Handling Narcissistic Abuse: 10 Common Mistakes and How To Deal Effectively

 / 

Handling Narcissistic Abuse Mistakes Deal Effectively

We’re all capable of abuse when we’re frustrated or hurt. We may be guilty of criticizing, judging, withholding, and controlling, but some abusers, including narcissists, take abuse to a different level. Here’s everything you should about dealing with abuse.

Narcissistic Abuse can be physical, mental, emotional, sexual, financial, and/or spiritual. Some types of emotional abuse are not easy to spot, including manipulation. It can include emotional blackmail, using threats and intimidation to exercise control. Narcissists are masters of verbal abuse and manipulation. They can go so far as to make you doubt your own perceptions, called gaslighting.

Dealing with Abuse

What’s The Motivation for Narcissistic Abuse?

Remember that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and abuse exist on a continuum, ranging from silence to violence.

Rarely will a narcissist take responsibility for his or her behavior. Generally, they deny their actions and augment the abuse by blaming the victim. Particularly, malignant narcissists aren’t bothered by guilt. They can be sadistic and take pleasure in inflicting pain. They can be so competitive and unprincipled that they engage in anti-social behavior. Don’t confuse narcissism with an anti-social personality disorder.

Related: 9 Types of Toxic People That Will Drain Your Energy: You Must Avoid Them

The objective of narcissistic abuse is power. They act with the intent to diminish or even hurt other people. The most important thing to remember about intentional abuse is that it’s designed to dominate you. Abusers’ goals are to increase their control and authority while creating doubt, shame, and dependency in their victims.

They want to feel superior to avoid hidden feelings of inferiority. Understanding this can empower you. Like all bullies, despite their defenses of rage, arrogance, and self-inflation, they suffer from shame. Appearing weak and humiliated is their biggest fear. Knowing this, it’s essential not to take personally the words and actions of an abuser. This enables you to confront narcissistic abuse.

10 Mistakes We Make When Dealing with Abuse

When you forget an abuser’s motives, you may naturally react in some of these ineffective ways:

1. Appeasement.

If you placate to avoid conflict and anger, it empowers the abuser, who sees it as weakness and an opportunity to exert more control.

2. Pleading.

This also shows weakness, which narcissists despise in themselves and others. They may react dismissively with contempt or disgust.

3. Withdrawal.

This is a good temporary tactic to collect your thoughts and emotions but is not an effective strategy for dealing with abuse.

4. Arguing and Fighting.

Arguing over the facts wastes your energy. Most abusers aren’t interested in the facts, but only in justifying their position and being right. Verbal arguments can quickly escalate to fights that drain and damage you. Nothing is gained. You lose and can end up feeling more victimized, hurt, and hopeless.

Related: How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Toxic People

5. Explaining and Defending.

Anything beyond a simple denial of a false accusation leaves you open to more abuse. When you address the content of what is being said and explain and defend your position, you endorse an abuser’s right to judge, approve, or abuse you. Your reaction sends this message: “You have power over my self-esteem. You have the right to approve or disapprove of me. You’re entitled to be my judge.”

6. Seeking Understanding.

This can drive your behavior if you desperately want to be understood. It’s based on the false hope that a narcissist is interested in understanding you, while a narcissist is only interested in winning a conflict and having a superior position. Depending upon the degree of narcissism, sharing your feelings may also expose you to more hurt or manipulation. It’s better to share your feelings with someone safe who cares about them.

7. Criticizing and Complaining.

Although they may act tough, because abusers are basically insecure, inside they’re fragile. They can dish it, but can’t take it. Complaining or criticizing an abuser can provoke rage and vindictiveness. This is one of the common mistakes we make when dealing with abuse.

8. Threats.

Making threats can lead to retaliation or backfire if you don’t carry them out. Never make a threat you’re not ready to enforce. Boundaries with direct consequences are more effective.

9. Denial.

Don’t fall into the trap of denial by excusing, minimizing, or rationalizing abuse. And don’t fantasize that it will go away or improve at some future time. The longer it goes on, the more it grows, and the weaker you can become. So, avoid this mistake when dealing with abuse.

