what narcissistic abuse feels like

What Narcissistic Abuse Feels Like

If you have never been through narcissistic abuse, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like being in this type of abusive relationship.  A narcissist doesn’t have to leave bruises to utterly destroy a person’s life.

Narcissistic abuse is a specific type of mental and verbal abuse that’s done to intentionally break another person down to control and manipulate them to their will.  Within the realm of emotional abuse exists many subsets of abuse tactics that are used by a narcissist.

From the outside looking in, it may be hard to recognize or even believe someone is living with narcissistic abuse.  Sometimes even the victims themselves don’t recognize the abuse their experiencing.

If someone is claiming emotional, verbal, and other types of abuse, believe them!  Their voices need to be heard and their stories need to be told.  The more talk there is about narcissistic abuse the more others are able to recognize the red flags, signs, and the effects it leaves on the body, mind, and soul.

Although this type of abuse is sometimes hard to recognize in relationships it’s important to know exactly what narcissistic abuse feels like from those who have survived it.

What Is Narcissistic Abuse?

Those with narcissistic characteristics are often described as being overly confident, arrogant, and self-absorbed.  The truth is, deep down they are driven by self-hatred.  This self-hatred drives them to create a false persona of someone they determine to be a better person.

While sometimes these types of people are easy to spot, other people are not.  Narcissistic Personality Disorder is now considered a spectrum disorder that includes many different types of narcissism, each with their own set of character differences in how they display their narcissism.

Whatever type of narcissism you may encounter in a person is not as important as recognizing the signs of the abuse they inflict on other people.  When you recognize the signs, you are better able to arm yourself with knowledge to prepare and protect yourself from future abuse or realize that abuse is taking place in your current relationship with someone.

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Signs Of Narcissistic Abuse

There are many signs and terms that coincide with narcissistic abuse.  Please, be aware that not every relationship shows every sign below.  But that does not mean the abuse is any less severe or insignificant to the victims and survivors of the abuse.

  • Verbal abuse in the form of belittling, screaming, blaming, etc.
  • Twisting words to blame the victim
  • Frequently lying
  • Gaslighting
  • Love bombing
  • Does not respect boundaries and is intrusive and invasive
  • Spreading lies about the victim
  • Withholding affection, money, sex, and more
  • Thinks of themselves as the victim
  • Exploiting others needs
  • Financial abuse
  • Manipulation to cause confusion, anxiety, guilt, and shame
  • Hoovering to pull someone back into the abuse
  • Gives someone the silent treatment
  • An inflated ego
  • Sense of entitlement

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What Narcissistic Abuse Feels Like


Everything you do is wrong. There is no winning with a narcissist

You don’t know what reality to believe: Your own or your abuser’s

You’re always on the brink of losing your sanity and you have to constantly fight to keep it

You’re constantly trying your best to make the narcissist happy that you lose yourself in the process

Always dreaming and hoping the narcissist will go back to being the loving person you first met

Cycling between severe depression and anxiety because you never know what a narcissist will say or do next

Always hoping you will escape the cycle of abuse, but you don’t know how

Being haunted by memories of the strong and confident person you once were

All your living for is making the narcissist happy

Having every personal boundry disrespected and destroyed

Not knowing what mood the narcissist will be in so you always are on edge expecting the worse, but hoping they will show you love and affection

Fighting with yourself over whether the narcissist does everything they do because they love you or they are intentionally hurting you

Always living in a state of confusion because you can no longer trust even your own decisions

Having someone control every aspect of your life. Relationships, finances, and even your thoughts are controlled by a narcissist

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