Resist, Recognize & Recover from Narcissistic Abuse

Quick tips on how to protect yourself against narcissists’ mind games and take back control of your life!

narcissistic abuse therapist

Resist, Recognize & Recover from Narcissistic Abuse

Quick tips on how to protect yourself against narcissists’ mind games and take back control of your life!

narcissistic abuse therapist

Resist, Recognize & Recover from Narcissistic Abuse

Quick tips on how to protect yourself against narcissists’ mind games and take back control of your life!

narcissistic abuse therapist

Protect Yourself against Narcissists

Whoever Controls Your Emotions - Controls You

People often feel like they’re betraying themselves when they STOP responding to a narcissist –

We’re tempted to think:

“Shouldn’t I stand up for myself?”

In a healthy relationship: yes!

If someone crosses a boundary or says something insulting, it’s OK to state your feelings.

But when you respond to a narcissist baiting you –

When you react to their passive aggressive comments –

When you fire back at their belittling text messages –

You’re giving them what THEY want.

They WANT the fight.

They WANT to see your reactions.

The best way to beat a narcissist?

STOP playing their games.

Whoever controls your emotions (& reactions), controls you.

Make sure YOU stay in charge of YOU!

When Does "Seeing the Good in Someone" Become Dangerous?

We’re often taught to “see the good in someone” despite evidence that they’re NOT so good –

This is when “assuming the best” or “giving people the benefit of the doubt” becomes dangerous.

Because when someone has consistently shown that they:

>Are inconsistent
>Avoid consequences
>Always have excuses
>Are perpetually the victim

We should believe what their actions tell us.

If we try to justify their behaviors, we ignore our own intuition.

Seeing the good in someone shouldn’t be difficult –

If “good” is there, it will be obvious through their actions.

If you find yourself starting sentences like:

> “I’m sure they didn’t mean to…”
> “They’re really a good person though…”
> “They just had a hard life…”

There’s a problem.

Believe actions over words!

What is Narcissistic Disconnection?

Do you ever sit and stare out the window with a deep sense of loss?

Wondering where the person you used to be went?

Wondering how you got here?

And you feel empty inside…

Like no one understands or sees what you’re going through.

Welcome to the power of the narcissistic game called “disconnecting” –

Narcissists want you to disconnect from everything you know.

Your family & friends, your hobbies & interests, your dreams & goals…

They want you to feel like THEY are the only ones you can trust or count on.

Even though they manipulate & lie at every turn….

If you disconnect from those closest to you then you feel isolated, alone, confused, & “not like yourself”…

And once YOU no longer know YOU –

THEY have the power to define you.

To tell you who you are, what you should think, & how you should feel.

And THAT is the ultimate source for their narcissistic supply.

Believe in Patterns Not Words!

Anyone can say anything –

But that doesn’t make it true.

HOWEVER…

Patterns – actions & words over time –

DO tell the truth.

We’re taught to “take people at their word”-

I say: take them at their choices.

Patterns tell the real story (not the scripted version we so often hear).

How to Recognize When Gaslighting Occurs

Gaslighting is most easily & quickly identified by our own emotions.

Feelings are a feedback system. 

Here’s how you feel & what to watch for when you’re being gaslighted:

>More confused after the conversation ends

> You find it hard to stay on topic

> The person keeps changing the subject or makes it about something that happened a long time ago

> You second-guess yourself a lot when talking to them & afterward

> You find yourself trying to “make sense of” what they said

> You can’t have a logical conversation with them

> They accuse you of “always starting arguments” when your intention was to solve something

Gaslighting always leaves you feeling confused, unsettled, & anxious!

 

Do Narcissists Ever Change?

Depends on what you mean by “change” –

With consistent multi-week therapy sessions, narcissists might be able to learn a few things, like how to be more on time.

But are they ever going to become a consistently caring, compassionate, empathetic person?

No – and this is why having realistic expectations in narcissistic relationships is so important.

If you’re staying with a narcissist based on the hope or assumption that “one-day” things will be different…

You’re setting yourself up for repeated disappointments, fatigue, & hopelessness.

If you’re staying with a narcissist knowing that this isn’t going to change –

But you’re choosing to stay for personal reasons…

That’s a much better alternative.

Because then you’re not denying the truth of what’s happening.

“I’m staying with this person because (fill in the blank)… AND they often criticize me or disregard my feelings.”

Is a much better way to stay authentic and clear within yourself, rather than saying:

“I’m staying with this person who criticizes me, BUT they had a hard life, their job is really stressful, I asked for too much…”

The latter leads to cognitive dissonance, while the first leads to a clear mind.

Narcissistic Relationships vs Difficult Relationships

“Difficult” relationships exist –

The ones where your personalities just really clash…

Or you have very different values…

Or you’re just not at the same point in life & have different goals.

The problem is when people want to label relationships with narcissists as just “difficult”.

It makes you think that with

>Time
>Maturity
>Better Communication

Things can improve.

But the reality of a relationship with a narcissist is:

The harder you try – the worse it gets.

The more you’re willing to overlook – the more they give you to look over.

The less you ask of them – the more they take.

You will never be able to “fix” a relationship with a narcissist.

You will never be able to “do enough” or be “good enough” –

You cannot fix a problem that you have no control over.

So please, know that this is not your fault.

And spend your energy filling your cup –

Instead of exhausting yourself trying to fill their empty well.

Beware of the "Religious" Narcissist

It might seem counterintuitive at first…

But a “religious narcissist” actually makes perfect sense.

Narcissists are always looking for ways they can justify their behaviors or make their excuses “politically correct” or “acceptable”.

When narcissists use religion, it has a very “morally superior” or dogmatic feel to it.

For example, it’s not uncommon for narcissists to rant & rave about certain “moral deficiencies” in our society…

Only to find out later that they themselves are engaging in those very same behaviors.

