If you are reading this page, I just want to take a moment to thank you on behalf of all victims of narcissistic abuse! As a general rule, we do not receive a great deal of understanding and support, so when someone wants to offer us such things, it means a great deal!
If you are looking to help someone you know who has been subjected to narcissistic abuse, there are some things you can do…
- Offer to pray with or for your friend. I have found even atheist friends appreciate the offer to pray for them. Of course, if your friend is angry at God for allowing this to happen or was abused under the guise of religion, this is not a wise suggestion. Use your own discernment and wisdom on this one.
- Do not judge. Yes, this person’s stories are going to sound hard to believe. Consider this though – you know this person well. Would he or she really make up something like this? Is that person honestly that creative? Or if you think this is a cry for attention, why would this person invent a story that is so hard for others to believe?
- Do not compare. If you too have suffered narcissistic abuse, do not compare your story with that of your friend. Everyone’s story is different, even when their stories are similar. Even if you experienced similar scenarios, you and you friend responded differently simply because you are different people. That does not mean one of you is right and the other wrong. It simply means you are different.
- Listen without offering advice. When someone is finally free of narcissistic abuse, they often are trying to regain some semblance of sanity. Part of this may involve talking things out because doing so helps them to “see” the situation more clearly. Let this person do that, and do not offer advice unless he or she asks for it.
- Sometimes, this person’s stories may be triggering. If you too have suffered abuse, hearing the stories of another person may be very upsetting to you or even trigger flashbacks. If you need to step away because of this, there is no shame in it. Admit it and encourage your friend to find other means of support besides you.
- Learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This will help you to understand your friend and possibly even offer insight into their situation.
- Take breaks. You and your friend cannot think about narcissistic abuse constantly. It is too dark and depressing! Take breaks where you both refuse to think about it. Offer to go to lunch, take your friend to the movies, go shopping, play video games.. do something that distracts you both and hopefully can give you some laughs at the same time. Once you feel stronger, then you can refocus on narcissistic abuse. Breaks are why I added this page to my website. Sometimes beauty is a wonderful distraction, even if only briefly.
If you want to help victims in general…
- Share information on narcissistic abuse and Narcissistic Personality Disorder on social media. Yes, it is simple but sometimes these small gestures can make a big impact.
- If someone comes to you with questions about narcissistic abuse or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, share the information you know. If you feel ill equipped to answer the questions, admit that. Most people would rather someone admit they do not know the answers than someone give them bad information. This is especially common after surviving narcissistic abuse. One hallmark of overt narcissists is coming across as if they know everything. This leads to trust issues in victims. Admitting you are unsure of something makes someone feel they can trust you because you would rather admit your short comings than lie to them.
- Learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and talk about it freely. The more you know, the more you can help victims, so share what you learn readily. Learning about NPD also will help you to spot these people so you do not become one of their victims.