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Narcissistic Abuse Explained: How to avoid falling victims to it?

What is Narcissistic Abuse? and How to respond to narcissistic personality

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissistic Abuse is how someone diagnosed with Narcissism bullies someone because of their disorder. It can manifest as financial, psychological, spiritual, physical, or sexual abuse. Narcissism is actually one of the many types and forms of personality disorders. It is classified as a mental illness wherein the patient is extremely fascinated by themselves. They have an increased sense of giving importance to themselves on a whole other level – they need the attention of people around them, and they desire to be admired.

In all honesty, people who are diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are self-centered, and they do not have any sort of empathy for the people around them. They only care about their own selves. However, this is only a mask – they use this bravado to hide how insecure and how fragile their self-esteem really is.

Narcissists often abuse people around them to cope with how they feel; that’s why the term “narcissistic abuse” is often used to describe this type of abuse.

Narcissistic people are often disappointed and sad whenever people don’t give them enough attention. Because of this, they tend to do absurd things just to be noticed or to be admired. Relationships are hard to maintain because they make everything about themselves.

Ultimately, Narcissistic Abuse is the patient’s way to assert their dominance and importance because, for them, they should always be prioritized. However, we still need to sympathize with them because they are patients who have no control over their desire to be adored.

Signs of Narcissistic Abuse

Those diagnosed with Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome are often found to have a hard time identifying what is real and what is not. These people are the ones who have been spending quite a lot of time with NPD. Therefore they became these patients’ punching bags.

Here are some signs of people who are being abused by Narcissists:

  • They don’t feel safe. Therefore, they are always alert and vigilant because they do not know when the narcissist will abuse them again.
  • The victims try their best to avoid people and large crowds because their self-esteem and social skills went downhill after being abused for so long.
  • Self-isolation just so that they can limit their interaction with the narcissist.
  • Being triggered by normal daily things and events that remind them of a previous abuse that the narcissist did to them.

Different Types of Narcissistic Abuse

Psychological Abuse

This type of abuse is typically done by abusers, where they deliberately use words and actions that end up screwing with a person’s mind. This can be done to purposely hurt, weaken, manipulate, or frighten an individual emotionally and mentally.

It can also be done to cause confusion or distortion of someone’s beliefs. The abuser often does this by influencing someone’s thoughts, actions, and feelings because they want that person to do something for them.

Spiritual Abuse

This specific type of abuse focuses on insulting or discouraging someone from believing in their certain religious values and principles. It can also be in the form of stopping someone from practicing their beliefs or even forcing young children to believe in something that is different from their original faith.

Spiritual abuse can damage someone’s faith and their psychological state because it will completely destroy the things that they already believe in. In fact, Spiritual Abuse can also be classified under Psychological Abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse pertains to how someone physically hurts someone using extreme force. This can range from a simple tight hold on the shoulder to punching someone in the face because the abuser wants to take full control of the victim.

Sexual Abuse

A narcissistic person may or may not force the people around them to engage in sexual activities even when the individual already declined it. Typically, sexual abuse occurs before, during, or after physically abusing the victim.

Examples of Narcissistic Abuse

There are many different examples of narcissistic abuse. First of all, the patient might verbally abuse the victim by bullying, belittling, accusing, threatening, demanding, opposing, criticizing, interrupting, and name-calling them.

Verbal abuse is classified as something under psychological abuse because it lessens the victim’s self-esteem, and it can also cause some speech disorders. Narcissistic people usually abuse verbally because it is the easiest, and it makes them feel more powerful to see someone feel little when they are with them.

Another example is how Narcissistic individuals often manipulate their victims. This indirectly influences them because the victim is not aware that they are being manipulated! They do not realize that their actions and their thoughts are already heavily influenced by the person diagnosed with NPD.

Manipulation is a common technique done by narcissistic individuals. They feel empowered because they have control over how someone acts and lives their life. The wolf can exemplify it in sheep’s clothing because the words that are being said seem harmless, but they are more powerful and harmful than they really seem.

Gaslighting is also one of the most common methods of Narcissistic Abuse. This way, the victim keeps on unconsciously doubting their own thoughts, events, and memories because the abuser keeps on reminding them that those things are not real. A victim of gaslighting has the tendency of questioning their very own sanity.

Physical abuse and sexual abuse are also examples of Narcissistic Abuse. However, these two are rarer than the ones mentioned above. These occur when the abuser is really frustrated or wants to be absolutely the center of attention, even if it means that the attention will be for something bad.

That is how badly NPD patients yearn and desire attention – they crave it, and they are willing to do anything just to get it.

How to Avoid Narcissistic Abuse?

It is important that you know how to handle and deal with people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder because chances are, they will do their best to win your trust. You will eventually fall into their trap.

Here are several ways to avoid being abused by narcissists:

Don’t Give Them Your Attention.

Whether the attention is negative or positive, it is important to stop yourself from giving them attention. This is to protect your peace because if you’re giving them attention now and you suddenly stop, they will do everything within their power to get your attention again.

Speak Up For Yourself and Learn To Say No

Narcissists thrive when people don’t tell them to stop or when their behaviors are being tolerated. This has to be stopped because the more they are tolerated, the more they will exhibit wrong and abusive actions. It is important to let them know that their actions are wrong. This will take their power away from them.

Set Boundaries

People with NPD feel entitled, and they don’t know a single thing about boundaries. That’s why you must let them know when they already crossed the line. Since they have very little knowledge about personal space, you need to educate them that there are certain things that they can’t do because it is considered inappropriate.

Expect Them To Fight You

They are hard-headed, and they do not take no for an answer. This is already expected because they were born like that, and there is nothing they can do about it. But always remember that you are not at fault, and so are they – they are also victims in these situations because it is a disorder that they cannot control.

Best Narcissistic Abuse Resources

Narcissistic Abuse FAQ

What are the signs of Narcissistic Abuse?

  • Psychological Abuse
  • Spiritual Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse

How to Avoid Narcissistic Abuse?

  • Narcissistic Abuse Definition
  • Narcissistic Abuse Avoidance
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About the author

Jess Man

Jessica is the Editor-in-Chief and Senior Diversity Advisor at Diversity Social. Jessica has over 10 years of working with and advising employers to be more diverse and create an inclusive working environment.
Jessica's experience spans private and non-profit sectors in multiple industries.
Jessica's expertise experience is beyond Diversity & Inclusion, she is also a certified professional IT recruiter in Data & Analytics, Database administration, Artificial Intelligence area.