Being around a narcissist is very damaging to not only your emotional and mental health but that can lead to physical health problems as well. That much stress is very taxing on your entire system. Below are some ways to begin to heal.
Get professional help
This can be your first step in having someone to talk to. There is no shame in seeing a therapist; they are more equipped with knowledge of this issue than we are. A lot of therapists offer free consultations to see if you both are a good fit for each other. Check with your medical insurance to find a provider in your area. If your insurance does not cover mental health be aware some therapists also offer sliding scales of what they charge for an appointment. Find someone that not only has experience in the issues that you are looking to deal with but also someone that is easy for you to get along with, feel a secure sense of understanding between the both of you, and that you trust. It is okay to shop around. Click on the Resources Page to find out how.
This is a powerful solution to giving yourself space to deal with and/or heal from a narcissistic relationship. There is no shame or guilt in leaving a relationship, friendship, workplace, or even a family member if that is what you need to do to take care of yourself.
The more you know about the issue, the more you can learn about yourself and the narcissist in your life, which will result in finding the right tools to deal and heal. Browse this site and visit the Resources page to find out more.
Believe in your rights
Everyone has a right to their own needs and opinions. We have to learn how to work with each other in various ways. There is no reason for one person to give up who they are or what they need in order to constantly accommodate someone else.
Let go of shame
Guilt is the feeling of I did something wrong. Shame is the feeling of I am wrong. A narcissist has the tendency to not allow others to make mistakes (since they themselves are incapable of making mistakes in their eyes). Instead, they use shaming as a way to keep others small around them. Recognize what you feel shameful for and ask yourself if that is warranted or not as well as where did that feeling come from?
Find your own identity
Start small by checking in with yourself daily to see how you feel at different points. Or ask yourself questions such as were you being authentic, do you really believe what you just said, do you actually like that type of music or were you just being a people pleaser? Try different activities, listen to new songs, taste different foods…tap into what brings you joy.
Center yourself by repeating different mantras that remind you of important things. You can choose different mantras to remember depending on the mood you are feeling or the situation that you are in.
For example, you will have a different mantra when you are running a marathon than when you going out and meeting new people.
It can be very powerful to imagine yourself doing or saying the things that you know your true self is capable of. Instead of reacting with anger or fear try putting yourself back into an uncomfortable situation and responding calmly, intelligently, and skillfully. This can serve as good practice to when those situations are encountered again.
It can be exhausting and overwhelming to be around a narcissist. They are energy vampires due to their constant need for approval, attention, and compulsion to be right at any cost. It is helpful to remember to let go of that world when you get time away from it, to let go of what you cannot control, to let go of those feelings that were projected onto you, to let go of trying to figure everything out, to let go and be in and enjoy every moment that you are in.
Find your voice
Speak out about how you feel, what you are going through. Talk to loved ones that you trust, find an online community, or see a therapist. It may be really hard to speak about it at first. Then, like anything the more you do it the easier it will become and you will be more skillful at vocalizing what is going on and how you feel.
We are all victims of circumstance. We cannot control to whom or where we were born. The ways you might have acted or the words you might have said are what you knew best at the time. Or what you energy for. We can always strive to be better, but life is not going to continue without mistakes. Forgive yourself for the abuse that you allowed to yourself, forgive yourself for going into that toxic relationship despite knowing better. We cannot move on without taking responsibility for our circumstances and mistakes without blame or judgment.
Figure out what your boundaries are
Boundaries can be physical, mental, or emotional. Healthy boundaries are considered flexible, which is in between rigid and soft. With education, time, and experience we can become wise in determining what to give and take from people. Follow this link for more information on what boundaries are and how to set them.
Explore ways that make you feel confident
Everyone is good at something, what are a few things that you are good at? When’s a time when you have received compliments from people? Do you wear something that makes you feel beautiful? Have you spent time volunteering, helping, or connecting with others? Do you have treasured memories that make you smile each time you think of them? You are already amazing, keep reminding yourself that.
Create a support system
We are social beings. We need to feel and give love in order to feel whole. If one feels tremendously unworthy it can result in feeling lonely. It is hard to reach out to people if one is sad and has low self-esteem. We are not alone in this battle. We are better than what the narcissist wants us to be. We are all worthy of love and connection. Start small, find the positives in each interaction, and build up the confidence to create your own network. Utilize mental health experts, they are professionals and very good at what they do to help one get through these issues.
Be the light
You may not always be right or wrong, but you can be the light. This means to be open to your interpretation and perspective of situations. People may not always like what you have to say, but if your intentions are good then speak your truth loud and clear.
Find the types of people that add value to your life, and you to theirs
People have spent time “cleaning house” in their lifetimes. If you become stronger in who you then you did not fall so easily into bad patterns. That can turn a lot of people who were toxic in your life off. Changes in relationships will occur.
- Examples: 1.) The relationship ends. 2.) The relationship is re-balanced to a healthier one. 3.) Existing relationships that are good become even stronger.
Get out of any bad relationships
The more you let go of toxic people and relationships the more whole you can become. This can either be in forms of no contact to limited communication depending on what the situation allows.
Meditation is a powerful tool. There are different ways to meditate yet the goal stays consistently the same. It is inevitable that you will have thoughts while meditating, the goal is not to be absent from those thoughts. Primarily the objective is to let go. The idea behind that is to be the observer and not the owner of your thoughts. What types of thoughts are coming up? How do you feel about those thoughts? This is not a time for thinking but more observing and then letting go and refocusing. Simple techniques to begin meditation are counting to a specific number and then starting over again once you reach it, focusing on your breath, focusing on visualizations such as imagery in nature or a color, or a combination of those things. Remember to always sit up straight, cross your legs if you can, and close your eyes. There are many approaches to explore. Meditation has been proven to lift people’s moods simply because of the fact that they do not hold on so tightly to their ideas or situations anymore. Meditation allows for space from the madness and as a result, one is calmer and equipped to handle future situations without reacting as much.
Religion and our belief systems are powerful things. If there are aspects of your personal faith that bring you strength and understanding practice what will be beneficial to you in the time of healing.
Partake in activities that make you happy
We have heard it before, happiness is a choice. Take time for yourself to do what makes you happy. If you have good energy running through you it can be easier to deal with situations or someone as you are confronting it or them with a clear head and pure heart.
Try something different every day
There is a life and a world beyond the narcissist. Explore and expand your world. Research a new topic, take a different route to work, plan a vacation, try something you haven’t tried before, take a risk, take a chance. You will feel alive doing little things like these daily. In the least, it will bring something new into your life and lift your spirits for even a few seconds.
Take care of your health
Dealing with such stress can also take a physical toll on you. It is wise to eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep, be around good people that you love and that love you back, drink plenty of water, cut out smoking, watch how much you drink, stretch, have your doctor perform an annual physical, visit your dentist, and so much more. There are millions of resources online on healthy living. Find what works for you.