The Powerful Lies From a Toxic Narcissist

Exploring the outcome of a narcissist’s lies, from a narcissistic abuse survivor

Source: Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Lies are the bloodline of a narcissist.

Behind every toxic narcissist’s actions lies a burning desire to take what they feel they deserve. Besides, anything that they want is already theirs anyway (to them, at least).

Growing up, I was faced with a narcissist that consistently laid reign over my life in one way or another. Getting to understand them, I learned that I could not trust a damn thing that came out of their mouth.

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The lies would grow, morph and shapeshift into whatever the narcissist needed at that time. The constant lies left me with whiplash (and growing unrest about what the truth really was).

Sorting through the lies of a narcissist is an incompletable task. How can I be so sure what they told me one day will match the next? I cannot speak for every narcissist out there, but I can share my experience with the one I know all too well.

Simply leaving me to sort through their lies kept me engaged and thinking about them. Every breadcrumb lie I saw focused on the narcissist–this is where why wanted me.

A narcissist can take your trust, timededication, and energy.

How does this happen?

A narcissist takes from you by lying to get you where they want you.

Keeping me on the hook

I was the narcissist’s current focus of interest.

If you stand in the way of a narcissist, you’ll face the wrath of your betrayal. I found this out the hard way, trying to keep up with the narcissist’s lies.

The reality is a mere suggestion to a narcissist; their ‘truth’ trumps all else. And it makes sense, right? When someone is desperate to feel powerful they are deeply insecure.

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Being tied to a narcissist in any way will have some sort of negative effect on you. I was always given the nicest, sweetest voice from the narcissist. Additionally, I was hit with hurtful a statement representing their lack of love for me as a family member.

Your time is valuable. I noticed how much my time meant to the narcissist. I painted the picture of the life they wanted me to see, not the cracks I seemed to notice.

What is most valuable to a narcissist is your time and energy. The narcissist kept me on the hook with all their lies, probably adoring the special attention. But ultimately, I stood in the way of what they wanted.

The narcissist would always gaslight me — even through text messages. If they didn’t remember it happening, then it never happened. Period.

What kind of person can live like that? Well, a narcissist can.

It can describe someone who isn’t formally diagnosed but displays a set pattern of symptoms consistent with narcissism.

Suggested Reading: Understanding the Disorder Behind a Narcissist

I can only speak about the narcissist in my life, but mine is keen on staying the way they are. They aren’t able to see the destructive nature of their behavior.

Understanding a narcissist comes with the task of understanding how a narcissist behaves.

Lies are their truth

Lies keep a narcissist’s image, reputation, and demands always fulfilled. The lies told by a narcissist are filled with confusion and misunderstanding.

The narcissist always chose to lie, even when the truth was right in front of their face. I saw it, clear as day.

With all of these lies, does a narcissist really believe them? Yes! Of course, they do; they need to. They must believe their lies — they simply can’t let the truth slip out.

It’s almost as if the truth would cause a narcissist would lose everything. While that isn’t always the case, it may be earth-shattering for the narcissist.

I kept track of the different answers to the same question I would receive. But I was never allowed to question that; it wasn’t something I needed to concern myself with — well, according to the rest of my family.

But it was hard to ignore the various lies I had to sort through. The mountainous lies that pile on top of one another are nothing more than a quick solution — and ultimate deterrence from taking accountability.

But there isn’t any accountability for them to take. They don’t need to take accountability.

A Narcissist Only Looks Out For Themselves

A narcissist is always out for themselves in any situation. They are only out for themselves — that’s an obvious fact, isn’t it? All in the narcissist’s pursuit of self-satisfaction — there is no limit for them.

You can get anything you want in life if you do anything it takes to get it. Even if that’s compromising your family relationships.

The narcissist in my life was focused only on their desires and wants. They did and said anything they could to make a small battle go their way. But that’s how narcissists are, though; they are only looking out for themselves.

Looking out for yourself and your safety is normal; you’re most important in your life. A narcissist will take that to a new level. To a narcissist, we are simply living in their world.

Sometimes, what you may want can hurt other people. The narcissist in my life was basically ruling my family; they needed to have this control.

For my narcissist to ensure that nothing stood in their way, they controlled everything. To keep this control, lies and manipulation are a must.

At the end of the day, a narcissist needs someone who will accept their lies without question. For me? Well, I was never too keen on filling those requests.

Not accepting their lies

Over time, I learned that whatever the narcissist said was a lie. I never knew the narcissist to tell the truth. In fact, I don’t even know what the truth is from them.

Whenever I felt that I could trust them, they always did something to show me that I couldn’t. Quite simply, their truth never stayed the same.

At a point in time, around my teenage years, I was faced with a smear campaign from the narcissist in my life. During this time, the narcissist refused to acknowledge my existence. I mean, literally refuse to admit that I was there.

The narcissist could paint any narrative they wanted; I was powerless against them.

During family events I would be left out of conversation. I was treated a space that filled the spot at the dinner table.

I was watched with caution as if I was a wild animal that is completely unpredictable. All of this came through the lies that the narcissist told about me.

Through this time I learned one thing: the narcissist really hated me.

The narcissist always hated me

They hated me during these times because I wouldn’t believe the lies they were feeding us.

I became isolated from my family, not trusted, and hated — I was only 17 years old. I was just a child, being treated like I had the intentions of a sinister adult. Nothing I could do except live with what was dished out to me.

When you don’t accept the lies from someone that is never wrong, you’re left looking like a negative Nancy.

The narcissist made it known that I was not welcome.

And this is precisely what the narcissist wanted to happen. The lies the narcissist told about me caused other family members to turn against me.

The narcissist being who they are is simply enough of a reason for you to trust them. To doubt a narcissist is to put a bullseye on your back.

All while the narcissist is punishing you, a smear campaign is occurring. A smear campaign was is the way a narcissist will spread lies about you.

It’s like leaving a not so subtle hint at your outlandeous behavior.

Through all of this and stepping back from the interpersonal conflict, I saw the bigger picture. The narcissist wanted to win every battle and keep up their image and false reality.

With each lie, they grew out of control

Lies catch up with you; there’s no other way around it. The narcissist was never truly able to see their own lies. The narcissist’s lies were their truth.

Over the years, I began to speak out against the narcissist. I wanted my family to know that they were up to something.

