Effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships

The types of relationships we get into have a huge impact on our health – emotional, mental, and sometimes even physical.

A good and healthy relationship is intimacy. It helps both of you grow as individuals, helps you learn more about yourself and the other person, and opens your mind to different perspectives. You also feel respected and honored.

But toxic relationships are the exact opposite. But the problem is that we don’t always see it right from the beginning.

One type of toxic relationship is the one you have with a narcissistic partner.

If you suspect you are entering into a relationship with a narcissist, if you fear for your mental health because of that same relationship, or if you want to know what narcissistic abuse can do to you, read on.

In this article, we will briefly talk about narcissism, how to spot a narcissistic person, and the effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships.

What is a narcissist?

To understand its effects, we must first know more about what we are dealing with.

Understandably, we sometimes use the word “narcissist” or “narcissist” to describe a selfish person.

But what some of you may not know is that narcissism is a real, diagnosable condition, called narcissistic personality disorder.

Some people may have some of the traits of a narcissist, but not all of them, or not all of the time.

If you are lucky enough not to encounter a narcissist, it is important to know what to consider so that you can avoid the effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships.

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

Here are the main characteristics to watch for, according to the fifth and most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness (DSM-5):

Great sense of self

For example, when someone brags about their talents and accomplishments a lot, even if they are not really impressive.

Illusions of success and power

Narcissists idealize love and indulge in visions of unlimited success, power, and beauty. They sincerely believe that they are unique and can only be understood by people like them.

Looking for praise

They are always looking for admiration and fishing for compliments. They also feel entitled to services and special treatment.

lack of empathy

Narcissists exploit others to achieve their own goals, and are often unable to acknowledge the feelings and needs of others.


A narcissistic person feels jealous of others and believes that others are jealous of them. They may also have an arrogant or arrogant attitude.

To avoid the effects of narcissistic abuse in future relationships, it may also be a good idea to know the early signs of narcissism in a partner.

What are some of the effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships?

The effects you may experience can vary depending on how long you have been in these types of relationships.

Some people may experience “mild” effects, while others unfortunately experience long-term damage.

1) Anxiety and depression
The stress of narcissistic abuse can trigger feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or fear because it is often difficult to predict how the narcissist will act.

You may also lose interest in things you used to enjoy doing, which is a sign of depression.

You may also experience one of the effects of narcissistic abuse in future relationships, where you ask yourself why your partner suddenly changed.

You might also ask yourself: Is this your fault? Another sign of this anxiety is blaming yourself for their behavior because you believe in their manipulation and lies.

Remember: In the case of narcissism, your partner may say and do things to control how you act and influence how you feel.

2) Post-traumatic stress
Another possible effect is complex post-traumatic stress disorder or C-PTSD.

It is important to keep in mind that C-PTSD is not a formal diagnosis but a set of symptoms that appear as a type of PTSD.

These are the effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships that fall under C-PTSD:

  • Recurring flashbacks of traumatic events
  • Avoid the causes of traumatic accidents
  • Being hypervigilant and sensing threats in normal interactions
  • Having difficulty regulating emotions
  • Bad selfie
  • Struggling in interpersonal relationships

3) Cognitive issues
Another effect of narcissistic abuse is difficulty concentrating on normal daily tasks. These range from something as simple as watching TV or doing your work.

This is because your mind may drift to memories of traumatic events, which may disrupt your concentration.

The brains of people who suffer from narcissist abuse may change, specifically the hippocampus and amygdala, which are responsible for memory and processing emotions, respectively.

Related : 13 warning signs your relationship is becoming toxic

In children with narcissistic parents, these structures are overstimulated and diminished. Smaller-than-normal structures will leave the child growing into an adult who cannot deal with his or her feelings, especially feelings of shame and guilt.

4) Sudden and extreme changes in emotion
One effect of narcissistic abuse on future relationships includes the development of emotional problems.

This includes mood swings, where you feel good one minute, and angry or depressed the next.

Mood swings can be caused by a number of different things, including depression, which we discussed earlier.

Long periods of trauma may also lead to depersonalization, where you feel like you see yourself outside of your body or feel like things around you are not real.

Narcissistic abuse can make you feel like a robot, as if you have no control over what you say or do. You may also feel emotionally and physically numb.

If these feelings keep coming back or don’t go away, they may affect how you function in daily life. You may have what is called derealization and depersonalization disorder.

5) Loss of sense of self
One of the effects of narcissistic abuse in future relationships may be that you no longer know who you are.

This may cause you to doubt your self-worth and develop trust issues with others.

You may also start blaming yourself; If you believe that something you did caused the abuse, you may be less inclined to seek help.

You may also lose self-confidence in making decisions, no matter how simple.

6) Loss of trust in others
We previously mentioned the development of trust issues when it comes to communicating with others.

As we have demonstrated, this may be one of the harmful effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships.

This is because when you can’t trust new people, you’re not only protecting yourself from getting hurt again. It may actually be getting in the way of good relationships for you.

If you have trust issues, you may constantly wonder whether people are telling you the truth or just deceiving you to serve their own purposes.

You may also develop social anxiety, where you feel fear that affects daily activities, reduces your self-confidence, and affects your relationships.

Some other signs of social anxiety include:

  • Anxiety about activities that involve meeting new people, starting conversations, and mingling with groups
  • Being self-conscious about your actions and how they may appear to others
  • Feeling like you are being watched
  • For fear of criticism
  • Panic attacks

7) Self-destruct
Unfortunately, the abuse doesn’t always stop with the abuser.

One effect of narcissistic abuse on future relationships can be the formation of self-destructive habits.

This may happen because you may blame yourself for the way your partner treats you.

Some self-destructive habits include: self-harm (such as cutting), alcohol or substance abuse; smoking; poor eating choices (eg, bingeing, purging); And even suicide.

8) People pleasing

On the other hand, there is a tendency to seek external validation from others – in other words, people-pleasing.

This is one possible effect of narcissistic abuse on future relationships, because you become accustomed to bending over backwards to please your partner.

A people pleaser is one who does everything he can to gain the approval of others and prioritizes the needs of others before their own.

The difference between being useful and being a people pleaser is that the latter often leaves one feeling drained, stressed, and anxious.

A people pleaser believes that keeping others happy is the way to keep the relationship going.

How to recover from narcissistic abuse
Narcissistic abuse can cause irreparable damage to the lives of victims.

In order to move forward, you need strategies to heal from the wounds caused by the narcissistic partner.

Of course, prevention is worth a pound of cure, which is why it’s helpful to consider the effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships.

But we know that’s easier said than done. We can’t always see beyond the fog, especially when we think the relationship might actually be real.

So it’s equally important to know what to do if you end up in a relationship with a narcissist:

Acknowledging the fact that you are being abused means accepting those feelings that run through you, whether they are anxiety, anger, depression, or sadness.

Learning all you can about what narcissistic traits look like and recognizing different manipulation methods can help you better avoid one in the future.

No matter what you’re going through, you’re not alone. There are communities online and in real life for people who may have the same experiences as you, where you can express your feelings and get advice in the process.

Individual sessions with a therapist can also help you work through your experiences with narcissistic abuse.

Finally, despite how you feel, it’s important now more than ever to take care of yourself. This includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and rediscovering your hobbies or passions.

bottom line

The effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships can be extremely damaging, some even irreparable.

As such, it is important to know all about narcissistic personality disorder, manipulation, and the potential effects of dealing with such a person.

But if you’re already in one, recently ended a relationship with one, or feel like your mental health is on the line, the most important thing is to seek help from others.