10. Self–Blame

Don’t blame yourself for an abuser’s actions and try harder to be perfect. This is a delusion. You can’t cause anyone to abuse you. You’re only responsible for your own behavior. You will never be perfect enough for an abuser to stop their behavior, which stems from their insecurities, not you.

Related: 7 Surprising Reasons You’re Attracting Toxic People

Dealing With Abuse Effectively

Confront Abuse!!!

Allowing abuse damages your self-esteem. Thus, it’s important to confront it. That doesn’t mean to fight and argue. It means standing your ground and speaking up for yourself clearly and calmly and having boundaries to protect your mind, emotions, and body. Before you set boundaries, you must:

1.  Know Your Rights When Dealing with Abuse.

You must feel entitled to be treated with respect and that you have specific rights, such as the right to your feelings, the right not to have sex if you decline, a right to privacy, a right not to be yelled at, touched, or disrespected. If you’ve been abused a long time (or as a child), your self-esteem likely has been diminished. You may no longer trust yourself or have confidence. 

Related: How Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People

2. Be Assertive.

This takes learning and practice to avoid being passive or aggressive. Try these short-term responses to dealing with abuse and verbal putdowns:

  • “I’ll think about it.”
  • “I’ll never be the good enough wife (husband) that you hoped for.”
  • “I don’t like it when you criticize me. Please stop.” (Then walk away)
  • “That’s your opinion. I disagree, (or) I don’t see it that way.”
  • “You’re saying . . .” (Repeat what was said. Add, “Oh, I see.”)
  • “I won’t talk to you when you (describe abuse, e.g. “belittle me”). Then leave.
  • Agree to a part that’s true. “Yes, I burned the dinner.” Ignore “You’re a rotten cook.”
  • Humor – “You’re very cute when you get annoyed.”

3. Be Strategic When Dealing With Abuse.

Know what you want specifically, what the narcissist wants, what your limits are, and where you have power in the relationship. You’re dealing with someone highly defensive with a personality disorder. There are specific strategies for having an impact.

4. Set Boundaries.

Boundaries are rules that govern the way you want to be treated. People will treat you the way you allow them to. You must know what your boundaries are before you can communicate them. This means getting in touch with your feelings, listening to your body, knowing your rights, and learning assertiveness. They must be explicit. Don’t hint or expect people to read your mind.

5. Have Consequences.

After setting boundaries, if they’re ignored, it’s important to communicate and invoke consequences. These are not threats, but actions you take to protect yourself or meet your needs.

Related: How Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People

6. Be Educative.

Research shows that narcissists have neurological deficits that affect their interpersonal reactions. You’re the best approach is to educate a narcissist like a child. Explain the impact of their behaviour and provide incentives and encouragement for different behavior. This may involve communicating consequences. It requires planning what you’re going to say without being emotional.

Get Support for dealing with abuse

To respond effectively requires support. Without it, you may languish in self-doubt and succumb to abusive disinformation and denigration. It’s challenging to change your reactions, let alone those of anyone else. Expect pushback when you stand up for yourself.

This is another reason why support is essential. You will need courage and consistency. Whether or not the narcissist makes changes, you’ll get tools to protect yourself and raise your self-worth that will improve how you feel whether you stay or leave. CoDA meetings and psychotherapy provide guidance and support.

Are you ready for dealing with abuse?

Leave your thoughts in comments below.

Read other blogs and my peer-reviewed article on narcissism and relationships with narcissists. Email me if you’d like a copy of a “Checklist of Narcissistic Behaviors.”

Warning: If you’re experiencing physical abuse, expect it to continue or escalate. Get help immediately. Read “The Truth About Abusive Relationships.”


© Darlene Lancer 2018
Written by Darlene Lancer

Originally Published on WhatIsCodependency.com

How To Handle Narcissistic Abuse
Handling Narcissistic Abuse Mistakes Deal Effectively pin
Handling Narcissistic Abuse: 10 Common Mistakes And How To Deal Effectively

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Flying Monkeys: The Narcissist’s Secret Weapons

Flying Monkeys: The Narcissist’s Secret Weapons

Have you ever heard of the term “flying monkeys” or “flying monkeys of the narcissist”? Who are they and what do they do exactly? This article is going to explore everything about who flying monkeys are and what role they play in narcissistic abuse.

