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How To Help Someone Involved With A Narcissist

What to do if you suspect someone you know is involved with a narcissist

First of all let’s cover the don’t:

* Do not underestimate how dangerous, manipulative and conniving a narcissist can be.

Too many times people confuse narcissism with ordinary abusive behaviour or someone with an inflated ego. A true narcissist is cruel beyond comprehension and can cause immeasurable emotional and physical damage. They will stop at nothing to control their victim and that could include death.

* Never make the victim feel they are responsible for their own abuse.

By saying things like: I would never have stayed, I would have seen he was an asshole a mile off, he was attracted to your co-dependency, etc
No one knows what it is like to be manipulated by a narcissist unless they have been there.

-Narcissists are attracted to strong, competent, self sufficient women with a strong sense of responsibility and moral fiber. What woman wouldn’t want to be described in those terms? The last thing a narcissist wants is someone needy or someone any one could have, she has to be a “trophy” and confident enough to keep his narcissistic supply coming. Plus the more self sufficient and confident she is the more determined the narcissist will be to “break” her, if he can make her totally dependent on him it is the ultimate in NS.

* Do not withdraw your support in an effort to make them choose between you and the narcissist, or in anger because they won’t leave or went back.

Withdrawing your support is giving the narcissist exactly what they want – total control over their victim and makes the victim dependent on the narcissist and reinforces what the narcissist is telling them; that they (the narcissist) is the only one they can rely on, the only one who truly loves them and that they are flawed in some way, why else would someone they cared about turn their back on them?

* Do not expect the victim to return to their “old self” immediately after leaving the narcissist.

The longer a person is involved with a narcissist the more damage is done to the person’s self confidence, their esteem and even their perception of reality. That does not heal quickly, sometimes never. The victim has been abused at a soul level, comparable to a prisoner of war, a rape victim, a hostage; they can probably not even adequately describe what they have been through. In many cases they have blocked much of the abuse or minimized it; which is typical of a person in highly dangerous situation and was part of their attempts at survival.

- Many people leaving a relationship with a narcissist suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and should get help from a professional for that, someone who is familiar with Narcissism and the effect on the victims.

*Do not believe anything the narcissist tells you, he will try anything to discredit the victim and make them appear to be the crazy one and it is the narcissist who is the victim.

You can almost guarantee that whatever the narcissist is saying is the exact opposite of the truth. If he is saying she was unfaithful; it was him cheating. If he says she spent all the money; it was he who spent money.

Remember the narcissist is an award winning actor, he’s been doing it his whole life, if he does admit to any wrong doing it will be part of his plans to manipulate the situation in his favor.

*Do not show the narcissist any sympathy!

One of the tactics often used by a narcissist (especially when he feels he is losing ground) is to use other people as pawns in his efforts to control his victim.
The victim needs no reasons to feel sorry for the narcissist, if they see you are sympathetic to his cause they will doubt they are doing the right thing by leaving.

*Do not be overly critical of the narcissist to the point of the victim feeling they must defend him; remember the narcissist uses guilt as a means of manipulation. You don’t want the victim to feel she has done anything wrong by confiding in you.

The To-Do List:

*Research Narcissism

There are hundreds of support groups, forums, advice sites and sites giving professional opinions.

No one can understand the power a narcissist has over his victim or how
he gained that control or why a victim finds it so hard to leave. Unless you have been there it is impossible, but by reading other people’s accounts of their experiences you will come to realize it is very common and perhaps develop some compassion for the loved one you are trying to help.

*Reinforce that the victim is NOT responsible for the abuse, it is the narcissist that is sick and they can not save him.

-You will have to do this often, once out of your company and back home with the narcissist the narcissist will work over time to extinguish any confidence the victim might have acquired while with you. It is a constant roller coaster ride in emotional hell and you might be the only person who can counter the insanity of living with a narcissist.

*Document!!

