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12 Signs You May Be Suffering from Narcissistic Abuse

I tend to be someone that people confide in. Even strangers often tell me the stories of their suffering, and of course, in my practice it has always been important to me to address healing from a body, mind, and spirit approach. That often means that people have shared their stories of abusive relationships. Suffering abuse at the hands or words of a narcissist, is sadly, more common than most people realize. And, contrary to popular opinion, women are not the only ones who may be victims of narcissistic abuse. Please note that I’m sharing this blog based on personal accounts shared with me in my practice or in my experiences with others and it is intended for informational purposes only. As I am not a psychologist, I can only share my experiences. There may be many other signs of narcissistic abuse so if you suspect you may be dealing with a narcissist, I strongly encourage you to get in touch with a licensed counsellor or psychologist.

Here are some of the signs you may be dealing with a narcissist and suffering from narcissistic abuse:

Extreme Language: One of the characteristics that many narcissists share is the tendency to love or hate things without much grey area in between. And, there is often a lot of focus on hate, which is frequently turned against a partner in a relationship. I recall interacting with one woman in particular who came to my home and proceeded to talk about all the things and people she hated, even though this was one of our first interactions and people tend to put on their most polite front.

Extreme Judgement: Narcissists tend to be extremely judgemental. Narcissists will often turn their hatred or judgement onto their partner, subjecting them to shame, gaslighting, and emotional abuse, making them feel unwanted or even convincing them that they should be grateful to be in a relationship with them (the narcissist and emotional abuser).

Convincing You You’re Crazy: While not necessarily mentioned in many articles about narcissism, I have witnessed firsthand how narcissists seem to make their victims think that everything they feel is in their mind. If the victim of the emotional abuse dare stand up to the narcissist, the narcissist will often try to make them think everything is in their mind.

Invalidating Your Feelings: In the same way that a narcissist may try to make you think you’re crazy, they may also try to invalidate your feelings, making your feelings seem outlandish or making you feel like an ingrate for not recognizing how wonderful the narcissist is.

Gaslighting: If you dare stand up to a narcissist and their abuse, he or she will often say that they didn’t do anything. Instead, they will twist things and turn them back onto you. Before you know it, you’re defending yourself although the conversation started by your efforts to express your feelings.

Superiority Complex: Narcissists often think they are superior to everyone else. In their minds, they could not possibly be the problem in a situation. Instead, they blame everyone else for their problems.

Public Negativity: I recall one man who demeaned people in public, often acting superior to everyone. This is a common behaviour pattern among narcissists.

Cozying Up to Your Family and Friends: Don’t be surprised if the narcissist in your life acts sweet and innocent to your friends or family. It seems like their way of ensuring others may not believe you if you dare to speak out about the emotional abuse you’re enduring.

Self-Centred: A narcissist’s world revolves around themself. Their motives and goals are often self-focused, as a result. People are often pawns in their efforts to improve their social status, financial wellbeing, or other goal.

Financial Abuse: A narcissist may attempt to get control over shared finances, put you on a sort of allowance, or even loan money to you as a means of gaining greater control over you.

Control: A narcissist may try to control who you communicate with, who you can see, where you go, or other things or people in your life. They may make excuses that may even seem reasonable, but often they are using manipulation to control you.

Hero or Victim Syndrome: Listen to the stories a narcissist tells. They are almost always the hero or the victim in their stories. If they can’t be the hero, they’ll be the victim of someone else’s horrible behaviour (at least, in their own mind).

If a narcissist is getting their “fix” of validation from another source, such as their job, they may actually seem mentally healthy…at least as long as their getting their fix. But, when that stops, they may resume their abusive behaviour. If you suspect you are being emotionally (or physically, or sexually) abused, seek professional help or turn to someone you know you can trust. Remember, emotional abuse often increases over time and can erode your self-worth, making it difficult to recognize over time. Even if you have been made to feel worthless, please know that you are a worthwhile human being who does not deserve to be abused or mistreated in any way.

There are many excellent resources out there and people who will gladly lend an ear or a helping hand.

Sources:

https://www.thehealthy.com/mental-health/signs-of-narcissistic-abuse/

Resources:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

 

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