You’ve survived an encounter with a malicious narcissist.
It didn’t kill you. It only made you stronger.
Narcissistic abuse can do that. You now know that some people are so damaged you can’t fix them, no matter how kindly you treat them.
You no longer want a devious, deceitful person in your life.
Now, you can move on with your life. You can enjoy healthier relationships.
Never will you return to the vomit of malignant narcissism.
But you still have to protect yourself going forward. Here’s why.
Some of us seem to attract disordered people. Like magnets.
This is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s part of who you are. It’s okay.
You may have a high degree of empathy, which narcissists quickly detect. So they view you as a good target.
You don’t need to change your empathetic nature. You do need to establish stronger personal boundaries.
You Survived Narcissistic Abuse – Now What?
I write from the perspective of a survivor. I’m not a therapist or mental health professional. So everything you read is my personal experience only.
But here’s what I believe we can do once we lose the narc.
We can remain open and loving. We don’t have to change these positive traits.
Just realize that these good qualities may make you more narc prone.
Morally disordered people can tell (right away) that you’re an easy mark. So they zero in.
This is why we need to be extra careful with new people. We need to have our radar set to very high.
Narc spotting is something I now have to do, but with regret. Because we should be able to assume that everyone is trustworthy.
How To Thrive After Narcissistic Abuse
Unfortunately, not everyone is trustworthy.
Instead, if you’re not careful, you’ll run into users and abusers.
They want what you have. They’ll do anything it takes in order to get it. This sense of entitlement is what makes them so dangerous.
They believe it’s their right to acquire anything they desire. Oftentimes, this is something you (as a target) possess. This includes material things, such as money as well as relationships.
Narcissists will even try to steal intangibles, such as your happiness or your good reputation.
How To Bounce Back After Narcissistic Abuse
One of the best ways to bounce back from narcissistic abuse is to find new interests. New relationships. A new circle of friends. A new best friend. A new special someone.
But you also need to protect yourself. Not everyone is who they seem to be.
Narcissists can even come across as meek and mild when you first meet them. You and everyone else think they are living saints, until the mask slips.
Psychologists have a term called covert narcissism to describe this type of behavior. Coverts are very dangerous because they appear so “good.”
Be careful if you see a meek mild person who also has an inflated sense of entitlement.
So here are some tips on protecting yourself from dangerous people.
Accept the facts that narcissists are attracted to you. Accept the fact your narc filter may be set too low.
What does this mean? It means you tend to overlook faults. You try to see the best in people.
This is a beautiful quality. Don’t change it. You just need to have strong boundaries and an abundance of caution around new acquaintances.
- Don’t share personal secrets too easily. (Actually, don’t share much at all.) Until this person earns your trust. This takes time.
Also, be on the lookout for disordered behavior. Be careful when you see:
- A person who gossips. Always a bad sign.
- Someone who seems too good to be true. They often are.
- Lack of other friendships. Narcissists blow through relationships.
- Wanting to spend too much time with you. What were they doing before they met you? Have they alienated everyone else?
- Substance abuse. Too much drinking is a terrible sign.
- Stories that don’t add up. Because narcissists lie all the time.
Life is good once you move on and reclaim your life. You owe it to yourself to do this.
But don’t forget to be patient with yourself. Recovery takes time. You will have setbacks. You may even fall and go back to the narcissist before vowing to never see him or her again, and then finally cutting ties.
Forgiveness is important. But your anger doesn’t go away all at once. It still washes over you in waves.
Here’s another blog post on How Long Does It Take To Recover From Narcissistic Abuse.
In the end, forgiveness is the final step that frees you from the narcissist’s death grip. But it’s hard to do. Since narcissists don’t like to apologize. At least not with sincerity.
If you’re trying hard to forgive, you may want to read my book on How To Forgive a Terrible Person. Also, I wrote another book on the underappreciated phenomenon of female malignant narcissists.