The narcissist was sneaking around behind the family’s back telling a different story for each person. Being consistently busy with unknown duties and responsibilities left the narcissist unavailable and less present.

Although their time was scared, they still demanded perfection and Order. Every interaction, holiday, or family event had a preterrdmined path for the narcissist.

Their patterns of behavior always included lies. Lies may seem like a quick way for a narcissist to get out of trouble, and while that may be true, the effects are lasting.

How a Narcissist’s Lies Work

The lies transformed into such a mountain of a beast that the narcissist needed to take out the people that we were calling them out. From there, a smear campaign can help to steer others in favor of the narcissist.

Lies snowball — from one situation to the next. A narcissist will say anything they need to say to get out of trouble. There isn’t anything they won’t try to get out of.

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The narcissist had created such a fantasy on top of all their lies. They failed to recognize how their behavior was affecting those around them.

Or maybe, that was the whole point.

A narcissist’s goals are simply to get what they want. That is fine if it means stepping on people they are supposed to care for and love.

You are important to them–but they won’t ever admit that.

Any situation is a chance for the narcissist to push their own agenda.

A narcissist is very sure of themselves and their place in this world. Confidence–whether made up or real sells it.

Their lies paint a bigger picture

The narcissist uses lies to keep the image they want to uphold. Narcissism comes with thinking that you are better than the best; you are the most perfect person.

The number of times that I have had to reevaluate my own memory because I am faced with such determined lies.

They won’t even face the truth about their lies. The narcissist was unable to see an issue with how their lies not adding up.

If you don’t discuss it, then it isn’t real. That was their selfish, unspoken approach to life. This was the frustrating mode the narcissist ran on.

Only accepting their own reality and not acknowledging the truth is an unfortunate way to live.

At the end of the day, a narcissist believes the lies they peddle. Lies are not lies to them; they don’t see anything wrong with telling what they believe.

The Confidence of a Narcissist is Powerful

That’s why passion and conviction can help people believe their lies. Even though their lies are apparent, they don’t see it that way.

Every lie is a reflection of their twisted reality. In a way, it’s alarming to see. How can someone just lie like that?

Does credibility ever cross their mind? Or do they believe they are so powerful that they don’t need to establish a line of credibility?

The lies they tell paint who they believe themselves to be. If they are innocent, then they are most certainly a saint. If you don’t see what the narcissist sees in themself, then you are the problem.

The bigger picture with a narcissist is their ultimate goals or aspirations — by whatever means necessary.

The narcissist will quickly stop you from being who you are, and they can control you.

Once I realized the reality that the narcissist wanted us to see I was shocked. Frankly, their reality was a delusion.

The lies are strung together to support the life they want to attain — whatever that may look like.

Getting a Narcissist’s Way is the Ultimate Goal

At the end of the day, the narcissist wanted their way. They want to be in charge, in control, and in power. A narcissist’s goals are always driven by self-satisfaction.

To be honest, I have given up the battle. Trying go be rational with the narcissist was never going to occur.

They needed to step on the people around them to get a leg up to continue this façade. It always felt like they were playing chess or some game — we weren’t just two people. I was a game piece for them, along with other people.

I can’t be around someone like that.

Through these awful times they put me through, I noticed their behavior patterns quite well. The narcissist is the most predictable person I have ever known in my entire life.

Something would always be on their list; whether it was a monetary gain or adjusting the spotlight, they always had a set pattern of behavior.

It was clear to see what they were doing, I just had to stay away from them.

Every lie they tell is one step closer to getting what they want. What a narcissist wants is not always rooted in material objects. Evading responsibility, questioning, or diverting attention to them are also essential.

Is a Narcissist Only Out for Material Goods?

That doesn’t mean that a narcissist won’t be materialistic. Not every desire that a narcissist has is strictly for material goods. I witnessed a narcissist talk with me about something significant one week; by the next week, they had no idea what I was talking about.

Of course — it always has to be me, doesn’t it?

Lies are a narcissist’s truth — they certainly believe the lies they push, even if they don’t make much sense. But how can that be?

What other way would a narcissist have it? Through all the lies, how can a narcissist get people to believe their lies effortlessly?

Suddenly, it feels like the world has shifted. My family did not trust me anymore. I became a disappointment.

What Makes a Narcissist’s Lies so Powerful?

Their lies are powerful because of the desire, drive, and confidence that every narcissist carries. A narcissist wants to be trusted and liked for many different reasons.

A narcissist’s lies become powerful because they become indestructible. After all, the narcissist discredits the truth from others.

Frankly, a narcissist isn’t afraid to lie or take it far. Narcissists want what they came for — they can’t see beyond themselves.

Although a narcissist’s lies are powerful, it doesn’t mean it is hopeless.

No one is more proud, confident, or arrogant than a narcissist who believes their own lies. A lot of hard work comes with the ultimate goal of always looking like the good guy and the most perfect person.

I have carried the abuse from a narcissist on my back for far too long.

There is time, lies, and dedication to spreading the narcissist’s truth. A person is simply a chess piece to them.

The word narcissist means more than simply describing someone. It’s a culmination of all the pain and suffering this person’s actions have caused you.

Narcissists spend a lot of time crafting their audacious lies to gain what they want. They can work on their reputation so that the people around them are on their side. Narcissists must have the support around them that they need.

A Favorable Perception is What a Narcissist is After

They are nothing without their reputation.

I saw this happen plenty of times with the narcissist in my life. They consistently told me a different lie to the same question. There was no shame to them when telling whatever lie they needed to form to their reality.

The belief that a narcissist holds makes their lies more believable.

The narcissist in my life always lied to me. This sounds like such an overused statement, doesn’t it? But it’s entirely true. Narcissists are stuck within their own world, and the consequences bleed out.

A narcissist’s lies paint the picture of themselves that they want the world to see.

Eventually, the narcissist’s lies will snowball.

At the end of the day, narcissist only has a goal of seeing themselves. They want to have the best life, with the best people, with the best opportunities. But that’s something that we all want.

But how far are we willing to go for it? How much will we lose to achieve the goals we want?

In the end, a narcissist doesn’t see anyone but themselves.

How Prevalent is Narcissism?

Understanding how common narcissism truly is.

