10 Signs You Are A Victim of Narcissistic Abuse

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Narcissistic abuse is often subtle and could easily go on unnoticed for several weeks, months or years. It could take the form of all types of abuse including physical, verbal, psychological, financial, sexual, digital or spiritual abuse. There would have been a repeated pattern of negative behaviours including coercive control and manipulation leaving you with devastating feelings about yourself before realising what really hit you.

So how do you recognise that you are experiencing or have experienced narcissistic abuse?
This list is not exhaustive and written in no particular order

1. Isolation: When you feel isolated from the people you would normally have good relationships with. These could be family, friends or other loved ones. Narcissists have the habit of manipulating you to believe that other people hate you and are not concerned about you.

 2. Shame and Self-Isolation: When you feel the need to hide and avoid people you would normally enjoy spending time with. This could be because you feel ashamed of your abusive experience especially in an intimate relationship and you don't want your loved ones to find out the reality of your ordeal

3. Denial and Self-Deception: You may be in denial and also feel the need to protect the abuser by, possibly rationalising their negative behaviour even when other people express their concerns for your safety. You may find yourself taking responsibility for their actions and possibly blame yourself. You may justify their actions by believing that ''everyone experiences that''. You may also find yourself minimizing your experience by comparing it with others believing that ''it's not as bad as other people's experience'' especially when there's no physical abuse

4. Dissociation: When you gradually disconnect from your own feelings, your moral values, your sense of worth, your self-identity, your self-confidence. When it appears you're becoming or have become a shadow of your former self through sub-conscious emotional numbness

5. Compromise:  When you find yourself comprising on your normal moral standards and obligations. You may find yourself downplaying your own feelings, apologising even for the abuser's unreasonable actions just to please the abuser.

 6. Fear & Anxiety: When you realise that you're afraid of the person you're in a relationship with probably because you've recognised that your actions or utterances could lead to unpredictable violent reactions. You may become perpetually anxious and develop negative coping strategies like people-pleasing to avoid confrontation or provoking the narcissist or other people.

7. Lack of remorse or empathy: When the abuser shows no genuine sense of remorse for hurting or harming you even when it's clear to you that their actions are wrong. The greatest red flag of a narcissist, psychopath or sociopath is lack of empathy. This alone is a major sign you're a target/victim of narcissistic abuse. You may find yourself struggling to understand how someone could be so mean to you in spite of how good you were to them, that is narcissistic abuse!

8. Trust Issues: You may develop a pervasive sense of mistrust and feel the need to protect yourself from disappointment or emotional harm because of the experience with someone you once trusted who ended up mistreating or abusing you.

9. Health Challenges: An exposure to any form of toxic relationship, whether it's narcisisstic or otherwise, with an intimate partner, spouse, sibling, relative, business partner or colleague could take a heavy toll on one's health. From mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, fear, panic attacks to eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. You may experience suicidal thoughts or self-harm. You may also experience post-traumatic stress and sleeping disorders.

10. Cognitive Dissonance: If you've read all the points above and still struggle to understand what your experience is/was. Congratulations! you're in the right thread! Please read again from the top but this time with an open mind. You may have developed what psychologists refer to as Cognitive Dissonance. In this case the struggle between the belief that you trusted someone enough to engage in an intimate relationship with them and the acceptance of the reality of their negative behaviour towards you. Ah ha!

If you can relate with any of these signs, bear in mind that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I recommend you start an independent research on Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPD. Many people who have experienced narcissistic abuse were not aware until during or after the experience. I also understand how difficult it could be to let go of an abusive relationship due to the intense trauma bond and fear of being stigmatized amongst other factors.

You don't have to figure it all out alone. Prolonged exposure to narcissistic abuse or any form of domestic violence or toxic relationship can lead to severe medical and mental health challenges including loss of life. It is possible to heal, thrive and live a fulfilling life after the trauma but YOU have to Break the silence. Take active steps to reach out to domestic violence centres near you, speak to your GP, a qualified psychotherapist, professional counsellor or mental health specialist to get the necessary help.


No - It's NOT your fault
No - There's nothing wrong with you
No - You're NOT crazy
No - You're NOT the problem
No - You're NOT alone
Please feel free to share, no permission needed.

With Love


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