By SHANNON SKAE, health and life coach at Revive with Shan
I have had the displeasure of meeting my very own narcissist. They infiltrated my life to such an extent and wreaked havoc before I realized what was happening. I have been trying to separate from them for months, but for those who have had a narcissist enter their lives, it is safe to say that this is extremely difficult to achieve.
A narcissist is someone with an exaggerated sense of self-importance, excessive need for admiration, lack of empathy, a loss of identity, difficulty with attachment and dependency, chronic feelings of boredom and emptiness, and a fear of change.
The empath is the opposite of this, and often narcissists and empaths find each other because of the empath’s need to “fix” someone and the narcissist’s need to “break someone down to be dependent on them.” This is how people often find themselves in a relationship or romantic entanglement with a narcissist.
Narcissists struggle to connect emotionally with others but desire this above all else. They usually cheat, lie, and manipulate to get what they want from others.
Narcissistic signs of abuse include:
- Breadcrumbing: using false promises and lies to get someone to stay or become a part of their life. For example, just having met someone and telling you that they see you getting married and having children.
- Gaslighting: making someone disbelieve their thoughts, gut instincts, or sanity. The person starts to doubt themselves and feel like they are the crazy one. For example, when you bring up something they did that hurt you, they say they have no idea what you are talking about and that they never said that.
- Hoovering: trying to get someone back who somehow gratified their ego, e.g. I miss you; I love you, after you’ve been told they never want to see you or speak to you again.
- Love-bombing: showing over the top amounts of love and affection to blindside, influence and control their victim, e.g., you are the best thing that has ever happened to me, you are so different to everyone else, I have never met anyone like you.
- Negging: the process of negatively commenting about someone but making a joke out of it or calling it “banter”. For example, you are so caring and loving, but you are way too intense all the time.
- Normalizing: where abusive behaviours from the narcissist eventually become normal and accepted.
- Scapegoating: the narcissist blames the victim for every fault or something the narcissist has done wrong.
- Stonewalling: silent treatment; they refuse to communicate with you and punish you by not listening to what that person has to say.
- Thrall: being hypnotized, enslaved and subservient to the narcissist.
These are all authentic examples that I have experienced, along with countless others. Try to avoid the narcissist before they entrap you.
Narcissistic abuse is traumatic and very difficult to come back from. You want to avoid these types of relationships at all costs. You need to take care of your wellbeing above all else, so choose carefully who you invite into your life.