Narcissistic abuse is a form of psychological manipulation and emotional abuse that can have devastating long-term effects on its victims. It is characterized by a pattern of controlling, degrading and exploitative behavior that aims to fragment a person’s sense of self-worth and identity. Narcissistic abuse is a serious problem that is often misunderstood and can go unnoticed in relationships. While it is hard to identify and understand, it is important to
uncover the ugly truths of narcissistic abuse in order to help protect victims and enable them to seek help.
What is Narcissistic Abuse?
The term narcissistic abuse describes a type of emotional abuse that comes from a person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). People with NPD have low empathy and see others as beneath them, which will lead to harmful, abusive behaviors in intimate and other relationships.
Narcissistic abuse can be incredibly difficult to recognize and endure.
It is a form of power and control that is used to undermine, degrade, and humiliate the victim. A narcissist uses tactics such as gaslighting, blame-shifting, and manipulation to wear down and eventually control their victims. Narcissistic abusers are skilled manipulators who can make their victims feel guilty and ashamed, while maintaining their control over them. Narcissistic abuse can take many forms, including verbal abuse, financial exploitation, mental abuse, digital
abuse, sexual abuse, reproductive abuse, physical abuse, and emotional manipulation. The abuser may also go to great lengths to isolate the victim from their friends, family, and support networks. Narcissistic abuse is often subtle and insidious.
Signs of Narcissistic Abuse
There is no single sign that indicates that a person is being abused, but there are certain behaviors that can be indicative of narcissistic abuse.
Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that is used to make victims question their own memory, perception, and sanity.
Controlling Behavior: Narcissists are often controlling and attempt to manipulate their victims into doing things they want them to do. This can range from controlling their victims’
finances to dictating their behavior. Blame-shifting: Narcissists will often blame their victims for
their own mistakes and will use blame-shifting to deflect responsibility.
Isolation: Narcissists often attempt to isolate their victims from their friends, family, and support networks in order to gain more control over them.
Emotional Manipulation: Narcissists will often use emotional manipulation to make their victims feel guilty and ashamed.
Verbal Abuse: Narcissists will often hurl insults and put-downs in order to undermine their victims’ self-esteem and self-worth.
The Cycle of Narcissistic Abuse
Narcissistic abuse follows a distinct cycle that is often referred to as the cycle of abuse. At times, it will feel like you are on a not-so-merry-go-round going round-and-round through these phases many times over because you are.
The Idealization Phase: This is the beginning of the relationship, which is characterized by intense passion and intense emotions. The narcissist will often shower their victim with attention and affection to gain their trust.
The Devalue Phase: This is the second phase of the cycle of abuse, where narcissists will begin to show their true colors. All admiration ceases to exist and is replaced by cruel, degrading remarks. They often become angry and abusive, using tactics such as verbal and emotional abuse to control their victims and the victim is deeply confused.
The Discard Phase: This is the third phase of the cycle of abuse, where the victim's usefulness to the abuser has ceased and the narcissist discards the victim for a new supply. The
victim is tormented and discarded.
Hoovering: This phase of the cycle of abuse, is where the narcissist will attempt to draw the victim back into a relationship by any means possible. Begging, crying, blame-shifting,
projecting and more.
Long-Term Effects of Narcissistic Abuse
Narcissistic abuse can have devastating long-term effects on its victims. Victims of narcissistic abuse often suffer from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of worthlessness. They may also have difficulty trusting others and may struggle to form meaningful relationships. Victims of narcissistic abuse often feel trapped and helpless and may even begin to question their own reality.
The psychological effects of narcissistic abuse can be long-lasting and can take years to heal. In some cases, victims may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may require professional help to heal from the trauma.
Understanding the Psychology of a Narcissist
Narcissists often have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Their disorder was born out of the necessity to survive their own childhood trauma. They may also have a strong sense of entitlement and an inability to accept
criticism, unable to be self-accountable they may lash out when wrong. Narcissists often have an inflated sense of self-worth and will often use manipulation and control to maintain their status. Narcissists can often be charming and charismatic, which can make them difficult to recognize.
They may also be able to manipulate their victims into believing that they are the problem, rather than the narcissist.
The Dangers of Gaslighting
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that is used to make victims question their own memory, perception, and sanity. It is a dangerous form of abuse that can have long-term psychological effects. Gaslighting is often used by narcissists to keep their victims in a state of
confusion and disorientation. They may use tactics such as telling lies, withholding information, and making false accusations to make their victims doubt themselves.
How to Protect Yourself from Narcissistic Abuse
It is important to be aware of the signs of narcissistic abuse to protect yourself. Here are some tips for protecting yourself from narcissistic abuse:
Set boundaries: It is important to set boundaries with a narcissist and to make sure that your needs and desires are respected.
Learn to Recognize Manipulation: Narcissists are often skilled manipulators, so it is important to learn to recognize their tactics.
Seek Support: It is important to seek support from friends, family, and professional counselors to ensure that you have a strong support network.
Don’t Engage in Arguments: Narcissists often attempt to start arguments to gain control, so it is important to avoid engaging in them.
Know Your Rights: It is important to know your rights and to seek legal help if needed.
Reach Out to a Trusted Friend or Family Member: It is important to seek support from friends and family to have a strong support system.
Seek Professional Help: It is important to seek professional help from a specialist mentor, therapist or counselor to help process the trauma and heal.
Seek Legal Help: It is important to seek legal help, if necessary, to protect yourself and your rights.
Report Them to the Police and File Reports: Charge them for their actions that are against the law. This will help keep you safe and strengthen your legal case.
Find a Support Group: It is important to find a support group to connect with other victims and gain a sense of community and understanding.
It is important to uncover the ugly truths of narcissistic abuse to help protect victims and enable them to seek help. It is important to be aware of the signs of narcissistic abuse and to know how to protect yourself. It is also important to seek help if you are a victim of narcissistic abuse. Contact Narc & Co. today for your free consultation and help moving forward into a safe, healthy life.
This article was written by Narc & Co for your support and recovery.