Narcissists are often portrayed as people who are so comfortable with their superiority that they see others as insignificant and puny.
But in truth, narcissists are extremely insecure and cannot tolerate any kind of rejection or criticism. And as counter-attacking tools, they use gaslighting, verbal abuse, and other tactics of manipulation to control others and avoid feeling out of control themselves.
That being said, the narcissist does not start a relationship by showing their true face. A true narcissist has great charisma and showers their date with presents, attention, and promises of a dream-like future. The narcissist overwhelms their love interest with constant attention.
And as soon as the relationship is in gear, the trauma and emotional abuse follow.
This can mean ignoring their partner, dismissing important conversations, as well as an out-of-the-blue withdrawal of intimacy and affection. Sometimes, the narcissist will disappear emotionally and physically, without much explanation, and this can be extremely painful and unsettling to the woman or man they’re with. They are left wondering how they’ve messed up, if their partner will leave them, and how they can make things right, even if they’ve actually done nothing wrong.
Other narcissistic behaviors include threatening to leave, shaming, lying, cutting off financial support, blaming the partner for everything that goes wrong in the relationship, and manipulation of the partner’s relationships with family and friends.
Often, the narcissist will suddenly withhold love after showering their partner with affection.
This game of emotional manipulation is one of their main weapons, and it keeps the partner feeling as if they’re playing a constant game of gambling, never knowing what they will get next.
Also, the partner does not understand why the narcissist has all of a sudden become loving or aggressive, but they become more bonded to the individual with each cycle. This toxic bond is only possible if the withdrawal and the return of affection are intermittent.
But how do you get out of the cycle?
Breaking free from this cycle won’t be easy unless you are able to create some distance between yourself and the narcissist. Here are some strategies for breaking the cycle:
- Setting boundaries. Seeking help from a therapist to set boundaries to protect yourself is vital for your mental wellbeing.
- Seek support from people who have your best interests at heart. Friends and family can provide support when the narcissist is messing with your head.
- Take better care of yourself. Putting yourself first should be a priority.
- Accept the truth. Working through the gaslighting, the manipulation, all the lies, and seeing the relationship for what it truly is will be key.
Getting a good therapist who can help you heal after narcissistic abuse is the best way to get better and move into positive relationships in the future. In addition, it will help you identify the games the narcissist is playing that cause emotional trauma in your life so you can counter them with ease.
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