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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525 Replies to “How To Help Someone Involved With A Narcissist”

  1. It is my daughter, her boyfriend is a narcissist. I was living with them and seen it first hand also got a dose of it myself. I HAVE LOST MY DAUGHTER PLEASE HELP!
    She has no social life only the women in her office while she is working.. I ask her to have fb but she want do it.
    We were very close but not now, he hates me.
    I heard him verbally abuse her, he once gave her a black eye. He fits the description to a T. She is nervous atound him.
    It is possible that she is starting to act like him? She seems so distant ” like there is a wall between us” I googled stonewalling and bingo he did that to me he didn’t speak to me for 3 months while I lived there, he made everything look like it was my fault like I was crazy.
    My daughter is beautiful and intelligent such a blessing we were always super close. But not now😭 She is my only child. WHAT CAN I DO??? She is very defemsive of him, and acts like everything is fine. When I say I don’t feel the closeness we once shared, she says you just want me to admit to having a big problem.
    This is breaking my heart into pieces!

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    1. I am also there! My beautiful loving daughter was my best buddy and girl….until the narcissist stole her! Your situation sounds so familiar….she is marrying him tomorrow! And have been about 90 percent left out of the whole planning etc of this quick wedding! Her own dad will not go and support this but she doesn’t seem to get the picture. Nobody and I mean nobody on her side of the family like him…even think he is gay! Only a miracle will help now. I am a heartbroken mom

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  2. Thank you for this article!!
    I have had been in a guru-student relationship for many,many years and have finally realized that the guru is a N. It has been very hard to come to grips with but now that I see it for what it is I am trying to move forward. I have distanced myself, but am still in contact with him ocassionally. The relationship had many good parts and the bad parts were not as common early on, but the last two years things started to feel very wrong. I always thought it was just me, not being good enough. I am not alone in this and I’m struggling because my best friend is married to him. After a lot of reading it is now clear that he has been gaslighting us and I don’t know how to tell her. I have been trying to be supportive and hint at things or use phrases like his reality is not my own/I’m sorry he feels that way, etc but she does not see it. She looks at him as not only her husband, but her teacher and is very co-dependent and an empath. Her identity is based on his opinion of her. She trusts him and thinks we just don’t see things that he does. Recently I let her know that I no longer agree with some of the things he has said and it was taken as a personal attack against him. She has acknowledged that she doesn’t agree with everything, but is trying to keep talking through things to get a better understanding. Unfortunately the talking always ends up with her apologizing to him for something, as was the case with my relationship with him. I have been able to distance myself from him, but she has not. I am afraid that telling her he is a N and gaslighting us that she will push me away. But I’m afraid if I don’t say anything and he continues to speak badly of me, that she will believe him and distance herself from me anyway. I appreciate your tips in the article and hope they will help me support her in seeing the relationship for what it is.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, there were some many times I tried to leave and couldn’t make it stick. You are on point about the to-do list. I had filed for divorce first after his many threats to “end it” and he slept with an innocent while we were separated. I returned to the same state (geographically) only because my daughter was going through a radical hysterectomy due to adenocarcinoma. When I returned, he managed to convince my to give him another chance. I did, and I found out about his infidelity and that he had “hacked” my email and knew where I was and how to avoid being served divorce papers. So, when I confronted him about the affair he said it was my fault because he didn’t know where I was and if I was coming back. LIE! He was reading ALL of my emails. He tried to make a huge deal about my “making up” his infidelity until I calming showed him the receipts and makeup I’d found. While he was down on one knew throwing his arms outstretched in a lounge squat and yelling at me -The thought came to mind “methinks he doth protest too much!” Then he insisted it was “my fault” and said that the OW was very angry that I was back in his life. Gross. The whole thing disgusted me. I told him I forgave him and kept my calm but inside I decided to GET OUT ASAP. It took me a few months to save up, find an apartment and get some furniture but I never gave up. He finally really did divorce me and helped me move. He was planning to play the victim card with outsiders and planning to keep me hooked until he could find another suitable power source. As far as I know his plan worked except that I finally learned I could even be casual friends with him because of his angry outbursts and occasional demand to be productive if I happened to be at his place – puppy sitting or waiting for him to join me on a bike ride. Yes, I screwed up but my conscience kept saying to me “you are like a dog returning to its own vomit”. I finally went no contact and am sorting through the heartache of knowing the reality.

