Tag Archives: relationship
I’ve noticed so many people are quick to judge victims of abuse for tolerating abuse. The nature of the relationship doesn’t seem to matter, the same things are said to victims. These judgmental people say things like, “Well *I* certainly wouldn’t have put up with being treated like that!”, “Just go no contact!” or, “Why didn’t you leave sooner?”
This post is for those people who are quick to judge, & need a lesson on the reality of what it’s like to be abused.
Unless a person has been subjected to the effects of daily, intense gaslighting, they truly don’t know what they would do in that situation, & have no right to judge a situation they can’t understand.
Abusers use gaslighting to convince their victims that they can’t make it in life without their abuser. Abusers convince their victims that they are so stupid & incapable that they need the abuser to help them navigate through life. Not even the most highly intelligent people are immune to this.
They also convince their victims that no one cares about them other than the abuser. People only talk to them because they are trying to be nice, not because they really care, abusers say. They also create doubts in victims’ minds about their loved ones by saying things like, “She isn’t really a good friend to you.” “He doesn’t care about you yanno.” When an abuser says such things with conviction, & a victim hears such things often enough, they believe them no matter how much evidence to the contrary they may see.
Abusers also are very good at convincing their victims that if they would try just a little harder, the abuser would threat the victim better. Watch a young child with an abusive parent, & you will see this clearly. The meaner the parent is, the harder the child works to please that parent. Adults aren’t immune to this behavior though. During my first marriage, I did this with my ex husband. The problem with this behavior is whatever the victim does is never good enough. Abusers are notorious for changing what they say they want, raising that bar a bit higher once the victim does what they originally said they wanted, or denying ever wanting that thing their victim just did. A person unaware of this manipulative & abusive behavior will keep trying to please their abuser, which leads to utter frustration in the victim & satisfaction in the abuser for having such control over the victim.
There’s also the fact that most people don’t want to end relationships with those closest to them, & abusers are usually those closest to the victim. Deciding to end a romantic relationship is a big deal, especially when abuse is involved because the victim is going to feel like a failure or stupid for falling for someone abusive. If the abusive relationship is a parent/child relationship, that is incredibly hard to end too. Who can feel completely comfortable telling their parents they never want to see them again?!
Lastly, many abusers prevent their victims from leaving. They often take the victim’s money & ruin that person’s credit, making it impossible for the victim to leave. They make the victim completely financially dependent on them. They threaten to take the couple’s kids away so the victim never will see them again. Some have been known to lock their victims in their home, making them a prisoner. And, still others threaten to kill either the victim, their pets, their children, their friends or family if the victim leaves.
After considering all of this.. can you honestly still wonder why victims tolerated the abuse as long as they did?
After ending a relationship with a narcissist, the narcissist will NOT take it well. No one likes rejection, of course, but narcissists take that dislike to an entirely new level. Many have been known to stalk & harass their victims to punish them for rejecting the narcissist. Most however, do something known as hoovering. Hoovering is when a narcissist tries to lure a victim back in to the relationship. It is yet another very good reason to have nothing to do with the narcissist once you end the relationship.
Narcissists have many ways they try to hoover in their victims. All are sneaky & confusing for a victim unless the victim is aware of what the narcissist is up to.
Often, they will have their flying monkeys talk to you. They will explain how sorry the narcissist is & how miserable life is without you. When I broke my engagement to my now ex husband, several people told me I should get back with him because he was miserable without me. No one cared how I was without him, only about him. The guilt I felt was intense, which obviously was the goal since it made me return to him.
The narcissist may “accidentally” run into you at the coffee shop or grocery store, & use this supposed chance meeting to tell you how much they miss you as an attempt to hoover you back.
Narcissists may use special days to their advantage, such as sending you a lovely card & gift on your birthday, or reminding you that today would have been your anniversary. This is to make sure you think of them favorably & give them an excuse to talk to you
Narcissists aren’t above using a crisis to their advantage either. If you have had a serious problem & the narcissist learns of it, he or she may try to contact you claiming to be concerned about you. Or, if the narcissist has had a crisis, he or she may let you know, saying they thought you would want to know. These are only about getting their foot in the door.
Items also can give a narcissist an excuse to contact a victim after the relationship is over. They may ask if you have some item of theirs, even knowing you don’t have it. It’s merely an excuse to reach out to you.
Sometimes narcissists may use technology to hoover. They may text you, claiming it was for someone else, then try to start a conversation. They may call you, asking if you called them, then when they say they look at their phone, they mistook your number for someone else’s, but since you’re talking, how are you? Some will even send a message, then ignore your response.
If they can open the door of communication in any way, they absolutely will do it. Doing so probably means they will tell you how miserable they are without you & how much they have changed.
When things like this happen, don’t be foolish as I was with my ex! Be aware of what is happening. They are only trying to hoover you back for their own benefit, not because they love you. Remind yourself that they don’t miss you, per se. They miss how you made them feel. They miss how they could control & manipulate you.
Never forget that the primary interest of any narcissist is that narcissist. No one else really matters to them. This means they only want you back because you can benefit them in some way.
Remember the tactics & why the narcissist is doing these things. These things are done only to manipulate you back into the relationship so the narcissist can abuse you further.
Narcissists almost never offer a real apology. Sure, they may say the words, “I’m sorry” sometimes, but the words are often followed up by words &/or actions that prove this apology isn’t genuine. Sometimes however, they can be quite convincing that this time, the apology is real. This post is to help you spot the signs of a fake narcissistic apology.
The fake apologies are most likely to flow freely after ending a relationship with a narcissist. They may even say the right things like, “I’ve changed”, “I know I did some bad things,” or even, “I’ll get therapy”. The words can be very believable. Naturally, you will want to believe them too. No one wants to accept that there are people out there capable of the cruelty that narcissists commit on a daily basis.
The problem with such apologies is if you give the narcissist a bit of time after the first apology, some cracks will start to show. Instead of, “I’ve changed,” they may say things like, “I’ve changed but I need you to do some changing too.” They also may add a “but” to their apology. “I’m sorry I did that to you, but you really made me angry!” Suddenly their willingness to go to therapy either turns into a willingness to go to couples therapy rather than individual, or they claim they never said they would go to therapy in the first place.
At this point, many victims are sucked in by the first, more sincere sounding apology. They make excuses for the narcissist’s sudden changes. They blame themselves for making the narcissist do the terrible things they did or even their lack of patience & understanding with the narcissist. They also think maybe the narcissist is right, & they never promised they would go to therapy.
If the victim continues with this train of thought, resuming the relationship with the narcissist is very likely. In the beginning the victim will be glad they did this, because everything will be good. The narcissist won’t be so cruel, but instead will be kind, understanding, even gentle. This “honeymoon” period lulls victims into a false sense of security. They believe the narcissist has really changed this time. They believe the narcissist meant what they said, & the relationship is going to be ok.
Little by little though, the narcissist begins to resume his or her old ways. It probably will start out as subtle criticisms or attempts at control or manipulation. These won’t happen as often as they once did, which makes it easy for a victim to brush them off.
As time passes, however, the narcissist gradually returns to his or her old ways, & most likely adds some new tricks to the repertoire. The victim ends up shocked one day when reality sets in, & they see that the narcissist never changed at all.
This scenario almost always happens, no matter the nature of the relationship with a narcissist. You mostly hear about it in the context of romantic relationships, but it also happens with friendships or parent/child relationships.
Don’t let this happen to you!! If you have ended a relationship with a narcissist, refrain from having any contact with that person at all. If you must, keep your contact minimal while showing no emotions. If you can have someone act as a mediator between you both, all the better.
Any contact you do have with the narcissist gives him or her the chance to “apologize” & attempt to lure you back. Don’t fall for it! If he or she doesn’t accept responsibility for the behavior & ask how to make things right, or if he or she demands you believe or trust them, those are signs the apology isn’t sincere. If you resume the relationship at this point, you’ll be as miserable if not more miserable than you were before. Don’t let that happen. Walk away & take care of yourself.
