Why Is It So Hard to Leave the Narcissist in Your Life?

 February 23, 2018


The Cycle of Abuse Begins Again

Unfortunately, the moment that your Narcissistic loved one realizes that you are now “caught,” the rewards diminish, and the cycle of abuse begins again and continues until you walk away or get discarded.

Punchline: Even strong people can be trained to submit by the right combination of praise and punishment.

I once had a German Shepherd dog that would not stop biting people. I tried everything that the books recommended. to break her of the habit. Nothing worked.  She was a really big, strong dog and I was afraid that she would hurt somebody seriously and would have to be put down. In desperation, I hired an animal psychologist. He said: “Don’t worry! I can cure her in less than ten minutes.”

I brought her over to him. He bent down and put his face near hers while I held her leash. She lunged to bite him. Before she could get her teeth into him, he punched her in the side of her head. Then he quickly petted her and said, “Good doggy, good doggy!”

She gave him an evil look and went for him. He punched her again, petted her, and said “Good doggy, good doggy!” She paused and looked at him and I could see the wheels turning in her head. She sat down in front of him and never bit anyone again.

I said: “I hate that you had to hit her but at least that I understand. What I don’t understand is the “Good doggy, good doggy!”

He said: “The punch was to stop her from biting me and to make her think. The “Good doggy, good doggy” was to reward her for not biting me.”

Adapted from a Quora.com post: How could I, at age 62 without the history of co-dependency, or abusive relationships, become trauma bonded to my partner with NPD?

Written by Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D.
Amazon book link: Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration, and Safety
This article originally appeared on Psychology Today and has been reprinted here with the authors permission

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Why Is It So Hard to Leave the Narcissist in Your Life?


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