Source: Davide Ragusa on Unsplash

With narcissists becoming more popular, it’s essential to understand what narcissism is. Narcissism is a set pattern of behavior laced with grandiosity, arrogance, low self-esteem, and an overinflated ego.

Narcissistic personality disorder is the only disorder that can honestly label someone as a narcissist. Otherwise, people can most certainly have narcissistic traits. This is where people can usually get their wires crossed: are they are narcissists, or do they have narcissistic traits.

Everyone has narcissistic traits; it’s not inappropriate to care about yourself. From your looks to your self-esteem, it’s all completely normal. Now narcissism is a long pattern of narcissistic behaviors that impact someone and others around them.

So the issue that it comes down to is: do we look at the rate of people with NPD, or do we look at those with elevated narcissistic traits? For the purpose of this article, we are going to explore the prevalence of narcissistic personality disorder.

Is NPD common?

There are roughly 0.5% of the population in the United States that have a narcissistic personality disorder. But it is important to note that only people clinically diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder are included in this statistic. This is a relatively low number, but there are always conditions behind these statistics that we have to keep in mind.

Not every narcissist out there is clinically diagnosed (and maybe they should be), so that’s a thought to consider when looking at this statistic. Someone can display the symptoms for years, cause havoc — but never be seen or treated.

Not every narcissist wants treatment or even to see a doctor. Even if that narcissist sees a doctor, they may not be diagnosed because they withhold information.

Overall, there are many different reasons why someone wouldn’t want to seek treatment. In the end, a narcissist doesn’t see anything wrong with them or their behavior. Their self-esteem may not be able to handle that kind of blow also.

So know that not every person you meet who is rude or off-putting is a narcissist. A narcissist is someone with a long pattern of behavior that makes them a narcissist.

I have met a few narcissists in my life, but (unfortunately) for me, they were all family members. Other than that, I really haven’t met too many narcissists in the outside world.

I didn’t have enough time to honestly know them — or they simply had narcissistic traits.

What is NPD?

Narcissism can come from childhood abuse and many different factors. Through narcissistic personality disorder, it is essential to understand its root. Why does it happen? Understanding the disorder behind a narcissist can help spread more accurate information about narcissists.

It has been shown that childhood abuse is connected to depression, aggression, anger, hostile behavior, anxiety, and personality disorders in adulthood.

Through abuse, that child develops to survive in their environment. With a combination of genetics, parenting, and overall treatment within their life, the stage can be set for someone to develop a narcissistic personality disorder.

Not every unkind person is a narcissist

Understanding a narcissist is all fine and good. Still, the narcissistic traits are what people are genuinely interested in (they just don’t know it yet).

The human personality can be divided into so many subparts. There are many different facets and aspects to understanding someone’s personality.

I have met some genuinely mean people in my life, outside of my family, but deep down, those people were not narcissists. People under intense stress can act out of character, causing them to look like a narcissist.

So it is essential to know that someone can be selfish, rude, gaslighting, and simply not narcissistic. But they can sure act like a narcissist sometimes! Or so it feels.

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Narcissists come in all shapes and sizes and from different walks of life. No two narcissists will act the same. But we still have to be careful when using the term narcissist — it needs to be saved for the people who are genuinely narcissists. If you’d like to read more on my journey with my narcissist, I encourage you to check out my narcissistic abuse story.

Overall, narcissism is not prevalent is terms of size and how many people are diagnosed. But that does not lessen the significant impact that person may have on other people’s lives.

So you may never encounter a true narcissist in your life, but knowing the signs and symptoms can help you stay safe and alert.

As originally posted on Medium

My Narcissist Taught Me How to Be a Good Person

It’s simple — I just need to be the opposite of them.

Source: Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

I stand on the other side, still alive through the trying times that my narcissist has put me through. The lies that I had been fed for years were finally coming to an end.

I have faced the most challenging days of my life and held firm throughout the dusty storms through this time. Now, I am left with the constant reminder that I am scarred and haunted by my narcissist.

I think back frequently to the times that my narcissist truly impacted me. How their words made me change who I was because I was afraid. That was the key, though, wasn’t it? To keep me afraid? Being afraid causes me to be more submissive to their lies and deceit.

Through all the manipulation tactics and smear campaigns, I learned to be a good person. I was so horrified at how I was treated that it felt nearly impossible to fully break free from.

I learned what not to be because I needed to be better. I grew to hate the narcissist so much that I despised all they were. I wanted a life that was the opposite of theirs; I needed change.

But from the destruction grew beautiful flowers that I will carry with me forever.

Life lessons

My narcissist would always tell me to “do the right thing” because I dared to resist their demand. Through my defiance, I grew a name for myself as a trouble maker.

I was the evil person in the family, and I didn’t know what to do. I saw the only option was to be a nice, more obedient person. I was a greedymoney-hungry liar who was ruining the family. But I later came to find out that I had been lied to (obviously) — that’s a story for another time, though.

So I set out on a mission at this time to be a better person — through the guidance of my narcissist, of course. I learned to stay quiet, and I learned to observe. I challenged my gut instinct and suppressed the questions that I had.

Through this time, I wanted to show my narcissist more respect. I frequently went out of my way to help the narcissist. After all, I believed this was the way to be a better person: do what the narcissist said.

But my narcissist saw power and control as a way to gain respect. The respect they wanted was done by manipulating and controlling various family members — I wasn’t the only one.

How not to behave

As I process my narcissist’s impact on me, I realize that they have given me the best lesson of all.

I have learned how to be a good person. The narcissist is a shining example of how you should not behave towards family and friends.

I learned to be opentransparent, and clear about my intentions and actions. I wanted to show that I had nothing to hide. Which is entirely true, I don’t. I treat people with kindness, as that is how I want to be treated in return. I do not do good things to brag about them later.

Being open and transparent shows that I have nothing to hide. I have learned through my narcissist that secrets that you keep will always come back to haunt you. You cannot hide what you don’t want others to know.

Whatever you do in the dark comes to light one way or another.

I don’t need to hide the truth because I would never tell a lie to save my own skin or gain money somehow. Hiding the truth because they need to protect their reputation; it’s a vital part of who they are.

I can get through anything

Through the times I have spent enduring the narcissistic abuse, I have learned something valuable through processing all of this.

I have learned that I am a strong individual; I am a good person with good intentions. I want to be happy, and I want to spread love, not fear.

