Are you struggling to find self-love after narcissistic abuse? Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse that can leave you feeling worthless and without self-confidence. This can be very difficult to move past, especially if you’re left trying to figure out how to build self-esteem from scratch – which many survivors of narcissistic abuse are, thanks to having grown up in toxic homes before finding themselves in toxic relationships with narcissists as adults.
Why does narcissistic abuse cause you to lose yourself?
You probably already know that pathological narcissists will do everything in their power to keep you under their thumb, including playing on your insecurities. They know exactly how to make you feel like you’re not good enough.
The truth is, you are good enough; you deserve love, respect, and admiration. But the first step to finding that love for yourself is recognizing that you’ve been manipulated into feeling like you aren’t. Once you realize that the negative things your partner said about you were false, it’s easier to set them aside and move forward with self-love. So what can you do to help yourself feel more confident? Stick with me and I’ll show you.
How do you find your self-confidence and self-esteem after narcissistic abuse?
What does it mean to be rock-solid in your self-love and self-image? How can you become the person you truly want and deserve to be, during or after narcissistic relationships? What actionable steps can you take to truly and unapologetically LOVE YOURSELF to the point that literally no one – and especially not a narcissist – can affect your ability to feel good – your ability to feel happy and to have an unbreakable sense of self-esteem?
That’s what we’re talking about today – finding the part of yourself that lets you create and grow an unbreakable, unapologetic sense of self that will release you of the need to be validated from outside yourself.
There’s no shortage of information on how to strengthen your relationship with your family, boss, or coworkers. However, you never hear about how to have a more productive relationship with yourself.
Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you have! Most of the trouble you have with yourself is that you don’t know yourself well, because narcissistic abuse has a knack for causing you to sort of lose yourself.
You may have spent most of your life avoiding yourself. It can be difficult to address our shortcomings or deal with uncomfortable thoughts, especially when we’ve spent so long being torn down, manipulated, and abused by the narcissist in our lives. But as much as you’d love to some days, you can’t escape yourself, so you might as well make friends.
How can you develop a stronger relationship with yourself after narcissistic abuse?
After an intimate relationship with a narcissist, the sense of self can be totally lost. Discard, hate, and disregard from the abuser leave the victim with almost no sense of worth. It’s important to find your sense of self, as you move forward as a survivor who has lived through an abusive relationship.
Self-love after narcissistic abuse is possible, but it’s not easy. You’ve been manipulated by the narcissist. You’ve been abused mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s hard to believe you’re worthy of love, or that you have the power to give yourself love.
Forgive yourself first.
The truth is that you cannot love yourself if you do not forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself will allow you to move forward without holding on to the past.
Remember you’re allowed to be angry.
You must also realize that it’s okay to be angry at the narcissist. You do not need to pretend that you are over it or that you have forgiven them. You can be angry and still love yourself. It’s okay to even hate someone for what they did and still love yourself at the same time.
Go no contact if you can.
Let go of your ex-partner and cut off all contact with them completely. This is very important since they will try their best to get back into your life so you can continue taking care of them and putting their needs before your own.
Express yourself creatively!
Express your feelings through art, music, poetry, or any other form of expression that makes you feel better. This will help you release some of the negative emotions that are inside of you and will make it easier for you to let go of the past.
Plan for your new future.
Take back control of your life by setting goals for yourself, make plans for what you want in life, decide how much money you want to make and work on a roadmap to get you where you want to be, one step at a time. And while you’re at it, work on developing a stronger relationship with your Self.
How do you build your self-confidence after narcissistic abuse?
Start your day with gratitude and positive thoughts.
Instead of reaching over for your cell phone to check the weather or to see if your Clash of Clans village was raided overnight, spend the time on yourself. Mentally list a few things that make you grateful to be alive. Tell yourself something positive.
- Give yourself the intention of having a good day.
- List your positive qualities.
- Get your day off to a good start with yourself.
Write in a journal.
Your thoughts and life are worth recording. Take time each evening to write for a few minutes. You’ll gain a lot of insight and appreciation for your life. Show yourself that your life matters.
Let go of your avoidance behaviors.
