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Narcissistic Abuse: How To Recognize And Heal From It

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Defining Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse perpetrated by someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by grandiose behavior, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration.

People with this disorder often use manipulation and coercion to get what they want and control those around them. Narcissistic abuse can be physical, mental, or emotional. It can also be financial or sexual.

If you think you’re in a narcissistic relationship, it’s important to seek help. Remember, you are not alone.

narcissistic abuse cycle

Why Is It So Hard To Leave A Narcissistic Relationship?

Leaving a narcissist is not easy. Many victims of narcissistic abuse don't realize how deep the hurt of the narcissistic relationship runs, and how damaging it can be. They may have become codependent and are so deeply entrenched in the relationship that it's hard to break away.

Narcissists often use manipulative tactics to control their partners and make them feel like they can't survive without them. This is done to create an atmosphere of dependency and maintain their control over the partner. They may also make their partner feel guilty, gaslight them, or keep them in constant fear of abandonment. All of these tactics make it difficult for victims to extricate themselves from the relationship.

In addition to the mental, emotional, and psychological toll, many victims also suffer the financial impact of leaving the relationship. Many narcissists tend to leave the victims financially dependent on them, making it difficult for the victims to start afresh.

Recognizing narcissistic abuse and healing from it takes a lot of strength and courage. But as more and more victims come to recognize the signs of narcissistic abuse and make a point to escape from it, the brighter the future will look for all those affected.

narcissistic abuse cycle

The Stages Of Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Once you recognize that you have been a victim of narcissistic abuse and have taken the decision to walk away, you must focus on healing and recovering from the experience. This can be a difficult process, and one that needs to take precedence in your life.

The stages of narcissistic abuse recovery include:

1. Acknowledging and accepting the abuse – It is essential to recognize and accept the abuse and its effects on your life if you are to move forward and heal.

2. Self-care – Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do when recovering from narcissistic abuse. Take time out for yourself and for refocusing your energy and attention on rebuilding your life.

3. Setting boundaries – Setting effective boundaries is a key step in defining your limits and leding with self-respect.

4. Recognizing your self-worth – The recovery process involves recognizing and appreciating your self-worth, understanding your strengths and capabilities, and seeing your own value.

5. Building healthy relationships – When you begin healing from narcissistic abuse, it's essential to rebuild your relationships and prioritize meaningful connections in your life.

6. Moving forward – The last step in the recovery process is moving forward. This includes focusing on meaningful goals, developing a plan of action, and developing the self-confidence and resilience needed to achieve success.

narcissistic flower

How To Heal From Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse that can leave a person feeling confused, broken, and scared. However, no matter how difficult the situation, it is important to remember that you can heal and move forward. Here are four practical steps to do just that:

1. Routinely practice self-care and positive affirmations. Taking care of yourself is essential in the healing process, and positive affirmations can help to remind you of your strength and worth.

2. Spend time with supportive people. It is important to spend time with those who provide you with love and support, as they will help you to cope and move forward.

3. Seek professional help. If the psychological and emotional impact of the abuse is too overwhelming to cope with, consider seeking counseling to help you process and heal.

4. Take small steps towards healing. Healing can often be a long and challenging process. Remember to take small steps towards healing, such as engaging in hobbies or activities you enjoy or setting achievable goals.

narcissistic paper doll

You Are Not Alone

Recognizing and healing from narcissistic abuse is an incredibly difficult process. If you are in an abusive relationship, it can be difficult to find the confidence and strength to leave. If you want to leave, try to focus on seeking out supportive people and professionals to help you form a safety plan and navigate the legal system.

It is essential to remember that you are not alone. There is help and support available if you need it, such as an online community, hotlines, counselors, or a support group. No matter what you choose to do, you are strong and can get through this difficult time. With self-care, support, and guidance, you will be able to reach your goals and live a healthy, fulfilling life.

Here are two books that we recommend, feel free to click below.

If you would like to learn more, please visit to speak with a licensed professional.


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