Two years ago today, my father passed away. Naturally, the date has me thinking a lot. I tend to overthink anyway so no big surprise there.. lol
One thing that came to mind is a poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye that my father liked….
“Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave bereft
I am not there. I have not left.”
Lovely, isn’t it? It offers a great reminder that when someone we love has passed away, there are still things surrounding us that help us remember that person. For example, when I see butterflies, I think of my granddad, & monarch butterflies remind me of my father’s miraculous salvation at the end of his life. They always make me smile.
When the person who died is a narcissist, it’s certainly understandable if you don’t want reminders of that person. I understand completely, as sometimes reminders of my late parents are hard for me to handle. However, if you have lost someone you love, those reminders can offer a great comfort. They remind you that you can see your loved one again someday or of some good times you shared.
I’ve also come to realize that items hold energy. I don’t mean things can be haunted like in scary old ghost stories. What I mean is items that were particularly close to someone seem to hold a bit of that person’s “vibe” if you will. For example, I have some of my paternal grandmother’s jewelry. I love wearing it! It brings me comfort, reminds me of her or good times we shared. It’s as if I carry a bit of her essence with me when I wear it.
There also is a negative side to this. If the person whose item you have was abusive, the item can make you feel bad. I tried wearing some jewelry belonging to my narcissistic maternal grandmother. It was pretty, I like pretty jewelry, so it seemed natural for me to wear it. I quickly realized it didn’t feel right. It also made me feel as if I carried a bit of her essence with me, but the problem was, unlike my other grandmother, she was cruel! That wasn’t the vibe I wanted, so I stopped wearing her jewelry, pretty or not.
Considering all of this, I’ve come to believe that one thing that can help a person can get through grieving the loss of a loved one is having something of their deceased loved one’s. I’ve also come to believe that if the person who passed away was a narcissist, it may help the person grieving to avoid their possessions. It really depends on the relationship between the two parties involved.
I’m also not saying you have to cling to or avoid the deceased person’s item forever. What I am saying is that I believe that it can be helpful when the death is recent & grief is at its most difficult place. Since my father has been gone a while, now I can handle being around his possessions much easier than I could at first.
Grief is very hard & very painful, whether the person lost is someone you loved or a narcissist. I sincerely hope this post gives you another helpful way to cope. xoxo
Many of us who have been raised by narcissistic parents seem to end up with many other narcissists in our lives. We often end up romantically involved with them or friends with them. Like many others, I have experienced both, mostly narcissistic friends. I’ve also found precious little information available about narcissistic friendships, so I decided to tackle the topic myself.
People who come on too strong when first meeting you can be narcissists. That new friend who you just met yet who wants to spend lots of time with you or claims you’re their best friend may be a narcissist. Some folks who act in this way are simply insecure, but even so, you should be aware that there is a possible a sign of narcissism.
Friends who talk down to you are often narcissists. Narcissists seem to think they are superior to their victims, & don’t mind showing it. They act smug & talk to victims as if they are much less intelligent than the narcissist.
Your friend who can’t be bothered with your problems is probably a narcissist. Remember, narcissists all lack empathy. If you tell your friend you have a problem & they act bored, act as if they can’t be bothered, trivialize your problem or change the subject, these are all red flags of a lack of empathy.
If your friendship is one sided, that’s a big red flag of narcissism. A good friendship is balanced. Sure, sometimes your friend will need more from you than usual, but there are also times you will need more from your friend than usual. It balances out. When the bulk of your friendship is your friend taking from you while giving nothing in return, chances are your friend is a narcissist.
Narcissists expect their friends to be available to them 24/7, & believe there are no excuses for not being available. Narcissistic friends have no problems calling at 11:00 at night even knowing you need to be up for work at 5 a.m. If you don’t take their call, they say you’re a terrible friend, accuse you of not caring & more. If they need a ride somewhere, that is what you are for, to provide it. In fact, if they need anything, you are supposed to meet that need.
If your friend talks non stop about himself or herself, while never or almost never asking about you, that is another sign of narcissism. Narcissists almost never stop talking about themselves. Overt narcissists may brag about their fantastic accomplishments or covert ones may be subtle in discussing the things they do for others. They may discuss their problems or interests non stop.
Once you realize your friend is a narcissist, it’s usually best to end the friendship if at all possible, as is often the solution with any narcissistic relationship. Most often I believe the Gray Rock method is the best way to end a relationship with a narcissistic friend. In other words, become boring to your friend. Take their calls, spend time with them & do things for them less & less. When they get mad at you, pretend it doesn’t bother you in the slightest. Show them no reaction or emotion. If they demand to know why you weren’t available, give no excuses. Just say you were busy, & change the subject. When they talk about themselves, act disinterested. The more boring a narcissist finds a person, the less time they want to spend with that person. Often, they get bored enough to discard their victim.
Having a narcissistic friend isn’t easy, but you can protect yourself & handle the situation! Remember the kind of person you are dealing with, keep your emotions under control around them & conduct yourself accordingly.
So many children of narcissistic parents end up in many abusive relationships over the course of their lives. It starts out with abusive parents, then moves on to friends, later adding in co-workers & often eventually marrying a narcissist often from an equally narcissistic family.
As if the additional abuse isn’t bad enough, we also tend to verbally abuse ourselves about the situation. We beat ourselves up for getting involved with people who are so much like our abusive parents. We think we’re stupid, hopeless & much more. We can’t imagine why we would do such a thing. The aim of this post is to explain some possible reasons why we end up with these abusive people.
One reason is abuse is normal to us. We’re so accustomed to it, if a person isn’t abusive, we simply don’t know what to think of that sort of behavior. We choose an abuser over a safe, not abusive person simply because it’s familiar. There is a degree of comfort in familiarity, even when it is abusive. Thankfully, the more we heal from childhood, the more abnormal abuse becomes, & we stop attracting & being attracted to abusive people.
Children of narcissists grow up trying to find love, the love we never received as children. In a romantic relationship, this can give an abusive person a great deal of power & control. Until you recognize the signs of abuse, their power & control comes across as confidence, which can make you feel safe & loved, even there isn’t anything safe or loving about someone being controlling.
We also don’t really recognize what healthy love looks like. It’s not like a narcissistic mom & dad could provide good example of that. We think being loved means being abused, even though nothing could be further from the truth. When someone comes along & claims to love you, even if that person treats you like dirt, you think that person actually loves you.
Children of narcissists also settle. My mother told me no man would ever want me, so when my ex husband pursued me when we were in the eleventh grade, I felt like I shouldn’t pass up this opportunity even though he really wasn’t the type of guy I found attractive at all. After all, no one else would ever want me, I thought. Even dating other men after high school didn’t change that false belief I had. Many other adult children of narcissists I’ve spoken with have had similar experiences, & like me, settled for someone they didn’t love & who was abusive.
Gaslighting is your norm. You are so accustomed to being manipulated that you don’t recognize it as a problem. Since you don’t recognize this problem, the abuser can manipulate you in any way he or she sees fit. One common way narcissists keep their victim/spouse down is to make that person think that they are the problem in the relationship. When a person has low (or no) self-esteem, believing they are the problem will make that person feel as if they have to work hard to please their partner to make up for all of the misery they put that partner through.
If you too have experienced abusive relationships, then please stop beating yourself up! As you can see, it’s understandable! What matters is you escaped the abuse & learned from the awful experience. You’ll also find that the healthier you get & the more you learn, the more narcissists & other abusers will leave you alone.
Not all unsafe people are narcissists. Unfortunately, those of us who have experienced narcissistic abuse can be so focused on spotting & avoiding narcissists that we don’t notice traits in your garden variety unsafe people. It can be all too easy to overlook some unsafe qualities because if you compare them to narcissistic traits, they don’t seem all that bad. That doesn’t mean that these people are ok, however. It just means they aren’t as unsafe as narcissists. They still can cause frustration, hurt & pain.
Below is a list of traits of unsafe people I have compiled.
