Looking for tools, tips, resources and help with a narcissist in your life? Then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve collected more than 35 of them for you, right here.
I have written several books on narcissism, but I know that not everyone can have books delivered and/or doesn’t have the cash for the Kindle editions. Or maybe they’re afraid of being found out by their very controlling narc.
Listen, I’m not here to judge. I feel you. TRUST ME.
At any rate, that’s why I’ve put together a few links for you here. If you bookmark this post and/or this site, you can refer back to it as needed to get the virtual support and/ir validation that you need.
Consider this site your very own sort of “online ebook” of sorts – no charge, no strings attached. Just because I know how important it is to know that you’re not crazy when you’re in the thick of a relationship with a narcissist.
Is there a narcissist in your life?
Your narcissist could be anyone – your spouse, your child, your mother, your father, your boss – even your best friend or your neighbor. Here are some tips for identifying the one(s) in your life.
It’s confusing for a lot of people because people think being narcissistic means you take a bunch of selfies and care about how you look. But that’s not necessarily a toxic narcissist – the fact is that every human alive has a certain amount of narcissism in their makeup – it’s self-interest. It’s what makes us get up and get ourselves dressed, feed ourselves, get jobs, get married, have kids – it’s the part of us that prevents us from just giving up entirely.
Can you take control of the situation and/or overpower the narcissist?
Indeed you can, my friend, if you’re willing to stand up for yourself – at least temporarily. Once you’ve recognized the situation, you’re already one step closer. Now you need to know how to get through it. Try these posts for help and ideas.
Can you show me an example of real-life gaslighting?
I don’t usually share many personal stories about the gaslighting I have experienced in my life but recently, a well-known narcissist actually gave me a little bit of an unrealized opportunity by actually gaslighting me online.
It’s not always, and you and I both know this. Unless you’re being physically abused, sometimes it feels like the wolf you know is better than the one that you don’t. But here are some posts to help you get your head in the right place and tools to help you be happier.
They say that the best way to predict a person’s future behavior is to take a look at his or her past behavior – and when it comes to a toxic narcissist, this is almost unconditionally true.
If you think about how you and your narcissist got together, do you remember how he treated you at the time? Do you remember the things he told you about past relationships?
And, if you’re in the process of leaving or you’ve already left, you may be dealing with watching him romance a new love – and it’s probably killing you inside. But maybe not for the same reason as everyone thinks.
Standard Breakups: Behavior and Relatable Anger
In most cases, when a couple breaks up or divorces and one of the two moves on with a new love, it can cause a lot of stress and trouble for the one left behind.
You wonder: is she better than me? Prettier? Smarter? Thinner? Better in bed?
And part of you kinda hates her guts; maybe even wishes horrible things would happen to her.
That’s pretty common – but obviously, most healthy people wouldn’t act on those feelings, outside of maybe a snide remark here and there.
In some cases, you might even see ex-couples trying to “get revenge” on one another by contacting new partners and trying to sabotage the relationship.
Why It’s Different for a Narcissist’s Ex
When it comes to a former narcissistic supply, there’s a whole new element involved when it comes to her feelings toward the narc’s new victim…er…”love.”
And yes, this ex might also feel the need to get in touch with the narc’s new potential supply – but for a very different reason than a pissed off “normal” person would.
See, what most people don’t know is that when you’ve experienced toxic mental and emotional abuse from a narcissist, you have a different agenda when it comes to getting in touch with his new girl – and, unless they’ve experienced narcissistic abuse, most people wouldn’t even believe you if you told them your reason.
If you’re currently or formerly involved with a narcissist, you already know what I’m going to say.
Narcissists tend to be attracted to empaths because we are hard-wired to directly respond to the emotions of others, especially when we love them (and/or live with them).
And in addition to falling among the HSP (highly sensitive people) type, we also FEEL for other people – and mostly, we’ve struggled so hard to get out from under what the narcissist did to us that we really don’t want to see another person go through the same kind of suffering and upset we did.
So, our reason for wanting to reach out to the narcissist’s new supply is different because it’s GENUINELY an attempt to help another person.
But, when it comes down to it, should you really try to warn the new supply about what she’s REALLY getting herself into? Does she deserve a warning?
Yeah, maybe she does. But should you say anything to her about it, or not?
When that happened, part of you probably resolved to never let that happen to him again, or to be the one who is “different” and makes him believe in love again (or whatever it was that you had to “save” him from).
You may have felt the need to protect him, even, and to build up his confidence – and to be his EVERYTHING.
So, let me ask you something – and I want you to be really, really honest with yourself here.
If one of those “crazy exes” had come to you back then and explained what she’d been through, how do you think you might have reacted?
Do you think you’d have hugged her and thanked her? Would you just ignore her, or would you have even told the narc all about it and sought some kind of validation that she was full of it?