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  4. https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsMy wife left me for a co-worker who turns out to be a narcissist. He has convinced her to rewrite our whole history of the past 11 years. She has know him for only about 5 months now and moved in with him about 3 months ago. Only a couple days after she left me.
    “Narcissists are attracted to strong, competent, self sufficient women with a strong sense of responsibility and moral fiber.”
    This certainly fits my wife to a T. One of his past women (who he is still involved with a little) contacted me and told me about all of the abuse she has dealt with. She has so much healing to do. Currently, I wife is only seeing the “charming” side of him. I’m afraid she will see the physically abusive side soon. Everything she tells me or her family is a lie. I assume this is because of the narcissist she is with. She has pretty much cut off all of her family and friends.
    He has done this many times. He finds a professional women who, if she is married turns her against her husband and get her to Divorce as fast a possible. (he is still married to his 4th wife and won’t divorce her).
    Can a narcissist really be so good at what the do that they can take my wife who was in a happy marriage and flip her in a matter of weeks. As my wife stated “She never knew we had any problems or she was unhappy until she met this man”

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    1. Joe, I am so sorry this has happened to you and your once happy marriage! We are in the middle of trying to help our almost 18 yr old daughter get out from under the influence of her 16 yr old narc. He has started to discard her, encouraging her to move home and they are currently “taking a break” from their relationship, but they are still good friends and he is still influencing her without her believing it! If a 16 yr old can be so good he can convince my God-fearing, purity believing daughter to move in with him, then I believe anything is possible for the narcissist. If you need more information, I have found a lot from the website and books of HG Tudor, a self-professed narcissist who exposes all his tricks and tactics. He also tells how to thwart one of his kind. Good luck, and God bless!

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  5. I was never in love with him, but I cared about his wellbeing and his safety. I was so happy in the beginning. He was so sweet, attentive, flattering, and fun. It all quickly changed and I could not figure out what I did wrong. I spent the next 5 months trying to accommodate every request in the hopes that the sweet man I had met would return. I cried on my best friend’s shoulders many times. She did not understand why I kept letting him back in my life. I couldn’t understand it either. I have never been so lost, depressed, and literally wanting to die to make it all stop. Thank God I have my kids! Towards to end, he befriendedy best friend. I have no idea what he has told her, but she started sleeping with him while he and I were still together. Three months later, they live together, are in love, getting married & she just bought him a new vehicle. It does not hurt that he moved on. It hurts that she trusted his words over seeing my pain. It is hard not to be angry and hurt. I have seen them together once & they decided that would be a great time to start kissing. It stings. It is heartbreaking. There is a part of me that wants to save her somehow; there is a bigger part of me that can’t wait for it all to fall apart. I am healthier, happier & wiser! She is stupid!