I know that through trying times, I am strong. I am sturdy, and I am capable. At the end of the day, I know that I am loved and cared for — and that I have put love out into the world.

I can rest peacefully knowing I have set out with life to have good intentions.

I now live with a solid moral ethic.

I did not run my life on lies that I created to inflate my ego.

I want to tell the truth, even if it is hard. I cannot keep living a lie to make others happy.

I have learned how to be me.

Through all of the struggles in my life, I am glad that I have been given these valuable lessons. I will never act in the way that the narcissist acted. I sympathize with them, though. They have no idea how much hurt they have caused — and the potential for our relationship to be healthy and like a family.

And I’ve also learned that I don’t need to hold people in fear to be treated with respect. I earn respect through my actions and behavior every single day.
You will see my intentions through my actions — and they are nothing but pure.

As originally posted on Medium and NewsBreak

Does a Narcissist Believe Their Own Lies?

Yes, they do — here’s why.

Source: Fabien TWB on Unsplash

Within the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disordergrandiosity and an extremely high self-image must be maintained. But how can someone create and keep up with such a facade? Well, it’s simple: they lie.

Lie’s are an easy way to get the instant gratification a narcissist needs to get them through this one moment. Lies are how a narcissist can keep power and control over you; they are the foundation for a narcissist’s world.

How can someone tout themselves as being flawless? How can someone do absolutely no wrong? We are all human, and we have all made mistakes in our life. Someone who tries to hide their flaws is shielding themselves from the truth.

So, when you are faced with a narcissist who is obviously lying to you, just know that they believe their lies (unfortunately).

They need to lie to get their way

It doesn’t matter what lie they are trying to push. The lie they have constructed is meant to satisfy you for the moment — whether the lie includes aggressive tactics or not.

Lies fuel the image that a narcissist is creating. Lies are how a narcissist can manipulate the situation.

I found that my narcissist lied to different people — with a different lie — to say what that person needed to hear. Lies are a way that a narcissist can manipulate you — along with gaslighting and blame.

But how does the narcissist not get caught by people questioning their various lies? Well, if someone says anything confidently, you are inclined to believe that. The narcissist in my life always said everything with such conviction that you had no choice but to believe them.

Of course, when I began to question them, their cockiness would turn to aggression.

A narcissist’s lies are their truth

The lies are anything that the narcissist needs you to believe; lies are the pillars for their life.

We all have expectations in our lives; we want certain things. Sometimes, we aren’t able to get what we want. When a narcissist is faced with this, they will do anything to get what they want.

I can only speak of the narcissist I had in my life, but they were keen on making their life seem luxurious. They made such extravagant purchases and would routinely make a fuss to show us the rich problems they had.

Their truth has to be big, extravagant, and over the top. From fancy campers to luxury cars to consistent home redecoration, it only screamed: look at me and see how amazing and powerful my life is!

But it was all a facade — simply leased items, mountains of debt, or even fraud.

Nothing will stand in their way

The lies are a slight bump for the narcissist to get what they want.

Lies are short and quick — achieving the desired results in the short term. But, in the long run, the lies can snowball into a monstrosity. The number of times that I have caught my narcissist in a lie is too many to count.

A lie is a simple way for them to achieve what they need at the moment — the future isn’t anything they’re concerned with.

If appeasing you, or someone else, will make their problems go away, they will do that. With the persistent need to be the best, a narcissist must fulfill a neverending hunger.

At the end of the day, a narcissist is someone with deep-rooted insecurities, who will do anything to get by in life.

The lies a narcissist tells are meant to free them of any responsibility or blame — and ultimately shift that onto someone else. Or lies can be a way for the narcissist to seem even more powerful.

As originally posted on Medium and NewsBreak

Understanding the Disorder Behind a Narcissist

Breaking down narcissistic personality disorder.

Source: Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

Narcissists are a topic that has been flooding media for the past few years. There is a lot of misinformation about what a narcissist truly is. To begin, we have to understand narcissistic personality disorder to truly grasp what a narcissist is.

Narcissistic personality disorder is listed in the DSM-5 as a clinical diagnosis. NPD is a real disorder, and narcissists are real, BUT you can’t just call anybody that seems selfish a narcissist.

There must be specific criteria met that far surpasses selfishness or arrogance. Some people can be selfish and/or arrogant and not be a narcissist.

Symptoms of NPD

Narcissism itself is a personality disorder. This person who had NPD is diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional. No article or quiz will tell you if someone is a narcissist (or if you are one yourself!)

Like any other disorder, a narcissistic personality disorder will have a strict set of symptoms that must be met to qualify for the diagnosis. Below is the list of NPD symptoms that a doctor will use to diagnose:

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance
  • A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • A belief that they are special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
  • A need for excessive admiration
  • A sense of entitlement
  • Interpersonally exploitive behavior
  • A lack of empathy
  • Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them
  • A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

Some of these symptoms can be challenging to see at first — you have to spend time with the narcissist to notice these patterns of behavior. After reviewing the symptoms, we can clearly point to self-satisfaction and superiority. There’s also a lack of empathy, along with overt, negative behaviors.

It’s unfortunate, really, because the narcissist could receive help. But as we all know, treatment doesn’t resolve issues; it’s only a bandaid. You have to work to make the treatment work.

What causes NPD?

Through this entire process, a narcissist may seem content and truly powerful when they may feel empty, worthless, and are battling insecurities on the inside.

A narcissist is insecure and weak — so they need to compensate by being controlling and attention-seeking.

Narcissistic personality disorder can be caused for various reasons. Still, there is typically an environmental, genetic, and neurobiological cause behind the disorder developing. Now, this isn’t too uncommon–other mental health disorders are caused by environmental, genetic, and neurological disorders.

But there are specific adverse life events that someone can experience that would lead them to develop NPD. The Cleveland Clinic has listed a few reasons to why NPD forms:

  • Childhood trauma (such as physical, sexual, and verbal abuse).
  • Early relationships with parents, friends, and relatives.
  • Genetics (family history).
  • Hypersensitivity to textures, noise, or light in childhood.
  • Personality and temperament.

Throughout the narcissist’s childhood, they must have faced some damaging abuse or neglect. The narcissist in my life was abused as a child — it was something that had been disclosed to me through other family members.

How to treat NPD?

