Encouragement For Those Still In Relationships With Narcissists

I know it seems like it’s only you.  No one else is still sticking it out with a narcissist in their life.  You probably even feel ashamed & like a coward for not ending the relationship when so many other folks have.  Today I want you to know that it isn’t only you, you have no valid reason to feel ashamed, & you aren’t a coward!

So much information says, “Just go no contact” when it comes to narcissists.  They make it sound so easy, as do many survivors of narcissistic abuse.  The truth of the matter though is no contact isn’t easy!

It isn’t important whether the narcissist in your life is a friend, romantic partner or even a parent.  Ending any relationship is very sad & painful.  Although that usually is the best solution & often the only one when dealing with a narcissist, even that doesn’t make this an easy or less sad solution.

There is also the fact that narcissists don’t usually abuse strangers.  They abuse those closest to them.  Ending a relationship with someone you have known for a month isn’t so hard.  Ending it with someone you have a long history with however is really tough.

Don’t forget too, that narcissists can behave very well when they want to.  It can be so hard to leave someone who has the ability to be good to you!  Most people want that good version to come back & are willing to hang in there in the hopes it will happen.

If you believe no contact is the right solution for your situation yet are having trouble taking that step, please know you’re ok.  Really!  No contact is such a difficult move to make.  It often takes a great deal of time to work up the inner strength to end an abusive relationship.  Narcissists do their best to destroy their victims’ self esteem.  Once that happens, it takes a lot of time & work to rebuild that self esteem to the point of being able to leave the abuser.

If you’re living with the narcissist in your life, maybe you are in the unfortunate situation of being financially dependent on this person.  It happens more often than you may realize.  Narcissists abuse in every possible way, even financially.  They often spend all their victim’s money, run up the victim’s credit cards, create a great deal of debt in the victim’s name then refuse to pay is in order to ruin the victims’ credit & even force a victim to sign their paychecks over to them leaving the victim destitute.

None of these scenarios are your fault.  Sadly they are very common.

You will know when & if the time is right to end the relationship with the narcissist in your life.  Until that time comes, there are some things you can do to make your situation a bit more bearable.

Always remember to pray.  Ask God for help.  Ask Him to give you creative & effective ways to deal with the narcissist.  Ask Him to help you by giving you whatever you need to go no contact.

Never forget that the primary motivation of anything a narcissist does is narcissistic supply.  The less supply you provide, the more likely the narcissist will leave you alone.  Think about this person- what provides him or her with that supply?  Stop doing those things.  Your anger provides supply?  Never show the narcissist you’re angry.  You looking your best provides supply?  Then let yourself look sloppy sometimes.  No doubt you can come up with a list of things that provide this person with narcissistic supply & ways to stop providing it.

One tool I found to be quite useful with narcissists is asking logical questions without showing any emotions.  You can say things like, “I don’t understand what you mean.  Would you explain that?”  “Why do you think that is a good idea?”  Asking these kinds of questions in a calm manner flusters narcissists.  It shows that you’re onto their manipulation, but in a manner that they know if they get mad at you, they’ll look foolish.  Since narcissists hate the very thought of looking bad in any way, chances are good they will change the subject to avoid this conversation.

If you don’t know much about boundaries, then it is time for you to learn.  You have every right to have reasonable boundaries, such as being able to say no without inciting rage.  You also don’t have to explain your boundaries.  Doing so only encourages a narcissist to try to convince their victim why their boundaries are wrong & instill doubt.  It’s best to state your boundaries without explanation.

Also never forget that the way the narcissist is treating you isn’t about you.  It isn’t personal at all.  I know it feels that way but the truth is the narcissist behaves this way because they have issues.  It isn’t because you deserve to be treated as they are doing.  Remembering this can help to take some of the pain out of their abusive ways.

Lastly, if you are able, low contact is a very good stepping stone to no contact.  Only deal with the narcissist when you feel able to do so.  Give yourself permission not to take every single phone call or visit the narcissist every time he or she demands you do so.  Sometimes, narcissists in this position will initiate no contact with their victim since the victim is no longer a good source of narcissistic supply.

Remember, no contact is a very big decision.  There is nothing wrong with you for taking your time about making that big step.  Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!  You will know in your heart when the time is right & have the ability to do so!

6 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

6 responses to “Encouragement For Those Still In Relationships With Narcissists

  1. Excellent post! A couple of thoughts. I like the idea of tapering off.

    Going no contact seems like the best idea. But then after a few weeks, you feel grand and confident, and you either let them back in, or you let another narcissist in.

