Do you wonder if your partner is a narcissist?
? Do they always blame you when they make a mistake or use shame and guilt to encourage you to do what they want to do?
? Do they gaslight you or create situations in which you’re always second-guessing yourself?
? Do they profess their commitment to you and the relationship but never put actions to their words?
? Do they think they’re right about everything… and never apologize?
? Do they lack empathy?
? Do you spend more time feeling “lonely” or “alone” than you did when you were single?
Being in a relationship with someone who’s always criticizing, belittling, gaslighting, and not committing to you is emotionally exhausting.
Narcissistic abuse is any kind of domestic abuse that is carried out by somebody with narcissistic traits – meaning that their narcissistic behaviour will impact the way they behave towards you. This abuse could be physical, financial, emotional or sexual. Usually, the goal of the abuser is to manipulate, control and instil a sense of worthlessness in the other person.
A narcissist will often appear confident when underneath they lack self-worth and have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism. They often have an excessive need for attention and want to create a sense of superiority over the other person, this will affect the tactics that they use to control you.
A narcissistic abuser could be an intimate partner, but it could also be a parent, family member, boss, colleague, or ‘friend’.
Narcissistic abuse is often “invisible,” and there may be not physical evidence of it like cuts or bruises. This means nobody else, aside from the victim, sees or suspects it, and it can be so manipulative that victims can be unsure that they are experiencing abuse. However, these are some of the signs you can look out for.
Gaslighting is when somebody manipulates you to make you doubt your own sanity. Self-doubt in itself is also a big sign of narcissistic abuse and could indicate that you’re being gaslit. You might find it difficult to make decisions, trust your own judgement and you question much of your behaviour. The person might also criticise, undermine, and put you down in subtle or indirect ways, and this can make it difficult to spot.
They control what you do
An abuser might tell you what you can and can’t do, and who you can and can’t see. This can also be done covertly. They might subtly make hints about your friends or social group as a way to isolate you, for example, they say, ‘You’re too good for those friends,’ or question why you’re friends with them.”
They might also guilt trip you into doing things their way, or they’ll provoke anxiety and scare you into submission.
They act aggressively
Disagreements are normal in a healthy relationship. However, it’s important to recognise the difference between a healthy argument and your partner being aggressive towards you. For example, any threats of violence, especially those which are used to control your behaviour, are a sign of abuse.
They make you feel like it’s your fault
Narcissists never take responsibility for their actions. They might tell you you’re being too sensitive, overreacting, imagining things, or will blame you and others for their abusive actions. For example, they might be unfaithful to you and say, ‘Well, if you didn’t do X, then I wouldn’t have to cheat.’
This can make it really difficult to seek help as you might deny or doubt your own perception of things, but this in itself is a big sign that something is wrong.
You feel reliant on them
Victims often feel reliant on their abuser who will have worked hard to make them feel unable to function away from the abusive relationship and this can make it especially hard to leave an abusive situation. But if that’s the case, know that there are always ways to get help.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE EXPERIENCING NARCISSISTIC ABUSE
If you’re experiencing narcissistic abuse, or any other kind of domestic abuse, it’s important to speak to somebody about it. And even if you’re not sure what’s going on, you should still talk through what it is you’re experiencing.
We are here to listen.
This week is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week #SASVAW. Organisations that support survivors of abuse are sharing the important message that #ItsNotOk and to ALWAYS ensure you have consent. In this month’s blog post, author Sandra Reddish explains the life altering effects of sexual abuse and sexual violence on the victim-survivors. “It wasn’t … Continue reading Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence