Why Do Narcissists Isolate You from Your Family and Friends?

A common theme in most narcissistic relationships is isolation, where a narcissist may isolate you from your support network or from your family and friends. They can achieve this through various overt and covert ways. When you realize it, you will not have anyone close to you or anyone to talk to about the relationship.

Some subtle forms of these manipulative techniques include insisting on spending every single minute with you, badmouthing your family and friends, fabricating situations that discourage you from meeting friends or family, ensuring financial dependence so that you cannot have money to connect with your friends and others, being unwelcoming to visitors, or excessively controlling who you talk to, among many others. It’s all about creating distance between you and your support network.

So, why do they do it? Is it to grow the relationship, or do they have another sinister motive?

Control and Manipulation

It’s easy to be controlled and manipulated when there are no eyes or external ‘observers’ watching what’s happening. When your friends and family are part of the relationship, it can be hard for the narcissist to carry out some of their exploits because there are eyes everywhere. These eyes may inform you about some of the red flags they’re seeing in the relationship, and this may make you end the relationship or be more vigilant.

Another aspect of control is that once you’re fully isolated, you will not have anywhere to escape to once you figure them out. You will not have friends or family who can provide you with a refuge or even with money to start over. Without a good support network, it logically and emotionally becomes hard to move on or even leave the relationship. So, isolation makes it easier for them to manipulate you and control you without external influence.

Jealousy and Competition

A narcissist wants you all for themselves. They desire all your attention and admiration, as they perceive that it will fill the emptiness deep inside. They will isolate you from those people whom they feel are their competition for your affection and attention. They are overly possessive, and isolating you from your family and friends gives them this feeling of ownership over you. They see another person, in a twisted way, as a threat to their source of supply and validation.


When a narcissist isolates you, they are also protecting their false image. Without other people seeing what they’re doing or witnessing their behaviors behind closed doors, they can maintain their false public image. That’s why they may act unwelcoming to visitors or forbid you from going out with your friends together because they fear exposure or the possibility of their rage exploding in places where other people will see.

They want to maintain this façade of a ‘great’ relationship to the world, and the best thing for them is to prevent you from speaking up or talking to anyone. When you’re fully isolated, they will not be exposed, and no one will even confront their manipulative behavior.


One last reason why a narcissist may isolate you is when you fail to comply with some of their requests. They may isolate you from friends or even prevent you from visiting your family, especially when you’ve disobeyed some of their demands. Instead of addressing issues calmly, they go the extra mile of imposing a heavy punishment for your non-compliance.


It may not be easy to recognize isolation as it doesn’t happen overnight; it is a well-played process that may take even years to fully crystallize. That’s why, regardless of whether you want to preserve your relationship or not, always be watchful for signs of disconnect in your life. Do not downplay your issues or the issues in a relationship because the more you do, the more you normalize being hurt or controlled by another human being.

Additionally, the more we downplay, the more we give them leeway to do whatever they want without consequences.

When things feel off, be willing to face the emotionally-challenging aspects of your situation and stand up for yourself. You don’t have to stay in a relationship ’till death do you part’; it should be ’till you feel you’re not taking steps to solve those issues affecting your well-being.’ If you realize that you’re being isolated, start by reconnecting with those people whom you know will offer you support or provide an escape route from someone who may not see the wrongness in their actions.

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, 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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