    You’ve been flying high, so you think you can handle it. Like the newly sober alcoholic thinks he can have one or two drinks.

    And then – BOOM- the narcissist dumps a shame bomb on you.
    You react emotionally. And the shame and guilt trips start all over.

    For me personally, I haven’t yet gone “no contact” yet with my mother. I almost feel like God wants to learn the lessons being offered here with her, Certainly I will run into other narcissists going forward. Going “no contact” feels like I would be skipping a step.

    A few other “food for thought” ideas, if you don’t mind.

    When I first figured out what narcissism was, there was so much new language that I had to learn. Terms like “narcissistic supply”. I’m wondering if we could step away from that sort of language, and instead use terms that everyone is more familiar with. Language that slides into the brain more easily.

    I mean, narcissists are not so special that we should have had to learn a whole new language to understand them.

    1st thought- Could we just call them “selfish”
    2nd thought- Could we use the term “status” instead of “supply”
    3rd thought- Could we call them “drama queens” when they pick fights

    Just ideas.

    I know when I try to explain to others, they get confused by the language. And honestly, I still get confused as well.

    For example, I think my journal writing would go much better if I could just say,

    “My mother was selfish. She only had me to bring status to herself. She is annoyed when I don’t bring her status. When I don’t bring her status, she has no use for me.”

    and

    “Sometimes my mother feels like she is not getting enough status in the outer world. When this happens, she picks fights with me. She becomes a drama queen. She pokes me until I get mad, and then she can accuse me of being mean”

    Just some thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you!!

      That absolutely can happen after no contact. Another possibility is when the narcissist wears you down so badly that you give into contact.

      Shame bomb is an excellent term for that! And yes, the scenarios you mentioned absolutely can & do happen!

      I understand! Before I finally went no contact with my parents, I’d seriously considered it for a few years, but the timing never felt right. Partly I think like you, I felt God wanted me to learn some lessons.

      Of course I don’t mind.. you always have good input to offer so please feel free to share anytime, ok?

      I hear you about the terminology. It can be kinda overwhelming at first & you got that right saying narcissists aren’t so special that we should have to learn a new language to understand them. For my writing, I like using it anyway simply because it calls it what it is. No sugarcoating, no making it sound nicer than it is. “Selfish” doesn’t even begin to cover how selfish narcissists are, yanno? But, you make an excellent point about the terms & I’m thinking a post explaining them could be a good idea. Maybe even a free ebook explaining them, too. Thank you so much for the idea!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sally

    Cynthia, your writings are terrific. I would like to be able to submit comments but can’t seem to access the comments at WordPress.

    Every time you send a letter out what you have to say is relevant to what I’m going through with my NPD father, older sister, and niece.

    I wish we were neighbors and could have tea! Sometimes I say nobody would believe me if they knew my story. Nobody knows how cruel, vindictive, abusive my father is but he comes across as Mr. Milquetoast to people who do not know him. And then he lets his girlfriend, who was still married only until her husband died recently, disgrace and mop the floor with him.

    Financial abuse is silenced in our culture. Even so-called feminist organizations that ostensibly “empower” women turn a deaf ear about this. I was even in contact with Smith College to see if they’d be interested in starting a research program through their School of Social Work or even talking with me; they shut the door in my face.

    There are some good websites about financial abuse. If I can find the links I’ll send them later .

    Thank you so much for your very important work.

    Big blessings, Sally Fisher Massachusetts

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Sally! Thank you so much for your kind words!

      Your comment came through just fine.

      Wow.. you have 3 narcissists in your life?! That has to be tough! You poor thing!

      You will be believed here! So many who read my blog have experienced unbelievable things at the hands of narcissists. Those who don’t believe us, well, in a way it’s understandable since so many actions of narcissists are just unbelievable. :/

      That is a shame! There needs to be more information out there about financial abuse. I’ve written a bit but I’m only one person. There needs to be a great deal more! So few people know the term financial abuse even exists.

      Please do send the links if you can. I’d appreciate it!

      You’re welcome & thank you so much again ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cynthia — this post is brilliant, spot-on, and so very well written. Sometimes I envy your talent. But only a little, now and then. Mostly, I’m just super thankful that you are here, sharing your wisdom and compassion with us. 💘💘

    Liked by 2 people

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