Narcissistic abuse can be the result of any unhealthy or toxic relationship with any personality disordered person those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and other disorders.
Those who have NPD perpetrate verbal, emotional, and/or physical abuse against others often lacking insight into and/or empathy about the effect they have on others. Those who have BPD are also often the perpetrators of verbal, emotional, physical abuse, and/or domestic violence against those who are closet to them.
Those with personality disorders, to varying degrees, have narcissistic traits, and a primitive personality structure that renders them emotionally unavailable and prone to the use of primitive dysfunctional and abusive defense mechanisms when stressed and/or trying to relate outside of self.
Narcissism, to varying degrees, is a common trait of all personality disorders. Those with personality disorders and any substantial degree of narcissism are not capable of healthy age-appropriate adult intimacy. They are emotionally unavailable people who are emotionally child-like.
How is anyone supposed to cope with the verbal, emotional, and/or physical/domestic violence of those who exhibit narcissistic traits?
First you need to realize that any form of abuse for any reason is:
Not your fault
Not justifiable or excusable
Not what you deserve
Secondly you will benefit from asking yourself:
What am I doing to take care of myself?
Am I too focused on my abuser?
Do I excuse him/her if she just yells?
Do I think that things aren’t too bad as long as I don’t get hit?
Do I still believe that someone who is abusive loves me?
Am I more concerned with getting him or help than taking care of myself?
Am I given respect?
Am I giving way too much?
Am I receiving next to nothing or certainly not enough of what would be considered average give and take or reciprocity?
Is it always about him or her?
Do I continue to think that this person will change?
Am I trying to change this person instead of myself?
Am I left alone or not given even empathy when I have needs or am upset?
Does he/she rage if they don’t get your full attention when and for as long as they want?
Do you feel like you are an extension of this person?
Do you feel invisible?
Are you left out of decisions?
Are you taken seriously?
Do your concerns matter?
Are your concerns responded to at all?
Do you feel very alone even if with this person?
Coping with Difficult Toxic and/or Abusive People Audio Program © A.J. Mahari
What can you do to take care of yourself?Refuse to put yourself last anymore. You are the best friend that you can ever have. If you don’t have you because you are always focused on someone else, their emotional chaos, drama, or neediness, who do you have? Who can you expect to have?
If you are being emotionally and/or verbally abused by a narcissistic person and you have tried to express your concerns to no avail, no increase in insight on their part, and no change in behaviour on their part, or even a continued denial of there being any problem you may have to seriously think about getting professional help yourself so that you can get support to establish what you want and/or need to do for yourself and any children involved. It is also important to get professional help if there is any risk of violence or if there has already been physical violence. Often, even those who are verbally/emotionally abusive will escalate to violence if you try to leave. It is always best to make plans and access risks with a professional.
It is important to know that verbal abuse is also emotionally abusive. Many ways that those who are narcissistic abuse others emotionally can be very insidious. Insidious emotional abuse includes manipulation, lies, controlling your time, dominating your time, choices and activities or interests.
Set boundaries and stick to them
Say no, and mean it
Get your rest.
Eat a healthy diet.
Get plenty of exercise.
Don’t get caught up in intense or long conversations that deteriorate to dramatic chaos
Know your limits
Observe those limits
Do not lose touch with family and friends
Have and maintain interests outside of the home and the relationship
Know that is okay to be tired of one-way relating. It is okay to want to be loved by someone in a way that includes healthy mutuality and reciprocity.
Often the reasons that ultimately will you will ultimately come to discover and understand that played a pivotal role in your being involved in a one-sided relationship with a narcissistic person who is not capable of emotional intimacy, emotional honesty, and who is not emotionally available to you or for you will exhaust your need to be in the relationship.
It is important, therefore to work on yourself and to identify any issues from your own past that may be keeping you stuck in a dissatisfying at best, and an abusive relationship, at worst, with someone with NPD, BPD, and/or any form of narcissistic pathology that make a truly healthy relationship not only improbable but likely impossible as well.
You need to put your own best interest and emotional and/or physical safety ahead of feeling sorry for the abuser. Even if you truly feel bad for them because they are having many difficulties or you believe they need you, you have the right to take care of yourself.
© A.J. Mahari 2007 up-dated March 22, 2009 – All rights reserved.
A.J. Mahari is a Life Coach who, among other things, specializes in working with those who are in or have been in relationships with those with BPD or NPD and/or strong narcissistic traits.