Someone with NPD will be unwilling and heavily resistant to changing their behavior. Those with narcissistic personality disorder are forever in love with the hyped-up, grandiose image that they paint themselves as.

With any type of mental illness, there will be a treatment option. A combination of various therapies and medication can help mitigate the adverse effects of the disorder.

NPD can first be treated/assessed by seeing a licensed mental health professional. From there, a psychiatrist (or other qualified professional) can recommend treatment options.

Understanding where NPD comes from can help you better understand a narcissist. Understanding narcissism doesn’t excuse the behavior. The effects of a narcissist’s behavior are real and damaging — a diagnosis doesn’t erase that.

As originally posted on Medium and NewsBreak

Narcissism and Manipulation: How Does It Work?

Exploring the types of manipulation and why a narcissist may manipulate you.

Source: Oscar Keys on Unsplash

The word narcissist is almost synonymous with the word ‘manipulation.’ There are many misinterpretations of narcissism, so it’s essential to know the signs of narcissists and their overused tactics.

Manipulation is the way a narcissist can hold power over you. A narcissist will pull many tricks to get what they want from you. There is no situation, big or small, that would stop a narcissist from manipulating you.

Even under the court’s eyes, my narcissist still chose to manipulate and lie to me.

Clearly, manipulation can look different across the board. Let’s start by exploring what the different types of manipulation are.

Types of manipulation

The various types of manipulation are not exclusive to narcissists. Manipulation can be used by anybody — so don’t be too fast to call someone a narcissist because you recognize their behavior in this article.

There are three distinct types of manipulation that someone can use:

Guilt induction

When a narcissist makes you feel guilty, either by playing on your emotions or insecurities, or they play the victim. Essentially, they will act in a way that plays on your heartstrings, causing you to feel guilty. And just like that, you feel guilty!

Ingratiation

This type of manipulation is more hidden. The narcissist will do all they can to get on your good side. They want to show you that they are helpful and kind in order to use that kindness to get something from you. The narcissist in my life did this all the time when they needed something from it; the kindness never lasted.

Deceit

This may be the most well-known type of manipulation. Deceit is flat out lying or hiding the truth from someone. The truth can be hidden from you by withholding information or lying altogether.

Manipulation can look so different that sometimes it can be hard to see. Suppose the manipulation is concealed in helpfulness (that later leads to deceit). In that case, it may be harder to spot without a closer look.

The narcissist in my life always used guilt induction when their back was against the wall. If you confronted them on their behavior, tried to speak up against their actions, I always had the guilt trip laid on me.

Feel bad for me! It’s all your fault I’m in this situation. — It’s essentially what they’re screaming at you.

Signs of manipulation

Are you left feeling drained, run-down, and overall crappy?

Do you feel like your reality is far different from the narcissist’s?

Does it feel like, over time, their true intentions are clearly shining through? But how can manipulation look?

With the three types of manipulation in mind, here is a list of what manipulation can look like:

  • Gaslighting
  • Belittling tactics
  • Passive aggression
  • Overfriendly and helpful when out of the norm for that person
  • Blaming you for problems in their life
  • Lying by omission

The list can go on and on, but the constant theme is to bother you and stress you out, ultimately to get what they need.

Over time I began to feel like I blended in with the furniture every time they were around. Then other times, the narcissist would be overly friendly with their actions — and quickly that would cycle into deceit and anger.

While through these challenging times I learned that my response only mattered when it was what the narcissist was looking for. It’s stressful to be around the narcissist.

Why do they manipulate you?

A narcissist’s actions are all driven by self-satisfaction. A narcissist wants every one of their needs and wants to be met — without consideration of other people. But there is some ulterior motive behind their actions when they manipulate you.

I once had my narcissist (attempt) to manipulate me into removing my name from the title of my car. They spent a few weeks bringing me coffees and being extra interested in what I had to say.

All the friendly behaviors were washed away when their end goal was clear. And when I refused to take my name off that car title, I was met with destruction — I experienced a smear campaign.

I’ve cycled through their game of manipulation, as they are constantly grabbing for something they want.

I’m stuck — left to figure out what they are going after this time.

Manipulation can take on many forms and happen in a variety of settings. So knowing the signs of manipulation and types of manipulation can help you spot it.

A narcissist will stop at no ends with manipulation — but you don’t have to let that affect you. Just know that their manipulation is worthless if it doesn’t bother you.

As originally posted in Medium and NewsBreak

Intrusive and Dominant Behavior in Relationships Can Be a Sign of Narcissism, Research Suggests

photo credit: Nartan Büyükyıldız on Unsplash

Narcissists are trapped in their own world, they cannot see beyond their own delusion

The narcissist I had within my family always seemed to twist reality. It’s as though the memories we shared were far different from each other. No memory we both shared was viewed the same way.

Any interaction with the narcissist always left me confused, upset, and slighted. I never understood why they were always quick to cast blame or judgment on me. Or how the narcissist would lie to me, when I had screenshots, and evidence to disprove their claims

How does that make sense?

I would always wave this off as the narcissist being a liar. But how can someone lie so much and seem so adamant about their false reality? There has to be some line that shows the stark difference between lying and what is their truth.

And that’s when I realized that the narcissist is highly delusional. In their world, they truly believe the lies they are sharing. For a narcissist, their lies are not lies to them — their lies are their reality.

Narcissists are trapped in their own world, they cannot see beyond their own delusion.

Now please remember that not all narcissists are like this. And not all narcissists are evil. Narcissism is a real disorder that affects real people every day.

From healing wounds about a narcissist, I’ve found that I have to do what they fail to do: see outside myself.

So I began putting myself in the shoes of the narcissists that I had in my life — I began to see their reality.

This does not excuse, nor does this allow for further mistreatment — but rather, it gives us an idea of who they really are.

Understanding a narcissist’s viewpoint may help give you some answers, and help you find your peace with them.

Narcissism is a clinically diagnosed disorder

According to the DSM-5, narcissism is formally called: narcissistic personality disorder.

The key for a clinical diagnosis for narcissism — or any mental disorder — is consistent behavior patterns. Isolated incidents that happen infrequently (i.e., lying) are not enough to meet diagnostic criteria for narcissism.

For the complete diagnostic criteria for DSM-5 Revised criteriaplease click here.

I will be explaining the criteria step by step to help you understand how narcissism is clinically defined.

