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Narcissistic Abuse: What It Is, How It Affects Victims, and How to Overcome It

Updated: May 29, 2023

Narcissistic abuse is a form of psychological or emotional abuse that is inflicted by someone who has narcissistic personality disorder. This type of abuse can be defined as a pattern of behavior that manipulates and controls another person in order to fulfill the narcissist’s own needs and desires. Narcissism is on a spectrum and is not a mental disorder but a spiritual condition, so not every situation will look the same. In addition, there are multiple types such as Grandiose, Malignant, Vulnerable & Communal which then break down into Overt vs. Covert. Somatic vs. Cerebral, Sadistic vs. Inverted. Each of these can also have overlap. While it isn't necessary to be able to categorize a narcissist into just one category, it is important to understand how their tactics affect you and what you can do to overcome them.

"Proud, haughty, scoffed are his names, who acts with insolent pride." Prov. 21:24

Victims of narcissistic abuse often experience a range of negative emotions, including anxiety, depression, fear, and confusion. They may feel as though they are constantly walking on eggshells around the narcissist, trying to avoid triggering their anger, criticism, or disapproval. Narcissistic abusers may use tactics such as gaslighting, belittling, blaming, and isolation to maintain control over their victims.

These tactics can have a devastating impact on a victim’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Many victims of narcissistic abuse struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and self-doubt. They may also experience physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, and chronic pain.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Is. 26:3

Fortunately, there are steps that victims of narcissistic abuse can take to overcome their trauma and become even stronger than before. Here are a few strategies that have been found to be effective:

1. Pray, worship, and establish a daily God time to get in the Word so that the Lord is the One you are clinging to for wisdom, strength, courage, understanding, comfort, nurturing, and all His many blessings. He knows what you have been going through and desires a better way for you. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)

2. Seek support: One of the most important things that victims of narcissistic abuse can do is to seek support from a trusted friend, family member, &/or therapist/trauma informed coach. Having someone to talk to who understands what they are going through can make a big difference in the healing process. The key here is that you need someone who understands narcissistic abuse as the average person and counselor do not and may actually cause more harm than good.

3. Practice self-care: Victims of narcissistic abuse need to take care of themselves both physically and emotionally. This may mean getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in hobbies or activities that bring them joy and fulfillment.

4. Learn to set boundaries: Victims of narcissistic abuse often struggle with setting boundaries and asserting themselves. Learning to set healthy boundaries can help them develop greater self-respect and self-esteem. Codependency can make this even harder to implement, but with a coach that is trained in this area, you can be successful!

5. Practice self-compassion: Victims of narcissistic abuse may be accustomed to being criticized or belittled by their abuser. Developing self-compassion and being kind and gentle with themselves can help them heal from the damage that has been done.

It is important to note that healing from narcissistic abuse is a journey that may take time and require professional help. But with the right support and tools, victims can overcome their trauma and regain control of their lives. Remember, you are not alone, and there is hope for a brighter future.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21

If you are ready to break free, heal, and overcome in Him, please reach out to me so that I can create a package unique to your needs and situation.

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