What do you do when you’re feeling emotionally under the weather? Shop? Eat? Get online? Instead of avoiding yourself, sit with yourself.
Just breathe and notice your feelings and body sensations.
Avoiding them just prolongs the cycle. In time, your negative emotions will dissipate without your attempts to hide from them.
Think of meditation as spending quality time with yourself.
Begin with just a few minutes and extend the time as you feel more comfortable. You’ll learn how your mind works by meditating.
Spend time on your personal development.
What do you feel the need to learn?
- Social skills?
- Relaxation skills?
- Spiritual development?
You spend so much time doing things for your boss, home, and family. Take a break and spend some time dealing with your own needs.
Have some fun.
Plan some fun in your life. Get a monthly massage or meet a friend for ballroom dance lessons. It’s your life. Enjoy it.
You’ve made a few mistakes and missed out on a few sure-fire opportunities. That’s no reason to beat yourself up for the rest of your life. It’s time to let go of your past and forge ahead.
Groom yourself to a high standard.
Take the time to shower each day and pay a regular visit to the barber or salon. Keep your grooming at a higher standard than others in your environment. Take good care of yourself and show the world how much you mean to yourself.
Spend some time each day being good to yourself.
Have some fun and spend some time on your personal development. Strengthen the most important relationship of all – the one with yourself.
Understand that you are relevant.
You matter to the world. Your opinions matter. Your work matters. Your mere presence matters. You’ve already touched numerous lives in a positive way.
Understand that your greatest mistakes don’t define you.
Your mistakes may have influenced your life, but they’ve only changed who you are if you’ve permitted it. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you’ve made. Tomorrow is a new day.
Forgive someone that has wronged you.
Forgiving doesn’t mean that you have to let them back into your life or give them another chance. It just means that you’re not going to spend any more time or mental energy holding onto your anger. Be good to yourself and let it go. You’ll impress yourself with your inner strength and enjoy the relief that forgiveness brings.
Think about the best compliments you’ve ever received.
Bask in them. The most meaningful compliments are those that ring true in the depth of your soul. It’s exciting when someone else recognizes the best that we have to offer the world.
Take a stand for something you believe in.
Be bold in your opinion of what’s right and wrong. Be willing to share your interests and hobbies with others. When you love yourself, you can do what interests you without the need for approval from others. Be proud of what’s most important to you.
Be kind to yourself.
The world will be harsh enough on you. Make an effort to be kind to yourself. Remember your good qualities and your strengths.
Be of service to others.
We admire those that give of themselves. You can admire yourself by spending some time each week helping to make someone else’s life a little easier or more pleasant. Find a charity or social organization that addresses a cause that’s near and dear to your heart.
Take care of yourself.
See the doctor and dentist. Pay for a good haircut. Avoid dressing like a slob. Avoid being obsessed with your appearance, but give it the attention it deserves. Make an effort to look your best because you’re worth the time and effort.
Do something nice for yourself.
Take the trip you’ve been putting off. Buy yourself a book. Take a class on a topic that interests you. Buy those expensive sheets for the bed. Don’t do it as a reward. Do it just because you’re wonderful.
Get help if you need it.
No one can handle everything all of the time, and narcissistic abuse recovery isn’t something you want to go alone. Sooner or later, we all need help. That help may come in the form of a trusted friend or professional help. Get the help you need. Remember, you’re worth it.
How well do you know yourself? How well do you manage yourself? Both could always use a little enhancement. It’s not always easy to live with yourself, but remember that you have a lot to offer yourself!
Remember your greatest successes. Remember how amazing you are. You’ve done lots of great things. Remind yourself of them.
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources
- The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
- Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups – We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
- One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
- Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
- Where Are You in Recovery? You might not be sure exactly where you fit in and what level of recovery you’ve achieved. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check out this self-assessment to help you determine exactly where you fall in the stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse. Once you finish and submit the assessment, you will be given resources for your own situation, along with recommendations of which groups to join.
- Which Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program is Right for You? If you aren’t sure which program you want to utilize to facilitate your recovery from narcissistic abuse, this self-assessment will help you decide.
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