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But how to recognise the signs that you are dealing with one? 

Don’t wait till it is too late. Narcissists creep under your skin, invade your system and like a parasite, take you over. You will lose your confidence, self-esteem and ultimately yourself. 

They are friends, partners, family, bosses and colleagues. 

They are manipulative and confusing and make you think it is all down to you. Your fault. You become anxious and are focused on making it right. For them. In doing so, you make it wrong for yourself.

Narcissists are self centred (it is all about them), entitled (everyone should run for them), manipulative (they make sure they get what they want even through twisting and lying), they are always right (never disagree with them because you will get punished) and they lack empathy and emotional awareness (that’s why they can be cruel and call emotional people hysterical and mental).

Narcissists are damaging the mental health of their victims through gaslighting, undermining and cheating. Often victims start to doubt their own reality. 

I have been in a marriage with a narcissist for 30 years and after an acrimonious battle, the divorce finally went through. ‘I am free!’ Or that’s what I thought, only to find that I am attracted to men who treat me with disrespect and bully me. Is it because I am so used to it?the divorce went through. 

If someone is kind and respectful to me, I think they are weak. Even after the divorce, I am still imprisoned in that mindset of powerlessness.

Free on paper, still captured.

‘The little girl jumped on her little red bike. It was going to be the start of a new life. She was going to the big school. First day today. When she arrived at the school, she was surprised by all the parents that were there….. Her mother was just in bed, nibbling on a croissant and getting ready for her day. And she was totally comfortable to let her 6 year old daughter find her own way to school on that very first day.’ I was that little girl. And when I grew up nothing changed. If anything, her demands grew, she was nasty, never gave anything or put an effort in but expected me to put her on a pedestal.

My mother shut my mouth, closed my heart, pushed me down. She made me feel the most unworthy person on the planet.’ It took me 58 years to discover her toxic influence and finally leave her out of my life. 

From Victim To Victor

My experiences drove me to write a book to help others recognise narcissism and how to deal with it. I interviewed hundreds of people who had experienced narcissistic abuse. My journey was also featured in the Daily Mail. I also wrote an article for Newsweek on how to recognise a narcissist.

drdestress.co.uk

You might also enjoy reading Dr Jansen’s advice on dealing with Imposter Syndrome:

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