Tools to Survive Emotional Abuse From a Narcissist


Narcissistic abuse is a type of abuse where a narcissistic person uses manipulation to gain control over other people.

This often leads to a harmful environment that is characterized by emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, or physical harm.

Narcissists tend to use various tactics such as gaslighting, sabotaging, love-bombing, lying, and manipulating situations to their advantage in order to exploit those around them.

It can leave the individual feeling isolated, confused, and helpless, which is why the road to recovery from narcissistic abuse is certainly daunting.

In the first place, the effects of narcissistic abuse have the potential to cause irreparable damage to the foundation of one's life.

As a result, recovering from the effects of an abusive partner requires a significant amount of both your time and energy.

However, although it may sound daunting, anyone can heal from narcissistic abuse with support for narcissism and a couple of other useful tools.

In order to survive emotional abuse from a narcissist, you first have to acknowledge and accept the abuse.

The reality is that before anyone can heal from experiencing emotional abuse, they first have to acknowledge that it happened to them rather than bury any feelings of emotional damage.

Having a support system can be very helpful for people who are experiencing abuse, as it can become overwhelming.

Sharing your experiences with someone can be beneficial.

A support system can help you through challenging moments so you feel less alone.

Learning about the disorder can help you manage a relationship with someone with a narcissistic disorder.

As you gain more knowledge, you become better equipped to anticipate their actions and respond accordingly.

Read on for more details on ways to survive emotional abuse from a narcissist.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Denise Itule, LPCC

Denise Itule, LPCC

(719) 345-2424

Acknowledge and Accept the Abuse

You must acknowledge that you have been a victim of abuse.

It doesn't matter if it was from your spouse or partner, a family member, or friends.

At the beginning of any healing journey, you may find it challenging to let go of possible reasons for the person's behavior toward you.

In fact, you might blame yourself just because you don't want to accept that someone you love would treat you that way.

This reaction is quite common and very understandable.

In a way, some people use denial as a form of protection.

This happens when their intense feelings of familial love consume them to the extent that they lose sight of what is actually happening in their lives.

It can be hard to understand why some people seem indifferent to the pain they cause others.

When you see your loved one going through emotional distress, you may understand their struggles and feel inclined to give them another chance.

However, while compassion is important, you must remember that any form of abuse cannot be justified by mental health issues.

You can show compassion by encouraging them to seek support while also prioritizing your own safety by setting boundaries.

Reclaim Your Identity

Narcissistic people usually try to strip away every sense of self of their victim, which leaves them feeling lost and uncertain.

In order to survive emotional abuse from a narcissist, it is very important that you work toward reclaiming your identity.

People with narcissistic traits usually have specific expectations in regard to the behavior of others.

When these people can't meet their standards, narcissistic people criticize or belittle them harshly.

An instance of this is when you change your dressing style because your partner told you it is unappealing and ugly.

Another instance is when you abandon your passion for art because of parents consistently criticize your drawing.

In order instances, they may attempt to control your time and prevent you from socializing with friends or engaging in personal activities.

If you have ever experienced any of these instances or something similar, chances are you may start to feel like you don't know yourself.

Reclaiming your identity means resisting any form of manipulation and persistently pursuing your passions, despite disapproval from your partner or the abuser. 

Talk to Others About the Abuse

Sharing your feelings and experiences with friends and family who know what you are going through can provide comfort and companionship during your journey to recovery.

Your loved ones can offer distractions or companionship during tough times and also reassure you that the abuse was not your fault.

For instance, you can choose to confide in a close friend about the emotional abuse you are experiencing.

This friend can help you work through this experience by offering a fresh perspective, and they can also help you recognize that the behavior you are experiencing is not normal or acceptable.

Additionally, seeking expert help from a therapist or counselor can be beneficial.

They can provide you with the necessary tools to heal and move forward.

There are support groups that offer a chance to speak out about the abuse.

This is particularly useful because sharing your story with others who are also trying to heal involves a group effort of sharing and learning from each other.

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Educate Yourself

When you learn about the characteristics of a narcissist and get to understand what behaviors constitute narcissistic abuse, you are in a better place to navigate that type of relationship.

This way, you can tell when you are being manipulated or controlled.

The reality is that narcissists actually have an internal feeling of shame that they are unaware of, which can be very difficult for them to deal with, despite their outward appearance of confidence.

They usually avoid confronting this inner shame by projecting it onto the world; this allows them to maintain their image of confidence.

When you are in a relationship with such a person, you are most likely will be on the receiving end of that, which is emotional abuse.

By learning about narcissistic abuse, you can gain insight into your encounters and feel empowered to manage your life. 

Understand That Your Feelings May Not Fade Easily

Attempting to heal from emotional abuse from a narcissist is a process, and healing takes time.

You must understand that your feelings may still linger even after you've ended the relationship.

Most importantly, allow yourself to feel your emotions and seek support if you think you need it.

Being in love with someone can be challenging since it's not entirely within our control, and sometimes, it is not always possible to stop loving someone, even if that person causes you pain.

Even after the relationship has ended, you will still hold on to the happy memories.

It is important to understand that you start healing without having to stop loving someone.

If you think you have to wait till all the feelings cease, you are only delaying your healing.


People can survive emotional abuse from a narcissist when they have the right support for narcissism abuse and a combination of some other tools.

Some tools to survive emotional abuse from a narcissist include acknowledging and accepting the abuse, reclaiming your identity, talking to others about the abuse, educating yourself, and understanding that your feelings may not fade easily.


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May 18th, 2024

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