Unsafe people can come on too strong. Granted, narcissists do this, so it is at the very least a sign of an unsafe person, if not a narcissist. Watch out for anyone who says, “You’re going to be my best friend!” about as soon as you meet, or someone you date who starts discussing marriage almost immediately. Being so clingy simply isn’t normal.
Unsafe people also avoid facing their own problems, & will do about anything to avoid it. When my father was dying, my family & even strangers came out of the woodwork to attack me for not being there to say good bye, as I’ve said before. It went on for months but happened daily for his final three weeks when he was in the hospital. I asked God why this was happening & He told me something interesting. Some people were in deep denial. They didn’t want to face their own past abuse. Me not being there threatened their denial. I have been open about the abuse in my past, & me having the strength to face it made them feel bad for not doing the same. They felt they had to shut me down & make me do what they felt I should do so they could continue that denial. Rather than face difficult issues, many people will go even to such extremes to maintain their denial.
Unsafe people have no interest in improving themselves. Safe people want to learn & grow, lose bad habits, & other good things. Unsafe people couldn’t care less about such things.
Unsafe people act like they know everything. You can’t tell an unsafe person anything, because they know it all. They aren’t open to any knowledge, not only knowledge about how to improve themselves.
Unsafe people also become defensive at constructive criticism. Constructive criticism can help a person learn, grow & improve him or her self. Naturally this is a huge turn off to unsafe people since they have no interest in doing any such things.
When an unsafe person hurts another person, chances of accepting responsibility for their actions, a genuine apology & changed behavior are very, very slim. If you tell someone that something they said or did hurt you, & they act this way, it is a huge red flag saying this person is unsafe.
Unsafe people also demand trust rather than accepting the fact trust is earned. So many people say, “You can trust me” that it isn’t often noticed. It’s something that needs to be noticed, however! A healthy, safe person knows trust is earned, not given on demand.
Unsafe people can be very selfish. I don’t mean in a narcissistic way, where every single thing has to come back to them & they rage if it doesn’t. Not all selfish people are malicious, they are simply thoughtless. Even so, their selfishness can hurt you. If this happens & the person accepts responsibility, apologizes & their behavior changes, this is a very good sign that this person is safe. If none of that happens, however, this person is unsafe.
Unsafe people can be demanding of your time. Part of the selfishness factor, unsafe people want to monopolize your time. Naturally, not everyone who wants to spend time with you is unsafe. Good friends & loved ones naturally want to spend time with each other. Extroverts love to spend time with people. The key to recognizing an unsafe person in this area is someone who pretty much demands you spend time together when they want, & either acts offended or gives guilt trips when you are unavailable.
I believe these tips can help you to recognize unsafe people easily. And, when you come across them, always remember to keep your boundaries firmly in place, & be ready to enforce them as needed.
People often think it’s necessary to have some sort of closure at the end of a relationship, & it’s impossible to move on without it. Sometimes, however, closure isn’t a possibility. When it comes to narcissists, that is absolutely the case.
When an average relationship ends, it comes after two people have tried to work out their differences yet were unable to do so. They agree that the best solution is separation. Maybe some harsh words are said & the people decide to move on, each in their own direction. Each person also grieves, but in time, they do move on.
When a relationship with a narcissist ends, none of this happens. Narcissists see this as a rejection & narcissists’ simply can’t handle rejection in any form, ever. It’s a narcissistic injury. In other words, it is a direct blow to their self esteem. Rather than risk feeling not good enough or people finding out someone thinks the narcissist isn’t good enough, narcissists rage. The rage may be either a physical or verbal attack on the person ending the relationship, creating a smear campaign to discredit anything their victim says, recruiting flying monkeys to attack the victim, harassment & stalking or they simply pretend the victim never existed & meant nothing to them.
However the narcissist handles the relationship ending, it leaves no opportunity for real closure for the victim. The reason being the victim is too busy trying to process the trauma from the narcissist, survive the pain of people the victim thought cared turning on them, dodge the flying monkeys’ attacks, finding ways to protect him or herself from the narcissist’s harassment or stalking or processing the pain of the narcissist moving on as if the victim never existed. Such situations prohibit victims from being able to get closure in the traditional way.
None of this means that a victim can’t have closure after ending a relationship with a narcissist, however. It just has to come in different ways.
One way to help get closure is to accept the fact you won’t get it in the normal ways, & there is nothing you can do about that. Narcissists are far from normal people, so why would getting closure after ending the relationship with one be normal?
Another helpful thing you can do is accept the fact that the relationship meant nothing to the narcissist beyond what you could do for him or her. There was absolutely nothing you could have done to make that relationship healthy or loving, & that is NOT your fault! The blame for that lies on the narcissist.
It’s also common for people to beat themselves up after ending a relationship with a narcissist. Whether the narcissist was a spouse or parent, people often get angry with themselves for tolerating the abuse for too long or making excuses for it. That is nothing to be ashamed of! Any normal person wants to believe the person they love is a good person, which makes it hard to believe otherwise. Plus, narcissists are excellent manipulators. By being good sometimes, it thoroughly confuses victims. It makes them want to think the bad times aren’t the norm, that the good times are. This is known as Stockholm Syndrome or trauma bonding.
Since narcissists are so good at manipulation, that is why even some people close to you go to the side of the narcissist. If someone has their own issues, they may blindly fall for the narcissist’s manipulations. Someone abused as a child yet not facing their pain may side with your narcissistic parent because siding with you reminds them of their own pain & issues they fail to face. Or, they may be cowardly & see siding with the narcissist as the easiest path. The narcissist may benefit them somehow & not being on his or her side would mean losing that benefit. People like these are easy for narcissists to manipulate.
Lastly, as always I recommend praying. Ask God to help you. He will show you what you need to do as well as help you to heal. He will do so gladly, so why not let Him?
Closure with narcissists is difficult, but it is possible. It just isn’t what most people think of when they hear the word “closure.”
Many of us who grew up with at least one narcissistic parent ended up as adults, romantically involved with another narcissist. Unfortunately, it is very common. I did it myself. My mother was a very overt narcissist, my father a covert narcissist & my ex husband a very covert narcissist. Since he acted so differently than her, I honestly believed he was ok, even good for me at first. It took some time after our divorce when I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder before I learned about covert narcissism vs. overt. When I did is when things finally clicked, & I realized how bad he was for me.
If you too have thought the faulty way that I have, you are not alone! Below are some ways you can tell if your significant other is a narcissist. I am writing this from the perspective of a woman with a narcissistic male partner simply because that is what my situation was, but the information fits no matter who is male or female in the relationship.
It’s his way or the highway. Narcissists simply must have their way, always, period, end of story. If your mate pouts, uses guilt or anger to make sure he gets his way, this is a red flag.
If he acts like he is the one who knows what is best for both of you, this is another big red flag. My ex husband was convinced he knew what was best for us. The truth is, he knew what was best for *him, not *us.
Every conversation comes back to him. Looking back at my first marriage, it astounds me how every conversation came back to him. When my mother abused me when we were in high school, rather than him caring how it affected me, he talked about how hard it was on him. When he lost yet another job, it was all about his panic rather than what we could do to survive.
Manipulation is a constant. Overt narcissists are obvious in their abuse. They use threats of physical violence or yell & belittle to get their way. Covert narcissists are much more subtle, using guilt, shaming & gaslighting to get their way.
Are you always to blame? Another sign of a narcissistic mate is when you are to blame for everything. He lost his job? That is your fault, even though you were never there. His car broke down? Also your fault, in spite of the fact you have not driven the car since 2007. Why? His reasons will be creative & highly inaccurate.
Does he think way too highly of himself? Regarding my ex husband, my granddad said to me, “It’s a shame he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was.” He was right. My ex was convinced he was much smarter than pretty much anyone else on the planet, but especially me. He also seemed to think he was doing me a favor by being with me.
Does he lack empathy? A hallmark of all narcissists, overt or covert is that they lack empathy. If anything hurts another person, a narcissist cannot understand it. They also lack the ability to see things from another person’s perspective. Emotions & different perspectives are well beyond something they can understand.