Below are the summarized versions of the DSM-5 Revised criteria:

Impairments in either identity or self-direction

This means that there are issues with someone’s functioning that are impacting daily life. This can include arrogant behavior, exaggerated achievements, preoccupation with fantasies of success, wealth, power, etc., lacking empathy, and the need for excessive admiration.

An issue with identity or self-direction can really stem from feeling insecure. Narcissists require the attention of others and need to be seen as the best. This runs back to a narcissist not truly knowing who they are.

Narcissists need the praise of others, so they constantly have to work to be the best and stay the best all the time.

A narcissist’s consistent behavior patterns, combine with their slew of negative symptoms can lead them to struggle within their life.

Impairments in interpersonal functioning such as empathy and intimacy

Interpersonal functioning, from a clinical standpoint, is based on how someone functions within their relationships. Relationships aren’t just romantic — they extend to any relationship. Relationships can include friends, neighbors, coworkers, and so on.

When reviewing interpersonal functioning, it is important to look at the stability of all relationships that a narcissist has over time. Are their relationships typically easygoing, or is there always an edge to their relationships?

For example, the narcissist in my life never had any real friends. Yes, we heard about the narcissist’s soccer friends, but we never saw any close friends. It seemed that any friends this narcissist had were kept at a distance.

When we review the inner workings of a narcissist’s friendships, we can begin to see the impact of their negative symptoms. Research has shown that a narcissist may be more likely to be vengeful, overly dominant in relationships, and even including intrusive behavior.

With vengeful, dominant, and intrusive behavior, there will be instability in all relationships. The negative symptoms associated with narcissism are often shown through their relationships.

Personality traits involving grandiosity and attention-seeking

Narcissists believe that they are the best thing that has ever walked the Earth. A narcissist’s self-worth is really tied to the praise they get from those around them.

With a lack of identity and a narcissist constantly having to work to be the best, they can burn some people along the way. But grandiose behavior doesn’t automatically come from someone thinking they are the best — it can stem from insecurity.

Remember, a narcissist is not void of feelings — everyone has feelings and can be close to a person. But narcissists can lose the people that they care about due to their behavior.

With grandiosity, there is an attention-seeking aspect that may be more noticeable. They want to be seen as the best to fulfill that insecurity they have about themselves.

Important diagnostic factors that need to be considered

The criteria discussed above must be stable and consistent throughout a person’s life, cannot be explained by another medical condition, or considered normal for their developmental stage or socio-cultural environment.

This is a quick story on what criteria a narcissist needs to meet. Just because someone was mean to you or rude to you does not qualify them as a narcissist.

Narcissism is a real disorder that has a daily impact on someone’s functioning.

A key point that isn’t discussed by the DSM-5 is the lack of awareness of one’s own functioning. Someone with narcissism doesn’t flat out know that their intentions are twisted. This is their reality, and that’s what they believe. No matter what someone says, this is what a narcissist will believe.

So this can fall under delusional behavior when you are faced with a narcissist.

How does this change things?

In terms of dealing with a narcissist, it isn’t going to change your situation much. But what it can do is help give you more understanding and give some explanation.

The next time you interact with a narcissist in your life, you can understand that their behavior is a pattern. A pattern is predictable, so you can more easily understand the narcissist.

Why fight someone who doesn’t see reality in the same way? If you do, you might want to bang your head against the wall — you’ll get the same outcome.

I want to explain this to other people who may be struggling with a narcissist in their life. I know it’s hard. Wanting to get a narcissist to understand the pain they have caused — but they won’t see eye to eye with you.

A narcissist will never see what you see.

Much like someone with active visual hallucinations, you cannot tell them that something isn’t right in front of them — even though you can’t see it.

To a narcissist, their lies are true. Why spend any time telling the narcissist that their truth isn’t reality? It’s what’s real for them, and it’s what they believe.

Suppose you can’t make sense of a situation with a narcissist, where it seems that they are making stuff up or lying to you. Remember that you are not wrong; you are dealing with someone who is not fully in touch with reality.

No amount of proof, evidence, or logic will prevail over their lies.

When I realized this, my relationship with the narcissist changed. I didn’t need to disprove their lies — I didn’t need to do anything.

If a narcissist’s lies are truly what they believe, then you cannot argue with that.

As hard as it is, you will need to accept that this is how it will be with a narcissist.

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Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health professional. The information contained in this article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. This information is not meant to diagnose anyone but rather to spread awareness and start a conversation. Thanks!

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As Originally Posted on Medium and NewsBreak

Gaslighting in Relationships May Be a Common Manipulation Strategy for Narcissists

photo credit: Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

When someone thinks about what truly makes up a narcissist, typically the first thought is manipulation. Narcissists are all about what they can get for themselves. Everything in a narcissist’s world centers around their own desires and beliefs. A heavy hand of manipulation comes in when a narcissist needs to ensure or strengthen their power over someone.

One of the most well-known tools that a narcissist uses is gaslighting. Gaslighting is a type of manipulation that causes pure psychological torture. A narcissist will use gaslighting to try and alter some part of your memory or behavior to satisfy their own needs.

According to the APA Dictionary, gaslighting is seen as manipulation that is so intense and extreme that the manipulation causes psychological damage to the victim.

We’ve all had our own experiences with manipulation, gaslighting, and narcissists. One way or anything, we all have experienced some level of narcissist control.

I experienced gaslighting consistent manipulation and abuse at the hands of a family member. This family member displayed odd behaviors that I noticed while growing up. The main behavior I noticed was lies. I caught this family member in too many lies to even keep track of. If I questioned these lies, they would gaslight me.

One of the many manipulations and gaslighting tactics that were used against me were lies. I was lied to constantly by this family member. If I caught that family member in a lie, they would swoop in to promptly correct my memory to support their reality. Even after catching them in lies, I still believed this person because I was raised to never doubt what they said.

Now this family member was well respected within the community. They had a doctorate level degree and was a well established, practicing clinician.

But what I had also noticed is that nothing ever changed with this person. Their routines stayed the same, their lavish lifestyle only got better, their lies increased, and their manipulation became too toxic to handle.

I never wanted to admit that this person was a narcissist because, well, they are family. Why would family say such cruel things to me — why would this well-educated doctor tell me such lies about myself.

It was not until recently that I saw this family member for who they really were: a narcissist.