When the victim tells you of abuse, infidelity or any other mistreatment by the narcissist make note of it; if there is any physical abuse try to take pictures even if she refuses to press charges. It is actually best if she doesn’t keep records herself because the narcissist IS going through her stuff whether she realizes it or not and if he finds it he will destroy it and “punish” her in some way. But this information will come in handy in the future as:
Proof there was abuse should she have to go to court or get a restraining order.
A reminder for the victim of what she had to live with when her resolve weakens.
Proof of the truth in defense of the lies the narcissist will inevitably tell anyone who will listen.

*Be There!!!

I know it is frustrating to hear the victim cry about the abuse and then they don’t leave or they leave and go back, but you need to be her voice of reason and sanity. You must understand that narcissists are experts at making someone feel crazy.

A woman in an abusive relationship leaves an average of 7 times before leaving for good. As long as he can make her feel that she has some power to change things she will go back, she needs to be reinforced that she has indeed done all she or any woman could do and no one deserves to be abused.

* Believe them!

Once they opening up and start sharing some of the things the narcissist did, believe them, no matter how bizarre it may sound and reiterate it is the narcissist that is sick, not them!

*Listen!!

If they are still with the narcissist all you can do is be there to listen and reinforce that: They are NOT crazy
They are strong
They are not alone
They CAN leave and when they do you will be there to help

* If they have left they will need to rehash the relationship trying to make sense of it, trying to find answers to why something so wonderful turned so ugly.

Quite often while in “survival mode” the victim will block or minimize a lot of the abuse because they are overwhelmed or simply can not accept how horrible the situation is. Once they are away from the narcissist and the danger emotions and memories will come flooding back and the brain needs to acknowledge and accept what happened in order to start the healing process. It might be necessary for the victim to relive some events over and over again.

*Allow the victim time to grieve the loss.

Too many times the people close to the victim get frustrated that they are so sad and “taking too long” grieving and should “just get over it”. That they should be happy they are away from the abuse.

Remember this is probably what they thought was the love of their life and not only is the relationship over but they have to accept it was all one sided; the narcissist is incapable of love; they were in love with a sham. The narcissist will never admit to any fault, and over time more and more of the lies he told will surface reopening the wounds.

Nine times out of ten the narcissist will be involved in another relationship very quickly and will be on his best behaviour and doing everything he can to rub his ex victim’s nose in it.

Either that or he will stock his victim, call incessantly, write letters, anything he can think of to get to her and weaken her resolve.

You can’t stop the victim from going back, but it is less likely to happen if they don’t feel alone. The narcissist can be very convincing especially if the victim is alone, depressed and filled with self doubt.

Good Luck!!!

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151 responses to “How To Help Someone Involved With A Narcissist

  • Bram

    I have a NPD family
    I am the youngest member 28 now only son
    A lil while ago i discovered it * they keeping me dumb and like2 lie
    I got beated up a lot by dad sometimes mom
    My sisses liked to tell on me
    They have lots of secrets my sisses
    If i was doing it i would be dead
    I have ocd and ptsd ADD panick atacks aggressions headage and yh NVS
    My parents divorced at age 16
    Dad says mom took 140.000euro from divorcing but he lied she took 60.000 euro
    She wanted to split this in 3 for 3 kids
    My dad kept beating me for shit reasons
    Till age 22 i was freaking tired of it .. i stopped the violence with pushing him off all the time . he always won i tried it almost everytime from beginning puberity

    he tells evry1 in whole family i beated him up while he is giving me a home and food
    But he was trying 2 get me again and he lied and said i was lied

    Same as my youngest sis .. she is addicted 2 Speed amphetamine
    She does is for the sex from age 11

    I tell dad her new bf is the same as all her exes that beated her up
    It was her reason 2 let them not know at home she is an addict

    with her last boyfriend she was in denial after i told dad she is at it again
    She starting 2 hit me with her fists . i grabbed her arms 2 calm her down
    She shouts in the house HEEELP my brother is hitting me .. they believed her like always
    my other sis is sometimes giving me food and asking stuffs my oldman like 2 know

    He almost never supports with food .. im unymployed now and refuse 2 work atm if he is near

    He likes 2 know everything .. he even hires lawyors 2 get in my things like bank account my jobs ..union
    Basicly everything in my life
    He tells me ..he is broke or retired now and low income but i found out when i was 22 he was making big money 25euro every hours
    He even works withouth taxes know of it
    even when retired he works