Some narcissists talk very arrogantly or in a demeaning way about certain movies, styles of dress, phrases, or other religions in a derogatory & judgmental way…

Stating they would NEVER “act in such ways” or “believe such ignorant philosophies”.

Religious narcissists are also notorious for holding positions in the church or being in good standing with others (because they care about their reputation, not their character)…

But treating their closest family members terribly or engaging in illegal or immoral behavior behind the scenes.

And if you have a narcissistic religious leader, they can exhibit all of the typical narcissist traits, like being charming, charismatic, & well-spoken…

But if they’re ever challenged or called out –

They DO NOT fight fair.

They either lash out in anger or become increasingly arrogant & patronizing.

Churches with religious leaders often have lots of inner turmoil & strife as narcissists love to triangulate people & secretly cause conflict & chaos.

Bottom line: saying you’re religious or spiritual doesn’t make it so!

Actions are everything.

What Happens When a Narcissist Feels Threatened?

Narcissists react very distinctly when they feel threatened –

And I don’t mean “threatened” like when you’re in real danger.

I mean “threatened” like when they’ve been caught in a lie or sense that people are seeing behind the mask.

Instead of taking responsibility, owning their mistakes, or asking for forgiveness –

They swing between rage & huge pity parties (that are almost always made public in some ways – cue the social media rants).

And it’s not just that they rage at you – they make it personal.

They yell, demean, belittle, & criticize –

They use phrases like “how dare you” or “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me” or “you’re such a vengeful, sick, evil, (fill in the blank) person” –

And when the rage stops & you hope the storm has passed…

You’ll find out that they’ve been on a rampage to get people on their side, spread more lies, or destroy your character.

When narcissists are threatened – EXPECT the backlash.

It won’t be pretty – but knowing it’s coming can help you feel less blindsided & more in control of your own emotions.

Narcissistic Truth: Your Response is Their Power

One of the biggest ways narcissists control you –

Is by convincing you that you don’t have a choice.

That you’re crazy.

That you must engage with them or you’re being rude, selfish, or controlling.

They want you to believe these lies because your response is their power.

When they bait you…

When they belittle you…

When they try to confuse you…

When they make passive-aggressive comments toward you…

Always remember:

You DON’T have to respond!

A smile & a nod.

A quick “OK”.

A statement of “That’s not what happened, but I’m not going to discuss this right now.”

Will help YOU feel less reactive & calmer.

And essentially takes the narcissist’s power away (since their power is in controlling your emotions).

Free Yourself to Win From Narcissistic Abuse

“I call this the narcissist’s prayer…

That didn’t happen.⁣
And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.⁣
And if it was, it’s not a big deal.⁣
And if it is, that’s not my fault.⁣
And if it was, I didn’t mean it.⁣
And if I did⁣
You deserved it.” -Heather Carter

Lesson: it will NEVER be their fault!

You will NEVER get them to admit what they did & stick to it.

They will always minimize you.

Giving up the idea that you can change a narcissist isn’t defeat; it’s freeing yourself to win.

To be happy despite their lies.

To take your life back & get back to being YOU!

How to Tell if You've Been Hoovered

Do you leave a toxic relationship, only to go back the next week?

Do you see the red flags & take space, but end up feeling bad & returning?

If so, you might’ve been “hoovered” –

A term used to describe how the narcissist tries to get you back after you’ve ended (or are trying to end) the relationship.

Here’s how to tell if this has happened to you:

>Your partner starts being really kind or extra attentive when you set firm expectations (& they have a history of ignoring your boundaries)

>You feel sorry for your partner, so you go back to them, even if you know you shouldn’t

>After you’ve decided to leave, your partner starts talking about all the “good times”, suggests a big change like moving in together or taking a trip, or suddenly takes responsibility for everything they previously blamed on you

During this “hoovering” process, you often feel:

>Confused
>Guilty
>Torn
>Anxious

If possible, when you decide to leave, it’s best to completely break all ties to the narcissist (including blocking them on social media & their phone number).

That way you CAN’T be hoovered back into the relationship!

Why Do I Feel Addicted to My Partner?

Many people talk about feeling “addicted” to their partner –

One of the reasons this happens is because of the nature of toxic relationships –

Amidst the toxicity & abuse, there are “good moments” peppered in.

The reason this kind of “hot & cold” cycle feels so addictive…

Is because of “intermittent reinforcement”.

It’s the same reason gambling can be an addiction.

*Sometimes* you win & *sometimes* you lose.

And since it’s not a guarantee, you’re extremely motivated to keep chasing the “win” –

Hoping that “next time” or “after the holidays” or “when they’re not so stressed” or “when I communicate better”…

You’ll experience the next “high” or relationship win.

This feeling of addiction is also a sign of a trauma bond.

Narcissists are Masters of Disguise

Narcissists must protect how others view them at all costs.

Their self-worth depends on their ability to successfully deceive people.

Sometimes we have a tendency to ascribe positive characteristics to people simply because they hold certain jobs or positions:

>”They’re an avid churchgoer! They can’t be a narcissist.”
>”They do so much good for the community! They can’t be a narcissist.”
>”They always seem so polite & charming! They can’t be a narcissist.”

But the reality is:

Bad people hide behind good facades every day.

Get to know the PERSON – not their POSITION.

Actions over time show who we really are.

For Narcissists - The World Revolves Around Them

Perspective allows healthy people to see others’ point of view –

But for narcissists, the ONLY perspective they see…

Is their own.

That’s why when THEY are happy –

They expect everyone else to be happy too (& don’t seem to understand that maybe someone else had a bad day).

And when THEY are mad, upset, or hurt –

They expect everyone to immediately stop what they’re doing & be just as enraged as they are about how life has “done them wrong”.

