7. Establish boundaries
Although the abuser will try their best to ignore your personal boundaries, you need to be firm and be committed to maintaining boundaries. Clearly communicate to them that you will not accept verbal insults, manipulations or name callings any longer. If they still try to insult you, do not respond and simply leave the space for the time being.
8. Avoid guilt and self-blame
No, it’s not your fault and it never was. Stop blaming yourself. Stop feeling sorry for them. Stop feeling guilty. You haven’t done anything wrong by standing up for yourself. An abuser will make you believe that the emotional abuse you experience is completely your fault. Do not believe that narrative. This is how they control you and make you comply. The problem is not with you, but with them. You don’t need to explain anything to the abuser. Free yourself from the burden of guilt, shame and blame.
9. Avoid arguments
One of the smartest things you can do when dealing with emotional abuse is avoiding engaging with the abuser. Narcissistic abusers have a tendency to pull you into their toxic world and then put the blame on you. They feed off your reactions as it boosts their ego. But when you learn to pause and step back from the discussion, argument or confrontation, you take the power back to control your thoughts, emotions and mood. Granted it will not be the easiest thing to do, but it will be worth it. When you refuse to play their games, give in to their demands, give explanations, apologize and protect their feelings instead of your own, you deny them of the satisfaction. This is the most self-empowering thing you can do.
10. Practice self-love and self-care
According to psychotherapist and author Amy Lewis Bear, you are the only person who can nurture yourself the way you need. “The more she nurtures herself, the more healing she will experience. She should find a hobby or activity that makes her feel good and restores a healthy sense of self,” adds Amy. If you had an abusive childhood, then it’s likely that you may become a people-pleaser as an adult and end up in relationships with narcissists. However, the more you take care of others, the less you will care about your own needs. Moreover, an abuser may also program their victim to avoid their needs by making them feel that they are not important enough. This is why when you begin your healing journey, you need to start by focusing on your physical, emotional, mental, sexual and spiritual needs.
Make sure to do simple things to practice self-love such as:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating nutritious meals
- Engaging in self-care practices, like exercise, massages, spas, meditation, walking in nature
- Doing things you love and pursue hobbies
- Consulting a doctor for any mental or physical health issues
11. Stop being a savior
It’s one thing being empathic, but trying to save someone who doesn’t need saving is a whole other thing. Narcissists like the way they are and they don’t need you to “fix” them, even though they may make you believe that. You need to realize that no matter how hard you may try, you can never make them change who they are. Emotional abuse is a choice which they make every single day. The only thing you can change is your mindset and how you respond to them.
Read also: 7 Reasons Why People End Up Loving An Abuser
12. Walk away
If your abusive partner refuses to change their behavior and respect your boundaries, the last thing you can do is end the relationship and walk away. You have nothing to gain by tolerating emotional abuse day after day and being in this relationship forever. It will not only affect your mental health, but also your physical health as well. You need to plan and take the necessary step to leave the relationship. However, as each relationship is unique, it is best to talk to trusted friends and family members first. You may even consult with a counselor or lawyer if you are worried about your or your children’s safety as emotional abuse can often lead to physical abuse.