10 Signs of Narcissistic Abuse: How to Recognise and Protect Yourself

Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse that occurs when a person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) uses manipulative tactics to control and dominate their partner or others around them. Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance, and they often exploit others to boost their ego. If you suspect that you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, it’s important to recognize the signs and take steps to protect yourself. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 signs of narcissistic abuse and provide tips on how to heal from emotional manipulation.


10 Signs of Narcissistic Abuse:


  1. Gaslighting: Narcissists often manipulate their victims by making them doubt their own perceptions, memories, and beliefs. They may tell you that your feelings are irrational, or that you’re imagining things that never happened. This tactic is called gaslighting, and it’s a common form of emotional abuse.
  2. Blaming and Shaming: Narcissists rarely take responsibility for their actions, and they often blame others for their mistakes. They may also shame their victims by making them feel guilty or inadequate.
  3. Criticism and Negativity: Narcissists are often highly critical of their victims and may focus on their flaws and shortcomings. They may also be overly negative and pessimistic, which can be draining and demoralising.
  4. Emotional Manipulation: Narcissists are skilled at manipulating others to get what they want. They may use emotional blackmail, guilt-tripping, or other tactics to control their victims.
  5. Isolation: Narcissists often try to isolate their victims from friends and family members. They may discourage you from spending time with people who care about you, or they may try to control your social life.
  6. Financial Control: Narcissists may try to control their victims’ finances by limiting their access to money, withholding funds, or sabotaging their career opportunities.
  7. Intimidation: Narcissists may use intimidation tactics to control their victims. They may use threats, aggression, or physical violence to intimidate and control their partner.
  8. Love Bombing: Narcissists often use love bombing to manipulate their victims into feeling indebted to them. They may shower you with affection and gifts at the beginning of the relationship, only to withdraw their affection and attention later on.
  9. Triangulation: Narcissists may use triangulation to create jealousy and competition between their victims. They may compare you to others, or they may flirt with other people to make you feel insecure.
  10. Lack of Empathy: Narcissists often lack empathy and may be unable to understand or relate to their victims’ feelings. They may minimise your pain or dismiss your emotions, which can be hurtful and invalidating.


How to Heal from Narcissistic Abuse:


If you suspect that you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and seek support. Here are some tips on how to heal from emotional manipulation:

  • Acknowledge the abuse: Recognize that you are a victim of emotional abuse and that it’s not your fault.
  • Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with the narcissist and stick to them. Don’t allow them to manipulate or control you.
  • Seek support: Talk to a therapist or a trusted friend or family member about your experiences. They can provide you with emotional support and help you develop coping strategies
  • Practice self-care: Take care of yourself by eating well, exercising, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.
  • Limit contact with the narcissist: If possible, limit your contact with the narcissist or consider ending the relationship altogether.
  • Focus on your healing: It’s important to focus on your own healing and growth after experiencing narcissistic abuse. Seek professional help if necessary, and take the time you need to heal.



Q: Can narcissistic abuse lead to PTSD?

A: Yes, victims of narcissistic abuse may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the emotional trauma they experienced.

Q: Can narcissists change their behaviour?

A: While it is possible for narcissists to change their behaviour, it is rare. Most narcissists lack the self-awareness and empathy necessary to recognise and address their harmful behaviour.

Q: Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with a narcissist?

A: It is unlikely that a healthy relationship can be established with a narcissist. The best course of action is to seek support and establish healthy boundaries.

If you are experiencing narcissistic abuse, it’s important to recognise the signs and take steps to protect yourself. Narcissistic abuse can be emotionally devastating, but with the right support and strategies, healing is possible. Remember that you are not alone, and that there is help available for those who need it. If you or someone you know is a victim of narcissistic abuse, seek support and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from emotional manipulation.

Do you recognise these signs in your relationship?

If you recognise the signs identified in this blog and are worried about your relationship, speak to a specialist counsellor today and get support to work through your concerns and develop an action plan.

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