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WHY NARCISSISTS TARGET YOU WITH ABUSE
By Amour Setter
As the subject of Narcissism gains more attention and people become more aware of the damage of Narcissistic abuse, especially in the workplace, I thought I’d share an article that highlights some of the issues at play that may make you an easy target for Narcissistic abuse.
If you are not familiar with Narcissism and its damaging effects, then please read my other blog
The ﬁrst thing you need to know is that Narcs (as Narcissists are often referred to) will often go for a “soft” target (aka low-hanging fruit).
So rule number one in avoiding Narc Abuse is to know yourself deeply. Seriously. Start doing some deep introspective work on yourself and identify your weaknesses. If you ﬁnd yourself being abused a lot, get into counseling or therapy so you can identify what it is about you that attracts the abuse to begin with. Here are 7 reasons why you could be an easy target for Narcissistic abuse:
- You give more in your relationships
You have a hard time saying no, often stiﬂing your thoughts or opinions for fear of disturbing the peace, and your thoughts and actions are often with others in mind (not your wants and needs.)
- You are a People Pleaser
You feel compelled to take care of others. You have poor boundaries and often feel taken for granted. You may feel hurt or resentful if you are not appreciated for all that you are doing for others (especially if you feel you are making many sacriﬁces for others).
- You ﬁnd yourself needing to be needed
Your partner/close friend/family member is struggling in one way or another (addiction, illness, constant drama, etc.) Their need for you makes you feel valued, wanted, and important.
- You are emotionally reactive
Your emotions come to the surface quicker than you have time to think about at times. This leaves you feeling out of control when your emotions have hijacked you.
- You need to feel in control
This could be over-controlling emotions, and deciding how you feel rather than tuning into the emotions that are coming up for you. This could also mean trying to control the actions, opinions, or emotions of someone else.
- You avoid conﬂict
You don’t express your thoughts or needs because you are afraid that if you do it will upset other people. You put your values aside to make other people happy. And you set your problems aside to focus on the problems of others.
- Low Self-esteem or Low Sense of Self
When your purpose comes solely from pleasing others, it is easy to lose sight of yourself or feel lost. When you put others ﬁrst you are sending a message to yourself that you are not important or worthy. This can make you dive deeper into the above behaviors.
If you recognize any of the above signs in yourself, get into therapy or counseling as soon as possible. Untreated, you may continue to attract Narc abuse.
At this point, it’s worth mentioning Empaths. The term is very “New Age” and many Codependents can be considered Empaths and share many of the same traits. According to an article in PsychAlive, “Psychologists may use the term empath to describe a person that experiences a great deal of empathy, often to the point of taking on the pain of others at their own expense.” The article goes on to describe the pros and cons of being an Empath in more detail.
“There are many beneﬁts of being an empath. On the bright side, empaths tend to be excellent friends. They are superb listeners. They consistently show up for friends in times of need. They are big-hearted and generous. Empaths also tend to be highly intuitive and emotionally intelligent.
However, some of the very qualities that make empaths such fantastic friends can be hard on the empaths themselves. Because empaths quite literally feel what their friends are going through, they can become overwhelmed by painful emotions, such as anxiety or anger. Empaths tend to take on the problems of others as their own. It is often diﬃcult for them to set boundaries for themselves and say no, even when too much is being asked of them.”
If you do choose to embrace the empath label, just be aware that, like Codependency, it requires self-reﬂection and self-work to manage.
It’s worth noting that we teach people how to treat us. If we accept even just a little bit of disrespect, that disrespect can easily grow into abuse.
To steer clear of Narc abuse it is crucially important to maintain healthy boundaries, and practice assertiveness. This includes communicating to people what your boundaries are and when they are crossed. You may often have to do that a few times with the same people until they get it. It’s okay to let people know what behaviors you are not willing to accept
and do remember that communicating your boundaries will make some people very angry. And that’s OK. Managing anyone's feelings about your boundaries is not your job.
If you often feel taken advantage of and abused, perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror and take responsibility for your behavior that invites the abuse.
We hope this article helped you recognize how you might be unconsciously inviting abuse into your life. You are not alone. There is help out there and you can become stronger and
more assertive with therapy and counseling to the point where you begin to have fewer run-ins with Narcs.
If you’re looking for an empathic therapist who understands Narcissism and the effects of its abuse on your mental and physical health, book an appointment with English Doctor Barcelona's resident mental health specialist, Dr. Steven Joseph (MBBS, MRCGP, MRCPsych). Virtual appointments are also available.
Book your appointment now and begin your healing journey without delay.
Whatsapp/Call: +34 699 55 6326
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