If you have to deal with a narcissist at home, work, or school, please know:

>They will not understand
>They will not see your side
>They will not provide you with emotional support

YOUR reality IS valid –

But it never will be in the narcissist’s eyes.

Why Can't I Put Into Words What's Happened to Me?

A lot of people are unsettled by their difficulty or inability to put their traumas “into words” –

To explain what’s happened to them in a coherent & logical manner.

But there’s actually a scientific reason why this can feel nearly impossible at times –

Or why you literally cannot “find the words” to say what you’re feeling.

When you think about or relive trauma, Broca’s area (which is the part of the brain responsible for your inner dialogue & ability to say how you feel & what you think) –

Is significantly LESS activated.

However, the emotional & visual parts are MORE activated –

Meaning you’re feeling & seeing the trauma all over again.

But the part of your brain that allows you to describe it is “turned off”.

So if you get “stuck” & can’t explain what you’ve been through (like can’t provide a clear explanation of the traumatic incident or relationship) –

It’s because your brain is doing what it does when it’s experienced trauma (Broca’s area turns off & emotional centers turn on).

This is also why it’s SO healing when someone (like a safe person or therapist) CAN put into words what you can only express in feeling or bodily sensations.

How Narcissists Slowly Erode Your Self-Worth

Trust is at the foundation of any relationship.

When you give someone your trust, you give them the ability to influence the way you think & feel about yourself.

This is why narcissists spend so much time at the beginning of relationships trying to create a strong emotional attachment or bond.

They know that once they have your trust, they have everything they need to start devaluing you.

And that is EXACTLY what they do.

Why?

Because their own self-worth comes from their ability to control how you feel & think.

And their BIGGEST source of self-worth comes from their ability to control how you feel about YOURSELF.

Narcissists slowly erode your self-esteem, blame you for not being confident enough, then act like they’re always supportive of you & don’t know why you’re feeling so bad about yourself.

They purposefully move things in the house –

Then tell you “you have a bad memory” when you can’t find them.

They belittle your interests or accomplishments –

Then scold you when you ask for reassurance.

They make passive-aggressive comments about your friends, your clothes, how you look, or how you spend your time –

Then tell you you’re pathetic or weak for questioning yourself so much.

Hence the reason so many people feel like they’re “going crazy”.

Why There's NOT "Two-Sides" to the Story

You know the saying, “there’s always two sides to every story”?

I cringe when I hear this –

Because it’s one of the biggest reasons narcissists succeed in spreading their lies.

While this saying might hold some weight in otherwise healthy relationships –

There are NOT two sides to a narcissistic relationship.

There is ONE side – the truth.

And here it is:

The narcissist never viewed you as an equal “partner”.

You were viewed as a commodity.

To be used as a source from which they could gain attention & admiration.

Then to be slowly devalued, criticized, belittled, & viewed with contempt.

While you remained hopeful, putting your faith in their “one day” promises & trying desperately to be “good enough” –

They continued to pull away, unphased by your attempts to repair the relationship.

They manipulated, disrespected, betrayed, cheated on & lied to you.

They destroyed your self-worth & sense of self.

Until you no longer even knew who you were anymore.

You thought something was wrong with you.

You thought maybe YOU were the narcissist.

You thought with enough time, things could go back to the way they were in the beginning –

When they acted like they cared for you.

But slowly you realized –

It was never your fault.

It was a game all along.

They were never going to change.

You were always a commodity in their eyes.

A toy to be replaced when it wasn’t new & shiny anymore (or when a newer or shinier toy came along).

So you finally got the courage to leave (or they left you).

And then the narcissist lied about what happened – made it seem like they “tried” for so long – or created a story of victimhood.

And you feel like you have to defend yourself all over again.

But here’s where I suggest a different approach:

Have conviction. Stop convincing.

Trying to convince others of the truth is a waste of energy.

Those who are willing to listen, will understand.

Those who don’t ask or won’t listen – never will.

Own THE TRUTH!

 Is My Partner

 A Narcissist?

  Take this 2-minute quiz to find out!

Protect Yourself against Narcissists

Whoever Controls Your Emotions - Controls You

People often feel like they’re betraying themselves when they STOP responding to a narcissist –

We’re tempted to think:

“Shouldn’t I stand up for myself?”

In a healthy relationship: yes!

If someone crosses a boundary or says something insulting, it’s OK to state your feelings.

But when you respond to a narcissist baiting you –

When you react to their passive aggressive comments –

When you fire back at their belittling text messages –

You’re giving them what THEY want.

They WANT the fight.

They WANT to see your reactions.

The best way to beat a narcissist?

STOP playing their games.

Whoever controls your emotions (& reactions), controls you.

Make sure YOU stay in charge of YOU!

When Does "Seeing the Good in Someone" Become Dangerous?

We’re often taught to “see the good in someone” despite evidence that they’re NOT so good –

This is when “assuming the best” or “giving people the benefit of the doubt” becomes dangerous.

Because when someone has consistently shown that they:

>Are inconsistent
>Avoid consequences
>Always have excuses
>Are perpetually the victim

We should believe what their actions tell us.

If we try to justify their behaviors, we ignore our own intuition.

Seeing the good in someone shouldn’t be difficult –

If “good” is there, it will be obvious through their actions.

If you find yourself starting sentences like:

> “I’m sure they didn’t mean to…”
> “They’re really a good person though…”
> “They just had a hard life…”

There’s a problem.

Believe actions over words!

What is Narcissistic Disconnection?

Do you ever sit and stare out the window with a deep sense of loss?

Wondering where the person you used to be went?

Wondering how you got here?

And you feel empty inside…

Like no one understands or sees what you’re going through.

Welcome to the power of the narcissistic game called “disconnecting” –

Narcissists want you to disconnect from everything you know.

Your family & friends, your hobbies & interests, your dreams & goals…

They want you to feel like THEY are the only ones you can trust or count on.

Even though they manipulate & lie at every turn….

If you disconnect from those closest to you then you feel isolated, alone, confused, & “not like yourself”…

And once YOU no longer know YOU –

THEY have the power to define you.

To tell you who you are, what you should think, & how you should feel.

And THAT is the ultimate source for their narcissistic supply.

Believe in Patterns Not Words!

Anyone can say anything –

But that doesn’t make it true.

HOWEVER…

Patterns – actions & words over time –

DO tell the truth.

We’re taught to “take people at their word”-

I say: take them at their choices.

Patterns tell the real story (not the scripted version we so often hear).

How to Recognize When Gaslighting Occurs

Gaslighting is most easily & quickly identified by our own emotions.

Feelings are a feedback system. 

Here’s how you feel & what to watch for when you’re being gaslighted:

>More confused after the conversation ends

> You find it hard to stay on topic

> The person keeps changing the subject or makes it about something that happened a long time ago

> You second-guess yourself a lot when talking to them & afterward

> You find yourself trying to “make sense of” what they said

> You can’t have a logical conversation with them

> They accuse you of “always starting arguments” when your intention was to solve something

Gaslighting always leaves you feeling confused, unsettled, & anxious!

 

Do Narcissists Ever Change?

Depends on what you mean by “change” –

With consistent multi-week therapy sessions, narcissists might be able to learn a few things, like how to be more on time.

But are they ever going to become a consistently caring, compassionate, empathetic person?

No – and this is why having realistic expectations in narcissistic relationships is so important.

If you’re staying with a narcissist based on the hope or assumption that “one-day” things will be different…

You’re setting yourself up for repeated disappointments, fatigue, & hopelessness.

If you’re staying with a narcissist knowing that this isn’t going to change –

But you’re choosing to stay for personal reasons…

That’s a much better alternative.

Because then you’re not denying the truth of what’s happening.

“I’m staying with this person because (fill in the blank)… AND they often criticize me or disregard my feelings.”

Is a much better way to stay authentic and clear within yourself, rather than saying:

“I’m staying with this person who criticizes me, BUT they had a hard life, their job is really stressful, I asked for too much…”

The latter leads to cognitive dissonance, while the first leads to a clear mind.

Narcissistic Relationships vs Difficult Relationships

“Difficult” relationships exist –

The ones where your personalities just really clash…

Or you have very different values…

Or you’re just not at the same point in life & have different goals.

The problem is when people want to label relationships with narcissists as just “difficult”.

It makes you think that with

>Time
>Maturity
>Better Communication

Things can improve.

But the reality of a relationship with a narcissist is:

The harder you try – the worse it gets.

The more you’re willing to overlook – the more they give you to look over.

The less you ask of them – the more they take.

You will never be able to “fix” a relationship with a narcissist.

You will never be able to “do enough” or be “good enough” –

You cannot fix a problem that you have no control over.

So please, know that this is not your fault.

And spend your energy filling your cup –

Instead of exhausting yourself trying to fill their empty well.

Beware of the "Religious" Narcissist

It might seem counterintuitive at first…

But a “religious narcissist” actually makes perfect sense.

Narcissists are always looking for ways they can justify their behaviors or make their excuses “politically correct” or “acceptable”.

When narcissists use religion, it has a very “morally superior” or dogmatic feel to it.

For example, it’s not uncommon for narcissists to rant & rave about certain “moral deficiencies” in our society…

Only to find out later that they themselves are engaging in those very same behaviors.

Some narcissists talk very arrogantly or in a demeaning way about certain movies, styles of dress, phrases, or other religions in a derogatory & judgmental way…

Stating they would NEVER “act in such ways” or “believe such ignorant philosophies”.

Religious narcissists are also notorious for holding positions in the church or being in good standing with others (because they care about their reputation, not their character)…

But treating their closest family members terribly or engaging in illegal or immoral behavior behind the scenes.

And if you have a narcissistic religious leader, they can exhibit all of the typical narcissist traits, like being charming, charismatic, & well-spoken…

But if they’re ever challenged or called out –

They DO NOT fight fair.

They either lash out in anger or become increasingly arrogant & patronizing.

Churches with religious leaders often have lots of inner turmoil & strife as narcissists love to triangulate people & secretly cause conflict & chaos.

Bottom line: saying you’re religious or spiritual doesn’t make it so!

Actions are everything.

What Happens When a Narcissist Feels Threatened?

Narcissists react very distinctly when they feel threatened –

And I don’t mean “threatened” like when you’re in real danger.

I mean “threatened” like when they’ve been caught in a lie or sense that people are seeing behind the mask.

Instead of taking responsibility, owning their mistakes, or asking for forgiveness –

They swing between rage & huge pity parties (that are almost always made public in some ways – cue the social media rants).

And it’s not just that they rage at you – they make it personal.

They yell, demean, belittle, & criticize –

They use phrases like “how dare you” or “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me” or “you’re such a vengeful, sick, evil, (fill in the blank) person” –

And when the rage stops & you hope the storm has passed…

You’ll find out that they’ve been on a rampage to get people on their side, spread more lies, or destroy your character.

When narcissists are threatened – EXPECT the backlash.

It won’t be pretty – but knowing it’s coming can help you feel less blindsided & more in control of your own emotions.

Narcissistic Truth: Your Response is Their Power

One of the biggest ways narcissists control you –

Is by convincing you that you don’t have a choice.

That you’re crazy.

That you must engage with them or you’re being rude, selfish, or controlling.

They want you to believe these lies because your response is their power.