‘Flying Monkey’ is the term given to those agents and allies that collude with an abusive person. Their role is to continue carrying out tormenting the victim on their behalf.

If it’s during the relationship, the abuser gets to abuse by proxy as it’s other people that are getting their hands dirty.

If it’s after the relationship has ended or you’ve left that job or left that area, it’s a way of perpetuating the abuse. Again though, the abusers hands are clean as others are doing the work for them.

<



Up Next

4 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Warning Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Have you ever worked with a toxic boss or toxic leader? If you have, then you know how horrible and malicious they really are, and if you haven’t, then read on to know the signs of a toxic leader so that it’s easier for you to understand what you are dealing with.

KEY POINTS

Poor, toxic leaders demand unquestioning loyalty and service to the leader.

Bad leaders rule by a sense of fear, both of outsiders and of the leader’s wrath.

Good leadership empowers followers, shows concern for them, and benefits the collective.

All too often, people fall prey to self-serving



Up Next

Eggshell Parenting Meaning: 5 Signs You’re Making These Mistakes!

Eggshell Parenting: Signs You're Making These Mistakes!

Parenting is one of the most sincere tasks in every individual’s life that should be done with utmost care and coherence. However, the relationship between parents and their children is often tampered by the mental, and behavioral issues of the parents.

Thus, mood disorders and the violent nature of parents can affect the child’s life. Eggshell parenting is one such consequence. In this blog, we will guide you to understand eggshell parenting and show you the risky spots you should avoid.

What is Eggshell Parenting?  



Up Next

Top 6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History and Their Psychology Unleashed

Top Most Notorious Serial Killers In History

Some of the most horrifying and notorious murder cases in criminal history are those in which the most notorious serial killers caused irreversible harm to society by their horrific deeds. Motivated by an intricate network of psychological, social, and frequently pathological elements, these infamous persons have perpetrated atrocities that persistently enthral and appal the public.

Every instance sheds light on the dark psychology of serial killers, from Ed Gein’s horrific acts to Ted Bundy’s deliberate and planned killings. Investigating these sinister tales reveals not only the specifics of their heinous deeds but also the patterns and reasons behind them, providing insights into one of the most ghastly aspects of human nature.

6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History



Up Next

The Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: A Deep Dive Into 5 Serial Killers and Their Upbringing

Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: Case Examples

The public’s fascination with the mystery surrounding serial killers has long sparked conjecture regarding the motivations behind people’s horrific behavior. The role of childhood trauma in serial killers has received a lot of attention, despite the fact that the reasons underlying their actions are complex.

In this blog, we explore the childhood experiences in serial killers to gain insight into their terrifying world. We aim to uncover the intricate relationship between pathology and upbringing by delving into the trauma in serial killers and unfavorable conditions that shaped these individuals’ early years.

This will illuminate the shadowy pasts of some of the most infamous murderers in history. Come along with us as we venture into the darkest recesses of the human brain, where the roots of violence are planted.



Up Next

Man vs Bear Debate: What is the Right Choice for Women?

Man vs Bear Debate: Is It Safe To Choose a Bear Over Man?

Even though Leonardo Di Caprio has proven that men can beat a bear in strength and intelligence, let’s not get carried away and remember that a bear can be more powerful than men. You can guess that we are here to discuss why women chose bear in the man vs bear debate.

The real question is, what threatens women more? Getting mauled by a bear and meeting a horrific death or getting violated by a man??

Women are inclined to the second option in the viral Man vs Bear debate.



Up Next

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? 8 Ways Narcissists Can Muddle Your Brain

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? Reasons Why It Happens

Have you ever heard of the term “brain fog”? Brain fog is like a maddening haze that seems to muddle your thoughts, makes you forget what you were saying, and has you searching for your clothes in the trash bin? Well, today we are going to talk about a specific sort of brain fog – brain fog after narcissistic abuse.

Imagine that you have just escaped from a toxic and abusive relationship with a narcissist. You are slowly picking up the pieces and trying to get your life back in order, but somehow you feel like your head is not in the right place. Everything still feels very odd and you still feel very lost.

Even though you are free from the clutches of your narcissistic ex, this bizarre mental fog just won’t lift. Let’s explore how narcissists cause brain fog, and the link between brain fog and narcissistic abuse.