We spend much of our lives trying to find love. Not just romantic love, but love in all forms – from seeking connection with our family to making meaningful bonds in social circles, and even from the people we work with, when it all comes down to it, we just want people to care.
However, during this search we come along various people that will take us through the wringer, promising love and affection, but delivering anything but. And while there are various forms of toxic bonds we may along our way, those we make with a narcissist seem to leave the deepest cut.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to see someone for who they are. This ego drove, attention-begging and self-obsessed people often lie about who they are or put up a facade. Even though the time we are with them, as they tear our heart to shreds – we may not understand what we are dealing with. If this is the case, and someone is making your life a living hell, to the point in which you are pondering if you are a victim of a narcissist check out these 12 ways narcissists twist your mind and leave you permanently torn.
1. They break your sense of self.
When a narcissist is terrorizing you, you may find it difficult to identify yourself. Your goals, ambitions become lost, and your successes are a thing of the past. They will completely degrade your identity, leaving you feeling insane.
2. You find yourself taking up for the narcissist.
Other people tell you they are toxic, but instead of agreeing, you find yourself becoming defensive. ‘But he treated me so good at first…’
3. They make you walk on eggshells.
With the slightest thing sets them off, you have to be extremely careful not to set them off. In turn, you may prescreen everything you are going to say and double check it won’t in any way set them off.
4. They won’t listen to or acknowledge your opinions and values at all.
You are no longer allowed to have a dissenting opinion. Unless it aligns with their beliefs, you better just go ahead and hold it in. Narcissists believe that only their values matter.
“Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed” by Wendy T. Behary provides strategies to cope with and protect yourself from narcissistic abuse.
5. They make you blame yourself.
It doesn’t matter what happened, in some way, shape, form or fashion- it is your fault. From slight lashing out, to even physical assault- narcissists excuse every action they make, and it will never be any different. Morality has no home in their mind because they can do no wrong.
6. Narcissists isolate you.
If you are with a narcissist, they will isolate you. Slowly, but surely, they will weed out those closest to you until no one is left.
7. They play the victim.
They are always the victim of some situation or person. Even when they are lashing out on you, and terrorizing you, they will make you (or try to) make you feel sorry for them. Don’t you know they have been harmed and can’t help it?
8. They cause you to always be on alert.
After so long, you will lose all trust in everyone. Once you have been torn apart from a narcissist, you will most likely never look at people the same again. Their cycle of idealization and devaluation will make you think you can never trust your first instincts of even the most seemingly genuine people again.
8. They make you feel like you are never good enough.
Even if you do everything they ask and more- it’s not enough. You could have always done better, and nothing is ever up to par. This is how they devalue you.
“Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People” by Jackson MacKenzie is an essential guide for healing and empowerment after narcissistic abuse.
9. While they have an extremely grandiose sense of self – they are quite fragile.
They may walk around with the attitude of thinking they are the best thing that has happened since sliced bread, they deeply fear to be weak and ridiculed. In turn, they never apologize.
10. They are entitled.
In their mind, they should always be worshiped like royalty. But, they won’t repay the favor.
11. They are extremely defensive.
When you say even the slightest thing about their actions, or tell them how you feel about what they did, they instantly get defensive. How dare you question them.
12. They judge everything and everyone.
Narcissists believe they are quite righteous and at liberty to critique everyone. From how a person is living, to what they are wearing, the narcissist thinks they are the most effective person to pass on their review.