Many people think narcissists are just self-centered and overly-confident people. However, having a bloated sense of self can be problematic, especially in relationships.
If your partner is a narcissist, you know just how difficult things can be.
You know all about the guilt trips and finger pointing. You’re well aware that your partner lacks emotional empathy.
No matter how difficult things can get, it’s hard to leave a partner you care about. By educating yourself about narcissism, you can neutralize the impacts of narcissistic abuse.
Keep reading to learn about narcissists and how to minimize the abuse.
What is a Narcissist?
Simply put, a narcissist is someone who is overly confident in him/herself. A narcissist thrives off of admiration and attention from others. They feel entitled and are extremely prideful.
Having a healthy sense of self-worth is necessary to live a happy life. However, when those feelings cross into narcissism, the problem becomes toxic.
Excessive love of self can lead to all sorts of issues, including:
- Extreme confidence
- Lack of consideration for others
- Lack of empathy
- Abusive actions
5 Signs You’re the Victim of a Narcissist
Are you in a relationship with someone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder? If so, chances are that you’re the victim of narcissistic abuse. Keep reading for telltale signs.
1. You’re Depressed
It’s hard to stay positive when your partner continuously puts you down. If you experience nothing but disregard and negativity, odds are you’re in a state of depression.
Signs of depression include:
- Feeling hopeless and unworthy
- Loss of interest
- Heightened anxiety
- Problems sleeping and fatigue
- Changes in weight
Depression can send you into an emotional and mental down spiral. If you start to feel suicidal, it may be best to seek professional help.
2. Your Partner Lowers Your Self-esteem
Narcissists are known for lowering the self-esteem of others.
By having low self-esteem, your partner is able to gain control over you. If you feel lesser than your partner, it’s much easier to manipulate you.
If your self-worth has taken a hit, you likely feel as if you cannot escape this bad reality.
3. Nothing You Do Is Enough
No matter what you do, it’s never good enough. By degrading and demeaning you, your partner gains the advantage.
If your partner approves of something you do, he/she is handing over some power. Ask yourself these questions.
- Is my partner ignorant to my accomplishments?
- Is my partner always negative?
- Is my partner against praising my actions?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you’re the victim of narcissistic abuse.
4. You’re Convinced You’re Going Crazy
A narcissist will say and do anything to make you feel as if your thoughts are wrong. When you start to gain clarity of the situation, your partner will convince you that it’s all in your head.
This technique is known as gaslighting. Your partner will intentionally make you feel as if you are losing your marbles.
Gaslighting allows your partner to gain even more control.
5. It’s Impossible to Leave
You’ve taken time to think it over. You’ve talked everything through with a close friend. Just as you’re ready to leave, your partner pulls you back in.
Narcissists are experts at pushing their partners to the limit. The moment you decide you’ve had enough, your partner turns into a ball of charm.
You get all the love and attention when you want to leave. But when you stay, you’re ignored.
5 Tips for Neutralizing the Impacts of Narcissistic Abuse
The cycle of narcissistic abuse is frustrating and tiring. Something goes wrong and your partner reacts with abuse. Tired of being abused, you fight back.
Your partner justifies the abusive behavior and you give in. In the end, your partner feels emboldened and empowered.
The cycle continues.
Breaking the cycle is hard, but not impossible. Being a victim doesn’t make you powerless! Here are 5 tips to rise above it.
1. Pick and Choose Your Battles
A narcissist loves to argue about anything and everything. As a victim of narcissistic abuse, you’re more likely to partake in the argument.
But, in a narcissistic relationship, pick and choose your battles. Is it worth arguing over your ethics and values?
Fighting requires a lot of mental and emotional energy. If an argument isn’t worth it, don’t engage with your partner. Instead:
- Stay calm
- Be aware of your words and actions
2. Don’t Hesitate to Speak the Truth
Your partner claims that you never do things around the house. Or he/she claims that you always make excuses. If you know that those words aren’t true, challenge them!
Bring up times when you have or haven’t done something. Don’t allow your partner’s words to overshadow relationship realities.
3. Give No Meaning to Spoken Words
A narcissistic partner will intimidate and belittle you.
He/she will make you feel as if you are less of a person. While words can be hurtful, in this instance, your best bet is to ignore them.
To stay positive in a rough relationship:
- Focus on your self-worth and self-esteem
- Try to block out or neutralize the negativity
- Practice healthy mantras
4. Plan Your Words
You know what triggers your partner to react with narcissistic abuse. In the event of a confrontation, know what you need to say to defuse the situation.
Though it seems silly to prepare for a conversation, being prepared beats another rough day.
With a narcissist, you have to think before you speak. Otherwise, you risk an even more damaging argument.
5. Remain Positive
Though being the victim of narcissist abuse can break you down, there’s always time to build yourself back up. Stay positive and know that you can get through this tough situation.
Support for Victims of Narcissist Abuse
If you want to know more about Narcissistic Abuse and Narcissistic Abuse syndrome, please read my in-depth article about this topic: What is Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome?