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5 Ways to Recover From Narcissistic Abuse

“I am a writer with an M.A degree in philosophy. In this post I discuss 6 practical ways to stop procrastinating.

A narcissist is a grand character with an extreme egoistic personality, seeking to exploit the vulnerability of others he or she considers inferior.

A narcissist is a grand character with an extreme egoistic personality, seeking to exploit the vulnerability of others he or she considers inferior.

The issue of Narcissistic abuse have been a palpable subject among medical enthusiasts, psychologists and self-help influencers over the last decade.

In this post, you are going to learn more about:

  • What narcissistic abuse entails.

  • What narcissistic personality disorder(NPD) means, and...

  • The five ways for recovering from narcissistic abuse with an extensive knowledge on how to identify NPD traits and variations.

Every bit of information in this piece is structured to help those who have;

• Previously experienced narcissistic abuse and are still struggling to deal with the emotional trauma, and...

• Those who are presently stuck in a relationship with a narcissist and feels there is no way out.

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is defined as receiving emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse from someone who is considered to suffer from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

Such abuse can lead to self-isolation, depression, and mental illness for the victim.

In a Medcircle NPD series hosted by Dr Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist, she opines that ; when an individual is diagnosed with a mental disorder , attention is concentrated more on that individual than those who relate with such person frequently and may also be suffering the consequences resulting from that disorder

She added that one of such disorders are those suffering from NPD, which does not only affect the diagnosed individual but also those around such a person.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

According to psychological experts and researchers- narcissistic personality disorder is defined as a grandiose sense of self, whereby an individual wallows in self-importance and self-admiration.

In philosophy, this is synonymous to the school of thought of ‘egoism’, which promotes one’s self-interest and the satisfaction of one’s desires and goals above everything.

The conditions for diagnosing an individual with NPD are clearly stated in the DSM-5 of the American Psychiatric Association. Since its controversial inclusion in the DSM-5, NPD have remained a prominent subject among other medical conditions and disorders.

An interesting perspective of NPD I found really insightful was explicated by educationist-Todd Grande. He argues that we need a certain level of confidence and narcissism to function or pile up achievements. Which remains a continuum.

However, he stated that:

“NPD is an extreme manifestation of narcissism....someone with NPD wants to be, and needs to be recognized as superior, even though there is no evidence to support this superior standing”.

Start Your Journey to Self-Recovery with these 5 steps

Proper recovery starts with a mindset shift.

Proper recovery starts with a mindset shift.

I) Adopt a Mindset of Abundance

Living in a state of scarcity is self-limitation. However, a state of abundance is a mindset of control.

According to Marianne Williamson:

The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.”

If you adopt a scarcity mindset, a narcissist can capitalize on such weakness to make himself feel superior, because they understand the power of living in abundance.

Having an abundance mindset doesn’t rely on the amount of money you have or the properties you have acquired, it is simply waking-up! to the endless possibilities life has in store for you.

It is having confidence in your abilities and understanding that you are capable of achieving so many things if you adjust your mind to it. This may appear to be one of those stereotypical motivational speech, but it is a simple principle that never fail.

I once lived with an uncle who had NPD , and I realized that one of his ploy was- trying to put me in a state of perpetual scarcity by making me think I had no other option of surviving except him.

If you are in a relationship right now with a narcissist ( your girlfriend, wife, uncle, friend, etc...) you can start by leaving such a person, even though you feel you can’t leave without him or her.

Would you be emotionally scarred? Yes! but consider it as a necessary step towards developing a mindset of abundance.

When you eventually take that bold step, and tilt towards a stronger paradigm as Proctor calls it, you would not brood over him or her for long.

Developing a state of abundance can be tough, especially if you are at a disadvantage.

But work hard towards putting yourself at an advantage and always remind yourself of these affirmations- “I deserve to have the advantage”, “I am limitless”, “ I have so many options and opportunities”.

Encourage yourself with these thoughts and know that the world is made up of over 6 billion people, which implies that you have over 6 billion opportunities...

You don’t have to waste your time with ‘one’ who doesn’t value your existence.

Your state of mind defines your choice to remain in bondage or to break free.

