Before you consider leaving a narcissist, you must be one hundred percent certain that you are done. The reason is that when you try to go, they will beg, cry, rage, or manipulate to get you to stay. They might even promise to change. If you are not sure you are finished with the relationship, it can be easy to get sucked back in.
The narcissist can suck you back in by playing the victim. If you are someone with high empathy, they will use this against you. It might be tempting to allow them back in if you believe you can rescue them. You might also feel guilty for hurting them. No one is all good or all bad. Therefore, romanticizing the good times can keep you stuck.
The narcissist might also love bomb you to keep you. They will put you on a pedestal and make you fall head over heels. As soon as they feel that they have you, the abusive cycle will start over again. Part of this devaluing game is making you think you are nothing without them.
When you do leave, they might get angry and pretend that they were finished with you anyway. They might devalue you and make you feel like they never wanted you. They might rage or seek revenge. Their next goal is to find someone to replace you as soon as they can. They will ensure you believe that their new partner is better than you.
A narcissist might also get revenge by speaking badly about you behind your back, humiliating you, trying to bankrupt you, or anything else they can think of. Being afraid of them takes your power away and gives it to them. If you are in physical danger, seek a safe place where they can not reach you.
Things to consider when you tell the narcissist you are done.
- Let others know when you are going to leave. Tell someone that you trust that you will be leaving and that you will text them before and after the event. This trusted other will give you the courage to follow through without getting sucked back in. It will also help keep you safe if the narcissist falls into a rage.
- Have an exit strategy. Consider where you will live and find ways to minimize contact with the narcissist. If your finances are tied to them, ensure you have your own account they do not know about. Get a PO box so that mail gets delivered there and not at your shared residence.
- The Safest Way is to Go No Contact. No contact means don’t talk to them or have them on your social media and block them from your number. Never post personal information on social media, as this can be used against you.
- Understanding narcissistic tactics is incredibly useful if no contact is not an option. When you can identify their tactics, you can brush it off without too much psychological harm. The most dangerous tactic is narcissistic rage. You can avoid narcissistic rage by understanding what motivates them and what angers them.
- Report any Stalking Behavior. Stalking can turn into physical aggression. Consider it a huge red flag. Stalking can be in the form of unwanted texts, emails, calls, gifts, and appearances. File a restraining order if you are being stalked.
- Be careful who you talk to. Narcissists have “flying monkeys” or spies. These spies pretend to be your friends to get information. Narcissists are great at keeping helpful others in their back pocket.
- Fly Under The Radar: Do not share personal information or emotions with them. As they say, anything you say can and will be used against you.
- Never call them a Narcissist: Calling a narcissist a narcissist will only makes things worse. If you can see what they are, you will have the upper hand without them knowing. Observe them the way that they observe you. What makes them angry, pleasant, or cooperative? Avoid things that make them angry or jealous. Validate their feelings without agreeing with them. For example, “I understand why that made you upset.”
- Seek as Much Help As Possible: A mental health professional can help you cope with the intense emotions after narcissistic abuse. A family law professional can also help you to understand your rights. Law enforcement and domestic violence shelters can also help you to stay safe.
If you need some support leaving a narcissistic partner, don’t hesitate to reach out and book an appointment.