It can be hard to recognize the signs of narcissism, especially if this is the first time that you have encountered a narcissist. Narcissistic abuse can be emotional, mental, and physical. It often leaves the victim feeling totally confused, scared, and alone.
In this blog post, we will explore some examples of narcissistic abuse, so you will get a good idea of what to look out for should you be unfortunate enough to encounter a narcissist.
Read on for practical examples of narcissistic abuse.
What is Narcissistic Abuse?
Narcissistic abuse is a form of psychological abuse that can leave lasting damage. Victims of narcissistic abuse may experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress disorder. If you suspect you are in an abusive relationship with a narcissist, it is important to seek help.
Examples of Narcissistic Abuse
There are many red flags that can indicate that you or someone you love is being abused by a narcissist.
The following are some examples:
Isolating the victim from their friends and family
Narcissists often try to isolate their victims from the people who love them, such as friends and family, so that they can more easily control them. They do this by forbidding them from seeing certain people, badmouthing friends and family members, or by moving them away from loved ones.
Making derogatory or demeaning comments
Narcissists work hard at putting their victims down in order to destroy their self-confidence. They want their target to believe that they deserve the abuse, since then they are less likely to try to break free.
A narcissist will often attempt to intimidate their victim into submission through threats or physical violence.
A narcissist manipulates their victim into questioning their own reality or sanity. This is done by denying things that have happened, making false accusations, or manipulating facts so that they appear to be different than what actually happened.
“You’re being too sensitive.”
“You are imagining things.”
“It didn’t happen the way you remember it.”
“Are you sure you’re not just making this up?”
“You’re just seeing things that aren’t there.”
As you can see from the examples above, the gaslighting is designed to invalidate the victim’s emotions – the narcissist claims that they’re overreacting.
If you find yourself doubting your own memory and perception, it’s important to consider the possibility that you are dealing with a narcissist who is abusing you.
Controlling their victim’s finances or access to resources
A narcissist will try to control every aspect of their victim’s life, including their finances or access to resources like transportation or communication devices.
They may tell their victim what to wear, who they can talk to, where they can go, etc. The end goal is to have total and complete control over the victim.
Withholding love or affection as punishment
A narcissist may withhold love or affection as a way to control their victim emotionally.
Making false promises
Narcissists often make promises that they have no intention of keeping in order to manipulate their victim into doing what they want.
The abuser may threaten self-harm or suicide if their victim tries to leave them. They may also threaten to hurt or harm other people in order to keep their victim from leaving them.
These are just some examples of narcissistic abuse; there are many others. If you find yourself in a situation where you are being treated this way, it’s important to reach out for help so that you can get out of the abusive situation and begin healing from the damage that has been done.
The Long-Term Effects of Narcissistic Abuse
Narcissistic abuse can have lasting effects on the victim’s mental and physical health. They may experience anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder, complex post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.
Narcissistic abuse can also lead to physical health problems such as headaches, stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure.
How to Begin the Healing Process
The first step in the healing process is to identify what is happening to you and admitting that yes, this is abuse. Hopefully the examples I have given above of different forms of narcissistic abuse will help you to do so.
Once you understand what is happening, it is important to reach out for help. Talk to a therapist or counsellor who can provide support and guidance. You should also reach out to friends and family members who can provide emotional support.
Reading books or articles about narcissistic abuse can also be helpful. Knowledge is power and understanding what you are going through can help you feel more empowered.
It is also important to begin taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally. This means eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking time for yourself to relax and de-stress.
You may also find it helpful to join a support group for people who have been through narcissistic abuse. Being around others who understand what you’re going through can be incredibly helpful and healing.
How to protect yourself from narcissistic abuse
- Set boundaries with the narcissist and stick to them.
- Keep your communication with the narcissist limited and to the point.
- Document any instances of abuse (emotional or physical) so that you have evidence if you need it later on.
- Stay close to family and friends who can provide support and love outside of the toxic relationship.
- Seek professional help if you feel like you cannot handle the situation on your own.
By setting boundaries, communicating effectively, and staying close to loved ones, you can limit the narcissist’s power and minimize the impact of narcissistic abuse.
If you or someone you know is in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of narcissistic abuse and the examples above will help you to identify them.
By understanding what narcissistic abuse is and how it manifests, you can begin to protect yourself from this type of toxic behavior. If you are already in a relationship with a narcissist, there are still steps you can take to help yourself heal and move on. Remember, you are not alone – reach out for help from friends, family, or a professional if you need support.