When they bait you…

When they belittle you…

When they try to confuse you…

When they make passive-aggressive comments toward you…

Always remember:

You DON’T have to respond!

A smile & a nod.

A quick “OK”.

A statement of “That’s not what happened, but I’m not going to discuss this right now.”

Will help YOU feel less reactive & calmer.

And essentially takes the narcissist’s power away (since their power is in controlling your emotions).

Free Yourself to Win From Narcissistic Abuse

“I call this the narcissist’s prayer…

That didn’t happen.⁣
And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.⁣
And if it was, it’s not a big deal.⁣
And if it is, that’s not my fault.⁣
And if it was, I didn’t mean it.⁣
And if I did⁣
You deserved it.” -Heather Carter

Lesson: it will NEVER be their fault!

You will NEVER get them to admit what they did & stick to it.

They will always minimize you.

Giving up the idea that you can change a narcissist isn’t defeat; it’s freeing yourself to win.

To be happy despite their lies.

To take your life back & get back to being YOU!

How to Tell if You've Been Hoovered

Do you leave a toxic relationship, only to go back the next week?

Do you see the red flags & take space, but end up feeling bad & returning?

If so, you might’ve been “hoovered” –

A term used to describe how the narcissist tries to get you back after you’ve ended (or are trying to end) the relationship.

Here’s how to tell if this has happened to you:

>Your partner starts being really kind or extra attentive when you set firm expectations (& they have a history of ignoring your boundaries)

>You feel sorry for your partner, so you go back to them, even if you know you shouldn’t

>After you’ve decided to leave, your partner starts talking about all the “good times”, suggests a big change like moving in together or taking a trip, or suddenly takes responsibility for everything they previously blamed on you

During this “hoovering” process, you often feel:

>Confused
>Guilty
>Torn
>Anxious

If possible, when you decide to leave, it’s best to completely break all ties to the narcissist (including blocking them on social media & their phone number).

That way you CAN’T be hoovered back into the relationship!

Why Do I Feel Addicted to My Partner?

Many people talk about feeling “addicted” to their partner –

One of the reasons this happens is because of the nature of toxic relationships –

Amidst the toxicity & abuse, there are “good moments” peppered in.

The reason this kind of “hot & cold” cycle feels so addictive…

Is because of “intermittent reinforcement”.

It’s the same reason gambling can be an addiction.

*Sometimes* you win & *sometimes* you lose.

And since it’s not a guarantee, you’re extremely motivated to keep chasing the “win” –

Hoping that “next time” or “after the holidays” or “when they’re not so stressed” or “when I communicate better”…

You’ll experience the next “high” or relationship win.

This feeling of addiction is also a sign of a trauma bond.

Narcissists are Masters of Disguise

Narcissists must protect how others view them at all costs.

Their self-worth depends on their ability to successfully deceive people.

Sometimes we have a tendency to ascribe positive characteristics to people simply because they hold certain jobs or positions:

>”They’re an avid churchgoer! They can’t be a narcissist.”
>”They do so much good for the community! They can’t be a narcissist.”
>”They always seem so polite & charming! They can’t be a narcissist.”

But the reality is:

Bad people hide behind good facades every day.

Get to know the PERSON – not their POSITION.

Actions over time show who we really are.

For Narcissists - The World Revolves Around Them

Perspective allows healthy people to see others’ point of view –

But for narcissists, the ONLY perspective they see…

Is their own.

That’s why when THEY are happy –

They expect everyone else to be happy too (& don’t seem to understand that maybe someone else had a bad day).

And when THEY are mad, upset, or hurt –

They expect everyone to immediately stop what they’re doing & be just as enraged as they are about how life has “done them wrong”.

If you have to deal with a narcissist at home, work, or school, please know:

>They will not understand
>They will not see your side
>They will not provide you with emotional support

YOUR reality IS valid –

But it never will be in the narcissist’s eyes.

Why Can't I Put Into Words What's Happened to Me?

A lot of people are unsettled by their difficulty or inability to put their traumas “into words” –

To explain what’s happened to them in a coherent & logical manner.

But there’s actually a scientific reason why this can feel nearly impossible at times –

Or why you literally cannot “find the words” to say what you’re feeling.

When you think about or relive trauma, Broca’s area (which is the part of the brain responsible for your inner dialogue & ability to say how you feel & what you think) –

Is significantly LESS activated.

However, the emotional & visual parts are MORE activated –

Meaning you’re feeling & seeing the trauma all over again.

But the part of your brain that allows you to describe it is “turned off”.

So if you get “stuck” & can’t explain what you’ve been through (like can’t provide a clear explanation of the traumatic incident or relationship) –

It’s because your brain is doing what it does when it’s experienced trauma (Broca’s area turns off & emotional centers turn on).

This is also why it’s SO healing when someone (like a safe person or therapist) CAN put into words what you can only express in feeling or bodily sensations.

How Narcissists Slowly Erode Your Self-Worth

Trust is at the foundation of any relationship.

When you give someone your trust, you give them the ability to influence the way you think & feel about yourself.

This is why narcissists spend so much time at the beginning of relationships trying to create a strong emotional attachment or bond.

They know that once they have your trust, they have everything they need to start devaluing you.

And that is EXACTLY what they do.

Why?

Because their own self-worth comes from their ability to control how you feel & think.

And their BIGGEST source of self-worth comes from their ability to control how you feel about YOURSELF.

Narcissists slowly erode your self-esteem, blame you for not being confident enough, then act like they’re always supportive of you & don’t know why you’re feeling so bad about yourself.

They purposefully move things in the house –

Then tell you “you have a bad memory” when you can’t find them.

They belittle your interests or accomplishments –

Then scold you when you ask for reassurance.

They make passive-aggressive comments about your friends, your clothes, how you look, or how you spend your time –

Then tell you you’re pathetic or weak for questioning yourself so much.

