Signs You May Have Experienced Narcissistic Abuse

Signs You May Have Experienced Narcissistic Abuse signs you may have experienced narcissistic abuse
Photo by NoWah Bartscher on Unsplash

In a relationship, we hope to grow, be happy, and treat each other with respect. But sometimes things don’t go as planned, especially when we meet someone who only cares about using us for their own needs. When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, it can leave you with wounds that are hard to see or explain. Without realizing what’s happening, you might spend a long time trying to understand what really went wrong, and this can make you feel confused and worried. It might have had zero violence but you’re feeling like you’ve been violated on the inside. In this article, I will be sharing some of the common signs that you may have experienced or you’re experiencing narcissistic abuse or in your past relationship.

1. Emotional Rollercoaster

This means that during the course of the relationship, your partner displayed hot and cold behavior. One day, they may shower you with affection, admiration, and gifts, but the next day, they could call you names, criticize you, and invalidate you. It feels like an up-and-down ride, but mostly it’s a downward spiral. They may become hostile towards you without any apparent reason, and you’re left wondering what you did wrong. You just can’t grasp the way they will treat you and what you need to do to impress them.

2. Constant Put-downs and Criticism

While constructive criticism can be acceptable in relationships, narcissistic abuse involves constant negative criticism for everything you do. It could be something as trivial as the salt in the food or coming home late. They rarely offer positive criticism, and it’s all about putting you down and making you feel inadequate. They may criticize you for being a bad parent or partner without providing any guidance on how to improve. They treat you as if you’re not even a human being, someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. They will not offer even any solid claims for their criticism, they will just do it without caring how you feel about it.

3. Blame Shifting

The abuser constantly avoids taking ownership for their actions and blames you or others for things they’ve done or not done. They may blame you for their sadness even when you’ve done nothing wrong. They refuse to admit their mistakes or take corrective actions. Instead, they consistently blame others, portraying themselves as the innocent party and shifting responsibility away from themselves.

4. Isolation

Your partner may isolate you from your friends or indirectly convince you to cut ties with them. They may claim that your friends are ruining the relationship and discourage you from attending social events or maintaining outside contacts. They push away anyone who could provide you with support, leaving you alone with them. You find yourself with no friends or outside connections, entirely dependent on them. This isolation allows them to maintain control and abuse you.

5. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a tactic used in narcissistic abuse that distorts your sense of reality. The abuser tells you things that make you question your own reality and doubt your perceptions. They may claim you’re overreacting to situations, making you question your own emotional responses. They erode your trust in yourself and your intuition, making you feel as though everything you do is wrong. They may even call you crazy, further undermining your confidence and leaving you think that you’re insane. Gaslighting can be incredibly dangerous, as it leaves you feeling lost and unsure of what is real.

6. Smear Campaign

A smear campaign is when the abuser spreads negative information about you to your friends, neighbors, or anyone who will listen. They want others to see you as the villain while they portray themselves as the victim. They may accuse you of infidelity, theft, or other malicious acts. This campaign is meant to tarnish your reputation and make others distrust you. They often appear charming and convince others of their innocence, making it difficult for people to believe your side of the story.

7. Triangulation

Your partner introduces other people into the relationship to make you feel inadequate or insecure. They may constantly keep in touch with their ex-partners or other individuals to provoke jealousy or create a sense of competition for your attention.

8. Identity Erosion

Another sign is identity erosion, where you begin to lose touch with who you are. Your values, boundaries, and interests become unclear, and you find yourself doing things that may harm you or others without realizing it. Boundaries, which define where you end and the other person begins, have been violated to the point where you struggle to understand your own identity and worth.

Invalidation and belittlement are also common in narcissistic abuse. You may be constantly criticized, called names, or made to feel worthless. This erodes your sense of self-value and can lead to a feeling of being unworthy of a fulfilling life.

9. Walking on Egg Shells

This is where you feel the need to be extremely cautious in your words and actions to avoid triggering your partner’s anger or rage. This creates an environment of anxiety and fear within the relationship.


Those are just some of the signs that you might experience in narcissistic abuse. It’s important for you to understand that if you’re going through these things, even after the relationship has ended or if you’re still in a relationship, and things don’t make sense or you feel stressed, it’s crucial to seek help. Remember, it doesn’t have to be physical scars for you to seek assistance. The signs listed above, such as confusion and daily stress, should be taken seriously.

Regardless of how long you’ve been in the relationship, if it consistently causes you stress instead of bringing you peace, it’s best to step out of it. It’s challenging to explain narcissistic abuse to others, even your family members, as they may not understand or may have their own distorted perception of reality.

If you’re experiencing these issues, even after leaving the relationship, prioritize dealing with the invisible scars left behind. Narcissistic abuse can have emotional consequences that require attention and support. Seeking professional help is crucial because you may not be able to navigate through it alone, especially when you’re unsure about what you’re dealing with internally.

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 subconscious patterns for good (in less than 2 months) using Mind Shifting, 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, 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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