Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Trauma Bond

Got A Friend Who’s Been Through Narcissistic Abuse? Here’s Do’s And Don’ts

If you have a friend or family member who’s been through narcissistic abuse (and you haven’t), then it’s important to understand where they’re at right now.

Because unless you’ve been there, it’s like anything else; you simply cannot comprehend where they’re coming from.

It’s a delicate situation of healing from trauma, and Lord knows; they can use all the help they can get.

Through my own experiences and what I’ve witnessed, I’ve got some “friendly advice”.

Here’s what to DO to help your friend:

  • Do validate their experience by being open to their story. (They’ve had their existence invalidated by the narcissist.)
  • Be understanding and supportive of their situation with no criticism. (The wound runs deep, so you don’t want to pour salt in it.)
  • Be available to simply listen. (This is a time when they need to vent their pent-up anger and frustration.)
  • Do say or do anything positive that supports their self-esteem. (Their sense of self-worth is at an all-time low, so it’s time to build it up.)
  • Be flexible by allowing them to do things that THEY want to do. (They’ve gone far beyond compromise by allowing the narcissist to have it THEIR way in order to avoid temper tantrums. It’s about time their wants and needs are met.)

Here’s some thing’s you DON’T want to do:

  • Don’t stay friends with the narcissist; no matter how “fun” they seem to be, because the truth is they don’t show all of themselves to the outside world. It’s time to choose your battle, and staying friends with the narcissist is invalidating the abuse. (It says: “I don’t believe what you’re telling me”, and/or “I don’t care about you” because “I’m okay being friends with your abuser”.)
  • Don’t contradict anything they’re saying about it. (You weren’t there, and no matter how charming the narcissist is; you have no idea what happens behind closed doors.)
  • Don’t ignore what they’re telling you; no matter how many times you’ve heard it. (Healing doesn’t happen overnight, so they’re likely to repeat themselves many times over.)
  • Don’t have any expectations. This is the time to go with the flow, and just be there for them; no matter how long it takes. (You’ll be doing them a huge favor.)

No doubt, there’s many more suggestions where that comes from; but you get the idea.

Validation, support and helping to re-build self-worth are key. Because the truth is, they need you now more than ever.

They probably have friends who are avoiding them because they don’t want to hear it, or maybe they don’t even believe it.

And this is why the word “covert” is used in narcissism. It means they appear “normal” to others, who find it difficult to believe the narcissist is who they really are because they wear a mask over their true personality.

And this makes recovery from the abuse even more difficult.

I think of narcissistic abuse as the “legal crime” because the scars run deep but they’re not visible, so it can be hard for others to believe it.

And that’s the insidious part. We can’t prove the damage they’ve done.

As a collective of people who’ve been through it, at least we know the truth and can support others who are going through it.

But as a friend or family member: Stay strong, and know that time heals; but it does heal faster with support, encouragement and validation.

PS: If you’d like to help them get additional support for healing, they can join us here in the Facebook group.

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