If you think you might be dealing with a narcissist, you might feel very alone. Narcissists often use charm and flattery to manipulate others into doing things for them.
Leaving a narcissist at any point in the relationship can be difficult, especially when you’ve spent a long time under their control.
Although it’s certainly not easy to break free from someone who has had a hand in controlling every aspect of your life, there are ways to minimize your damage and stress.
How to End an Abusive Relationship With Someone Who Is Narcissistic
Is there a way to create a safety plan when you are going to leave the narcissist? How can you get out of a controlling relationship safely and successfully?
Here’s everything you need to know to start planning your escape from the narcissist in your life.
Are you planning to leave an abusive narcissist?
Your narcissistic partner is abusing you, and you are finally ready to leave. But, unfortunately, it took you way too long to this point, and the idea of leaving the narcissist is quite scary.
Not only do you have no idea what consequences you will face when the narcissist realizes you are trying to escape, but the idea of going it alone in the future could have you feeling stuck and alone.
These are just a couple of the reasons that it’s so very essential to create a safety plan, and you have to make some considerations.
Your Guide to Leaving a Narcissist
When you are finally ready to leave the narcissist, there are several things you need to put in place before pulling the proverbial trigger. If you have kids, it’s even more complicated.
How can you tell you’re dealing with a narcissist?
If you think you might be dealing with a narcissist, here’s how to tell if you’re in a toxic relationship with a narcissistic abuser.
First, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you feel like you’re being used?
- Are you constantly feeling bad about yourself?
- Does he/she make you feel inadequate?
- Is he/she jealous of you?
- Does he/she put you down?
- Does he/she blame you when things go wrong?
- Does he/she demand total loyalty?
- Does he/she expect you to do anything without question?
- Does he/she treat you as though you’re inferior? Does he/she act entitled?
- Does he/she show off his/her possessions?
- Does he/she lie?
- Does he/she take credit for everything you do?
- Does he/she refuse to accept responsibility for his/her actions?
- Does he/she need constant reassurance?
- Does he/she have an inflated sense of self-importance?
- Does he/she exploit others?
- Does he/she lack empathy?
- Does he/she crave admiration?
- Does he/she believe he/she’s superior?
If you said yes to more than a few of those questions, you could safely assume you’re dealing with a toxic person – and possibly a narcissist. You can also take this test to determine if you appear to be in a relationship with a narcissist.
10 Red Flags to Identify a Narcissist
If you think you might be in a relationship with a narcissist, there are some warning signs you should watch out for. For example:
1) They talk down to you.
2) They make you feel bad about yourself.
3) They put you down.
4) They lie to you.
5) They use you.
6) They control you.
7) They manipulate you.
8) They try to isolate you.
9) They blame others for their own mistakes.
10) They expect you to fix them.
Why do people become narcissists?
There are several reasons why people become narcissistic.
- Their personality disorder often began as early as the day they were born when the first parts of their attachment style would begin to develop, as attachment theory assumes.
- They were abused as children.
- They grew up in an environment where they felt insecure and didn’t receive enough love and attention.
- They had parents who were narcissists themselves.
- They got rich or famous and developed acquired situational narcissism.
How do you know you have to leave?
What if they suddenly become a human in their next relationship, using all the good stuff you taught them for someone who won’t even appreciate it?
Leaving a narcissist can be difficult, especially when you’re used to being controlled and abused.
However, if you decide to end things, here are some tips to help you get it right.
What’s the PLAN?
If you haven’t already, you might like to download my free PLAN (Planning to Leave a Narcissist) Toolkit to help you plan your escape.
PLAN is a free, comprehensive toolkit designed specifically to help you safely leave a narcissistic abuse situation in an emotionally, physically, and/or psychologically abusive relationship, with or without kids involved.
Leaving a Narcissist is Harder Than People Think
In many cases, leaving the narcissist will be a tough decision for you. Even though you’ve heard people tell you to “just leave if it’s so bad,” you’re still scared to leave.
Maybe it isn’t THAT bad, you’ll reason. I am probably just overdramatizing it, you’ll tell yourself.