    He makes 3-4000 evry month
    He tells me he has 14eur when i have 11 euro/hour or even lower he aswell
    He tells me he running out of money and want to cancel the ISP at home cus it costs money 85eur evry month
    So he makes me get my own ISP and tells he cancelled it but didnt
    I lost in 7 month 7-800 euro for installation and contract for new ISP
    He even called the ISP under my name 2 know my status of bills when my bank is at zero or in red

    I was in a eating disorder lost 20 kilo in bodyweight last year
    i was fatty all my life cus of accident when 8yrs old kid.. hole in stumage .. always hungry for everything that was food i gained till 140 kilo dropped at age 21 down to 95 kilo cus the hole closed when grown up
    Now im normal in body weight 82

    Before i lost the 20 kilo my upper legs when blown up cus on the job where i worked for a while * a social work place .. every break i hanged out with a serieus pothead aka weed smoker on the breaks .. So am i a weedhead .. not anymore i try to stay off but its hard *2nd week now * Now that guy on the job added a hardrugs * he made my legs blown up … so i did not like 2 go outside ..

    The oldest sis dropped me off always at a store for food
    so she droppes me off at a place where evry1 could see me
    i told her can u get the things for me
    She manipulated me and i needed 2 follow her
    When i stepped back in the car after shopping the bitch laughed at my big legs with a smile.. like i was nothing in her eyes

    After i lost the weight i still had the belly but no fat in belly
    So i do some fittnes for like 9 months .. i was the oposite of the fat man
    I was bulky .. like a beefcake .I ran like 1.15 min daily on the freaking crosstrainer ..I did german and dutch volume training for the upper side of my body 2 kill the big legs look

    When i stopped working cus i had developed from my youth trauma ptsd
    So no more income after that ..healthcare refused
    So my oldman needs 2 give me foods
    He gives me bread or rotten food now in 3 weeks i gained 10 kilo and Lost most of my gains so no more energy
    So i ate half of the food he provides lost 5 kilo again

    One time when no food in 2 weeks he tried 2 atack me again cus he gave me food.. before i took a bite he charged and said u like free food hu ! he lost it i pushed him off and trow the food away

    If i have vacation money evry time no food in home when no job so i go Broke more easely cus i need money to get out of here
    So they see me doing fitness again but when i go broke again .. i have The muscle breakdown again and that feel awkward and makes me walk like a weirdo
    People look at me so strange when i walk outside
    if i do
    Mostly i just stay home till nightfall and than i go outside
    When i lost the weight i needed new clothing
    The family did not helped me at all
    I needed 2 make a fool out of me

    So i bought new ones when a whole town laughed at me and looked at me weird
    I bought new pants and stuffs
    The new seatpants was not designed for a dryer
    What does my NPD family they put it into a dryer
    it shrinks

    Again i need 2 make a fool out of me again
    buy jeans this time
    I need 2 make the inseam in 2 a 30inch but i cant but my sis can help me out with that .. but she doesnt

    So i go to a cloth maker and he ruined the pants and made it 2 short

    If i hospitalize myself they tell the housedoctor and the housedocter tells my oldman cus i left a note from the doctor at the kitchentable once on a day
    so what they where doing was they trying 2 make me believe i was turning skitzo so i could be a medicated plant

    He takes pics with his cellphone from the time it is on the clock,
    every time i opened the fridge for food
    he filles the frigde with his desire what i should eat

    the pics are 2 defend himself if i sew him or whatever

    He even killed my dogg
    She had barf in front or her mouth
    She was choked

    At age 21-22 i visited a shrink and he thought i had a depression
    So he gave me serlain * zoloft * sertraline ** diffrent names for an SSRI anti depressant
    Now i told this at home but i wasnt realy realizing all of this
    The medication helped a bit but every 1 was taking advantage of me
    I was a bit of a wuss
    i always said yes 2 evrything
    The med also kills my guts
    the doctor told me never eat stuffs from freezer 2 fix it and,
    He said eat fresh or fastfood
    So i told this at home
    And everyday i get unfrozen foods
    So i need like a whole roll of toilletpaper cus i need it 2 get it clean
    So the can gets stuffed and is out of order
    He takes pics of that aswell