Feeling like you can’t be good enough for him is another red flag. No matter what I did or how hard I tried, I always knew it was never enough for my ex. He made me feel ashamed for my shortcomings, too. This is very typical of narcissistic partners.
Emotional abuse is the norm. You are accustomed to him making you feel not good enough, stupid, ugly, etc. You also make excuses for it, blame yourself & justify what he said.
He isolates you. Ok, maybe he does not hold you hostage in the basement, but he does say negative things about your friends & family, which leads you to sever ties with people you were once close to. My ex pressured me from very early on to sever ties with my mother, then later my grandparents, & even my best friend. He used subtle means, too such as, “She isn’t a good friend to you since she doesn’t call more often…”
If your significant other is doing at least some of these things, then please, Dear Reader, be careful with this person. Chances are excellent that you are dealing with a narcissist. I urge you to pray about your situation, & ask God to help you. Reconnect with those with whom you severed ties. Talk to safe people. Ask for help as needed. You can survive this situation!
Most people who hear of someone being abused think of someone weak. A small child, an adult with low or no self esteem who isn’t very intelligent or even mentally or emotionally stunted. Maybe someone who has a very gentle nature, lacking the strength & courage to stand up to an abusive person or thinks that tolerating abuse is the Godly thing to do.
While it’s certainly true that people like this are sought out by abusers, they aren’t the only ones. Highly intelligent, strong & confident people are also sought out by abusers.
Have you ever heard a story about a wealthy person being charmed by someone who stole most if not all of that person’s money? Or, maybe a strong person ended up abused, & turned into an empty shell of their former self not long after marrying their abuser. That person isn’t someone you would consider weak, but even so, they clearly were abused.
The natural response most people have is to wonder how this sort of thing happened? They think that person was too smart or too strong to be in this situation, & it doesn’t make sense. Their opinion of that person often drops because they feel that person must have been weak or stupid, in spite of how they appeared to be.
Such thinking couldn’t be further from the truth!
Abusers are often like prey hunting animals. Sure, they’ll hunt the wounded, young & easy prey sometimes. It’s there & they need a meal/victim so why pass that up?! But, that doesn’t mean they have an aversion to the more challenging prey. If a lion is hungry enough, he’ll hunt that healthy & strong antelope even though getting that antelope is a lot of work.
The same thing goes for narcissists. They don’t have an aversion to abusing a victim that is more of a challenge. In fact, they enjoy it. Easy victims are good, but conquering someone who is strong, confident & successful is big time narcissistic supply. That challenge makes them feel very powerful. It makes sense in its own dysfunctional way. It shows the abuser they are able to destroy the un-destroyable. They must be powerful to accomplish that, right?!
If you are someone who has suffered abuse, that doesn’t mean you are weak. It means the person is an abuser, & often abusers seek out a challenging victim. If you were sought out, that means there is something about you that appealed to the abuser. Your strength, success, intelligence, kindness, faith… whatever it was, it was a good thing to make such a horrible person want to destroy you.
And, if you know someone who has been abused, this also applies to them. That person must possess some very good qualities if that awful person worked so hard to destroy them. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the victim. Quite the opposite – there is something very right with that person!
Those of us who have gone no contact with abusive parents most likely have heard the same invalidating, nonsensical comments.
- “But that’s your MOTHER!”
- “Your father can’t help it… that’s just how he is!”
- “You need to let what they say roll off your back.”
- “You need to forgive & forget/honor your parents!”
- “You only get one set of parents!”
Statements like this make me cringe. People who say such utterly moronic comments truly have zero clue what it’s like to be in the position of feeling no contact is the only option left to protect our sanity.
If you have gone no contact, Dear Reader, then this post today is to remind you of some things.
First, no one has the right to tell you how to feel about anything, let alone your abusive parent’s actions. You know how it feels to you, & that is all that matters. Just because it may not bother someone else so much doesn’t mean you’re automatically wrong. It means you two are different.
Second, no one has the right to dictate how you should handle the relationship with your abusive parent. They aren’t in the relationship so they don’t need to have an opinion on it, let alone share that opinion with you as if it was the Gospel.
Third, just because you are no longer speaking to your abusive parent doesn’t mean you aren’t honoring that parent. There is absolutely NO honor in tolerating abuse. See this article for more information: What It Really Means To Honor Your Parents
Forth, you have every right to protect yourself from abuse from anyone, including your own parent. There is nothing Godly or holy about tolerating abuse. Nothing.
Fifth, remember that the person saying these things has absolutely zero clue of all the heartache you have endured, all the tears shed, all the prayers & begging God to change things & to show you what to do. This person is talking out of sheer ignorance, & is NOT someone whose advice you should listen to.
Sixth, many people who say such invalidating nonsense come from their own dysfunctional backgrounds. You facing your pain reminds them of their own pain that they are trying to ignore. Seeing you face your pain makes them feel cowardly for not facing theirs. Or, it threatens their denial. If they had a decent relationship with your narcissistic parent, you clearly showing the truth about your parent threatens their delusion that your parent is a good person. Either way, they want to shut you down because of their own issues & lack of courage.
Lastly, if you have doubts about whether or not you’ve made the right decision to go no contact with your parent (which we all do at some point), ask God to tell you. He will tell you nothing but the truth & it will help you greatly. Some time back, I was starting to have doubts about being no contact with my mother. Elderly, widowed & on her own for the first time at almost 80 years old, it’s natural I felt badly for her. I asked God one morning if I should resume contact. Immediately, I knew what would happen if I did. I could see it kinda like a movie playing in my mind. At first, she was nice & not very demanding. As time wore on though, she expected me to come by a couple of times a week, then three times a week, then daily. I would be forced to be at her beck & call, unable to take care of my own family & home, & even my writing would be neglected. I knew in my heart God was right, & this is exactly what would happen, because it happened before. My mother’s mother was this same exact way. Physically & mentally, there is no way I could handle this, plus I can’t allow my calling & family to suffer just to provide someone with narcissistic supply. God helped me to stay on the right track, just like when He told me it was time to go no contact with my parents in the first place. He can do the same for you. All you have to do is ask.
Leaving a relationship with a narcissist is so hard! Whether the narcissist is a love interest or family member, it’s always hard. They can make you feel obligated to them as if you owe them something, like no one else would “put up with you”, & you’ll lose everyone you love if you end this relationship. It takes a lot of strength & courage to end a relationship under those circumstances.
It’s hard to end any relationship. It’s sad eliminating a person from your life that you once cared a great deal about. If that person is a family member, it’s even harder simply because that person is family. Family is supposed to be full of people who love & support each other. It’s hard to wrap your mind around the fact someone in that role in your life isn’t that way at all, but is an abusive monster.
There is also the fact that narcissists make their victims feel like they’ll never find anyone to love them. My ex husband told me once, that I’d never find anyone who loved me like he did. At the time, it was terrifying! I was sure I’d be alone forever. The more years we have been separated though, the more I realized he was right. No one else has so called “loved” me like him & I thank God for that!
There also is the problem of flying monkeys. Whether the narcissist in your life is a relative or romantic partner, chances are excellent that this person has some devoted flying monkeys who think she can do no wrong, & you know they will attack you if you are “mean” enough to abandon their precious narcissist. That can be pretty intimidating, especially when you’re already beaten down by the narcissist.
While these can be upsetting scenarios, it’s still best to abandon the relationship with the narcissist in your life. You will NOT regret it! I have not once heard anyone in this type of situation say they wish they had stayed in the abusive relationship. Not once! In my experience, I have absolutely no regrets either.
When you do end the relationship, you are going to love your new freedom & realize it was worth it.
Suddenly, you will feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders. No longer do you have to seriously consider every word you say for fear of upsetting this person. You no longer have to worry about how you style your hair or how you dress being a reason for this person to put you down. You can do whatever you want, have your own opinions, listen to whatever music you like & even eat whatever food you want without the fear of being mocked. It’s so freeing!
