10 signs of narcissistic abuse that shouldn’t be ignored

It takes time to discover that they are with a narcissist. Even then, they will doubt themselves because the signs are so subtle.

Have you been wondering if you’re actually into drugs or just paranoid?

Related : Effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships

In this article, I give you 10 signs that you are with a narcissist and what you should do if you want to get out of it.

1) It makes you doubt yourself at every turn
Gaslighting is a staple of a narcissist’s playbook, something they start doing as soon as they can.

They will pick on your little mistakes and criticize even small things like the way you dress or your choice of friends.

All of these little things combine to erode your confidence in your ability to judge things for yourself.

This, of course, means that they will have their way in the relationship simply because you will be too busy doubting yourself to take a stand.

2) You have no privacy at all
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that narcissists also tend to be control freaks.

They may have asked you to share your social media passwords with them or give them access to your phone upon request.

Maybe you’ve always viewed it as “normal” because… well, couples are supposed to share everything, no secrets, right?

Well not quite. The problem is that just because you’re together doesn’t mean your partner has the right to intrude on your privacy. Relationships are built on trust, not on monitoring each other’s every move.

3) You feel forced to keep up appearances
You shudder at the thought of doing anything that would make others think your relationship isn’t perfect.

Maybe you’ve fallen out with them before in front of their friends and they ended up harassing you for weeks. Or maybe they yelled and slapped you when you were alone again.

The narcissist holds you to a towering pedestal of “ideal,” so don’t you dare take a step too far or they will likely explode.

The point is that somehow you’re afraid, so you do your best to maintain your appearance…or else.

4) They drag others into your conflicts
But while you feel pressured to keep things between you as pure as possible, the same can’t be said about your partner.

They have no problem dragging other people to support them when confronted.

Maybe they felt like they were about to lose and wanted to scare you, or maybe they just wanted to stop you.

Whatever their motives, it’s hard to deny that they make you feel small and humiliated. This is exactly the narcissists’ way to regain control.

5) They avoid confrontation and lie effortlessly
Whenever you try to confront them about something, they will always try to find a way to turn it around on you.

For example, if you have suspicions that they are cheating on you, they will brush you off with something like “Do you think I am cheating on you?” The problem is that you are very insecure and have low self-esteem.

They also lie effortlessly. Ask them when they will return the money you loaned, and they will come up with a distant relative in need who does not even exist. And you still end up feeling like a terrible person for asking for your own money back.

A healthy relationship won’t make your sense of reality go away because trust and truth are at the heart of the matter.

6) They always have someone else to blame
All their mistakes and errors are someone else’s fault, to begin with.

A narcissist will do anything to look good and can make truly exceptional fake apologies.

“I’m sorry I threw away your dear childhood toy. When I was a kid, my mother would throw me away whenever she was in a bad mood or if I made a small mistake…”

Then you end up being manipulated into feeling guilty and made to take care of them.

Or maybe they insulted your best friend but then when you ask them to apologize they will say something like “Well, you did something wrong there but your best friend was talking behind your back (that’s not true), it’s very impolite and impolite!”

Those “Look what they made me do!” Excuses may not be unique to narcissists, but they are a very big sign that you are dealing with someone out of spite.

7) You feel incredibly isolated
It’s as if you have nowhere to turn and no one to trust. You are not sure if you can communicate with your friends or even your family

This is not an accident. It is a deliberate tactic that narcissists use against their victims.

They may make you doubt or hate your friends, for example. Or maybe they’ll turn your friends over to their side and drive out the rest of them.

Related : 11 red flags you’re dealing with a toxic person

To keep you trapped in the relationship, they make sure that you have nowhere and no one else to turn to.

8) You always feel like everything is your fault
Every time something goes wrong, the first thing that comes to your mind is some sort of “What did I do wrong?” Or “You made a mistake again!”

Now, self-reflection is healthy, but feeling like you’re around a ticking time bomb is not normal.

When they start verbally abusing you for asking what time they’ll be home, don’t take it against them. It comes to the point where you justify to yourself and your friends that it is your fault that they got angry because you were insensitive to the pressures of their work.

Even when he physically hurts you, you explain it away by saying “I caused it.”

But it’s not your fault, because no one is ever prepared for narcissistic abuse.

You don’t even need to be in a relationship or friendship with a narcissist at this moment either, people who grew up with narcissistic parents feel this way too.

9) They won’t give you space
It’s as if you can never be alone when you’re with a narcissist. You don’t even have room to breathe.

If you ask for some time to collect your thoughts, they will not respect your request and will not walk away from you.

Your magazine? They read it without your consent and then attack you with your ideas. When you encounter them, it’s your fault because you didn’t hide it well enough. Maybe they did it to be a trap for them too!

If you try to break up with them, they will manipulate the people and circumstances in your life until you return to them again.

A narcissist wants nothing more than to control the people around them, and not giving people room to breathe is certainly one way to do that.

10) Your relationships feel like a competition
One of the signs that you are dealing with a narcissist or abusive behavior is feeling tremendous pressure in your relationships, whether romantic or platonic.

When they do something nice, you worry that you’ll pay a heavy price later. You feel pressure to prove your worth, from your appearance to your career.

This is because narcissists like to humiliate their victims while keeping them around as long as it makes them look and feel good.

What to do if you want to go out

First things first – protect yourself

There is no doubt that narcissism is linked to domestic violence, and there are multiple studies on exactly that.

So, if you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse, and your abuser is close by, the last thing you want is to be vulnerable.

It can be difficult, especially if your abuser is isolating you, but you need friends or family you can turn to for help if things get bad.

When it’s time to act, you can try calling the support helpline.

Get appropriate help on how to leave

Get support even when there’s no urgency.

While it’s important to be surrounded by friends and family who remind you of your value, expert advice is invaluable.

For relationship guidance, I recommend Relationship Hero. It’s a site with highly trained relationship coaches who help people in complicated love situations like yours.

They can help you see patterns and stick to your decision, so you don’t back down, which is a big possibility if you’re not fully emotionally prepared.

Follow the “No Contact Rule”

Do not contact the narcissist even if he threatens you. Cut off all contact instead, from SMS to email to social media.

Psychologists and narcissistic abuse experts recommend stopping communications once you are safely gone.

Dr. Judy Rosenberg, founder of the Center for Psychological Healing, explains that one of the benefits of cutting off communication is allowing the victim to grieve and have the space to fully heal.

Once you overcome the guilt and shame of cutting ties, you will gain a clear perspective and regain your sense of self again.


Once you can get out of narcissistic abuse, avoid falling into the trap of revenge disguised as justice.

You’ve worked hard to be free, so don’t waste your time and energy by making your life revolve around them again. They are not your business anymore.

Forgive yourself, and take time to grieve the parts of yourself that have to relearn how to trust yourself and other