How can you tell you are in a toxic relationship?
People very often ask how they can be sure a person they are in a
relationship with is a narcissist. The struggle to not only understand but to accept what they see and feel can cause so much confusion to survivors of narcissistic abuse. One thing that is asked for is a checklist of abuse, a way to check and see if what is being experienced is really abuse and not the fault of the survivor.
Toxic Relationship? Ask Yourself These Questions
Are you struggling to understand what is going on in your relationship?
Have you questioned things then later second-guessed if it was you that was at fault?
Breaking Trauma Bonds and Healing
In this video, I talk about 40 ways you might experience narcissistic abuse. The things described in this video are meant to help you understand and be aware of signs of toxic abuse in relationships. The more you understand about narcissism the easier it is to accept a narcissist is a narcissist and will abuse. Acceptance helps you to break those horrible
trauma bonds that tie you to an abusive person. Know the signs, ask questions, get informed!
Additional Resources for People in Toxic Relationships
Could you be the victim of narcissistic abuse? If so, what can you do and how can you tell? Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about today –
signs that you’re the victim of narcissistic abuse (see video on YouTube).
What is narcissistic abuse?
Let’s begin today by briefly defining
narcissistic abuse. In a nutshell, narcissistic abuse is officially defined as the intentional construction of a false perception of someone else’s reality by an abuser for the purposes of controlling them. It involves a sort of constructed reality in which the narcissist manipulates you emotionally and psychologically over a long period of time.
It can be difficult to figure out that you’re
dealing with narcissistic abuse because it can be very subtle and pervasive. It took me personally 35 years to recognize it. So how do you know if it’s happening to you? Well, I’m here to help you with that. Please grab a pen and a piece of paper, or open up a note on your phone. As you read through the signs that you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse, go ahead and make a tick mark for each one that resonates with you. Signs You’re Dealing with Narcissistic Abuse
Find out if you are being
emotionally abused by a narcissist by asking yourself the following questions.
Does someone in your life:
Act like you don’t matter to them?
Act like you’re faking it if you’re sick, or even say it out loud?
Act really jealous and possessive sometimes?
Always expect you to take care of their feelings, but never concern themselves with yours?
Always heart or love photos and videos of people of the same or opposite sex (whatever they’re into) on social media?
Always hide their phone from you?
Always make you wonder if you’re crazy?
Always push and cross your boundaries?
Always seem to kick you when you’re down?
Always threaten to end your relationship?
Become angry or sullen if you don’t go along with their demands?
Become excessively pushy or forceful about sex, or even hurt you during sex?
Become overly critical of everything about you when you don’t do what they want?
Behave in ways that cause you to make excuses to others for them?
Belittle your accomplishments?
Blatantly lie to you about yourself and expect you to go along with it?
Call you lazy when you’re not feeling well and can’t keep up with your usual schedule?
Cause damage and/or give away/steal your personal property?
Cause you to apologize for things you shouldn’t apologize for?
Cause you to become anxious about confronting them about literally anything?
Cause you to lose interest in life?
Cause you to not want to do things you used to enjoy?
Compare you to others?
Compete with you over silly things?
Completely ignore you when it’s convenient for them?
Consider themselves the “boss” and insist on making all the decisions in your relationship/family/life?
Constantly threaten to abandon you?
Disappear for hours, days or longer without explaining why?
Dismiss your pain if you’re hurting (emotional or physical)?
Do things they know make you uncomfortable?
Drink excessively or take drugs, and then blame their awful behavior on alcohol, drugs or their own history of abuse or tragedy earlier in their life?
Embarrass you in front of friends or extended family?
Expect more of people than is appropriate? (For example, getting upset if the mailman forgets their birthday?)
Expect you to ask for permission to do stuff, as though you’re a child?
Expect you to get over it when any tragedy happens in your life?
Feel entitled to spending your money?
Feel entitled to your attention and UNCONDITIONAL respect, regardless of how they treat you?
Feel like they have the right to control your money?
Forbid you from doing things?
Force you to account for your time when apart from them?
Get angry at you for things you can’t control, such as someone liking your photo on social media?
Get excessively angry without warning or over tiny things?
Get upset if you need to spend money on things for yourself, your kids or the house when they want to spend it on themselves or their own needs?
Ghost you sometimes?
Give you the “silent treatment” when you don’t do what they want?
Go “dark” and not answer you or return your texts when they’re away from home?
Go into your social media accounts and question everything?
Go through your mail, hack your email or Facebook account or go through your personal belongings?
Harass you when you’re away from them because you have to be somewhere (such as work or school)?
Have a lot of so-called friends on social media they seem to flirt with?
Have rules that you’re required to follow, even though they never told you this and you’re an adult?
Have secret dating profiles or social media profiles you’re not supposed to know about?
Have the whole “Jekyll and Hyde” deal happening – where one side of them seems charming or even sweet and loving, while the other is mean, spiteful and downright hurtful?
Have weird sexual issues?
Humiliate you in public or in groups of people?