When stuck in a relationship with a narcissist, it is hard to see just how bad things are. You’re so busy trying to survive, that takes up all your thoughts. It doesn’t cross your mind that things are really bad. Once you leave it though, your thinking will be much clearer without the narcissist taking up so much of your thoughts. You’re also going to see exactly how bad the situation was, & be incredibly grateful you left it.
If you’re considering ending your relationship with a narcissist, but are afraid, I want to encourage you today. You can do this & you won’t regret it! Ask God to give you strength. Talk to your supportive friends or a counselor & let them encourage you. Look at your past successes, all the times you dealt with the narcissist in your life or her flying monkeys & they didn’t get their way. You can do this, Dear Reader! You really can! And when you do, you are going to be incredibly grateful you did it!
When a relationship ends, the average person is sad for some time. They may fondly remember special times with the other person or great conversations. They miss such things, but in time, they’re ok. They move on & get involved in other relationships. This is a healthy way to cope, because it allows a person to heal.
Nothing like this happens with narcissists.
Narcissists are incapable of truly loving. Because of this, a relationship that has ended doesn’t affect them in the same way as it affects your average person.. They don’t miss the person they love, but instead, they miss their favorite source of narcissistic supply. This is why they act differently than functional people when a relationship ends. Narcissistic supply is like a drug to them. When a relationship ends, they’re losing their “fix”, if you will. That isn’t an easy thing for any addict to handle.
To start with, narcissists don’t usually understand why someone ends a relationship with them. To understand, they would need at least some empathy, which most people know is something that all narcissists lack. They don’t understand why their ex would object to them cheating, why that former friend complained that they took advantage of their good nature, or why their adult child was hurt when they cut their child out of the will for simply telling the parent, “no.” Narcissists are incapable of grasping such concepts. In their minds, they’re entitled to whatever they want. Besides, the behavior didn’t hurt them, so it isn’t important to them. If it had hurt them, they’d change their behavior at the speed of sound. Since it didn’t though, they are left baffled why their partner, friend or child ended the relationship. What the other person wanted or felt wasn’t so much as a blip on their radar. All that matters to a narcissist is what they want, which usually boils down to their precious narcissistic supply. Since the wants of the narcissist & victim are vastly different & the victim’s are not even considered by the narcissist, usually the end of a relationship catches them by surprise. Their victims often warn them for months or even years in advance that they won’t tolerate the abuse forever, yet still, narcissists are shocked when someone ends a relationship with them.
Narcissists also don’t like rejection. No one does, of course, but narcissists are infuriated by it. Rejection is a narcissistic injury. It makes them feel badly about themselves, so the person who rejected them must pay for making them feel that way. Rather than walk away from the failed relationship with some semblance of dignity, most narcissists opt for revenge. Overt narcissists often harass & stalk their victim, & get their flying monkeys in on the process as well. They also will unleash a very impressive smear campaign, lying about the victim being the cause for the failure of the relationship because of being selfish, crazy, controlling & even abusive. This often isolates the victim from friends & even family who believe the lies. Covert narcissists are much less likely to harass & stalk their victim, since they prefer to look like a good person, but some will or have their flying monkeys do their dirty work for them. They also don’t have any trouble creating a smear campaign, but it is much different than their overt counterparts. Rather than say outright their victim is crazy & abusive, they phrase their smear campaign in a way so as not to sound critical, but concerned instead. They may say something along the lines of, “I’m not surprised my ex left me. She got so mean when she took drugs. She just wasn’t herself. I hope she’ll be ok…” See how this smear is? It makes the person saying these things sound concerned & as if he isn’t trying to destroy the reputation of his ex girlfriend. People will believe this type of smear campaign very easily, even if they know the ex in question & know she never took drugs.
There is also the likelihood of the narcissist trying to “hoover” the victim back into the relationship. When this happens, the narcissist may do their best to make the victim believe they have changed. They may make promises that they have no intention of keeping such as they won’t do whatever the victim complained about anymore. Some other empty promises are if the victim would only take the narcissist back, he or she will be faithful, they’ll be less selfish, they’ll think more of their victim’s needs. The narcissist also may shower the victim with expensive gifts or love letters. They may send their flying monkeys to tell the victim how miserable they are without the victim, & how desperately they want to resume the relationship. This is a tough one, I know. When I first broke up with my now ex husband, it seemed like everyone we knew was telling me how sad he was, how miserable he was, how much he missed me & how I really should get back together with him. I felt so incredibly guilty at that time that I agreed not only to return to him but to marry him after only a short time apart.
Sometimes, narcissists fall into depression after a relationship ends, too. They have no coping skills & aren’t fully aware of their emotions, plus they just lost their narcissistic supply. It’s normal they wouldn’t handle any break up well when you consider these facts. This can be so hard for the person who ended the relationship. When people tell you how sad this person is or he says he doesn’t want to live without you, it can be incredibly hard to take. It can make you feel incredibly guilty & responsible, which is truly unfair.
If you experience these things after ending a relationship with a narcissist, I urge you to remember that the narcissist is acting this way not out of a genuine & healthy love for you, but because he or she is a narcissist. They are incredibly dysfunctional people. You stick to no contact, & remind yourself often exactly why you came to that decision. Write things down if it helps, since writing can be an incredibly useful tool. Also remember that person’s emotions aren’t your responsibility. Don’t forget to document everything in case you need to involve the law at some point. Even if you don’t, the documentation will help you a great deal to remember why you’re no contact. It’ll also help you to see the way this person tries to manipulate you. And, if the narcissist creates a smear campaign against you, never, ever react to it. Any reaction would give this person narcissistic supply, so you deprive this person of that supply. In time, he or she will get bored with your lack of reaction & give up the smearing. Lastly, if the narcissist sends the flying monkeys after you, remember that few are truly innocent people who are fooled by the narcissist. Most are also narcissists, I believe. Treat them accordingly. Remember to tell them nothing that you would object to the original narcissist knowing, in particular anything about the original narcissist. Chances are the flying monkey will share everything you say with that person, so give them no material to work with. Most importantly, pray & lean on God to help you get through this. He truly will help you!
I recently read an amazing article entitled “11 Signs Your Personality Is So Intense That It’s Intimidating To Others“. Later on, I thought about the article & realized that many other victims of narcissistic abuse share many if not all of these qualities. It’s no wonder narcissists have issues with us! It’s also proof that we are some pretty amazing people, in my opinion!
#1 in the article is “you’re honest to a fault.” And what a fault honesty is to narcissists! They want victims to be willing to lie to & for them, to pretend they’re perfect & to protect their reputation.
#2, “You’re a problem solver, not one to wallow.” This is another big no no to narcissists, because that means a person like this won’t tolerate abuse indefinitely.
#3, “You aren’t afraid of intimacy.” Many people when they hear the word intimacy think sex, but actually it can be much more beyond sex. Two people who are open with each other, & love, trust & respect each other can have a very intimate relationship with or without sex. If this is something you want, chances are excellent you’ll see behind the narcissist’s mask before he or she is ready for that to happen, which means you won’t be a good victim.
#4, “You’re intense in all that you do.” Intense people don’t settle for things that aren’t intense. They want passion & deep relationships. They don’t want superficial anything, which is yet one more problem for narcissists. They do want superficial relationships. Deeper would mean they might actually have to do some self reflection, which is one of their biggest fears. Even narcissists don’t want to see what’s truly behind their masks.
#5, “You ask a lot of questions.” Narcissists demand blind trust from their victims. That doesn’t come from someone who asks lots of questions. They will trust, but they want to know beyond a doubt they can trust before doing so.
#6, “You refuse to waste your time waiting around for others.” Narcissists MUST be in control of victims, & that even includes when they spend time with people. My mother is perpetually late, unless it’s with someone she wants to impress. Being late is her way of forcing someone to wait on her, so basically she’s in control of that person even if only for a short time.
#7, “You’re like a human lie detector.” Definitely a very, very big turn off for any narcissist. They want to be able to lie to their victims & get away with it indefinitely. Someone who won’t put up with lying is going to call them out on their actions, & we all know narcissists don’t tolerate that well.