But change is hard, even when it’s for the best.
And, assuming you’ve been codependent in the relationship and are struggling with trauma bonding (as most survivors of narcissistic abuse will), leaving the narcissist will be even more difficult.
Plus, whether or not the narcissist can return your feelings, chances are you do or did love them with all of your heart. And that doesn’t make it easier.
In fact, leaving a relationship is not easy under any circumstances, and doing so can lead to a lot of pain, confusion, and suffering. But when a narcissistic person is involved, things are far more complicated.
You might be planning how to leave the narcissist already, so this article, along with your PLAN, will ensure that your plan is as effective as it can get.
However, whether you decided that enough is enough or they have decided to leave you, it can be highly stressful and chaotic.
What do you need to consider when creating a safety plan to leave the narcissist?
Get your checklist here.
Planning to Leave a Narcissist? Quick, Practical Advice and Checklist for How to End a Toxic Relationship with a Narcissist.
Get support where you can
When creating a safety plan to leave a narcissist, be aware that you may need outside help.
- Especially if you are enduring another episode of abuse and want to leave, it can help to talk to a trusted neighbor or friend and tell them what you’re dealing with in detail.
- Then, fill them in on your plan to leave.
Create a code word or a signal together that you can use to get help.
- For example, if you’re dealing with an episode of narcissistic abuse and you need the police, you could text your code word to the neighbor or put something in the window that faces their home.
Or, if you’re planning to leave, you could have your go-bag at a friend’s house so you can get in the car and go when you have the opportunity.
Keep your car full of gas.
When you make your escape plan, you want to ensure that your car is fully fueled at all times so that you can go when the opportunity presents itself.
- You also want to keep your vehicle parked forward in the driveway or on the street and avoid keeping it in the garage.
- This way, the narcissist cannot block your way when you make your escape.
Keep an extra set of keys on you.
Make a copy of your car and house keys to keep them in your pocket whenever possible.
Remember that the narcissist could quickly grab your car keys and keep them hidden from you, and they will absolutely do so if they think it’ll keep you around.
Plan for income
When you plan to leave the narcissist, you’ll need to figure out how to survive, so try learning some skills by taking an online class.
- There are tons of ways you can make money online – whether you do so independently or you get a work-at-home job.
- You can also apply to work part-time at a coffee shop or supermarket to start saving some extra cash.
- Finally, you will want to look into financial aid and other options to help until you get back on your feet.
Plan for a place to land
- Tell your friends and trusted family members what you are enduring and your plan to leave the narcissist.
- Perhaps someone can give you and your kids, if you have any, a place to stay temporarily when you escape. Of course, you will want to look into shelters as well.
- If you need additional help and support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, look for a trauma-informed professional trained in helping people who are dealing with overcoming narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
- Depending on your particular situation, you might benefit from Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching, or perhaps you’d prefer a therapist.
But, first, you have to decide what to do from here – if you’re unsure, start with my free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery quiz. With your results will come recommended resources for your situation.
The most important thing to remember is that no one deserves to be abused or mistreated.
No matter what they’ve done, you shouldn’t have to feel guilty because you’re leaving.
It’s not going to be easy.
Narcissists have a way of wreaking havoc on their significant others, so it can take a long time before you’re truly healthy and happy again.
But that’s the best part about getting out: once you do, your life will be better than it has ever been!
It might not show right away, but give yourself time—and focus on maintaining your well-being above all else (i.e., don’t try to go from zero to sixty and expect that things will be perfect).
Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today
If you haven’t already picked it up, head over and download your free PLANning Tool Kit (Planning to Leave a Narcissist). Then, when you’re safe and ready to move forward, remember that online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.
- Sign up for our free email newsletter service that includes a free guided recovery experience via your inbox.
- Start your narcissistic abuse recovery here with our free narcissistic abuse recovery support system and program.
- Join one of our free online narcissistic abuse recovery support groups!
- Join one of our private small coaching groups!
- Get private, one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery coaching or counseling.
- Get a therapist who will work with you online. Check out our guide to finding a therapist or psychologist who understands narcissism and narcissistic abuse.