Hence the reason so many people feel like they’re “going crazy”.

Why There's NOT "Two-Sides" to the Story

You know the saying, “there’s always two sides to every story”?

I cringe when I hear this –

Because it’s one of the biggest reasons narcissists succeed in spreading their lies.

While this saying might hold some weight in otherwise healthy relationships –

There are NOT two sides to a narcissistic relationship.

There is ONE side – the truth.

And here it is:

The narcissist never viewed you as an equal “partner”.

You were viewed as a commodity.

To be used as a source from which they could gain attention & admiration.

Then to be slowly devalued, criticized, belittled, & viewed with contempt.

While you remained hopeful, putting your faith in their “one day” promises & trying desperately to be “good enough” –

They continued to pull away, unphased by your attempts to repair the relationship.

They manipulated, disrespected, betrayed, cheated on & lied to you.

They destroyed your self-worth & sense of self.

Until you no longer even knew who you were anymore.

You thought something was wrong with you.

You thought maybe YOU were the narcissist.

You thought with enough time, things could go back to the way they were in the beginning –

When they acted like they cared for you.

But slowly you realized –

It was never your fault.

It was a game all along.

They were never going to change.

You were always a commodity in their eyes.

A toy to be replaced when it wasn’t new & shiny anymore (or when a newer or shinier toy came along).

So you finally got the courage to leave (or they left you).

And then the narcissist lied about what happened – made it seem like they “tried” for so long – or created a story of victimhood.

And you feel like you have to defend yourself all over again.

But here’s where I suggest a different approach:

Have conviction. Stop convincing.

Trying to convince others of the truth is a waste of energy.

Those who are willing to listen, will understand.

Those who don’t ask or won’t listen – never will.

Own THE TRUTH!

Is My Partner A Narcissist?

Take this 2-minute quiz to find out!

Protect Yourself against Narcissists

Whoever Controls Your Emotions - Controls You

People often feel like they’re betraying themselves when they STOP responding to a narcissist –

We’re tempted to think:

“Shouldn’t I stand up for myself?”

In a healthy relationship: yes!

If someone crosses a boundary or says something insulting, it’s OK to state your feelings.

But when you respond to a narcissist baiting you –

When you react to their passive aggressive comments –

When you fire back at their belittling text messages –

You’re giving them what THEY want.

They WANT the fight.

They WANT to see your reactions.

The best way to beat a narcissist?

STOP playing their games.

Whoever controls your emotions (& reactions), controls you.

Make sure YOU stay in charge of YOU!

When Does "Seeing the Good in Someone" Become Dangerous?

We’re often taught to “see the good in someone” despite evidence that they’re NOT so good –

This is when “assuming the best” or “giving people the benefit of the doubt” becomes dangerous.

Because when someone has consistently shown that they:

>Are inconsistent
>Avoid consequences
>Always have excuses
>Are perpetually the victim

We should believe what their actions tell us.

If we try to justify their behaviors, we ignore our own intuition.

Seeing the good in someone shouldn’t be difficult –

If “good” is there, it will be obvious through their actions.

If you find yourself starting sentences like:

> “I’m sure they didn’t mean to…”
> “They’re really a good person though…”
> “They just had a hard life…”

There’s a problem.

Believe actions over words!

What is Narcissistic Disconnection?

Do you ever sit and stare out the window with a deep sense of loss?

Wondering where the person you used to be went?

Wondering how you got here?

And you feel empty inside…

Like no one understands or sees what you’re going through.

Welcome to the power of the narcissistic game called “disconnecting” –

Narcissists want you to disconnect from everything you know.

Your family & friends, your hobbies & interests, your dreams & goals…

They want you to feel like THEY are the only ones you can trust or count on.

Even though they manipulate & lie at every turn….

If you disconnect from those closest to you then you feel isolated, alone, confused, & “not like yourself”…

And once YOU no longer know YOU –

THEY have the power to define you.

To tell you who you are, what you should think, & how you should feel.

And THAT is the ultimate source for their narcissistic supply.

Believe in Patterns Not Words!

Anyone can say anything –

But that doesn’t make it true.

HOWEVER…

Patterns – actions & words over time –

DO tell the truth.

We’re taught to “take people at their word”-

I say: take them at their choices.

Patterns tell the real story (not the scripted version we so often hear).

How to Recognize When Gaslighting Occurs

Gaslighting is most easily & quickly identified by our own emotions.

Feelings are a feedback system. 

Here’s how you feel & what to watch for when you’re being gaslighted:

>More confused after the conversation ends

> You find it hard to stay on topic

> The person keeps changing the subject or makes it about something that happened a long time ago

> You second-guess yourself a lot when talking to them & afterward

> You find yourself trying to “make sense of” what they said

> You can’t have a logical conversation with them

> They accuse you of “always starting arguments” when your intention was to solve something

Gaslighting always leaves you feeling confused, unsettled, & anxious!

 

Do Narcissists Ever Change?

Depends on what you mean by “change” –

With consistent multi-week therapy sessions, narcissists might be able to learn a few things, like how to be more on time.

But are they ever going to become a consistently caring, compassionate, empathetic person?

No – and this is why having realistic expectations in narcissistic relationships is so important.

If you’re staying with a narcissist based on the hope or assumption that “one-day” things will be different…

You’re setting yourself up for repeated disappointments, fatigue, & hopelessness.

If you’re staying with a narcissist knowing that this isn’t going to change –

But you’re choosing to stay for personal reasons…

That’s a much better alternative.

Because then you’re not denying the truth of what’s happening.

“I’m staying with this person because (fill in the blank)… AND they often criticize me or disregard my feelings.”

