How To Know If You Are in a Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse

How To Know If You Are in a Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse

Highly narcissistic individuals appear to have it all together.

Appearances are vital to the narcissist, and everyone in the family must always wear the mask in public.

The narcissistic cycle of abuse can happen to any relationship, not just interpersonal.

They could be your father, your boss or your best friend.

The perception of abuse is often painted to be physical abuse. 

However, nothing is further from the truth.

A narcissistic cycle of abuse can include emotional, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse.

They may use only one type of abuse or all types of abuse. 

Remember that trauma can result from more than just physical contact.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021

How Does a Narcissist Develop?

A narcissist is often a person who repressed feelings and emotions to survive in a toxic environment growing up. 

Empathy and compassion for others had to go. 

Essentially there was an unhealthy parent-child relationship.

Maybe the father was an alcoholic, or both parents were alcoholics.

Perhaps the mother used the child as a defense against the father.

Children who grow up in this toxic or traumatic environment do not receive adequate nurturing from their parents.

Because healthy emotion management is impossible, they learn to project their emotions and feelings onto others later in life.

Projecting feelings onto others is an unhealthy defense mechanism they picked up during their childhood chaos.

The unfortunate reality about narcissists is that they are incapable of true love, no matter how much they attempt to convince you otherwise. 

Because narcissistic people can't love themselves first, they can't love you genuinely.

On the other hand, the opposite childhood can result in the development of narcissistic personality disorder.

That would be when they are a child who cannot make a mistake. 

They are showered with love and attention and eventually learn to expect the same treatment from everyone.

If you are wondering if you are with someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder, there are some signs to look for in their behavior.

Some common symptoms are:

  • Expecting special treatment from others
  • Arrogant
  • Extremely jealous of others
  • Feels entitled
  • Requires excess admiration from others
  • A warped view of self that they are special and unique or better than everyone else
  • Exploitative of others for their gain
  • Strives for power, success, or beauty

Someone may not have all these qualities. 

Still, if they have a few, then it is a possibility that they have a narcissistic personality disorder.

Is There Treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

When people seek treatment for their disorder, they can heal and change their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. 

The problem is that many people with this disorder do not seek treatment because they believe there is nothing wrong with them.

Feeling superior to others keeps them in a constant state of delusionary self-esteem. 

A relatively standard narcissistic statement would be, "Nothing is wrong with me. You have the problem".

What Is a Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse?

When you are in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic tendencies, you will experience a narcissistic cycle of abuse. 

They can use any form of abuse to manipulate your emotions and even make you believe you're insane.

Some symptoms of this abuse could be:

  • Gaslighting: they use manipulation that has you second-guessing if something happened the way you think it did. It is a pattern of planned manipulation to keep someone in a state of confusion.
  • Scapegoating: Let's imagine you're in a heated fight with someone who began by pushing you to react. When you respond, they take out a camera and record you, showing your actions solely and telling everyone how insane you are.
  • Triangulation: The person will find someone who agrees with them on a topic and has them tell you that you are wrong on the subject. Then they use the other person to communicate this to manipulate how you think.
  • You question yourself: You begin to ask yourself, am I a bad person?
  • Co-dependency: If you are co-dependent, they will use this to make you stay with them. They want you to believe that you have no way out because you rely on them to survive.
  • Use guilt: Guilt in manipulation. Sometimes this is an obligation; they have made you feel bad for not taking them out to dinner like all your other partners. So, you feel obligated to do so even though you don't want to
  • Extreme flattery: Flattery is a form of manipulation in which they tell you how beautiful, special, and unique you are. So, when you think you're special, they only give you backhanded compliments that sound insulting.

All of these different types of manipulation are to attempt to control you.

How Can I Cope With the Abuse?

Suppose you are living in a relationship with a narcissist. In that case, you must speak with them calmly and not accusatory. They may seek treatment if you approach them in a way that doesn't put them into defense mode.

However, if they do not want to seek treatment, you may have therapy choices.

Therapy can help you by:

  • Healing the trauma from the narcissistic cycle of abuse
  • Learn coping skills
  • Learn better ways to communicate with them
  • Teach you how to set healthy boundaries
  • Help you find a safe way out of the relationship 

What if I Need To Leave the Relationship?

Sometimes a narcissistic individual can become dangerous when you try to break off the relationship. 

But, again, there are many social support groups, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline, that you can reach out to for assistance.


It can be challenging to live with a narcissistic cycle of abuse

However, there are treatment options for the person with the personality disorder.

Still, it is not a guarantee that your partner, coworker, or family member will seek treatment.

If you are a victim of abuse, therapy can help you heal from the trauma caused by the person in your life.


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June 18th, 2024

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