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3 Steps to getting away from a narcissist

Narcissists Intentionally Choose Giving, Reasonable People

Emotionally giving people really have a hard time understanding how far a narcissist will go to create a life where s/he is in control financially and emotionally. Did you know that 1 in 25 people have no conscience or low conscience (Stout, 2005) ? They really do exist.

It can be hard to truly comprehend how deliberate the narcissist's controlling behaviors are. Narcissistic abuse is actually deliberate and planned out. Maybe you brushed off that little voice in your head asking, "How did he go from his long term marriage to another live-in situation without even a pause?"

We're neurologically wired for connection, so it's difficult to understand the self-centered, self-interested scheming of the narcissist. It's hard to grasp that you are his emotional and psychological "supply."

Sandra Brown (2018) has researched the survivors of narcissist abuse and found that narcissists choose their partners for their "reasonable" and "open" and "giving "and "responsibility" traits? In addition, the narcissist looks for vulnerability to exploit. If you have suffered a recent loss, such as a divorce or a close one's death, the narcissist senses your vulnerability and swoops in, ready to love-bomb you with attention designed to sweep you off of your feet.

Your very strengths and your beauty of character..what you built up over a lifetime... is what the narcissist wants to exploit financially and emotionally.

Hmmm...the narcissist knows that pooling resources, like having a house together, and having the money tied up jointly, is a way of controlling a person. And, of course, pooling resources is how many healthy marriages function as well. So, pooling you back account and living situation may seem at first to be a reasonable thing to do at first. But then, along the way, it becomes confusing, as you slowly realize your resources and freedom have been hijacked.

The narcissist came into your life seemingly endlessly self-confident. In reality, the endlessly self-confident narcissist is actually empty. That swag is just a facade constructed over a lifetime. Push back at the facade and you get fear and anger.

This amazing, confident person came into your life just bowling you over with attention, love, gifts, amazing sex... Push back and the narcissist doubles down with controlling behaviors.

Trust your own version of reality. Their version is a lie.

Have you started to notice that the narcissist has been slowly but methodically diminishing you? S/he is deliberately trying to weaken you by isolating you and tying up your money. In this way, s/he draws strength from and controls you. Has s/he tried to cut ties with your friends and family? If you notice this, talk to a friend to see if you are not imagining this.

When you begin to truly realize the depth of the self-centeredness and see how you've become accustomed to abuse, you can slowly reclaim yourself. Seeing reality more clearly will set you free.

Your acts of reclaiming yourself will enrage and frustrate the narcissist. As you become more independent and detached from their suffocating bullying, the narcissist will be frustrated and angry.

How to extricate yourself

1. Recognize that this is really happening

  • Begin saying to yourself, " I see this reality and I know it's true and I don't believe you."

  • You will become stronger as you perceive the truth of your situation.

  • Realize this is not your fault. Research shows that narcissists are practiced at what they do and choose their partners for their "reasonable" and "giving" character traits.

  • If it is safe enough, say it out loud to the narcissist. "I don't believe you, I see my reality."

  • It may not be safe enough to say anything out loud. You may have to stealthily plan your exit.

2. Create a false self to keep you strong enough
  • Create a false self to protect yourself.

  • Present a false self to the narcissist, behaving with strength and emotional stability you may not really feel.

  • Help your mind get control of the situation by recognizing the toll the gaslighting has taken on you. Take the narcissist off the pedestal he created.

  • If it not safe to speak up, then keep quiet and feed yourself strength by repeating to yourself that your reality is valid.

  • Develop one trusted person to confide in and help you plan your exit. Be very selective in whom you confide in. Remember the narcissist has been presenting himself as the perfect person to your close contacts, trying to cut off your support circle.

3. Develop a concrete exit plan
  • Value your employment. Uplift yourself as a working person. Appreciate your job, even if it not exactly what you dreamed of. Build yourself up.

  • If you don't have any employment, start to look for something you can do.

  • Start saving money in your own bank account, even put it in safe deposit box if you have to.

  • Plan where you can stay overnight, maybe temporarily, as you transition out of the living situation you are in.

  • When you leave, have someone come with you, to reduce the drama.

  • Repeat to yourself "This isn't good for me, I need to change this. I need to believe in myself."

  • If necessary, look up Domestic Violence Services, they may be able to help you find shelter, employment and legal services. Here is a link to the State of New Jersey Domestic Violence Services. Your state probably has similar services.


Arabi, S. (2017). Why Survivors of Malignant Narcissists Don’t Get the Justice They Deserve.The Huffington Post. Retrieved on November 19, 2019 from the_us_59691504e4b06a2c8edb462e

Arabi, S. (2016). Becoming the Narcissist's Worst Nightmare. New York: SCW Archer Publishing.

Brown, S. L. with Young, J. (2018). Women who love psychopaths: Inside the relationships of inevitable harm. Third Edition. Penrose, N.C: Mask Publishing.

Northrup M.D., Christiane. (2018). Dodging energy vampires: An empath's guide to evading relationships that drain you and restoring your health and power. Hay House, Inc. Kindle Edition.

Stout, M. (2005). The sociopath next door: The ruthless versus the rest of us. New York: Broadway Books.


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