Is a much better way to stay authentic and clear within yourself, rather than saying:

“I’m staying with this person who criticizes me, BUT they had a hard life, their job is really stressful, I asked for too much…”

The latter leads to cognitive dissonance, while the first leads to a clear mind.

Narcissistic Relationships vs Difficult Relationships

“Difficult” relationships exist –

The ones where your personalities just really clash…

Or you have very different values…

Or you’re just not at the same point in life & have different goals.

The problem is when people want to label relationships with narcissists as just “difficult”.

It makes you think that with

>Time
>Maturity
>Better Communication

Things can improve.

But the reality of a relationship with a narcissist is:

The harder you try – the worse it gets.

The more you’re willing to overlook – the more they give you to look over.

The less you ask of them – the more they take.

You will never be able to “fix” a relationship with a narcissist.

You will never be able to “do enough” or be “good enough” –

You cannot fix a problem that you have no control over.

So please, know that this is not your fault.

And spend your energy filling your cup –

Instead of exhausting yourself trying to fill their empty well.

Beware of the "Religious" Narcissist

It might seem counterintuitive at first…

But a “religious narcissist” actually makes perfect sense.

Narcissists are always looking for ways they can justify their behaviors or make their excuses “politically correct” or “acceptable”.

When narcissists use religion, it has a very “morally superior” or dogmatic feel to it.

For example, it’s not uncommon for narcissists to rant & rave about certain “moral deficiencies” in our society…

Only to find out later that they themselves are engaging in those very same behaviors.

Some narcissists talk very arrogantly or in a demeaning way about certain movies, styles of dress, phrases, or other religions in a derogatory & judgmental way…

Stating they would NEVER “act in such ways” or “believe such ignorant philosophies”.

Religious narcissists are also notorious for holding positions in the church or being in good standing with others (because they care about their reputation, not their character)…

But treating their closest family members terribly or engaging in illegal or immoral behavior behind the scenes.

And if you have a narcissistic religious leader, they can exhibit all of the typical narcissist traits, like being charming, charismatic, & well-spoken…

But if they’re ever challenged or called out –

They DO NOT fight fair.

They either lash out in anger or become increasingly arrogant & patronizing.

Churches with religious leaders often have lots of inner turmoil & strife as narcissists love to triangulate people & secretly cause conflict & chaos.

Bottom line: saying you’re religious or spiritual doesn’t make it so!

Actions are everything.

What Happens When a Narcissist Feels Threatened?

Narcissists react very distinctly when they feel threatened –

And I don’t mean “threatened” like when you’re in real danger.

I mean “threatened” like when they’ve been caught in a lie or sense that people are seeing behind the mask.

Instead of taking responsibility, owning their mistakes, or asking for forgiveness –

They swing between rage & huge pity parties (that are almost always made public in some ways – cue the social media rants).

And it’s not just that they rage at you – they make it personal.

They yell, demean, belittle, & criticize –

They use phrases like “how dare you” or “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me” or “you’re such a vengeful, sick, evil, (fill in the blank) person” –

And when the rage stops & you hope the storm has passed…

You’ll find out that they’ve been on a rampage to get people on their side, spread more lies, or destroy your character.

When narcissists are threatened – EXPECT the backlash.

It won’t be pretty – but knowing it’s coming can help you feel less blindsided & more in control of your own emotions.

Narcissistic Truth: Your Response is Their Power

One of the biggest ways narcissists control you –

Is by convincing you that you don’t have a choice.

That you’re crazy.

That you must engage with them or you’re being rude, selfish, or controlling.

They want you to believe these lies because your response is their power.

When they bait you…

When they belittle you…

When they try to confuse you…

When they make passive-aggressive comments toward you…

Always remember:

You DON’T have to respond!

A smile & a nod.

A quick “OK”.

A statement of “That’s not what happened, but I’m not going to discuss this right now.”

Will help YOU feel less reactive & calmer.

And essentially takes the narcissist’s power away (since their power is in controlling your emotions).

Free Yourself to Win From Narcissistic Abuse

“I call this the narcissist’s prayer…

That didn’t happen.⁣
And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.⁣
And if it was, it’s not a big deal.⁣
And if it is, that’s not my fault.⁣
And if it was, I didn’t mean it.⁣
And if I did⁣
You deserved it.” -Heather Carter

Lesson: it will NEVER be their fault!

You will NEVER get them to admit what they did & stick to it.

They will always minimize you.

Giving up the idea that you can change a narcissist isn’t defeat; it’s freeing yourself to win.

To be happy despite their lies.

To take your life back & get back to being YOU!

How to Tell if You've Been Hoovered

Do you leave a toxic relationship, only to go back the next week?

Do you see the red flags & take space, but end up feeling bad & returning?

If so, you might’ve been “hoovered” –

A term used to describe how the narcissist tries to get you back after you’ve ended (or are trying to end) the relationship.

Here’s how to tell if this has happened to you:

>Your partner starts being really kind or extra attentive when you set firm expectations (& they have a history of ignoring your boundaries)

>You feel sorry for your partner, so you go back to them, even if you know you shouldn’t

>After you’ve decided to leave, your partner starts talking about all the “good times”, suggests a big change like moving in together or taking a trip, or suddenly takes responsibility for everything they previously blamed on you

During this “hoovering” process, you often feel:

>Confused
>Guilty
>Torn
>Anxious

If possible, when you decide to leave, it’s best to completely break all ties to the narcissist (including blocking them on social media & their phone number).

That way you CAN’T be hoovered back into the relationship!

Why Do I Feel Addicted to My Partner?

Many people talk about feeling “addicted” to their partner –

One of the reasons this happens is because of the nature of toxic relationships –

Amidst the toxicity & abuse, there are “good moments” peppered in.

The reason this kind of “hot & cold” cycle feels so addictive…

Is because of “intermittent reinforcement”.