#8, “You’re incredibly open minded.” Another problem as far as narcissists are concerned. If you’re open minded, you might *gasp* think for yourself at some point. No victim of any narcissist is allowed to do that! It’s an unpardonable sin to them. Narcissists want their victims to think however the narcissist wants them to think, period. Independent thought may lead to victims realizing that this abuse they’re enduring is wrong, & figure out a way to escape it.
#9, “You always have a clear picture of what you want.” Another problem according to narcissists. If you know what you want, you also have a good sense of boundaries & you know what you aren’t willing to tolerate. This means you may be too tough to manipulate & control for a narcissist.
#10, “You’re a creature of habit.” Another no no for narcissists. Victims need to be pliable so their narcissist can control them. If you have & like your routine, you won’t be open to a lot of change, which is a sign you’re not pliable. This simply will not work for a narcissist!
#11, “You have no interest in shallow relationships.” Narcissists love shallow relationships because they aren’t demanding & don’t require much of them. People who like deeper relationships come across as highly demanding & unreasonable to narcissists. How dare you expect the narcissist to care about your feelings, thoughts, family, job, etc? That means the spotlight would be off the narcissist, & we know that narcissists can’t handle that.
If you share any of the qualities on this list, then enjoy them knowing that they make you unattractive to narcissists, so enjoy these qualities & wear them proudly!
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Severing ties with a narcissist is never easy. Not only due to the simple fact that ending any relationship is hard, but also because of the fact they don’t exactly handle this well. While no one likes to have someone end a relationship with them, it can become devastating to a narcissist. They will do about anything to get their victim to return to the relationship, often only so they can later discard their victim on their terms. This article will help you to avoid behaviors that can encourage a narcissist to want you back.
Naturally, do your best to avoid any interaction whatsoever with the narcissist after no contact. Narcissists don’t think like normal people, obviously, so they are prone to taking any interaction after no contact as a sign the relationship has been resumed. Take away their hope in that area if at all possible.
Sometimes even when doing your best to avoid a narcissist, they find ways to interject themselves into your life. One way they do this is by stalking & harassing their victims. They inundate victims with constant phone calls, text messages, social media messages & even postal mail. Or, they may show up places they know you frequent such as your favorite coffee shop. This can be incredibly unnerving. I’ve been on the receiving end of such behavior from two narcissists in my life, & I found it terrifying. I also learned that narcissists often know stalking & harassment laws well, so they stay just barely legal. This means getting a restraining order is very difficult, if not impossible. The most effective ways I know how to handle such behavior are never to respond to anything they send you & to block the narcissist at every pass. Granted, he or she probably will find ways around your blocks, such as creating new email addresses or social media accounts, but block them too. Keep blocking. If they have flying monkeys who tell you to talk to them, block them too. Do NOT engage either the narcissist or the flying monkey at all. Ever!
If you can’t avoid the narcissist completely, always remember the Gray Rock method. In other words, provide zero narcissistic supply. You know this person well, so naturally you know what makes him or her happy. Deprive this person of it. Provide no praise, no complements, no offers to do things for him or her. Also share absolutely no personal information about yourself. If she asks what you’re doing later, say you have plans & leave it at that. How is your job going? “Fine.” One or two word answers are the best.
Show no emotions to this person. You aren’t happy, sad, angry… anything. You are completely neutral in his or her presence. Emotions feed narcissists. If you’re happy, they can destroy it so you’re as miserable as they are. If they make you sad or angry, they feel powerful, so they’ll do that thing again to get their “high”. Deprive them of that feeding.
Show no remorse for anything you have done, including no contact. If you show you feel any sadness, guilt, or regrets, the narcissist will pounce on you like a hungry lion.
Do not give in to anything the narcissist tries to make you do. I don’t care if it’s something silly like passing them the salt shaker over lunch, don’t do it if it can be avoided. If not, do it perfunctorily.
By doing these things, you are essentially making yourself very unattractive to the narcissist in your life. They want people who will prop up their egos, blindly obey them & make them the center of their world. People who refuse to do such things are of no use to a narcissist, so a narcissist will leave them alone.
Going no contact with a narcissist is an incredibly challenging thing to go through. As if the agonizing over whether or not to do it wasn’t enough, there is also the likelihood of the narcissist refusing to accept your boundary, & making your life miserable.
Once the narcissist has gotten bored with trying to lure a victim back into the relationship, the victim is left to move on with their life. Although in a way that life is so much simpler without the constant influx of narcissistic abuse, that doesn’t mean all the victim’s problems are over.
After severing ties with my parents, I had more nightmares & flashbacks than usual for quite some time. I believe this is because when there is a narcissist in your life, that person basically takes up all the room in the relationship. You’re so focused on keeping them happy & avoiding their abuse that you have little time to think of anything else. When the narcissist is out of your life, your brain finally has time to think of other things. Since it constantly processes everything in life, it naturally wants to make sense of what happened with the narcissist. It tries to make sense out of the nonsensical. When it happened to me, I realized this was going to happen, like it or not, so I tried to make it work in my favor. I coped with whatever came up as it came up. It ended up being a time of quite a bit of healing for me.
After experiencing stalking & harassment, even after it stops, you still may experience a feeling like, “What’s next?” When your day is filled with constant messages that you don’t want, it can really shake you up! Plus, with many narcissists, they stop but start up again, which puts a person in a state of being on high alert. Even if the narcissist hasn’t contacted you in months, that doesn’t mean he or she won’t start up again. How can you relax knowing that is possible? The best you can do is block all access the narcissist has to you, & save all evidence in case you need it to pursue legal charges against him or her.
Even if the narcissist in your life hasn’t stalked or harassed you, he or she may still send you Christmas or birthday cards as a way of attempting to keep their foot in the door with you. These little reminders can be surprisingly upsetting to a victim. They can make you start to wonder if you made the right decision by going no contact, make you feel guilty for not spending this holiday with the narcissist & bring up a plethora of conflicting, confusing feelings. Unfortunately this is very normal. When it happens, I urge you not to make any rash decisions. Just because the narcissist sent it to you & expects you to read it doesn’t mean you have to read it. Put it aside & pray. If you then believe in your heart you need to read it, & have no doubts, then read it. Otherwise, it is most likely best not to read it. You can throw it out, return it to the sender or even save it if you feel you want to read it in the future. Also, just because it is a special day, doesn’t mean the narcissist has changed. The narcissist is simply using an opportunity to attempt to hoover you back into the relationship.
Even if the narcissist doesn’t try to contact you, doubts after no contact are very normal. Ending a relationship is always hard. Never forget what made you decide to go no contact. Writing it out can help tremendously.
Remember, if you are considering going no contact with a narcissist or have recently done so, don’t expect no contact to mean your problems are over. Yes, many of them will be, but there are some new ones that will come up. You can get through them! A bad day without a narcissist in your life is still better than any day with a narcissist in your life!
I’m writing this post for those of you who are currently unwilling or unable to go no contact with a narcissist.
Almost every article out there regarding victims of narcissistic abuse says the same thing – “just go no contact.” The tone in many of these articles & even some fellow survivors can be downright shaming. They make it sound like being unable or unwilling to go no contact means you’re weak, stupid or something is very wrong with you.
No contact is almost always the best way to deal with a narcissist, but that still doesn’t make it an easy solution. It always hurts to end a relationship, even when the person with whom you’re ending it is abusive. The closer the relationship the more it hurts, too. If you’re ending a relationship with your parent, that is going to hurt a great deal more than ending it with someone you have dated only a month. Narcissists usually abuse those closest to them. This is why the most abusive relationships with a narcissist are close relationships, such as parents & spouses.
There is also the fact that narcissists are able to behave & treat people right (they just prefer acting the way they do because it gets them what they want). When they behave, they can be so very good & loving! Seeing that, it’s hard to want to leave them because you can’t help but hoping that good part of them will stick around for good.
Not wanting to end a relationship with a narcissist doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or you’re weak. It means you’re normal!
