“S”, a new friend of mine was in an abusive relationship for three years, and she didn’t even know what was happening to her.
Her boyfriend was not aggressive. He was not a drunk nor did he do drugs. He did not beat her. She felt safe with him, until her left for another.
When she came to me to talk about what happened I was shocked. What she told me about her relationship raised all the red flags of narcissistic abuse, but same as many others, she did not know what was happening to her.
People with Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have an inflated idea of themselves and a need for lots of attention from other people — WebMD
“S” was shocked when her boyfriend left her. He said as he broke up with her, “you do not fulfill my intellectual needs anymore”. What a load of bull s***.
That person assumes the title of author and claims to be a life coach, a philosopher, and many other flashy titles that he brandishes so lavishly on his social media accounts.
His tweets are full of fake wisdom, and his Instagram posts should be studied by psychology students to understand how a narcissist sees himself.
My friend told me that when she would go out with him, all he wanted from her was to take pictures of him, alone, for his Instagram account. He didn’t even give her credit for the photos when he posted them online.
What is a Narcissist?
According to Psychology Today, a narcissist is someone who suffers from “a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and a need for excessive admiration.”
Narcissists like to have people around them who adore them and make them feel special and important.
They usually act from a position of entitlement, making them behave unpleasantly when someone challenges their self-appointed status.
The beginning of a relationship with a narcissist is usually fast-paced and the narcissist tells you are the best thing that has ever happened to them — Stephanie Sarkis Ph.D.
Narcissists in Relationships
Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D. in her book “Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People — and Break Free” describes the stages of a relationship with a narcissist.
In the beginning, a narcissist is charming and can appear like a true gentleman, or an eloquent lady. This come from their deep desire to be admired and praised by the potential romantic partner.
Once the relationship takes a more serious turn, the narcissist finds that he or she is unable to connect with their partner on an emotional level due to the lack of empathy they suffer from. Then they attempt to control the victim through a setting a set of rules.
It’s nearly impossible for people with narcissistic personality disorder to truly fall in love and build a trusting, equal partnership — Psychology Today
5 Ways a Narcissist will Control and Destroy Your life
#1. Social Isolation
The narcissist will attempt to isolate you from your friends and family. The feeling of loneliness and having no one to talk to makes it easier for them to control you.
#2. Decreasing Your Self-esteem
Phrases like, “How could you mess that up? A child could have done it better”, and “James says you are not good enough for me”, are designed to target your self-esteem and destroy it. The goal here is to make you lose trust in yourself and rely more on the narcissist.
#3. Guilt Trapping
Narcissists will use the guilt trapping technique when you try to have a conversation with them about something that bothers you in the relationship. They will try to make you feel guilty for asking them to be better to you. Look for phrases like, “How could you do that to me?”, and, “What have I ever done to deserve that from you?”
#4. Neglect and Whining
They will ignore you and your needs. They HATE it when you say, or act in a way that suggests that you too have needs that they should work towards fulfilling.
In their book, you only exist to serve their needs, you are not entitled to have any of your own.
They will whine and get pitiful trying to avoid answering your demands. If you persist, they are likely to get verbally aggressive, calling you selfish, and accusing you of not caring about them.
#5. Being Vengeful
That is one of the subtle ways that you probably will not notice unless you are looking for it.
They will carry a grudge if they feel that you have crossed them or disobeyed them, and they will take a chance when you are particularly vulnerable and will attack you.
The most common punishment they use is public humiliation. You will not understand why they have done that, but they will remind you of the past situation when they felt attacked by you.
Emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior in which the perpetrator insults, humiliates, and instills fear in an individual to control them. The individual’s reality may become distorted as they internalize the abuse as their own failings. — Psychology Today
How to Stop a Narcissist from Abusing You?
It is easier said than done. In order to stop a narcissist, you need to acknowledge that you are being a victim of abuse.
Most people don’t even understand what’s happening until it’s too late. At that point, a lot of damage would have been done already, and the healing process would be long and cumbersome.
The only thing you can do to stop a narcissist from abusing you based on advice from Stephanie Sarkis Ph.D., is breaking up with them and shutting them out of your life completely.
What Happens Next?
They will first feel offended and might get verbally abusive. Next, they will try to plead to your emotions, and lastly, they will contact your friends and family to pressure you to come back.
You need to stay strong and deny all their attempts to claw their way back into your life.
Healing and Recovery
Once you are away from them, your mind will start registering all the insults and humiliation you have been subjected to. And the healing process will begin.