You are not the same.
Coming to the realisation you’ve been abused mentally by any narcissist in your life, be it a friend, boss, partner, adult child or parent, it is devastating to realise you’ve been manipulated and taken apart bit by bit until you’ve been left confused, heartbroken and not sure where to start in rebuilding your life, it is devastating.
First, be proud that you’ve taken steps to find out more and take control back of your life. Sometimes the advice on the internet can be confusing, as most survivors at some point question if they are the narcissist. The information on how to handle them can seem narcissistic, so here are a few examples and the difference between a narcissist and you.
Silent treatment and no contact.
The narcissist uses the Silent treatment to cause you pain. The silent treatment is psychological abuse. To get you to doubt yourself, blame yourself and do all you can to make it up to the narcissist to relieve yourself from the pain, the silent treatment is used to hurt you, punish you, control you.
No contact is not to cause them pain, and it’s not to get them to come running and apologise. It’s not used as a punishment. It’s to kindly walk away from someone who continues to let you down and hurt you. It’s to protect yourself from the narcissist’s negative, toxic, hurtful ways. It’s to leave them in your past, so they can go left and get on with their lives, and you can go right and move on to a much happier life for yourself.
I’m sorry you feel that way.
The narcissists ”I’m sorry you feel that way.” Is to shift the blame for anything they have done onto you, or anything they haven’t done that they promised to do, so the narcissist can avoid taking any responsibility for their own actions and remove all accountability, to cause you to React, so you might try to explain yourself to them, which they then twist and turn the conversation, leaving you frustrated and full of anger and resentment, those who’ve been around a narcissist will have noticed they never show genuine Empathy towards you, when you are hurt, angry, or emotional, either from actions they have done towards you or situations outside of your control that has happened in your life, they don’t help lift your spirits, acknowledge your feelings. Instead, they Invalidate them, pull you down, and make you feel worse.
If you are not able to go, no contact your “I’m sorry you feel that way.” It is used to defuse any argument, to stop them Twisting the story, to stop them from taking you off-topic, to stop yourself from taking all the responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and behaviour, to prevent them from guilt-tripping you into doing something you told them you wouldn’t do, and pass the responsibility back to the rightful owner. Often you might actually feel sorry that they think the way they do or that they are unwilling or unable to understand a two-way Conversation and want to control everyone. Still, you have learned there is no reasoning with these people. With genuine people, feelings can be unintentionally hurt, yet you’d be able to talk it through, perhaps not straight away, but when one or both have calmed down. With a narcissist, it’s their way, or you’ll be punished way.
Discard and ending the relationship.
The narcissist’s Discard is often done in the cruellest and sometimes calculating ways, usually when you least expect it or when you need them the most. Again this is seemingly done to cause you as much psychological pain as possible, with no closure given, so you chase them for answers, which often helps their smear campaigns against you. You have to leave them to it and find your own closure. You’ll never get honest answers from a narcissist. The closest you’ll get to the truth is the smear campaign stories they told you about what others have done to them, which is often what they did to the other person. Parents can cut children off in cruel ways. Adult children, when mum or dad don’t do what they want, can cut their parents off in brutal ways.
When you end the relationship, as hard as it is, because often, as hurtful as they are, you care, you want to help them. You want to make it work, possibly still googling ( Can a narcissist change.) you believe you should be there for your parents, your child, your children to have a two-parent household as society claims it should be, you end the relationship because you know the long term pain of staying is worse than the short term pain of leaving, it’s not done to hurt them, it’s done to save yourself.
The narcissist hoover, when you want or take the narcissist back.
The narcissists’ Hoover or re-idealisation is done because they want something from you, not because they love or care, as they lack in genuine empathy to be able to care for you genuinely. The narcissist could just be in need of attention. It could be money, somewhere to live, a babysitter for the grandchildren, whatever they need. They come back to Idealise you because they want something from you. Once achieved, they will devalue you and discard you again as soon as things are not going how they want.
You took them back or wanted them again due to the Trauma bond, caring for them and wanting to help them, wanting to make the relationship work. To be there for your parents or your child, for wanting your partner to love you, doing your best to remember the good times, and most often with the narcissists Gaslighting which they Blame shifted all the problems onto you, you believe everything is your fault. Most people think if they change, they can make it work. You were never a problem. You tried as many ways as you could consider to make it work. The narcissist has a disorder. The disorder is the problem. It’s not an excuse. The disorder is a reason behind why no one will ever be good enough for a narcissist. You are good enough, and you are worthy. They are just too narcissistic to see you for you.
Smear campaign and talk therapy.
The Smear Campaign by the narcissist is done to annihilate your good character, so they are not exposed for exactly what they do to others. The anger and resentment they hold towards others, and as most blame all others, the smear campaign can be done to try and destroy those who dare to stand up to the narcissist and say No more.
You talking to others is to raise awareness, get help, and understanding of everything you’ve been through. Even if you go through a stage of wanting Revenge ( normal human emotions with what you’ve been through.), most genuine people do feel bad if they see a narcissist’s downfall caused by them. As you are not a narcissist, you will often feel guilt if you manage to hurt a narcissist.