So I went on to believe that I was everything they said I was. I was the manipulative one, I caused problems, I was greedy, I stole, and most importantly I was a liar.

I truly believed that I was everything the narcissist accused me of being. For much of my teen years, I spent my time trying to undo all of the bad things I had done. Did I know exactly what I had done? Nope. I had no damn idea what I had done that made me such a bad person. But I was persistent in trying to prove that I was better than who I once was.

It wasn’t until early this year when I began to question the narcissist’s logic and reasoning. It all started one day when I noticed something odd: what the narcissist had said about me, no one else believed. I had been manipulated into believing such horrid things about myself, that I couldn’t distinguish lies from reality.

It all came to a point for me when my now husband and I were talking. I told him that I had done some awful things in my teen years that I needed to make right. I had expressed how badly I had upset the narcissist, and how I needed to prove to them that I was better.

So my husband asked me a simple question:

“What exactly did you do?”

And that’s when the realization struck me. I hadn’t done anything wrong, I was forced to shift my attention to myself instead of noticing what the narcissist was doing.

There wasn’t a single action that I had done that warranted my negative self-image. But I remember how the narcissist confronted me, him telling me that I was so awful and mean that he would be forced to call the police on me.

I remember feeling so devastated and ashamed of my actions. What left me in a true crisis was the fact that I was unable to find one single action that I had done to warrant calling the police. Regardless, I had made the narcissist so upset that I felt tremendous guilt for my actions.

What was the inciting incident to this situation you might ask? Nothing.

I was 17 years old with so many different life changes occurring that I was lost. Not to mention my struggles with OCD from a young age. I was the narcissist’s perfect target. I was a young, impressionable kid who wanted validation and approval by someone who I cared about deeply.

I was not a liar, a cheater, or a manipulator — I was none of that!

I found my freedom by being critical of the narcissist. I examined their behavior patterns and began to understand who they truly were.

Narcissists are empty shells, that need power over other people to feel complete.

I noticed that gaslighting was a common method of behavioral control from the narcissist. By invalidating and shaming their victim, the narcissists ultimately gain power over them.

I have built myself up from what was destroyed by the narcissist. I am a naturally empathetic person, not some monster out for money or control.

Narcissists have an arsenal of various tactics to ensure cooperation and strengthen their manipulation with their victims.

But as I am sitting here writing this I feel overcome with a sense of freedom. I am free from the narcissist’s lies and manipulation.

All of my adult years have been built on lies from this narcissist. The narcissist ran my life, and I did not even know it. But now I am free to forge a new path for myself.

This is a new start.

As Originally Posted on Medium and NewsBreak

Covert Narcissism Can Be a Hidden Danger in Relationships

photo credit: Quinn Buffing on Unsplash

Covert narcissism explained through the lens of the NXIVM cult.

Covert narcissists are the narcissists that aren’t noticeable. They are often the last person you might think would be a narcissist. But the more you get to know a covert narcissist, the more you see their true intentions.

The concept of covert narcissists is well showcased by looking at the cult ‘NXIVM.’ In this cult, the leader Keith Raniere was a nice, selfless man who claimed that he only wanted to teach people how to be their best selves. Raniere developed a ‘tool’ he called, Executive Success Programs (ESP) to help people rid themselves of whatever was holding them back.

Keith Raniere began to market this ‘tool’ that he created. Raniere got others to recruit into NXIVM to sell his self-improvement tools to others. Essentially, NXIVM was a multilevel marketing scheme disguised as a self-improvement program.

The NXIVM cult was marketed as being this happy family that only wanted to help the world.

The main theme throughout the cult is that Raniere wanted to change the world for the better. Raniere held so much power within the company and over hundreds and thousands of people that took part in his work.

Over time, women were recruited into a secret society run by Raniere himself. Each of the women secretly recruited into this society was branded with Raniere’s initials. Eventually, the secret society was exposed and leaked to the world.

It was later revealed that the members of this secret society, run by Raniere, were forced to share nude photos or horrific secrets at ‘collateral’. The collateral these women were forced to share was used to ensure that no member spoke out against the secret society.

Collateral was expected to be given regularly — no member could refuse.

The secret society was held up on a system of masters and slaves, with Raniere being the headmaster. Over time, the slaves and masters would have an opportunity to have sex with Raniere to reach true enlightenment. Raniere believed that if his followers had sex with them, they could truly receive his teaching.

Of course, sex with Raniere was not what was marketed to these women.

The secret society was described to these women as an empowerment exercise where you would enter as a slave and would need to follow the orders of your master.

A slave’s master could demand nearly anything. The slaves had to ask for permission to eat or sleep. Each slave needed to respond to a message from their master within 1 minute of receiving a message.

The women in this secret society were made to believe that this would help empower them and lead them to become their best selves. Each woman was expected to bring in more women into the secret society.

Slowly, big names within the NXIVM organization were beginning to leave. Those who left began to speak out against Raniere and his practices.

How does covert narcissism relate to Raniere?

Please note that Raniere was far worse than just being a narcissist. Covert narcissism was Raniere’s main strategy to get people hooked and submerged into his ideology.

The observable behavior, seen by those outside this cult, noticed the superiority and facade that Raniere was upholding.

Raniere won people over with what they could see — a brilliant man who saw interest in them and wanted to help them. Raniere targeted people and made them feel special; this helped Raniere bring his victims in. Once they were close enough, he would turn up the heat — new rules and continued dedication to Raniere.

Much in the way of covert narcissists, they can pull their victims in and keep them there by painting the same happy picture of themselves. Any questions towards the covert narcissist will be easily deflected with, “they’re a nice person,” just like Raniere was touted as a self-less man. Why would a nice, selfless person hurt others?

Covert narcissism is really padded with the masking of superiority with something nicer — like a self-improvement guru who only wants the best for you.

But what’s best for you needs to benefit the narcissist, or how else is it for the best? Of course, this is from the perspective of a narcissist.

The difference that makes a narcissist a covert narcissist

Of course, knowing the signs of a narcissist are still applicable; there are some outside signs that only covert narcissists will display.

Lack of grandiose or superiority is what a covert narcissist usually is missing. But of course, there is superiority when it comes to covert narcissists. Still, they take much longer to show truly their intentions. The superiority of a covert narcissist can typically be seen through growing a relationship with them.

The closer you get to a covert narcissist, the more clear the signs become.