    How handle a sick family like mine?? they doing it ever sinds i could remember from age 2-3 yr

    My mom married and divorced for like 5 times now in 12 yrs
    she likes other guys just for there dosh

    so i cant follow her
    And she is the only slight good thing in the family in my eyes

    Im stuck :/

    No friends either.. 2 of them has NPD 2
    They talked bad behind my back lost every 1:/even the girlsfriends where stolen by the NPD friends
    Cheating means goodbye
    :/

    sry for bad englisch never been teached in school im a belgian

    Like

    • Hazel

      Dear Bram
      I hear you. I believe you. I know, Please remember you are Loved and you are Worthy. Anyone who causes you harm has caused a lifetime of harm to themselves – Look how they all live their lives, miserable and cruel because misery and cruelty is what’s inside of them. But not you. Your eyes are open and you have amazing courage and strength to endure what you have.

      Read Dr Brian Weiss. He will encourage your heart and soul Keep working and save even 10% if you can. There will come a day (very soon I hope) when you have enough money to move away. The only contact with narcissists/psychopaths is ‘no contact’ ever. Then you can start a new life for yourself and re-build what’s been taken from you. You are very, very brave to keep going and to keep trying.

      I wish a new start to life for you free of cruelty and free of the most severe mental illness there is – in those people. They are not your family. We, who care about you and send our love and our support to you, we are your spiritual Family.

      You are not alone. I support you, encourage you and admire your strength and goodness to not be like them. You will have a life seeing through eyes of good people all around you one day – that don’t harm a soul but support you as the very special soul you are.

      I send you my love, my prayers and my wishes for this bad time to be over for you very, very soon. Love, Hazel

      Like

      • joanna

        My daughter has finally left her abuser and as her mother I need help in learning to give the proper support for her we are in different states and it is difficult going back and forth. please help

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        • Carrie Reimer

          Joanna, I wish you and your daughter luck and I give you credit for wanting to learn how you can best help her, many families turn their backs on the victims of abuse. I want to ask you a few questions like; does she have children with her abuser, has she left him before and was the abuse physical or threats of physical abuse (not that all types of abuse aren’t equally damaging, if he has been physically abusive in the past she is in more danger after leaving him)
          The number one thing to remember is; believe her and listen. Never question why she stayed, she has left now and that is all that counts. She may tell you things that are shocking, she may have hidden some things from you and now needs to talk about it, try to not say things like: “And you didn’t leave?” “Why would you stay after he did something like that?” “What did you do to provoke him?” The victim of abuse is very sensitive to criticism because the abuser has been telling them it is all their fault, they are paranoid, crazy and even that they are the abuser and the he is the victim.

          Keep telling her it is not her fault, she got sucked in and manipulated by a professional con artist and award winning actor, women from all cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds end up in abusive relationships. It is not the victim’s fault.

          I have a free download at the top of the site; A Safety Plan. Please send it to her. 70% of domestic homicides happen either just prior to the victim leaving or within 2 years after leaving. I don’t mean to scare you but just because she has left does not mean she is safe.

          The very best thing you could do is to get her out of the town, state she is in. The further away from him the better for her and the easier it will be for her to heal and the less likely she is to go back.

          If she has never left before, be prepared that she might go back. Narcissists (and more abusers are narcissists or psychopaths) are very convincing and will promise the world and admit to everything they ever did wrong, promise to go to counseling etc just to get the victim to come back. He will try to turn her against her family. Confuse her into thinking the enemy is her family and not him. They are very evil. Never doubt how far he will go to keep her under his control.

          Remember, this is not about love, it is and always has been about control. But your daughter thinks it is love and he is the love of her life and only she knows the sweet side of him and he will play on her compassion and empathy and love for him to coerce her into going back.

