the ones going crazy, and looking to the very person who is destroying us to help us, with their victim plays when we do catch them out, we end up doing all we can to help them, not recognising they are sinking us.
So just how do narcissists influence us into believing in them while no longer being able to believe in ourselves?
Narcissists are incredibly exploitative people who deceive others in order to get their needs met. In the love-bombing stage of any relationship with a narcissist, they will shower you with affection, attention and support. They’ll mirror you, idealise you, to sell you a future of your desires. Not only do they sell your dreams to you. They claim they want these very things too. When they don’t deliver, they blame you, as you believe they want them to, as you’re a person of your word, you work harder to please them, not wanting to let them down, not understanding they don’t want the same things as you, they just claimed they did to get their needs met by you, narcissists sell us an illusion of who they are, to influence us into trusting and believing in them, so we don’t see the real them. Narcissists lack the empathy to care for how their behaviour hurts those around them. When you don’t do as they please they withhold attention, affection and support, while placing the blame at your door, leaving many in a state of confusion due to the conflicting realities lived out within a narcissistic relationship.
Whenever we get a glimpse of the narcissist’s true character, whenever we try to discuss their ways with them, narcissists find a way to rationalise their behaviour away, they find a way to justify their mistreatment of those around them, narcissistic people never take responsibility for their behaviour. Instead, they find someone to blame, make others feel guilty, obligated to help the narcissist. They even intimidate people into feeling afraid to speak out, causing many insecurities and self-doubts within our own mind, no longer being able to think clearly, all while the narcissist trains our subconscious how they want us to believe, even using our emotional responses to their behaviour as leverage to confuse us all the more.
“You’re too sensitive.”
“You have trust issues.”
“You’re losing your mind.”
So we live in conflicting environments with conflicting beliefs, often turning more towards the narcissist for help, and less towards ourselves.
A narcissists ability to start an argument over something, everything and simply nothing at all, while accusing you of creating all the conflict within the relationship is out of this world, leaving us no longer daring to speak up about the little things, let alone the big, for fear of reactions and consequences such as the silent treatment from the narcissist, narcissists covertly persuade us into accepting behaviour we never should have, leaving us walking on eggshells and full of anxiety.
Narcissists argue to provoke A narcissist will start an argument out of nowhere, just to get you to react, break your shell down and get emotional reactions from you. All they are after is your emotional response to the argument, so if you give no reaction, be prepared for them to step it up their games.
If the narcissist feels like we have criticised them, they will happily start an argument. Even if we didn’t criticise them intentionally, they either give us the silent treatment, projection, rage, violence or a massive argument. To gain emotions from us, to make themselves feel better.
Invalidation is when your thoughts, feelings, opinions, weight, shape, Job, hobbies, dreams, relationships, it can be as severe as everything about who you are and what you do is rejected, ignored, criticised and judged, by the narcissist.
Invalidation is another form of the narcissist’s manipulation to take control of us as we slowly fawn to their demands through their invalidation of us. Narcissists use invalidation to put us down, so we don’t achieve, and they can feel superior.
The narcissist’s invalidation causes us to feel uncertain, living in an environment of instability and fear, to which just as we’ve had enough, a narcissist will come back with their intermittent reinforcement of play nice, that reward punish to leave us feeling more confused.
A Narcissist has an apt way of invalidating us while making out they’re helping us. “Do you really think that jobs for you?”
One minute you can be living with someone who seemingly cares for you better than anyone ever has, then suddenly for no apparent reason it’s like living with a complete stranger who no matter what you say or do they seem to get more pleasure out of hurting you than caring for you, we can fall into the trap of asking them ”whats wrong, what have I done, have I done something.” as we want peace, we want calm, we want to understand them and them to understand us, we care, we don’t want pain, however asking the narcissist often leads us straight into the trap of paying more attention to how we can make them happy and less attention to just how unhappy we indeed are around them, believing we are the problem through their gaslighting, blame-shifting and silent treatments, when in reality, if they cared for us in the ways we care for them, they wouldn’t want to hurt us, as it would hurt them seeing us in pain, as it hurts us seeing them in pain, our questions aren’t what have we done, our question should be why would they act this way, and our answer in within their behaviour, they lack the empathy to care correctly.
6. Emotional abuse.
Narcissist do all they can to draw out your negative emotions, then do very little to help you work through them, instead they use your emotions as leverage to invalidate you further, neglect you, fall silent on you.
A narcissist will ignore, humiliate, intimidate, isolate, plays down your feelings. ”don’t be so sensitive, stop overreacting, you’re insecure.” anything they can so you no longer feel enough, leaning on them for support while they further use your emotions against you.
Once the narcissist has us hooked through the Idealisation Stage of the relationship, where they plan the Fake Future with us, that con artists that through the idealisation stage that mirrors us, sell us our dreams, then comes the devaluation as they begin to devalue us and deliver us our worst nightmare.
A narcissist wants you to.
- Doubt yourself by invalidating you.
- Blame yourself while they play the victim.
- To sabotage you.
- To justify your decisions through them.
- To fear them.
- To play you off against others.
- To isolate you.
- To punish you.
- To have no friends.
- To see, you fail.
- To control your finances.
The narcissist’s devaluation causes those feelings of shame within us, so we question our worth, we underestimate who we are as a person, we question our feelings and our capabilities, often becoming more dependent on the narcissist as all the stress we are under causes many health problems, as well as different anxieties.
Once a narcissist has drained us, they discard and move onto someone who is unaware of their behaviour. Often coming back for the hoover when their new supply isn’t working out how they wanted them to, or when they see you’ve moved on without them.
1. Find a safe way out of the relationship.
2. Limited contact so you can begin to find who you are again.
3. If possible, no contact.
4. Find safe ways to release emotions and past traumas, journaling, EMDR, therapy that you feel works for you.
5. Finding validation in your experience and reassures of what you’ve been through or you’re going through, start with learning how to reassure yourself through journaling.
6. Remember you are enough.
You can be with somebody and feel alone. You can be alone and not feel lonely.
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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.