There are many myths about narcissistic abuse. This post’s purpose is to debunk some of the more common ones.
“You let him/her get away with treating you that way. That’s why he/she does what they do.” Narcissists aren’t normal people who respect boundaries. They don’t care that their actions cause pain & problems for others. They only care about what they want. No matter what consequences you give a narcissist, chances of them respecting your boundaries are slim to none.
“Narcissists only abuse the weak & stupid.” Anyone can be abused by a narcissist, no matter their intelligence, personality, religious beliefs, social standing or gender. Narcissists are incredibly good actors & can convince anyone of whatever they want them to believe. Even people who know a great deal about Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be fooled temporarily. Someone who doesn’t know about it can be fooled much easier & for a much longer time before they realize something is very wrong.
“You must have done something to attract this type of person.” This is nothing but victim blaming & shaming, & is incredibly cruel! Do you know the kind of person narcissists are attracted to? People with kind, loving & gentle spirits who have a great deal of empathy. It is wrong to make people like this feel badly for being this way, especially when these are all wonderful qualities!
“You just need to learn how to stop making him angry or stay out of his way.” No one is responsible for another person’s abusive behavior beyond the abuser. Nothing anyone can do can prevent any abuser from abusing, period. Narcissists are also incredibly toxic people who enjoy torturing their victims. One way they do this is to keep their victims in a constant state of high alert by changing what angers them & what they want. No matter how much a person may want to avoid angering the narcissist in their life or stay out of his way, it’s impossible.
“You need to fix this relationship!” One of my aunts told me this regarding the relationship I had with my parents. She is far from the only person to think in such a dysfunctional & foolish manner. The problem is no one person can fix a relationship. While one person can destroy a relationship, it takes two people to fix one. Not to mention, in the mind of narcissists, their relationships are fine. They don’t need fixing, at least so long as the victim does whatever the narcissist wants & tolerates the abuse.
“If it’s so bad, just walk away/go no contact.” Anyone who says this most likely lacks empathy. Ending relationships is always hard. Ending a relationship with a narcissist is even harder, especially if that person is someone you love a great deal such as a spouse or parent. Chances are the person who says this also has no concept of trauma bonding. Trauma bonding is common among narcissists & their victims. This is when the narcissist interjects some kindnesses in with their abuse. They also destroy their victims’ self esteem, making them think they can’t survive without the narcissist. There is also the fact that many narcissists financially ruin their victims so they are dependent on their narcissist. Narcissists also isolate their victims from friends & families, so they have no one they can trust to help them. Leaving narcissists isn’t as simple as “just walking away” for these reasons & many more.
“You’ve been away from the narcissist for a while so you should be over it by now.” Narcissistic abuse often creates Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in victims. This disorder as well as the tremendous amount of psychological warfare waged against victims by narcissists mean there is no “getting over it”. It takes a lot of time to come to any sort of terms to what happened & if you have PTSD, to learn to manage your symptoms.
These are only a few of the myths about narcissistic abuse, but even so, I hope my debunking helps you.