It’s not that easy to tell with a covert narcissist if they feel superior or grandiose. With Raniere, he hid his grandiose belief behind a humanitarian effort. Who’s going to question someone who is supposedly doing good things?

With narcissism in general, everything is always about the narcissist.

We always think of a narcissist as someone bigger than themselves. Narcissists really think that they are the best.

Just like every person is different, so is every narcissist. No two narcissists will ever be the same, but they can have similar traits. The trait I have always noticed between covert narcissists is that they are most often described as “nice.”

Like Little Red Ridinghood in Into the Woods, she sings “nice is different than good” about the wolf. This is the best way to understand a covert narcissist.

Raniere was seen as a nice, selfless humanitarian who only wanted to do good. That’s how the covert narcissist was able to get their victims to really trust them.

Covert narcissists may be nice, but they aren’t always good.

Spotting the hidden danger

Covert narcissists are the most dangerous because you cannot spot them as easily.

Raniere was composed and always had alone time with his followers. He was well-groomed, nice and made the person with him feel special.

Over time, it turns into a slow, progressive takeover that targets each member. They are made to feel special because this brilliant man likes who you are. Obviously, this isn’t some b.s, it’s real and engaging for these people.

From being so close to his followers, Raniere was able to manipulate the way he is seen. Raniere always kept his followers close so he could guide them on how he wants to be seen.

Narcissists will always try to paint themselves in the best light.

No matter what, always trust your instincts, and never let anybody convince you out of how you feel.

Many of the followers of Raniere reported that they felt odd with him. That there was something that wasn’t right. But Raniere was a wonderful humanitarian who only wanted to do good — or so he said.

Raniere painted himself to be the greatest of the great — the best that ever lived.

Yet, Raniere showed his dedication as a great, selfless act, which masked his true intentions. Raniere wanted his followers to only believe in him and always to follow his word.

All of the red flags with Raniere are not completely noticeable at first. You’re taken back by this possibility of greatness in your life, and there is this great person who always wants to help you achieve your goals.

Even though the signs aren’t clearly obvious that Raniere was a narcissist upon meeting him, all of his actions are tied back to greed and his own selfish motives.

Thankfully, Raniere was found guilty of all charges and has been sentenced to 120 years in prison. Raniere’s rain of terror is finally over — but his victims relive their torment every day.

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As Originally Posted on Medium and NewsBreak

Keep Your Distance From a Narcissist to Protect Your Peace

The helpful ways to protect what is more important: your sanity

JC Gellidon on Unsplash

For my entire life, I have lived on the lies of a narcissist. What I thought was true was false, and the reality I saw was a delusion.

I could never get a single truth to come out of the narcissist. Even the simplest of truth was difficult for the narcissist to share.

I felt scared and completely alone.

I wanted nothing more than to have a peaceful, loving family, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

Growing up, I saw how the narcissist challenged others who questioned them. The fights, terror, and anger were a constant sight for me.

I learned the hard way that when you push back against an abusive narcissist, you are left with nothing but destruction — and a little bit of hope.

I fought tirelessly for years to get other family members to see what I saw in the narcissist. The lies and manipulation were almost constant — the signs were evident to me.

As I heard my family defend the narcissist, I began to feel as though I had lost touch with reality.

The truth I was showing to my family was an assault on the character of the narcissist. They were brainwashed, I was brainwashed — but I dared to challenge the narcissist head-on.

I now know what narcissism is and how I can understand the repeated flow of behavior. I learned to detach from the mess the narcissist had created and cared for myself.

Now I am in a better place, but I can see how strong the narcissist’s delusion was when I look back. Many people don’t see the signs of a narcissist, or they don’t even know what a narcissist is.

Please keep in mind that narcissism is a real disorder that affects real people. Not all narcissists are abusive, but some are.

Even if you don’t have a narcissist in your life, you may be in a problematic relationship. No matter who someone is to you, no one is allowed to make you feel inferior.

The guidance I want to share does not need to apply only to an actual narcissist, but it can work for others as well.

You don’t have to be a narcissist to have narcissistic traits — some people can be mean, and there’s nothing you can do to change that.

But always take steps to protect yourself no matter what.

Keep your distance

This is the first thing to do; You cannot get safe until you are away.

Stay away from them as much as you can, separation will help you heal. This can be very difficult for some family dynamics or relationships. If you cannot keep your physical distance, then keep yourself protected.

Disengage, and try to be as disconnected as much as you can from them. I understand that this might seem mean, but remember that your happiness is essential, too.

Establish boundaries around seeing this person, and limit contact to whatever extent you are comfortable with.

Take your power back

Get back at narcissists by taking your power back.

Your power is sacred, as your power is you.

Your power is being able to express who you are without worry of judgment; it’s your overall drive and determination.

Even if the person in your life isn’t a narcissist, this can still work. Do not let someone make you feel as if they are superior to you — no one has the right to make you feel this way.

It doesn’t matter if it is your mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, aunt and uncle, or even a family friend. No one has the right to make you feel less like less of a person.

You are perfectly built, flaws and all; don’t let anyone shame you for your shining light.

Believe your truth over their lies

Your truth is important; that is something always to remember. When a narcissist lies, they are trying to protect themselves. Whatever a narcissist’s reason for lying, maybe it is essential to resist falling into questioning yourself.

Through my own experience with a narcissist, I found myself questioning my motives, actions, and even reality.

If someone in your family upsets you, and it makes you feel sad, angry, embarrassed, or any other unpleasant feeling — it’s valid.

Just because a narcissist doesn’t believe that they hurt your feelings doesn’t magically undo the hurt.

Believe yourself, hold onto your truth, and don’t ever allow anyone to make you question that. You are strong.

Know that this too shall pass

It’s hard to look back and see the faults in your relationships with someone who is narcissistic. And it’s even harder to continue to endure abuse at the hands of a narcissist.

I have dealt with a narcissistic abuser for my entire life. I am finally free of their abuse and manipulation, but I will live with the pain they have caused me for the rest of my life.

The situation you are presently in is not your forever.

One day you won’t wake up with anxiety over what they will do next.

One day you will feel completely free, and the narcissist will be nothing more than a memory.

You are so important; use these tools to help guide you to peace and happiness from a narcissist.

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As Originally Posted on Medium and NewsBreak