I think we could probably agree that none of us (with the exception of someone who’d been previously involved in a romantic entanglement with a narc) would have hugged her and said thanks.
How to Deal with the Narcissist’s New Supply (and Why)
Obviously, you CANNOT tell the new love what to expect with the narcissist – because she won’t believe you, and because he will simply use it to further attach himself to her (and to make you look like a nut job – confirming all the crap he’s probably already said about you anyway).
So what do you do if you really like the new supply and you truly just don’t want to see her get hurt?
You suck it up, and you deal with it. You focus on yourself, your life, making it better.
Of course, if you’re REALLY worried, you can try to just be her friend and allow her to reach out if she’s got questions or concerns. (But remember – she’s YOU from the beginning of your relationship with this person. So what would you have done if the ex tried to be your friend?)
“Emotional abuse is the silent monster in our midst, occurring in neighbors’ and loved ones’ homes more than we realize. It is a tragic situation that’s a daily reality for millions. Widespread illegal activity is being ignored when people are victimized in their own homes. What emotional abusers are doing to their victims is criminal and has to be stopped.” ~Gunta Krumins
When You Cut Ties With a Narcissistic Parent
Reader Question: I have cut ties with my narcissistic father, and a lot of people ask why I don’t speak to him because they cannot fathom not speaking to a parent. It would be so helpful to have 1) a simple and standard reply to give to general acquaintances who ask “why don’t you see your father?” and then 2) something more for those who are close friends who really care but have trouble understanding. People who’ve not experienced emotional abuse cannot relate. I’d like to be able to articulate something that curious or interested people can relate to. Any ideas?
How do you explain why you went no contact with your toxic parent?
When you are affected by emotional abuse in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, it can be really tough to explain to some people, especially if you’ve done your best to hide the problem up until the time you try to explain.
Generally, you don’t even tell a lot of people about the abuse you’re suffering – and sometimes, you don’t even realize you’re BEING abused – and that’s because this kind of abuse can really sneak up on you. But usually, when you begin to realize that there’s an issue, you are so deep within the enmeshment of your relationship that you need to reconnect with your support network.
Often, you need to explain why you’re leaving. Or, in some situations, you may need to help mutual friends or family members understand what you were dealing with, whether it’s to get support leaving or to explain why you’ve gone – many times they don’t even realize there’s a big issue, because narcissists are so good at keeping their masks on outside of people who they don’t consider “inner circle.”
Because narcissists seem to helpful/happy/easygoing/awesome to these people, they can’t imagine a world in which that “poor guy” could ever be what you claim he is – and that leads to a lot of painful questioning and pressure, and/or “flying monkey” behaviors. In either case, your life will get really difficult.
You’ll need two answers – the extended version, for people who really care, and a short and sweet version, for those who don’t need all the details.
Note: If you haven’t already told everyone who really needs to know, you might consider sending out a few letters to explain in advance – use the following FAQ as a guidelines for deciding which objections you might get from people, and then head them off in the letter.
(If that’s not an option, just use these answers on the fly.)
The Short Answer: What to Say When Someone Asks Why You’ve Gone No-Contact
Generally, you don’t owe most people an explanation, and if they ask, you can just say that “it’s a long story” and that it’s better this way.
If the person is someone who deserves an answer, such as members of the family, you can simply explain that the relationship has always been difficult and you are no longer able to try to fix it and preserve your mental and emotional health at the same time. Don’t say anything directly bad about your dad – just let them know that it isn’t a healthy relationship for you at the time.
Coach Tip: If you have other family members who support your decision to go no-contact, ask them ahead of time if they’d be okay with helping to field the questions if they become overwhelming for you.
The Extended Version: Answers to Specific Questions Related to Going No Contact With Parents
How to Answer Questions from Family Members and Interested Friends When You Have to Explain Why You Went No-Contact with a Narcissistic Parent
Q. Why don’t you talk to your narcissistic father (or mother) anymore?
A. I decided to stop all contact between my father and me because we’ve always (or for a very long time) had a very difficult relationship. I have decided that in order to preserve my own mental and physical health/wellbeing, I need to stop making these futile efforts.
Note: I always tell people that trying to communicate with a narcissist and hoping you’ll actually getting throguh to him can be compared to banging your head against a brick wall and hoping it will make your headache go away. It’s the opposite of what’s going to happen.
Q. Would it help if I talked to him for you? You don’t want to stay no-contact forEVER, do you?
A. Thank you so much for offering – your support means the world to me, and I’ll let you know if I need help. For now, I’d really appreciate it if you’d please respect my carefully considered decision. That means please don’t try to help me reconcile – I don’t want you to be a go-between and I don’t want you to help to get us back together.
Q. I can’t imagine not wanting to see your own father! How can you be so cold?
A. Please understand that I did not and do not take this decision lightly. It has taken a lot of soul-searching and consideration to get here. I have very substantial reasons, but for the sake of integrity, I’d rather not talk about them. (NOTE: You can explain as much as you’re comfortable with to those who you believe will be able to understand. But you are NOT required to do that.)
