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!!!

417 thoughts on “How To Help Someone Involved With A Narcissist

  1. dls

    I know of a narc relationship and the victim has blocked contact with those persons who would talk and could reason with the victim. What are your thoughts of mailing copies of some of the narcissist articles that appear on the different sites that match the situation. Do you think this would irritate the Narc and cause more problems for the victim or maybe give the victim a wake up to what is happening and what will or could happen? They would be mailed anonymously.

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    1. Carrie

      the narcissist will never get it, even if you send him articles, its just you trying to make him “get it” still. He never will. save yourself and screw him.

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  2. Pingback: How To Help Someone Involved With A Narcissist – Seattle, LGBT Politics, Abusive Relationships

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  4. Antonia

    Your friend won’t listen. The victim of a narcissist had been warned by family and friends to stay away yet refuses to believe it because they are brainwashed and think it’s true love. I’m going through it with my friend whose going through a divorce with 2 kids for this inhuman narc. This narc is a sex fiend with a lot of money and has made the victim block out anybody who doesn’t accept the narc. Very scary. We just have to sit & wait to pray out friend realizes it before it’s too late.

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  5. E Blake

    My loved one is blind to her abuse, and it has gone so far he has gotten them both arrested and she is still having trouble seeing it.

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  6. Betty

    Our daughter is the victim, 12 years on. He gradually convinced her we are evil, though we have no idea what lies he used. We raised her in a loving family, have always shown we have loved her unconditionally. Now they have put the house we helped them buy up for sale and appear to have already moved; we don’t know where, or if it’s local or far away. We have t seen daughter and beautiful, sweet grandchildren, 10 and 7, in a year, though they live(d) 2 miles away. If we can’t get an address and they change phone numbers, we think we will lose them forever. We’re grieving again as though the break were fresh, and it really, really is as though she has died. How can we even continue to let her know we’re here?

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    1. Barbara

      Betty

      I think one day she will come back to you, or your grandchildren will seek you out.

      Hopefully it will be sooner than my neighbour reuniting with her daughter. My neighbour is 85 years old and for 25 years she had no had contact with her daughter. The daughter, like yours, married an evil character who managed to force no contact and moved to a different part of the country. My neighbour had cut her daughter out of her Will and said she was resigned to never seeing the daughter again. We all knew she did not really mean it as she talked of her constantly. Out of the blue last year the daughter contacted her mother and said she was sorry. She had been completely taken in by the husband but over the last ten years she had been desperately unhappy with him constantly belittling her and said she was frightened of him. She is now going through a divorce, which he is stringing out and has made money disappear.

      Mother and daughter phone once a week and meet up secretly once a month at the moment until the divorce is finalised. If the husband knew she was seeing her mother he would go into a rage. Once it is over with, the daughter intends to move close to her mother. I have never seen my neighbour look so happy, I just wish it had happened sooner for her.

      One day I think your daughter will do the same. In the meantime, try not to let it affect any enjoyment you and your husband get from other aspects of your life. That way you will remain balanced and strong. Your daughter may one day need that strength from you.

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  7. immafighter4sure

    I have been doing a lot of research on my life and the people around me and the events that happen. I found this blog of Carries and was so thankful to finally here stories like my own though it did make me sad reading what people are put through. Well that was a year ago. I’ve learn so much since my discovery day. Well I didn’t know I had so much more to learn. The word gang stalking ever interest you to read up about it and see if some of the tactics used aren’t something you have experienced? These groups are full of narcissists!

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  8. miss kitty

    People in these relationships need to stop a minute and take a big long look at their situation. It’s not their fault but it’s their responsibility to themselves, and naturally also to their children if have children living with them to realize it’s a sick game and if you want it to stop and get out you must muster up all that’s left in you and GET OUT!!!!! Get out with a little knowledge you’re doing just that. I know you think you are wore out exhausted and can’t go on but you must use your head in this. You see your N knows your reactions to things. He knows how to push your buttons, how to get reaction out of you, he makes you crazy cuz he can. And it makes you look bad. Just what he hopes for. And I’m sorry I’m not picking on men there’s plenty of women who do the same evil deeds to their mates as the men I’m referring to here. Both genders have the possibility of those with narcissistic personality disorders. But whether it’s a man doing the attack on your self esteem or a woman doing the tearing down and gas lighting. You can out smart them by knowing what it is they want from you and not giving them that attention. It’s being able to ignore them. Bad attention to them is still attention and they’ll enjoy it how ever the attention comes. You need to try to go no contact with them but if you can’t try to avoid them as much as you can. Don’t let them be center of your world. Know that they are sick individuals and don’t think that they can’t be dangerous if they think you’re making fun of them or if they haven’t excused you yet from their life. If you leave, be quiet about it. Don’t tell anyone your plans. Get money by cash back at super market and any other less obvious way. You need to be safe when you leave. You can’t go back. Don’t fall into traps they set you up in . If you are no longer predictable and no longer reacting to them pulling your strings….or trying to pull your strings. They grow bored and they’ll seek someone else to abuse. C it makes sense. These sick people are not capable of love, compassion, empathy. They are like little kids still thinking the world revolves around them. Stop putting yourself in harms way by even trying to figure that person out. They are a fraud. They will hurt you more If you allow them to. Don’t be there for their abuse. Know they are provoking crazy actions out of you to make you look to the world as the one with the problem not them., you’ll be the one going to jail. So don’t allow that to Ihappen. Your kids need you. Don’t buy into that!

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      1. Frustrated "survivor"

        I agree with you EXCEPT for the fact that the “justice system” doesn’t allow that to happen so easily when you have children. I felt the same way; for years I felt I couldn’t leave, but then severe “enough” abuse happened to my child that I sought help and was told I must, and I quickly started becoming unbrainwashed and was able to live without him for a short time and things were amazingly better. I was really encouraged that I coukd not only survive and take care of myself and my child, but could even thrive. The court got involved, however, and is making me stay close enough to him to drive my child for frequent visits with him. After just 6 weeks of supervised visitation he now has an alarming number of rights, like every other weekend with my young son, and 2 weeks of straight “parent time”. It is awfuk. And I cannot believe that CPS, police, some attorneys, judges, etc… still do not know it is NOT in the “best interest of our child” to spend time with his narcissistic, awful father! As a result he is sabotaging me (despite 3 court hearings, thousands and thousands of dollars, and a Protective Order, he can still contact me about our child, i.e. several times a day). Trust me this is just the beginning of a long comment I could write about this topic. And I am not stopping women from getting out of an abusive relationship, you must. I just wish sooooooo badly we weren’t forced to give them “parent time”-something that anyone (now me) who understands a little about these awful manipulators knows IS NOT in thr best interest of anyone, especially the child being used as NS.

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