ISOLATION — How Does a Narcissist Isolate you from Family and Friends?

ISOLATION — How Does a Narcissist Isolate you from Family and Friends? isolation — how does a narcissist isolate you from family and friends?
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A toxic relationship is a place where someone wants to control you to meet their needs. Isolation is one of those subtle techniques manipulative partners use to sever all emotional and physical ties you have with the outside world.

Early on in the relationship, you might think isolation is a good thing, as you want to spend more time with the supposed love of your life. You might even voluntarily assist them in achieving this agenda because you want to build the relationship together. Isolation is a very dangerous tool employed by narcissists to weaken you, make you dependent on them, prevent you from hearing other people’s perspectives, and compel you to adhere to their beliefs and requirements.

They want to ensure nothing can ruin or undermine the foundation of their supply. Isolation leads you to distance yourself from people who might help once you recognize their abusive nature. In this article, I will share seven insidious ways a manipulative partner uses to isolate you in a relationship.

1. Insisting on Spending Every Single Minute with You:

Spending time with your partner is positive and can help the relationship grow. However, when it becomes excessive, it’s a warning sign to be aware of. If they insist that you spend all your time together, excluding relationships you had before meeting, they may be isolating you. It might appear romantic, but it could also mask their desire to exert dominance and control over you.

This often occurs in the initial stages of a relationship when vulnerability is high due to mutual exploration. They might ask you to cut off contact with family or friends, prevent you from attending gatherings, or even encourage you to move to a new city, all under the guise of wanting more one-on-one time. While it may seem harmless, it’s essential to take things slowly in a new relationship rather than making abrupt life changes, such as quitting your job.

2. Manufacturing Situations to Isolate You from Friends and Family:

A manipulative person might fabricate situations that discourage you from meeting friends or family. You may have prior plans to meet friends on Friday, but when you’re about to leave, they ask you to cancel because they’ve bought movie tickets or claim they’re not feeling well. These reasons seem ‘realistic’ and even romantic, conveniently occurring when you’re about to have personal time.

These instances are often sprung on you at the last minute. The result is that you start avoiding making plans with friends, fearing you’ll disappoint them, and your friends may stop inviting you due to your frequent cancellations. Gradually, you drift away from friends and family.

3. Financial Abuse:

Another form of isolation in a relationship is when one partner ensures your financial dependence on them. This is termed financial abuse, where they use assets and money for control (read more in my previous article on Financial Abuse).

They may sabotage your career, prevent you from getting a job, take sole control of finances, enforce a strict budget, or anything that leaves you financially deprived. When you’re financially constrained, you’re isolated from the world — you can’t go out, visit friends, or even call them. Being financially reliant on them and possibly intimidated by their behavior can make you hesitant to ask for money.

Strangely, they may deny you money for your needs (like visiting or calling family), but be willing to spend on other activities (like going out together). It’s as if there’s money available, but not for you to connect with others. To counter this, it’s wise to maintain some personal savings for such instances.

4. Badmouthing and Making False Accusations About Your Friends and Family:

A toxic person will criticize or speak ill of your loved ones to isolate you from them. They might make baseless accusations against your family or friends, portraying those close to you as bad people trying to ruin your relationship. They may try to convince you that some of your friends or family members are uncaring and that you should be cautious or cease contact with them. They might say things like:

“Your parents don’t like me; that’s why they rarely visit.”

“See? I told you your friends are leading you astray.”

They create and exploit instances, even using real examples, to make you distance yourself from those you care about. Given your trust in them and their manipulation, you might believe their claims.

5. Unwelcoming to Visitors:

A toxic person might act disrespectful or rude when your family or friends visit. They may visibly display discomfort or behave as though they’re bothered when you have visitors. They might avoid interaction when you have guests and refrain from offering assistance.

The tension they create could discourage your friends and family from visiting. Eventually, you might feel guilty for inviting friends or family, believing you’re doing something wrong. This can deter you from forming deeper relationships.

6. Controlling Your Communication:

A manipulative person may try to isolate you by limiting your communication. They might insist you share all passwords with them (social media, email, phone), or they could demand to know every conversation you have with friends or family.

This control curtails your ability to express yourself freely to the outside world, preventing you from sharing feelings, gaining different perspectives, or seeking help. Without communication, you’re trapped.

7. Isolation from Your Hobbies or Interests:

A toxic person might push you away from your hobbies to isolate you further. They may accuse you of having an affair with an instructor or spending too much time on hobbies instead of with them. They might ridicule your hobbies, discouraging you from pursuing them. They might say things like:

“Only immature people engage in such hobbies.”

You might stop engaging in your hobbies altogether, spending more time indoors and isolated from the outside world. This leaves you stressed and frustrated without any outlets, making you more vulnerable to further abuse. When your interests outside the relationship diminish, you’re left with no options except seeking solace in them.


Isolation is an extremely perilous tool that erodes your support system, keeping you trapped in a toxic relationship. Recognizing isolation can be challenging because we often believe that spending most of our time with our partners is a normal aspect of relationships.

Therefore, it’s important to remember that you had a life beyond the relationship and shouldn’t give that up entirely. Strive for a balance, and if you feel your partner is trying to distance you from your passions, take a moment to question why.

What makes isolation even more damaging is that friends and family might reciprocate the isolation you’re exhibiting, not realizing you’re being manipulated. This exacerbates the gap between you and them, making it harder to seek help when needed.

As friends and family, we should be ready to listen and support our loved ones without further isolating them — that’s a demonstration of love. In conclusion, if you feel isolated in a toxic relationship and believe there’s no one to turn to, remember that you’re not alone; there are many strangers online willing to listen, share their perspectives, and help you.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns (in less than 2 months) , then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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