          She needs to have a ton of support, emotionally, mentally, financially and physically for a long time. This is not going to be over for a very long time. She has been raped at a soul level and the wounds run deep. If she feels alone, lonely, is hopeless and helpless she is more apt to go back even if she knows he is abusive. Society is not terribly sympathetic to abuse victims, they tend to be blamed for their own abuse and the abuser often goes on a smear campaign trying to destroy the victim’s reputation and credibility. They will try to make the victim lose their job so they are destitute financially, destroy friendships so they have no one to talk to, and then act concerned for the victim once they have removed all support.

          I would try to get your daughter into see a counselor (one who is familiar with narcissists, many counselors have no idea the depth of evil that exists) a support group for domestic abuse victims, any place she can talk without being judged. She needs to talk about it a lot! rehash the relationship, she will have moments of doubt. You may have a hard time understanding why she can’t just move on, forget him, why she still loves him and is crying and misses him but she needs to grieve the relationship and her mind is trying to make sense of the whole thing. She doesn’t even know why she misses him. I have articles on here about brainwashing, the narcissist uses the same techniques used on prisoners of war, cult members, etc. She also quite likely blocked a some of the abuse from her mind in as a way of dealing with the abuse. The mind blocks horrible events as a survival instinct, she will remember more and more the longer she is away from him.

          I wish you luck and please let me know how things are going and if you could give me more particulars I might be able to provide more information also.
          Big Hugs
          Carrie

          Like

        • Carrie Reimer

          Joanna, I just reread my reply and realized I basically said everything the article did. Do you have a specific concern?
          Also if you can convince your daughter to remain NO CONTACT, it is the most important step in staying away, staying safe and healing.

          Like

          • joanna

            the issue is there are three young children and he is now getting his ns from them when he picks them up he says and does things in front of the kids that is horrid

            Like

  • joanna

    hass been through it all the beatings sexual abuse he is out of the house by court order and filed for a divorce and as I said he has the children brainwashed. I am praying she gets stronger as a mother. From the outside looking in she is very fearful still even though the law is on her side. we just returned from my sons wedding in ca and he made the kids trip miserable and that is how he continues to get to her. The courts say she has to contiue to have the fathers visitation and communication andshehas done everything by the book otherwise the courts think it is her. She has a list of proof a mile long and going to court this month. He has broken the restraing order consistantly of course because he is above the law. Hopefully he finds out different on the 23 of aug. but we know he will stop at nothing and that is my fear. she is not allowed to leave the state

    Like

    • Carrie Reimer

      Joanna, it sounds like your daughter is doing everything right and has her head on straight, which is quite rare in domestic abuse cases, usually the victim is an emotional basket case, so I give her a lot of credit for guts and strength. Only someone who hasn’t been there would see her as anything but strong. She has every right to be very fearful of her ex, physically and for what he will do to slander her and discredit her. It is a very bad sign that he is not respecting the restraining order and I encourage you to do everything possible to ensure her safety. It is insane she can not leave the area when her life is in danger. The legal system sorily underestimates the depth of evil they are dealing with. Did you down load the safety plan? For some reason everyone always refuses to see the danger, maybe because it is just too horrific to imagine so everyone pretends it can’t happen but it happens every single day and your daughter is a prime example of how all the signs are there and yet no one does anything. It is up to her (and you) to keep her safe because obviously the courts and police are not taking it seriously. If he broke the restraining order he should be in jail now until the next court date. Unless she hasn’t reported it, in that case she needs to immediately!!!!!
      I have to ask how he made the kids trip hell? If he is contacting her or the kids and it is not his visitation he is breaking the restraining order I would think.
      You say she has a list of proof, is it in her custody, the courts? does her ex know about it? I am not being overly dramatic when I say she needs to be extremely vigilant about her safety especially in light of the fact that court is drawing closer. If you haven’t downloaded the safety plan please do. I can’t stress it enough.
      His only concern right now is revenge. He does not want the kids, he want to make your daughter pay for leaving him, he has no conscience and he does feel he is above the law. They are so vindictive they will cut off their nose to spite their face. Do not expect him to think rationally or logically. Whatever you think he will do is based on what a normal person would do and that is so far from what he WILL do. We, as people with normal feelings and rational, logical minds can not possibly fathom where their brains go.
      I will keep your daughter in my prayers. Please keep me informed I really do care and I am concerned.
      Hugs
      Carrie

      Like

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