Isolate you and prevent you from spending time with friends or family members?
Leave you hanging when you’re counting on them?
Lie about you to others?
Look through your phone at will?
Make a point of telling you how unattractive you are or of pointing out your flaws?
Make everything “all about them?”
Make excessive and unreasonable demands for your attention, even to the detriment of your other responsibilities?
Make threats about how they will “ruin you” or otherwise cause trouble for you at work, to your family or to others?
Make you afraid or unwilling to talk about yourself?
Make you afraid to make a decision without getting their approval?
Make you afraid to tell them your feelings, or to express your feelings at all?
Make you do things that you feel are unethical or morally wrong?
Make you do things you don’t want to do?
Make you doubt your sanity?
Make you dread spending time with them?
Make you feel completely worthless?
Make you feel guilty for anything and everything?
Make you feel jealous by complimenting and flirting with others in front of you?
Make you feel like hurting yourself sometimes?
Make you feel like you need to always prioritize them above yourself?
Make you feel like you need to earn their love or loyalty?
Make you feel like your opinions are not worth hearing or expressing?
Make you feel like your reality is twisted?
Make you feel like you’re always sort of “on guard” and hypervigilant of their moods?
Make you feel like you’re constantly on edge?
Make you feel like you’re living in limbo?
Make you feel like you’re not allowed to say no?
Make you feel terrible every time you spend time together?
Make you feel ugly, stupid, or otherwise unsavory?
Make you feel uncomfortable about spending time with friends, other family members or anyone else?
Make you feel unheard?
Make you forget who you are?
Make you go without things you actually need, like food and personal care items?
Make you hate going on vacation?
Make you regret your accomplishments instead of lifting you up when you do something good?
Make you responsible for maintaining the relationship while also making it feel impossible?
Make you the scapegoat for all the arguments or problems in the relationship?
Make you wish you were dead?
Make you wonder if you’re even a real person?
Make you feel like you’re always “walking on eggshells” or living with constant stress, anxiety or generally in fear?
Manipulate you with the constant threat of mood changes and impending rage?
Minimize your feelings or act like your feelings aren’t important or don’t matter?
Never apologize to you unless they’re trying to get something from you?
Not concern themselves with your needs, ever?
Pick you apart?
Play games with your head? Tell lies in order to confuse you or blame you for something you didn’t do?
Play the “poor me” game anytime they don’t get what they want?
Pressure you to use alcohol or other drugs, even when you say no?
Refuse to admit wrongdoing, or if they do, it’s only if they can blame it on someone else?
Refuse to allow any privacy?
Refuse to allow you to access your money or family money?
Refuse to allow you to work, if you want to?
Refuse to be nice to you?
Refuse to get a job and require you to pay for everything while they do nothing?
Refuse to make plans with you or if they do, cancel them at the last minute?
Refuse to post photos of you together on social media?
Require you to do things for them, such as housework, laundry or other kinds of support without reciprocation of any kind?
Ruin all the holidays for you?
Ruin your birthday every year?
Ruin your day when they’ve had a negative experience outside of you?
Ruin your plans every time?
Say overly critical things about your body and appearance?
Say really mean things to you and when you get upset, claim they were joking?
Say they know what you’re thinking, even when they clearly do not?
Say things that don’t make sense and get angry when you point this out?
Say things to intentionally confuse you?
Say you’re mad at them when you’ve shown no indication of this and then get mad at you for not admitting you’re mad?
Seem to find reasons to rage at you even when you do everything right?
Seem to have double standards – as in, they’re allowed to do what they want, but you aren’t allowed to do what you want?
Start arguments with you and others in your life through gossip or other forms of manipulation?
Steal or hide money from you and/or your family accounts?
Take control of everything in your life?
Take credit for anything you do that’s good or that’s recognized by someone else?
Take out their anger about other things on you?
Take your paycheck?
Tear down your friends?
Tell or imply to others that they are interested in them when they are in a relationship with you?
Tell or imply to others that they are sexy or otherwise attractive?
Tell you how to dress, directly or indirectly?
Tell you no one else will love you or that you’re unlovable?
Tell you that you’d be nothing without them?
Tell you they know you better than you know yourself?
Tell you you’re too sensitive all the time?
Threaten to hurt themselves or YOU if you threaten to leave?
Threaten to hurt themselves when they don’t get their way?
Threaten to take your children away from you, if you have them?
Threaten you with physical harm or make you feel afraid of how they will react when you speak or act in general?
Triangulate you with other people in your life, pitting you against one another?
Try to control every second of your day?
Try to get revenge on you if you make them angry?
Try to pit your kids or other family members against you or each other?
Try to steal your thunder (as in steal your spotlight anytime the attention is on you)?
Use religion to belittle and/or control you?
Use your insecurities against you?
Withhold affection in order to punish you?
Question of the Day: How many of these signs resonated for you? What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts, share your ideas and share your experiences
in the comments section below this video, and let’s talk about it. More Resources for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse