Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse perpetrated by someone who suffers from narcissism or sociopathy. These individuals have a tendency – whether conscious or unconscious – to use words and language in manipulative ways to damage, alter, or otherwise control their victim's behavior. This can include lying, black mailing, slander, gossip, physical abuse, gaslighting, silent treatment, intimidation, rage, etc.
Check out this Hey Sis. Podcast episode called "Wait, Have I Been Gaslit?" to learn more about gaslighting and how you can remove yourself from those situations.
Narcissists always make their problem YOUR problem. It’s always your fault. It's always your problem to fix and your lack of attention to something. Most of the time, a narcissist will accuse numerous people within their social circle or family as being narcissists, but that is a classic case of deflection. Don’t fall for the bait.
Narcissists are masters of projection and deflection. In most cases, they are oblivious to the ways they abuse, entangle, manipulate others. In my experience, narcissists rarely apologize verbally, and if they do, it is to keep you in a cycle of abuse.
To narcissists, apologies are a means to change their appearance to you, not genuine reconciliation. Normally. narcissists use gestures to apologize rather than verbal apologies because they lack the self-esteem to acknowledge their own behavior.
To narcissists, apologies are a means to change their appearance to you, not genuine reconciliation.
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A platonic and romantic relationship cycle with a narcissist follows this pattern:
waiting hoping pain anger forgiving forgetting From the top
So, how do you deal with the resident narcissist in your family, your church or your household? I don't have all the answers, but I do have a few suggestions:
1. Just because some people are narcissists doesn’t mean they’re unlovable. People high in narcissism may also be charismatic and good at what they do. Maintain your boundaries and remove yourself when they begin to trigger you or deflect. There are levels to narcissism, do your research.
2. Narcissists have EXTREMELY low self-esteem. Cussing them out will only give you temporary relief. If you think the person needs professional help, suggest it, be available in their vulnerable moments and remember to extend compassion (but not to the point when you become a sacrificial lamb). Narcissists will drain you emotionally and spiritually.... and they don’t care. Honestly, they don’t love themselves enough to care about you. You can’t heal them.
3. Break the spell and ignore them. Narcissists love the spotlight - so turn the light off. Take care of yourself. Don’t let them control your life or your routine. It’s not your job to fix them.
4. People with narcissistic personalities are good at making promises. They promise to do what you want and not to do that thing you hate. They promise to generally do better… and they are quite convincing. But, make no mistake about it: The promise of a narcissist is a means to an end for someone with a narcissistic personality. Once they get what they want, the motivation is gone.
You can’t count on their actions matching their words.
From a spiritual perspective, there are quite a few traits that can be linked to demonic strongholds. Here are a few common traits of a narcissist and how these traits may negatively affect you:
Insanity- The purpose this spirit is to make you feel like the crazy one. I’ve been there, but once I addressed the issues, I felt a weight completely fall off of me.
Word Twisting- This is a lying spirit that uses your words against you to shift blame. Always be clear with your words and don’t back down. Narcissists know what EXACTLY what they are doing. I always bring receipts, but sometimes confrontation causes more harm because they are so insecure. Don’t be mistaken, if an individual tries to openly make me look like a liar, I will address them, I don’t care who it is. However, I’m always careful to reveal the truth and then move on to the next item of discussion. The truth doesn’t need to be debated, just presented.
Victim Mentality- Someone has ALWAYS done something to them. Most of time, it is a facade and a method of attention seeking. I’ve found that addressing the fallacies verbally will only momentarily disrupt the manic episode of a narcissist. Remember, the work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal - not you. Their feelings are real to them, and they are tormented by it. Have compassion, but speak truth in love.
Controlling - narcissists love to be the center of attention and have full control. You can never give a narcissist enough attention. If you try, you’ll find yourself emotionally drained and unlovable.
Exaggeration – narcissists blow things completely out of proportion. They are the epitome of making mountains out of molehills. The less attention you give them concerning their exaggerated situations, the better YOU will be. Remember, exaggeration and victimization is a means to acquire attention and control. Narcissists love attention, whether it’s good or bad. Minimize the attention and they will move on to another person that will listen.
Working, loving and dealing with a narcissist is no one’s ideal relationship (platonic or romantic). It will never be 50\50. I don’t mean to be "doom and gloom", I’m just presenting some thoughts and experiences. No one is unlovable in the eyes of God, we may just have to learn to love certain people at a distance and with our boundaries in our hands.
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Dr. Dee Evans
CEO, Koinonia Training and Consulting
CEO, The Dee Evans Group
Dr. Dee Evans is an internationally recognized consultant and life coach. She has been awarded several leadership awards and she is a respected educator and Christian leader. She is the author of several books, which include: "God, I'm Disappointed, Procrastination: A Kingdom Perspective on the Theology of Work".
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