Q. But I’ve known you since you were a kid, and you always seemed happy. You never said you were being abused!
A. You’re right. But you didn’t see what happened behind closed doors, and I’ve learned that emotionally abused kids tend to be hard to detect because they are so desperate for love and approval that they are often on their best behavior at all times in an effort to win their parents’ love and attention.
Q. I don’t understand you! Your parents did EVERYTHING for you – you never went without anything. What was so bad?
A. It’s really common for narcissistic parents to provide their kids with all of the physical necessities and often even material possessions, but they don’t do this out of love; they do it in order to be better than other people. And while they’re piling on the “goodies,” they are often starving their children of the basic kindness, gentleness, and understanding that kids need. They never experience the sense of “unconditional love” that some kids feel from their parents – and the sense of pride/approval that we all seek.
Q. But why didn’t you TELL ME sooner?
A. To be honest, it’s really common for children who are emotionally abused to not realize it until they’re older. According to my research, it’s because in order to get through the difficulties faced by children of narcissists, you have to create a certain sort of false reality in order to survive it. It might be in part due to the fact that most children aren’t able to understand what’s happening to them, and in some cases, they don’t realize that their home-lives aren’t normal. And kids become unwilling conspirators for emotionally abusive parents in helping them hide their behavior.
Q. But your parents always said such great things about you!
A. That’s partially because narcissists want everyone to believe that every part of their lives are perfect and because as the child of a narcissist, he sees you as a simple extension of himself. So, if he said something bad about YOU, then he’d be saying something bad about HIM to that person (in his mind, anyway), if that makes any sense.
Now it’s your turn. Have you survived going no-contact before, and if so, what did you say to people who asked? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. You never know who you might help.
Get Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Here
Is your parent a narcissist? If so, these resources will be helpful for you.
If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, he’s going to try and jump out immediately – because that water HURTS and he instinctively recognizes the danger. Right?
But if you took that same frog and you stuck him in a pot of tepid water, he’d think it was all good at first. He’d probably get comfortable and start doing some fun little froggy kicks in the new “pool.”
Now, if you slowly heated the temperature up and it gradually reached a boiling point, he’s probably relax even more, thinking how lucky he was to land in this awesome little frog spa situation.
But as just as that poor frog got used to the heat – he’d find himself chopped up on a plate before he knew what hit him.
It’s the same deal with toxic relationships.
When you first meet a narcissist, you find yourself feeling very comfortable – oddly so, and fast – and that’s because the narcissist knows exactly how to draw in an unsuspecting victim.
He love-bombs you, puts you up on that seemingly un-tippable pedestal, but the truth is that it’s all an illusion – and by now, you’ve already found yourself being scalded by the proverbial boiling water.
Like the frog who is slowly cooked to death, a narcissist will slowly rob you of your personal truth. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself feeling empty, alone and sort of “dead inside.”
My career has always been about communication and understanding, and about making life better, in one way or another.
Since I first dipped my toe into the lovely sea of blogging back in 2003 (with my personal weight loss blog), and even before that, when I was a high school student helping to create my school yearbook (and essentially the collective memories of a cross-section of Gen Xers), I have understood that writing offers me the ability to both learn and understand, but also to teach and communicate.
If I’m being honest with you, I never expected to become an expert on the topic of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder. But over the next few years, each time I’d publish on the topic, I’d get tons of feedback and emails and private messages from people saying that I had helped them in some way, or asking me questions on how they should or could deal with their own situations.
I wanted so desperately to help them, and I wanted to help as many people as I could.
The idea that simple INFORMATION, SUPPORT and ENCOURAGEMENT could help so many suffering people made my heart soar, and I became driven.
In fact, these amazing souls who were touched by my work and who reached out to me are the ones who inspired me to keep researching, learning and helping others to understand this toxic disease. All of this is literally what led me to become a certified life coach.
So, in my efforts to help as many people as possible, I’ve created all kinds of literature,books, videos, online courses and other material designed to help people recover from narcissistic abuse and go on to create the lives they want and deserve – as well as to become the best possible versions of themselves.
These efforts have brought forth a variety of supporters, as well as a few haters (but hey, what can you do?). But they have also connected me with some pretty amazing experts, professionals, scholars and researchers.
One of the “good ones” I’ve recently connected with is a PhD who is a former professor and researcher herself. Since she’s also a a narcissistic abuse survivor, I’m going to keep her identity under wraps – but I’m excited to share some of our recent discussion with you – and I hope you’ll consider helping me in my research.
One more thing: I’ve set up a private Facebook group for people who are interested in participating in the anonymous research part of it. The information you would share would remain anonymous by default – HOWEVER, if you’d like a credit in the resulting material, I’m happy to give it to you.
All you need to do is let me know. Here’s your “official” invite!