6 Things Narcissist Enablers Say to You

Ah, the good old enabler. They walk beside you, but never with you.

They listen to you, but they don’t believe you.

Enablers are controlled by the narcissist, and they’re equally not on your team. You know what? You can get that control back and set better boundaries!

It’s not your responsibility to show the enabler the truth. In fact, the more you try, the crazier you’ll look.

Wake up to the pattern!

Let’s get started, with the most common 6 things narcissist enablers can say to you.

“The Narcissist Had a Tough Life”

Come on! 

What kind of excuse is that?!

I can feel and hear you already yelling, and you’d be right to do so. The narcissist had such a tough life, according to the enabler.

They had it so hard.

They’ve been through so much.

They are trying their best…

I don’t buy it, and neither should you. The enablers will take the narcissist’s sob story and give you the broken down, maximum sympathy version. They know it so well because they’ve been told it so many times. 

The narcissist wants their tough past to be public news, so they can continue to project the worst behavior on you while waving their get-out-of-jail-free card.

You know by now, narcissism can come from early life patterns that were difficult. Those younger years, especially in family dynamics where trauma or abuse was present can develop narcissistic personalities.


Nothing excuses bad behavior. It’s especially not right to unofficially hire people to relay your back story for sympathetic reasons. Narcissists do, so they can continue to manipulate and control their way through different kinds of relationships. 

“Come on, You Know They Didn’t Mean It!”

Have you been there before?

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The narcissist, intent on putting a large dent in your happiness, makes a crass, unkind or plain mean comment, throwing it your way…

Yeah. It’s common. In fact, it happens all the time. 

As you shift uncomfortably, feeling negative, you hear those words muttered from the enabler.

They didn’t mean it.

You know what they’re like!

So, here comes my next question…

Is the enabler psychic?!

Of course they’re not. Their response to the narcissist acting out of turn comes almost automatically. They sense your frustration, and they want to put out the fire.

They have been programmed to put out your fire – that’s primarily what they’ve been recruited to do.

Whether it’s fear or through some kind of sick trauma bond the enabler has with the narcissist, they’re going to jump to their defense quicker than you can blink.

Which always leaves you being gaslit by completely minimizing the narcissist’s words, and there’s nothing more invalidating.

“I’ve Never Had a Problem With Them”

Hey, while we’re on the subject of invalidation, I offer you number three.

I’ve never had a problem with them.

They’ve always been super nice to me.

You know what, enabler? Good for you. Bravo.

If anything, you know they should be adding “yet” to their statement, because they will eventually have some kind of conflict present between them and the narcissist. It’s not up to you to warn them of that at this point in time though, especially as they are so strongly fixated on defending the narcissist.

Remember this, enablers are kind of scared of the narcissist. They can ignore their behavior and pretend it doesn’t exist, or they can just step away from it and say, nope, I won’t get involved.

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Sometimes narcissists have a totally different relationship with the enabler than they do with you. If the narcissist is your partner, of course the enablers experience will be completely different. 

Don’t let their invalidation convince you that there isn’t a problem.

“I’m Sure It’ll Get Better With Time. Be Patient.”

Great – how long have you got?

People can change. They can improve and reflect and grow. They can understand accountability and work to improve.

Narcissists cannot do any of the above. They do not comprehend what they even need to do. 

For an enabler to tell you to be patient and wait for them to feel better or to hope for more joyful outcomes is a waste of your time. That doesn’t mean they won’t feel like they’re really helping you by chipping in these thoughts.

It’s not helpful – it’s cruel. Patience is a virtue; sometimes, sitting with situations until they improve is good. Think about a knee injury or going through therapy. Time heals.

Nobody is made to simply stick out the narcissistic relationship. If it causes you pain and suffering, you shouldn’t have to wait it out. 

Everything you’re going through should not be prolonged by your own patience – so understand how wrong it is to request you give the narcissist more time.

“It’s Not That Bad…”

Classic enabling statement – and it should get the award for most likely to gaslight you.

Phrases like this will get your head into a spin, as you wonder, “Are things as bad as I’m making out?” That’s the exact intention the narcissist has, and they will use the enabler to get that point across. 

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You’ll question your emotions.

The levels of self-doubt will increase.

Your reality will be confused. 

If you’ve had to grow up with a narcissist in your house, you’re likely to have heard this phrase from as early as you can remember, especially from family members.

It’s not uncommon even for siblings to be raised in the same house and have totally different experiences of the narcissist – depending on what role they want you to play. 

It’s even possible for a sibling to be an enabler. 

Oh come on, it’s not as bad as you’re making out!

Work, family, friends – it’s possible for any enabler to let you know that your present struggles with the narcissist are hazy and will remain so – all because they don’t want to believe you. 

“Stop Moaning – They Work Hard!”

This final phrase can come in other variations, such as:

Let it go.

They put a roof over your head, you should be grateful!

They work hard to provide the life you have. Many would be jealous.

Providing material goods is no excuse for emotional abuse. It’s not uncommon for people to feel guilty once the enablers start using these phrases. 


Because it can appear as a simple explanation for the narcissist’s behavior, and play well into feelings of guilt that can come from it. 

Being fed or cared for are the most basic of your needs. It doesn’t mean the narcissist can treat you how they want and get away with it by using the enabler to excuse their poor treatment of you.

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