It often takes a lot of time to work up the inner strength to be able to go no contact. Narcissists beat their victims down so badly, they can utterly destroy their victim’s self esteem. Even when you learn what is happening, it still takes time to repair your self esteem & to build up enough strength to sever ties.
Or, maybe you believe in your heart that the timing isn’t right just yet for no contact. That happened to me with my parents. I wanted to go no contact with them for well over a year before I felt God was saying it was time.
A lot of times, a victim who lives with a narcissist is financially dependent on that narcissist. Narcissists love using money as a means of control, so often they take away any access a victim has to money, even if it’s his or her own paycheck. It takes time to be able to find means of supporting oneself in these situations.
There are also some narcissists who are pretty low on the spectrum. Yes, that person causes problems but they aren’t over the top in their behavior. In cases like this, some people would prefer to learn ways to deal with these people than end those relationships, & it is their right to do that.
None of the above situations make a person weak or flawed.
For those of you who are in situations like these, I want to encourage you today.
It’s very difficult at best being in a relationship with a narcissist, I know. Until the time comes when you are ready & willing to go no contact, there are some things you can do to make your relationship with this person a little easier.
The first thing you should do is ask God to show you creative & effective ways to cope with this person & also to enable you to go no contact if that is your desired result.
Always remember that narcissists are all about gaining narcissistic supply. It’s the motivation behind everything they do. Any attention or reaction you give them, good or bad, provides supply. Learn to be as boring to the narcissist as possible. Show them no anger, sadness or happiness. Be calm & collected in the presence of the narcissist. Offer simple answers without explanations. Provide no personal information. This is known as the Gray Rock method.
Don’t forget to question whatever the narcissist says. They are masters of gaslighting & manipulation, so basically almost everything they say needs to be examined. Ask yourself if what they say is true or not. You also can question the narcissist directly. If you opt to do that, do it calmly in your best gray rock way. “Why do you think that?” “Explain how that makes sense.. I don’t follow you.” Logical & calmly asked questions can throw a narcissist off balance. They show her that you’re onto her.
Never forget to keep & enforce healthy boundaries. You have every right to tell the narcissist no & to expect to be treated with respect. Don’t explain your boundaries either, as the narcissist will tell you why your boundaries are wrong, & may make you doubt yourself. Or, if you feel you absolutely must explain something, remember to stay gray rock & keep all explanations minimal.
Never forget that whatever any narcissist is doing isn’t about you. It’s about them. Everything is always all about them! Yes, that person is hurting & abusing you, but it’s because it makes her feel better. It’s not because you have done something to deserve it. Also, nothing that person says about you is true. Narcissists project their own flaws onto their victims. It doesn’t mean you actually are whatever the narcissist says you are. In fact, if you listen to what the narcissist says about you, you can learn a lot about that person. If she calls you a liar, it’s because she lies often.
If your goal is to go no contact in the future, low contact may be an excellent option for you. It’s as the name describes – you are in low contact with the narcissist. You don’t take phone calls or visit often, but only when you feel able instead. Low contact can be a really good stepping stone to no contact.
While there are no easy, one size fits all solutions for narcissists, these tactics can help you at least. And, don’t forget – there is nothing wrong with you for being unable or unwilling to go no contact. It’s a very big decision, & every person has to do it only when & if they feel equipped to do so.
I think it’s a very safe assumption that almost everyone who has gone no contact with a narcissist, in particular a narcissistic parent or other family member, has had more than their share of doubts. Ending relationships is tough, but especially when the relationship is a close one such as in the case of family.
What makes the doubts worse is when after not speaking for some time, you learn through the grapevine that the narcissist is sick, lost their job, or going through some very difficult situation. Considering this is someone you were once very close to, it’s only natural to want to help them & to feel bad they are in this situation. Those desires may make start to override the terrible things that made you sever ties in the first place.
Today, I want to tell you.. DON’T DO IT!!
No, I don’t know you or the narcissist personally, but I do know a lot about narcissists & have more than a little experience with them. I have learned that once you end a relationship with a narcissist, resuming it will only cause you heartache as it did me.
At first, the narcissist will behave, & probably even be respectful & caring. This lulls you into thinking this person has changed. All is right in the world now. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth!
In time, little things will change. Maybe a comment here or there about how you shouldn’t have left in the first place. Or, instead of 10 complements a day, it’s dropped to 9 & a nasty criticism. Everyone has a bad day sometimes, so you rationalize the comments as nothing more & let it go. After all, things have been going so well.
Gradually more things change. Things get worse. There are more criticisms. Now there are also some manipulation attempts too. “I never did that.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” There are also guilt trips about you “abandoning” the narcissist in the first place. They may even have their friends or family mention how hard it was for them when you weren’t in their life. You begin to feel guilty for hurting the narcissist, so you go along with what they do.
Before you know it, the relationship is as bad, if not worse as it was before you went no contact in the first place.
Maybe you’re thinking this won’t happen to you but I can tell you, the chances of it happening to you are excellent. I was fooled into thinking that myself in three very different relationships.
One was a friendship. Upon meeting, she told me we were going to be best friends. I was young, naive & knew nothing of narcissistic personality disorder, so I blindly obeyed, & became her good friend. The friendship ended a couple of years later, then a couple of years after that, resumed. At first, things were good. We had a lot of laughs together. Then things changed. She constantly demanded my attention. I spent a lot of time with her, no matter what I had going on. She expected me to watch her small kids while with her too, which is something I’m not good at doing. I ended that friendship again after about a year & a half.
One was my first marriage. I broke my engagement to my ex husband because I realized I wasn’t happy with him. While we were apart, he insisted we remain “friends.” We spoke often & he told me how miserable he was. Our mutual friends told me the same. We got back together, & married a few months later. I knew that although he was acting better, I shouldn’t marry him but I did. He made me feel like I owed it to him. In fact, when he proposed again, he said, “I’m not letting you go this time.” We separated a bit over 4 years later.
The other one was my mother. In 2001, I had enough, & finally cut ties with my mother. In 2007, my father told me that she needed heart surgery. I said I’d pray for her. Once she got home, she called me to thank me for praying for her. I honestly believed at that the change in her personality was from facing a near death experience. The more time passed, the more she regressed into the abusive person she’d always been, which is why when I went no contact in 2016, I determined this time, it’s forever.
My stories are very typical, Dear Reader. I told them because you need to know that if you have doubts about being no contact, they need to be ignored. Take care of yourself. Your mental health is very important! Resuming a toxic relationship does no good to you or the toxic person in question. It simply enables their awful behavior while you sacrifice yourself. There is NOTHING good about that!
As I’ve said many times, my heart goes out to those in the position of being unable or unwilling to go no contact with their narcissistic parents. You’re in a tough, tough place, & I understand since I’ve been there. I want to help you if I can, & that is what today’s post is about.
There are some small, easy ways you can set boundaries with your narcissistic parent while not eliminating them from your life entirely.
For starters, reduce the amount of time you spend with your narcissistic parent. Don’t visit or have your parent visit you as often. Stop taking their calls every time they call. Ask yourself if you feel up to dealing with your parent, & if not, don’t take that call or visit.
When you must visit or speak with your parent on the phone, set a time limit. Don’t allow your narcissistic parent to waste half your day when that is so hard on you! Set a limit, then say “I have to go” & go.
Also if you visit your narcissistic parent, have a way out. Plan something to do so you only have a limited time to spend with your parent. If you can’t think of something, say you just remembered something you have to take care of & go. It’s not a lie- you remembered you have to take care of yourself!
Remember to keep the conversation away from you. Your love life, in-laws, job, troubles & even your mental & physical health should be off the table for topics to discuss with your narcissistic parent. Giving any narcissist personal information is just asking for trouble such as criticism & unasked for, useless advice. Change the subject if your parent wants or demands to know something personal about you. If all else fails, ask your parent about something that matters to her. Chances are excellent she’ll drop the matter at the opportunity to talk about herself.