Abuse and reactive abuse.
The narcissist’s mental or physical abuse is done to put fear into you, Intimidation to keep you trapped and do as they say. Arguments to twist you off-topic and have their own way. Threats to make you fawn ( with highly traumatic, dangerous situations, real or perceived.) people can Fawn, meaning they give in to the abuser’s demands, believing this will protect them from further harm.
We do all have to be responsible for our own actions and whether abuse is provoked or not, abuse is abuse. However, if you reacted, you most likely felt or feel guilty. You’ve got to let the guilt go and see the situation in its entirety. ( as a narcissist will gaslight you by downplaying their behaviour and exaggerating yours.) be responsible for our own actions and pass responsibility back for theirs, then learn people who bring out your ugly side as most people have their own limits, and people that push you to them are not the people you want in your life. This isn’t a case of learning self-control. It’ll be alright, although we are all responsible for our own actions, with people who do provoke you, sometimes the self-control needs to be no longer associating with them, leaving them to live their life while you go live yours.
Reactive Abuse is often done either because you’ve been pushed to your limits or to defend yourself.
Narcissist’s entitlement and your entitlement.
Narcissists feel entitled to have what they want when they want, with no regard to the feelings of those around them.
You’re entitled to live life how you want, and this is not done to hurt others or to exploit others.
The narcissist is putting all their needs first and your self-care.
The narcissist believes they are above all others and their needs come first no matter what harm it causes to those around them and with no empathy to who they hurt along the way of getting their needs met, they are selfish as they believe it’s all about them.
Self-care is so you can be at your best to give your best—self-care and putting your needs first. You’re not doing it to harm others. It’s to find your inner happiness to give your best to others.
The narcissist’s grandiosity and your confidence.
The narcissists charm is used to manipulate those around them for their own gain. A narcissist often feels great rage if criticised, and this isn’t genuine confidence. What they actually are is arrogant, which can at first come across as confidence.
Inner confidence is knowing who you are, who you want to be, so the toxic words of others no longer impact your life. Knowing you define you, looking at constructive criticism, yet not worrying about the judgement from others, this is your life for you, not for others to bring you down. You define who you are.
The narcissist is moving straight on, and if you date again soon afterwards.
Nobody falls in love faster than a narcissist who needs somewhere to live or to prove that they are not the problem; most narcissists will have a primary ‘golden someone.’ Golden child, golden worker, golden friend, and a ‘scapegoat.’ Who they pass all the blame onto, and the narcissist will switch roles on these people to meet the narcissist’s needs at that time. Most narcissists have a pattern of behaviour, moving from one person to another.
You’re looking for a life partner, someone to care for who cares for you, share life experiences with.
The narcissist’s parental alienation and your safeguarding of the children.
The narcissist uses Children to try and destroy the healthy parent, often causing psychological harm to the child also.
When your child becomes scared and anxious, you stop contact to help your child. No doubt you’ve tried all you can to keep contact until you were left with little to no choice. Most parents will have tried all they could to keep a relationship going with the child and the other parent, not always because they care for the parent because they care for the child and their beliefs become torn between the child having contact with the parent, and the child’s mental health.
Victim narcissist and a victim mindset.
The narcissist plays Victim to seek attention and smear the name of others, to gain attention and make people feel sorry for them, to avoid responsibility and to pass all the blame for things wrong within their life onto others.
You were the victim of an abuser, and most often for fear of judgment, perhaps you didn’t speak out, or if you did, it was to receive the help and support you need. Yet, you will move from the victim, into a survivor and onto the thriver. One day the stories you tell will be to help others through, not to gain sympathy.
Remember, you and the narcissist are not the same. They run around never genuinely admitting Fault, always blaming all others.
You took responsibility for everything, and you took all the blame. You tried to help and support them.
If the person you are dealing with has a narcissistic personality disorder or not, if they are mentally or physically abusive to you, they are not the people you need in your life. We can all be narcissistic. That doesn’t make us a narcissist. We can not diagnose others as having the disorder. Most professionals struggle to diagnose as a narcissist is a pathological liar. As most believe their lies to be the truth, they are compelling.
The easiest way to spot a narcissist is saying” No.” either ” Sorry, I’ve got plans.” or ”Sorry I am not ready for you to move in.” or sorry I don’t want to loan you money.” sit back and watch them tantrum, either by pleading with you, sulking at you, pity plays, the ”if you loved me you would.” and the rest. Now people not on the disorder can do this. Still, once they get what you’ve said, they will accept it, drop it and let it go. A narcissist, however, if you are dealing with someone on the disorder, in the idealisation stage, they might drop it. Still, at some point, they will try again, and again, and again, until they break down your Boundaries one by one. You need to know yourself so well, and you are not worried about judgment from others, offending others, as others opinions of you do not define you. You define yourself, and with good intentions, there’s no wrong way or right way to be who you want to be.
When we spend our lives living for the approval of others, we spend our lives frustrated, not knowing who we indeed are.
You’re not living this way to hurt people, you’re living this way to be 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.
Idealise, devalue, discard.