Five Ideas to Help You Heal from Narcissistic Abuse
- Practice Self-Compassion
- Write it Down
- Make it Personal
- Resist Continued Anger
- Get Professional Help
Narcissistic abuse takes place when someone is in a relationship with a narcissist. Narcissists have an incredible sense of self-importance and entitlement and whenever they do not get their way, they will often blame the victim, rather than take responsibility for their own actions.
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1. Practice Self-Compassion
The first step in recovering from narcissist abuse is to understand that the victim is not to blame. Too often, victims of narcissist abuse think they were being “stupid” or “totally blind to the obvious” and they blame themselves for what happened in the relationship. Nothing could be further from the truth. The blame rests solely upon the narcissist.
The victim might feel as if they are worthless and unlovable, but nothing could be further from the truth. They loved the wrong person, but the very fact the victim was able to give that love to another person is evidence of how very valuable and important they are. In fact, the narcissist is the one that has something inherently wrong within themselves.
2. Write it Down
When a victim of narcissistic abuse writes down their experiences, they are sometimes able to distance themselves from the events. They can take on the role of “Observer,” rather than “Participant.” When this happens, they can actually remove the blame they’re placing on themselves and put it where it belongs.
3. Make it Personal
In some cases, the victim tends to want to paint with a broad brush. When this happens, it can lead to thinking that the narcissist represents a larger group of people, rather than just the individual. Whenever this kind of thinking takes place, it’s important for the victim to remember the experiences they had were with a single person and not with an entire group of people. They need to focus the blame specifically on the narcissist.
4. Resist Continued Anger
After the relationship ends, it is easy to give in to the negative emotions. One of the most powerful of these is anger and when anger enters the picture, it can color everything else. Naturally, it is okay to feel anger upon the ending of the relationship, especially if betrayal is involved, but it becomes unhealthy when the only thing being held onto is the anger.
While it is very tempting to want to succumb to the anger, the victim needs to understand doing so will only cause them pain. That anger keeps the negative feelings alive. When those feelings are experienced, it is simply another form of power the narcissist has. In addition, there are times when that anger is self-directed. Turning anger upon the victim serves no purpose and only causes even more pain.
5. Get Professional Help
There are times when it seems as if nothing is working when it comes to recovery. When that happens, there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional help. The victim might not have the skill set or the knowledge needed in order to get on the road to recovery. When that happens, someone who is professionally trained might be able to assist them in that area.
Recovering from a narcissistic relationship takes time. After all, many victims have spent most of their relationship walking on eggshells around their partner. According to Psychology Today, breaking free from that mindset is not easy, but it must take place.
More than anything else, it is always important for the victim of narcissistic abuse to understand what happened to them was not their fault. Narcissists are among the most dangerous of predators because they know exactly how to manipulate their victims. It takes time to recover from the abuse but with patience and understanding and compassion for the victim, it can be achieved.