It’s the same reason gambling can be an addiction.

*Sometimes* you win & *sometimes* you lose.

And since it’s not a guarantee, you’re extremely motivated to keep chasing the “win” –

Hoping that “next time” or “after the holidays” or “when they’re not so stressed” or “when I communicate better”…

You’ll experience the next “high” or relationship win.

This feeling of addiction is also a sign of a trauma bond.

Narcissists are Masters of Disguise

Narcissists must protect how others view them at all costs.

Their self-worth depends on their ability to successfully deceive people.

Sometimes we have a tendency to ascribe positive characteristics to people simply because they hold certain jobs or positions:

>”They’re an avid churchgoer! They can’t be a narcissist.”
>”They do so much good for the community! They can’t be a narcissist.”
>”They always seem so polite & charming! They can’t be a narcissist.”

But the reality is:

Bad people hide behind good facades every day.

Get to know the PERSON – not their POSITION.

Actions over time show who we really are.

For Narcissists - The World Revolves Around Them

Perspective allows healthy people to see others’ point of view –

But for narcissists, the ONLY perspective they see…

Is their own.

That’s why when THEY are happy –

They expect everyone else to be happy too (& don’t seem to understand that maybe someone else had a bad day).

And when THEY are mad, upset, or hurt –

They expect everyone to immediately stop what they’re doing & be just as enraged as they are about how life has “done them wrong”.

If you have to deal with a narcissist at home, work, or school, please know:

>They will not understand
>They will not see your side
>They will not provide you with emotional support

YOUR reality IS valid –

But it never will be in the narcissist’s eyes.

Why Can't I Put Into Words What's Happened to Me?

A lot of people are unsettled by their difficulty or inability to put their traumas “into words” –

To explain what’s happened to them in a coherent & logical manner.

But there’s actually a scientific reason why this can feel nearly impossible at times –

Or why you literally cannot “find the words” to say what you’re feeling.

When you think about or relive trauma, Broca’s area (which is the part of the brain responsible for your inner dialogue & ability to say how you feel & what you think) –

Is significantly LESS activated.

However, the emotional & visual parts are MORE activated –

Meaning you’re feeling & seeing the trauma all over again.

But the part of your brain that allows you to describe it is “turned off”.

So if you get “stuck” & can’t explain what you’ve been through (like can’t provide a clear explanation of the traumatic incident or relationship) –

It’s because your brain is doing what it does when it’s experienced trauma (Broca’s area turns off & emotional centers turn on).

This is also why it’s SO healing when someone (like a safe person or therapist) CAN put into words what you can only express in feeling or bodily sensations.

How Narcissists Slowly Erode Your Self-Worth

Trust is at the foundation of any relationship.

When you give someone your trust, you give them the ability to influence the way you think & feel about yourself.

This is why narcissists spend so much time at the beginning of relationships trying to create a strong emotional attachment or bond.

They know that once they have your trust, they have everything they need to start devaluing you.

And that is EXACTLY what they do.

Why?

Because their own self-worth comes from their ability to control how you feel & think.

And their BIGGEST source of self-worth comes from their ability to control how you feel about YOURSELF.

Narcissists slowly erode your self-esteem, blame you for not being confident enough, then act like they’re always supportive of you & don’t know why you’re feeling so bad about yourself.

They purposefully move things in the house –

Then tell you “you have a bad memory” when you can’t find them.

They belittle your interests or accomplishments –

Then scold you when you ask for reassurance.

They make passive-aggressive comments about your friends, your clothes, how you look, or how you spend your time –

Then tell you you’re pathetic or weak for questioning yourself so much.

Hence the reason so many people feel like they’re “going crazy”.

Why There's NOT "Two-Sides" to the Story

You know the saying, “there’s always two sides to every story”?

I cringe when I hear this –

Because it’s one of the biggest reasons narcissists succeed in spreading their lies.

While this saying might hold some weight in otherwise healthy relationships –

There are NOT two sides to a narcissistic relationship.

There is ONE side – the truth.

And here it is:

The narcissist never viewed you as an equal “partner”.

You were viewed as a commodity.

To be used as a source from which they could gain attention & admiration.

Then to be slowly devalued, criticized, belittled, & viewed with contempt.

While you remained hopeful, putting your faith in their “one day” promises & trying desperately to be “good enough” –

They continued to pull away, unphased by your attempts to repair the relationship.

They manipulated, disrespected, betrayed, cheated on & lied to you.

They destroyed your self-worth & sense of self.

Until you no longer even knew who you were anymore.

You thought something was wrong with you.

You thought maybe YOU were the narcissist.

You thought with enough time, things could go back to the way they were in the beginning –

When they acted like they cared for you.

But slowly you realized –

It was never your fault.

It was a game all along.

They were never going to change.

You were always a commodity in their eyes.

A toy to be replaced when it wasn’t new & shiny anymore (or when a newer or shinier toy came along).

So you finally got the courage to leave (or they left you).

And then the narcissist lied about what happened – made it seem like they “tried” for so long – or created a story of victimhood.

And you feel like you have to defend yourself all over again.

But here’s where I suggest a different approach:

Have conviction. Stop convincing.

Trying to convince others of the truth is a waste of energy.

Those who are willing to listen, will understand.

Those who don’t ask or won’t listen – never will.

Own THE TRUTH!

Is My Partner A Narcissist?

Take this 2-minute quiz to find out!

Connect Here

Get my bi-monthly newsletter on understanding and healing from narcissistic abuse here. Or if you’d like to work with me or have a question, let me know how I can help by filling out the form below!

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Get my bi-monthly newsletter on understanding and healing from narcissistic abuse here. Or if you’d like to work with me or have a question, let me know how I can help by filling out the form below!

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