Your state of mind defines your choice to remain in bondage or to break free.

II) Learn to Stop Seeking Validation

When we constantly seek validation from others we unknowingly give them power over us. This is another weakness a narcissist can capitalize on.

This is how it works- individuals with NPD, always feel they are the topic of any conversation, not you. Because of that, they ensure you always strive to impress them by getting you obsessed over chasing their validation.

This can lead you into a depressed state when you end up not getting any validation from them. Quick reality check- narcissist don’t validate others but themselves.

To recover from the obsession of seeking validation from a narcissist, you need to learn to stop chasing validation from people generally.

Appreciate who you are, without relying on compliments from a friend or stranger. Agreed, it feels elevating to receive a compliment once in a while, but it should come naturally without you having to chase.

It doesn’t matter if you are relating with a narcissist or just a normal person, reward your efforts without having to lean on anyone, however this should be done in moderation.

Doing this would definitely increase your self-worth and your confidence.

III) Socialize & Build New Relationships

Expanding your network increases your options.

Expanding your network increases your options.

One of the external symptoms of victims traumatized with narcissistic abuse is that they tend to be self-isolated or introverted.

Individuals with NPD don’t enjoy associating or socializing with others, because they always exude superiority and this can have a halo-effect on their victims.

If you are in a relationship with someone suffering from NPD or you have had an encounter, associating and socializing with others can also become unpleasant to you.

Therefore, it is necessary to have a mindset shift towards how you perceive yourself and others with an altruistic lens.

A simple way to do this is to learn how to relax and feel comfortable in your own skin, go out to the nearest bar or restaurant for a good time and strike a good conversation with a stranger

The idea is to become more open-minded about yourself before having a perception about others and most importantly to expand and explore your options.

Socializing and expanding your relationships is a healthy way to revive your mind by putting it in a state of abundance and opportunities.

IV) Avoid Those who Display Signs of NPD

It is important for you to always be aware of the red-flags that shows that a person has NPD. This seem like an obvious point, but most people (especially those going through the abuse) are in the dark about the signs or traits.

The DSM-5 articulates some of the common signs and symptoms of individuals with NPD, they are:

• Having a grand sense of self-importance and self-worth.

• Always feeling entitled and constantly seek to be admired.

• Always expecting to be recognized as superior even without evidence to warrant such recognition.

• Always exaggerating his or her own talents and accomplishment.

• The self-belief that they are superior to the majority and can only associate with equally prominent people.

• Always monopolizing conversations to belittle who they are conversing with and to fuel their ego, most especially when such interactions is held in public.

• Envious of other people’s success or accomplishments.

• Always displaying arrogance, with an extreme feeling of confidence as a result of an inflated ego.

See the table below for more description on NPD traits according to its variation ;

According to Wikipedia, these NPD subtypes or variations were not included in the DSM-5 , they were uncovered by researchers; Russ, Shedler, Bradley, & Westen.

NPD Types & VariationsSigns & Traits

Grandiose narcissism

Displays arrogance & high self-esteem, capable of manipulation, illusions and fantasies about themselves


Arrogant but friendly, still capable of associating with others.


Extreme grandiose narcissistic type. Not capable of associating with others, exudes superiority.

Vulnerable narcissism

Displays irritation and insecurity when admiration and attention is not given to them. Enjoy the illusion of self-importance and self-worth without any evidence or proof of their deeds.

It is important to be aware of any individual displaying these traits. Stay cautious, and If possible get such a person in a room with a certified counsellor or psychologist.

V) Focus More on Your Purpose & Vision

Obsess over your purpose not a narcissist

Obsess over your purpose not a narcissist

Obsess over your purpose and your goals rather than a narcissist.

Indulge more in productive activities that would improve your life and also serve as value to others.

Focusing on your purpose doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work harder at your job, school, or your business, it could be as simple as; picking up a hobby, going on an adventure, or starting a new project.

In the words of Maya Angelou;

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

Whatever It is you have always planned to do with your life, focus on achieving them without giving up on yourself and your goals.

This would provide you with an absolute sense of belonging and freedom.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Preye Raymond

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