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  6. I’m reading all of your experiences with a Norse assist here and it’ll rings true. My son married a narcissist four years older than he is. Her first husband passed away a mere three months before she took up with my son. She was very quiet around me most of the time and so it was hard to ascertain soon enough to save my son ,that,in fact ,she was a narcissist. I am a widow and he is my only son. She also has a delightful young son being equally victimized by her behavior.
    At the very outset of the relationship it appeared to me that she was trying to buy my son’s affection. She spent a lot of money on very expensive gifts for his birthday and Christmas. My son made me aware of the fact that she was attending counseling sessions and her former state before she moved here where we are. My son became aware also that she was being prescribed very addictive pharmaceutical drugs. She told my son that she was in grief counseling as was her son, then it was revealed she had an anxiety disorder according to her. When this was revealed my son was upset about her drug use and the therapist and she tried to wean her from said drugs.
    In a very short time she decided to quit her job and move to the state where my son and I reside. She bought a condominium here and asked my son to move it before she could relocate. I have done them quite a few favors as his mother including moving for two weeks into her house to help her with domestic issues for the care of her son because of a job commitments that Made her unavailable to be home at a reasonable hour to care for her son. I volunteered myself to do this. I often babysat when she moved here for her young son while they went out and went to dinner or covered for her when she had a job commitment here, including picking her so made her unavailable to be home at a reasonable hour to care for her son. I volunteered myself to do this. I often babysat when she moved here for her young son while they went out and went to dinner or covered for her when she had a job commitment here, including picking her son up from daycare at school.
    Seven months after her arrival here, my son got engaged this person. I was very supportive my son seemed happy and there’s nothing I want more than for him. However, her behavior changed toward me. She would do a lot of passive aggressive activity like falling asleep on the sofa right after dinner so I would leave. After engagement wedding was planned and I was excluded from all wedding preparations, she even told my son I didn’t need to be at the rehearsal for the wedding, me being mother of the groom and in the wedding party clearly. Very odd request came from my son the day before the wedding, or he asked me not to mention his dead father in any of the activities including the rehearsal dinner I was paying for. I was appalled!
    Neither during the rehearsal dinner nor at the wedding did my daughter-in-law to be say one word to me other than during the photo session, “you’re standing on my dress” it was a B or three months after their wedding when things really got ugly. Mother’s Day she treated me so badly even my son noticed and threatened her with divorce at that moment because of her disrespect toward me. Easter came and my step grandson get a new cell phone and I asked if you’d like to have my phone number Put into his phone and he said, “that’s OK”. It was clear to me that you started brainwashing her son against me as well as my own son as I noticed a change of shift in his attitude like a wall was starting to build between us. It was clear she didn’t want me around their home, or near my son or her son. By this time I got in touch with her former mother-in-law and sister-in-law all of home told me the stories that she had alienated the only remnants of theirs brother and son, her son. She controlled who spoke to him , Who texted him and they always had to go through her before they could speak to her son. She poisoned his mind against all of them and she was doing the same thing to me regarding him and my son. The wall had been effectively built by this narcissistic freak my son married. mistakenly, I fought against it with everything I thought I had in me, but that was a fatal mistake for me. I went to see my son and he wouldn’t open the door, so I stayed and waited until he got home. He saw me when he arrived and ran away from me and see if somehow he thought I was going to harm him which in his whole life I have never done! At This point we also had a lot of vitriolic emails back-and-forth regarding her behavior and my frustration and what I had learned about her from her in-laws I wanted my son to be aware of. That too was a mistake. She manipulated the situation to make her look like the victim and that I was in fact the Narcissist. I pleaded with my son to use reason and the fact that he knew she had been to a therapist under severe pharmaceutical influence for years. I also told him there was no hope of any kind of cure for what her psychological history and behavior indicated. Also a mistake. In order to demonstrate to him and to hold on my part to Secure some kind of family relationship I offered to go to therapy sessions together. Then she started manipulating the situation further by insisting I give her personally all of my health records in a show of transparency. Of course I refused, and said only the therapist if necessary would be getting those. Another one of her manipulations and stipulations to justify not attending said therapy. A few days later I went over to the house, much to the anger of my daughter-in-law who now maybe legal threats toward me through my son. My son and this vicious woman went out and got a temporary restraining order against me so I couldn’t visit, communicate in anyway, or have any contact with any of them. Due to the Vitry all of the emails that I have sent the overwhelming evidence was against me, rather than her, She used my own son against me in a Court room! She copied all the emails I had Written in response to her vicious behavior and her obviously wants and desire to destroy my sons relationship with me. So for one year I haven’t been able to talk to my son in anyway shape or form, and now he is ill. Fortunately right now it’s not a life-threatening illness, but I can never call him or talk to him without her obviously manipulating his phone and sending me nasty messages to not communicate with them in anyway shape or form.
    Written in response to her vicious behavior and her obviously wants and desire to destroy my sons relationship with me. So for one year I haven’t been able to talk to my son anyway shape or form, and now he is ill. Fortunately right now it’s not a life-threatening illness, but I can never call him or talk to him without her obviously manipulating his phone and sending me nasty messages to not communicate with them in anyway shape or form.
    So I followed the law and did nothing, Knowing she would try to get me arrested I was sure if I did anything outside of stipulations in that restraining order. She managed to manipulate the system so she wouldn’t have to see therapy would be part of that because she certainly didn’t want my son to know the truth about her.

    So I didn’t see my son for seven months at all until I ran into him in my car on the street. He pulled up next to me and stop just car and the traffic behind him. With tears in his eyes, he said he loved me, but I could see how unhappy he was. I told him I loved him too, and we waved goodbye I’m through each other a kiss as he drove off and waved to me. That was last May and it is now November and I have not heard from him or seen him since then.
    I do send him short text messages and tell him I love him. I don’t want him to feel alone or abandoned, which is exactly what she wants. I will continue to let him know this intermittently so he knows he has somewhere to go if he wants to leave
    This is been the most heartbreaking event of my life, losing my son to this hOrrin he married! I think the advice Lin with the Chuck gave above is very valid and wish I had known about that before I responded to this vicious woman. Her Former mother-in-law and sister-in-law all have similar experiences with her. She has virtually caught her first husband’s family off from her son totally. I have never met a more malevolent evil person in my entire life and hope I never do again. I keep praying my son will have the strength to walk away and I will always let him know he has another place to go is long as I’m breathing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christine, I’m there with you. My son is a Marine and is moving the Japan soon with this monster. Her mother is also a controlling narcissist and has control over my son. I’m so heartbroken. He is my only child. I would rather lose all my limbs than continue in this hell😓

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  7. I’m single father of only son, I have been single for two yrs and I can tell you I was married for 16 yrs till I divorced two yrs ago after I caught my wife several time cheating on me,I know shit happens but I won’t tolerate that

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  8. !!!!!!!This is the most wonderful thing i have ever experienced, And i need to share this great testimony, I just want to say thanks to Dr.Mack for taking time to help me cast the spell that brought back my ex husband, last year my husband left me for because things were not working out between us, so he had to call it a quit, my Husband abandoned me, everything was so hard for me, i love him so much, i could not take the heart break, i had to find a solution then i came across Dr Mack On how he has been helping ladies in getting there husband back so i contacted him and he help me to cast a return spell for my husband and the next day my husband left his side chick and he came back to me pleading for forgiveness with so much love and caring. i will never forget this help that DR Mack gave to me. if you are here you need help to get you lover back you can contact him via email.dr.mack201@gmail.com………………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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