If you’re dependent even slightly on your narcissistic parent financially, find ways to put an end to it. Narcissists love controlling their adult children with money, so remove that tool if at all possible. If not, then at least find ways to reduce the amount.
If you have pets or kids, have strict boundaries in place. It is your job to protect them & that includes from abusive & narcissistic parents.
When it’s time to set boundaries with your parent, remain calm. Show no emotion, simply state the facts. Any signs you are upset will fuel your narcissistic parent’s behavior. Stay calm, state your boundary & the consequence of your parent not respecting the boundary, then enforce it if necessary.
If you’re friends on social media, unfollow your narcissistic parent. You will remain friends, but you won’t see her posts which can reduce stress.
If you must go somewhere with your narcissistic parent, drive separately. That way, you are free to leave at any time if need be. Also, cars are a great weapon for some narcissists. There is no escape- you have to put up with whatever they do when you’re in a car together. My mother loved having me trapped in her car, & used it to scream at me when I was a kid or belittle me as an adult.
Always remember the Gray Rock Method. Think about what gives your narcissistic parent narcissistic supply, & refuse to provide it. Basically, you need to be boring to her. Don’t admire her. Don’t praise her. Don’t get angry at her so she can portray herself as the victim. Don’t coddle her. Don’t share anything personal about yourself that she could use against you or as fuel to spread lies about you. Don’t empathize with her if someone has hurt her. Show no real interest in her problems. If she needs your assistance with something, do the bare minimum, don’t go above & beyond. Gray Rock can be hard at first because every tiny thing can provide narcissistic supply, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Lastly, pray & pray often. Ask God to help you cope with your narcissistic parent, to give you the right words to say, & to give you effective, creative ways to cope with her behavior. He will NOT disappoint you!
Some very naive people think that being a Christian means some pretty awful things. One of those awful things is that as a Christian, you are to tolerate any & all abuse because calling people out on it is “un-Christian” or unloving. These ingenuous people actually think that removing yourself from an abuser’s life isn’t Godly behavior, especially if that abuser is a parent. It’s much better to allow that person to abuse you indefinitely! After all, the Bible says you should honor your parents, & it’s honorable to tolerate anything they dish out!
I am certainly not claiming to have all the answers to all things Christian. I am well aware that I don’t. But, I have been a Christian for 22 years now & have learned a few things.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean you are better than other people or that you’re perfect. Far from it. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Jesus. And, just because we have Him in our lives & hearts doesn’t mean we’re perfect. No matter how perfect an artist may be, if the canvas is flawed, even the greatest artist can’t paint a perfect picture on a flawed canvas.
Another important thing I have learned is that being a Christian also means we need to love God’s way, which is very different from loving people’s way. God’s love wants what is best, not what is easiest. Confronting abusers is best because it encourages them to make appropriate changes in their behavior. Granted with narcissists, the chances of them making positive changes is very slim. However, it is not your place to force them to change. It is your place to encourage them to change, which is much different than forcing someone to change.
But it’s certainly NOT easy! Tolerating bad behavior & even abuse is much easier than standing up to someone about their behavior. As painful as tolerating abuse is, at least you won’t lose your friends & family so long as you tolerate it. Once you stand up to an abuser, chances are excellent that you will lose people you love. They will call you unreasonable, unloving, cruel, abusive, a bad son/daughter/friend/etc. & yes, even attack your faith by saying you aren’t a real Christian or are a bad one. People who stand up to abusers find out quickly who really loves them & who doesn’t.
I believe many people, Christian or not, have misinterpreted the Bible when it comes to love. Yes, love is patient & kind & other wonderful things. However, love also must be tough sometimes. God proves that! He doesn’t let His people get away with any old kind of behavior. He lets us suffer consequences of bad actions or be blessed with good actions. As His children, we are supposed to behave like God- Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (KJV)
Dear Reader, if your faith has been judged & criticized because you have removed an abuser from your life, you are most certainly not alone. Many people have been, including me. When this happens, I try to remember Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. 12 Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (AMP) As painful as it is when people side with your abuser over you, & even shame you for no longer tolerating abuse, it can bring comfort when you remember God is all too aware of what is being said to & about you. He will reward you one day! Those who said such cruel things however?? Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes…
2 Thessalonians 1:8 “dealing out [full and complete] vengeance to those who do not [seek to] know God and to those who ignore and refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus [by choosing not to respond to Him].” (AMP)
Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” (AMP)
Hoovering is when a narcissist doesn’t want to accept the fact you have ended the relationship, & they try to lure you back. If you’re not aware of hoovering tactics, it can be easy to be lured into a false sense of believing the narcissist has truly changed, & the relationship will be better this time only to be sadly disappointed when finding out the narcissist really hasn’t changed. To prevent this from happening, this post will address some hoovering tactics narcissists use.
Love bombing is very common. It involves the narcissist confessing their undying love for you, doing nice things for you, showering you with gifts &/or plenty of attention. It can be hard not to believe a narcissist really cares since they can be very convincing. It also can be hard to resist. It’s important to remember that these displays of the narcissist’s love are NOT real! They’re only designed to lure you back into the toxic relationship.
Narcissists also will use family & friends, aka flying monkeys, to talk “sense” into you. This is a very tough one. When someone you think highly of tells you that you should resume a relationship with someone else, it can make you doubt yourself. Instead, think about what this person is saying. Does this person make sense? How much do they know of the situation? Do they believe you when you say the narcissist has been abusive to you? Do they want to hear what you have to say or do they cut you off or tell you that you’re wrong? Your honest answers to these questions will determine if you should listen to what that person has to say.
Another hoovering tactic is using or faking illness or injury to reconnect with you. Most people want to help a sick or hurt person, especially if it’s someone they love. If this happens, remember- when you went no contact, it was for excellent reasons. It also was permanent, not until the narcissist got sick or injured. Maybe that sounds cold, but truly, it isn’t. It’s a person reaping what they have sown. A person who abuses another can’t expect that victim to be there for them indefinitely. Everyone has limits.
Sending cards, letters or calling on special days like birthdays, anniversaries or holidays is another common hoovering tactic. It feels wrong to spend special days not acknowledging the narcissist. For those with narcissistic parents, birthdays in particular can be difficult. And, for those with narcissistic exes, anniversaries can be especially difficult. It’s normal, but even so, remember all they are trying to do is hoover you back into the toxic relationship by using the special day.
Some narcissists give their victims months or even years of no contact when suddenly they call or write. It seems that they figure after some time has passed, the victim has forgotten just how bad the relationship was, & will be open to resuming it. If this happens, remind yourself of exactly why you ended the relationship in the first place. The chance of that behavior improving is very, very slim. Is it really worth taking a chance on resuming the relationship?
Some narcissists don’t go the route of trying to convince you that they love you or are thinking of you. They opt to get cruel.
Smear campaigns can get really nasty to provoke a response out of you & also to discredit a victim so people won’t believe them but instead they’ll believe the narcissist. You may learn that people are saying you’re crazy, stupid, spoiled, abusive to the narcissist or even a bad Christian. As hard as it can be, do NOT respond to these ridiculous accusations! Doing so only convinces people that you are the terrible person the narcissist says you are. And, if you confront the narcissist about the lies, it only gives that narcissist narcissistic supply. The narcissist can look like the innocent victim of your abusive ways.
Many narcissists who can’t win a victim back will resort to attempting to bully the victim to return to the relationship by stalking & harassing them. They’ll inundate victims with countless phone calls, emails, texts, & letters. They may show up at places the victim frequents or drive by the victim’s home frequently. Especially devious ones send others to drive by the victim’s home so if the victim says anything about the narcissist stalking them, they look paranoid or even crazy. The best things to do is block all access the narcissist uses to get to you, & document EVERYTHING. If you decide to press charges, documentation will work in your favor, even if the narcissist didn’t break the law. Documentation of bad behavior, even when legal, can only help your case.
Remember, Dear Reader, never allow the narcissist to hoover you back into the relationship. It only ends badly! The behavior is usually much worse after hoovering than it was in the first place.