We’re all capable of abuse once we’re frustrated or hurt. We may be guilty of criticizing, judging, withholding, and controlling, but some abusers, such as narcissists, take abuse to another level. Narcissistic Abuse may be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, financial, and/or spiritual. Some kinds of emotional abuse aren’t easy to identify, including manipulation. It can consist of psychological blackmail, using threats and intimidation to exercise control. They can go so far as to make you doubt your own senses, called gaslighting.
The Motivation for Narcissistic Abuse
Bear in mind that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and abuse exist on a continuum, which range from silence to violence. Rarely will a narcissist take responsibility for his or her behavior. Normally, they deny their activities, and fortify the abuse by blaming the victim. Particularly, malignant narcissists aren’t bothered by guilt. They may be sadistic and take pleasure in inflicting pain. They can be so aggressive and unprincipled that they engage in anti-social behavior. Don’t confuse narcissism with anti-social personality disorder.
The objective of narcissistic abuse is power. They act with the intent to diminish or even hurt other folks. The main thing to remember about intentional abuse is that it’s intended to dominate you. Abusers’ goals are to increase their control and authority, while creating uncertainty, uncertainty, and dependence in their victims. They want to feel superior to avoid hidden feelings of inferiority. Understanding this can enable you. Like all bullies, despite their defenses of anger, arrogance, and self-inflation, they suffer from shame. Appearing weak and humiliated is their biggest fear. Knowing this, it’s essential not to take personally the words and actions of an abuser. This enables you to confront narcissistic abuse.
Mistakes in Dealing with Abuse
When you overlook an abuser’s motives, you may naturally react in some of these ineffective ways:
1. If you placate to prevent anger and conflict, it empowers the abuser, who sees it as weakness and a chance to exert more control.
2. This also reveals weakness, which narcissists hate in others and themselves. They may respond dismissively with contempt or disgust.
3. Withdrawal. This is a excellent temporary tactic to collect your thoughts and emotions, but is not an effective strategy to deal with abuse.
4. Arguing and Fighting. Arguing over the facts wastes your energy. Most abusers aren’t interested in the facts, but only in justifying their position and being correct. Verbal arguments can quickly escalate to fights that damage and drain you. Nothing is gained. You lose and can end up feeling more victimized, hurt, and hopeless.
5. Anything beyond a simply refusal of a false accusation leaves you open to more abuse. When you cover the content of what is being said and explain and defend your position, you endorse an abuser’s right to judge, approve, or abuse you. Your response sends this message:”You have power over my self-esteem. You’re entitled to be my judge.”
6. Seeking Understanding. This can drive your behaviour if you desperately want to be understood. It is based on the false hope that a narcissist is interested in understanding you, even though a narcissist is only interested in winning a conflict and having the superior position. Depending upon the degree of narcissism, sharing your feelings may also expose you to more hurt or manipulation. It’s far better to share your feelings with someone secure who cares about them.
7. Even though they may act tough, because abusers are basically insecure, inside they are fragile. They can dish it, but can not take it. Complaining or criticizing an abuser can provoke rage and vindictiveness.
8. Making threats may cause retaliation or backfire if you don’t carry them out. Never make a threat you are not prepared to enforce. Boundaries with direct consequences are more effective.
9. Denial. Don’t fall into the trap of denial by excusing, minimizing, or rationalizing abuse. And don’t fantasize that it will go away or improve at some future time. The more it goes on, the more it develops, and the poorer you are able to become.
10. Self-Blame Do not blame yourself for an abuser’s activities and strive harder to be ideal. You can not cause anyone to abuse you. You are only responsible for your own behavior. You won’t ever be perfect enough for an abuser to stop their behavior, which stems from their insecurities not you.
Allowing abuse damages your self-esteem. Thus, it’s important to confront it. That does not mean to fight and argue. It means standing your ground and speaking up for yourself clearly and calmly and having boundaries to secure your mind, emotions, and body. Before you set boundaries, you must:
1. You have to feel entitled to be treated with respect and that you have specific rights, like the right to your feelings, the right to not have sex if you decline, a right to privacy, a right not to be yelled at, touched, or disrespected. If you’ve been abused a long time (or as a child), your self- respect likely continues to be diminished. You may no longer trust yourself or have confidence.
2. Be Assertive. This takes learning and practice to avoid being aggressive or passive. Try these short-term responses to dealing with verbal putdowns:
* I’ll think about it.
* I’ll never be the Great enough wife (husband) that you hoped for
* I don’t like it when you criticize me. Please stop.”
* That is your opinion. I disagree, (or) I don’t see it that way.
* You are saying…” (Repeat what was said. Add,”Oh, I see.”)
* I won’t to speak with you when you (describe abuse, e.g.”belittle me”).
* Agree to part that is true. “Yes, I burned the dinner.” Ignore
You are a rotten cook.
* Humor -“You’re very cute when you get annoyed.
3. Know what you want specifically, what the narcissist wants, what your limits are, and where you’ve got power in the relationship. You’re dealing with somebody highly defensive with a personality disorder. There are certain strategies to having an impact.
4. Establish Boundaries. Boundaries are principles that govern the way you want to be treated. People will treat you the way you allow them to. You must know what your boundaries are before you are able to communicate them. This means getting in touch with your feelings, listening to your body, knowing your rights, and learning assertiveness. They need to be explicit.
Do not hint or expect people to read your mind.
5. After setting boundaries, if they’re ignored, it’s important to communicate and invoke consequences. These aren’t threats, but actions you take to protect yourself or fulfill your needs.
6. Be Educative. Research shows that narcissists have neurological deficits that affect their interpersonal reactions. You’re best strategy is to instruct a narcissist like a kid. Explain the effect of their behavior and provide incentives and encouragement for different behaviour. It requires planning what you’re going to say without being emotional.
To respond effectively requires assistance. Without it, you may languish in self-doubt and succumb to abusive disinformation and denigration. It’s challenging to modify your responses, let alone those of anybody else. Expect pushback when you stand up for yourself. This is another reason why support is vital. You will need courage and consistency. Whether or not the narcissist makes changes, you’ll receive tools to protect yourself and increase your self-worth that will improve how you feel whether you leave or stay. CoDA meetings and psychotherapy provide support and guidance.