Updated: 4/21/2021 | How to Get Over a Narcissist Relationship
Disclaimer: While I have a degree in Psychology, I am writing this from my personal experience. I hope that what I have learned being in a narcissistic relationship helps you process through yours.
In the beginning, it can seem very difficult to get out of a relationship with a narcissist. You are left feeling worthless and unmotivated to live because of a concept known as the trauma bond.
Their hot and cold, back and forth behavior creates this addictive effect that makes it hard to leave them completely because they give you spurts of attention, which makes you crave the good times and tolerate the bad times. This is not normal and makes it harder to leave a narcissistic relationship compared to a normal one.
While the transition is painful, it is entirely possible to rebuild your life after narcissistic abuse.
Below we’ll go over some crucial steps you should take to recover from a relationship with a narcissist.
How to Get Over Your Narcissist
Narcissists have a way of entering your life and turning it upside down. A narcissist can be your friend, family member, or even a romantic partner (we refer to romantic narcissist exes as the “nex”). They distort reality and make you become addicted to them. This addiction will make you lose your self-confidence, self-worth and so much more.
What you have to recognize is that all this can be reverted. You can heal from a relationship with a narcissist. You won’t get your old self back, but you’ll get close. You may even become stronger than ever.
You’ll also learn a slew of life lessons that will prepare and protect you from future heartache and abuse.
Related: How to Identify a Covert Narcissist
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#1 Realization of What the Relationship is DOing To Your Health
The first thing you need to do is to recognize that even if you feel that you love them very deeply, you must come to an acceptance that they are dangerous to your mental and physical health.
Start with this question: What is keeping me tied to the narcissist??? For many, it may be financial, sexual, fear of loneliness, or children.
Many people need to experience real physical health problems to finally come to this conclusion. For me, I developed insomnia, lost weight, and felt exhausted all the time. I knew I needed to get out for the sake of my health.
#2 Realization of Who They Are
Simply put, narcissists lack character and integrity. Their need to use people is endless. People are seen as supplies and when they’re done using you, they will toss you for the next best thing. Some are so hopeless that they return to their old supply until they find the next best thing. They cannot go without supply.
Realize that everything they promised you in the beginning…was a LIE. It was done to hook and reel you into their web of lies and make believe world.
Eventually, narcissists will reveal themselves to you. When put in a hard spot, narcissists will retaliate against you because you are no longer going along with everything they say or do. You do not want to be in a relationship that is transactional and one-sided.
This typically happens when you start to point out their awful behavior and demand they treat you with respect and honesty. For narcissists, honesty is way too much to ask for.
Want to know a brutal truth? Narcissists will never change. Waiting for them to change will only destroy your wellbeing in the end. You could be doing many other positive and constructive things with your valuable time. Don’t waste it on someone who purposely hurts you to satisfy their selfish needs.
When we dismantle who we thought the narcissist was, it will make the healing process easier.
Connecting with your worth will be key to helping you move on from the narcissist.
#3 Remove Yourself and Go No Contact
Remove the influence of the narcissist out of your life. Stop romanticizing who you thought they were. Every action they make is abusive, including the positive reinforcement created during the idealization/love bombing stage. Manipulation itself is extremely abusive.
Narcissists follow the same pattern of 1) idealization/love bombing, 2) devaluing, 3) discard and then 4) hoover. If you don’t break this pattern, you’ll be stuck in their wrath for a long time.
You will need to go no contact if you want to preserve your physical and mental health. No contact is to protect yourself from being abused.
Going no contact (or NC) was probably the hardest because of the trauma bond that was created by my nex’s hot and cold behavior towards me. Being away from them felt like I was dying. The truth is you will go through so many breakups with a narcissist before you finally break up for good.
I stuck with it though. I went no contact and it took me THREE WEEKS before I felt the chains start to loosen and the fog started to clear up. I am not saying it’ll take you three weeks too, but time away is crucial to healing from a narcissistic relationship.
Do not put a time limit on your healing. Everyone will heal at their own pace. But don’t give in either.
Always remember that one encounter can set you back. Re-engaging with a narcissist will make your path to healing harder because they will continuously try to convince you of a fake life that they will never deliver.
I have connected with friends who allow me to contact them when I feel the need to reach out to my nex. Establish a support system that will help you move past the relationship.
Luckily, I have not had the need to be in contact with him because I quickly saw how toxic and manipulative his behavior was and I value myself too much to be used and abused by anyone. That’s when I began to regain my power.
How to go No Contact
Here is a No Contact Checklist you can use.
- Block their phone number
- Block them on social media
- DO NOT stalk their accounts
- DO NOT talk about them with friends. Just tell your mutual friends that you “do not want to talk about it.” Simple as that.
- Delete and dispose of everything that reminds you of them.
- DO NOT try to be their friend. This just gives them an opportunity to manipulate and abuse you again.
If you cannot go no contact because you have kids, or because you’re having to deal with a narcissistic divorce, go grey rock instead. Grey rock is when you respond without emotions and with short, objective answers.
Do not give the narcissist emotional fuel to use against you. They are emotional vampires that THRIVE on attention whether it’s positive or negative.
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#4 Educate Yourself and Others
I had to go down a “what is a covert narcissist” rabbit hole. The more I learned about the personality disorder, the more I understood that the relationship was going nowhere and I needed to get out for my own sake.
You can learn more about NPD through the following resources:
- Reading books on Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
- Follow Instagram accounts focusing on NPD (such as Fuck The Abuser)
- Join Facebook NPD or Covert Narcissist groups
- Watch NPD videos by Dr. Romani on Youtube
- Listen to the Something is Wrong Podcast on Spotify
- Connect with real people who are going through or have healed from narcissistic abuse. I typically connect with people via Instagram and in Facebook groups.
You’ll find that many people are experiencing exactly the same thing you are going through, they just have different players. Build that community and support one another in the healing process.
I invite people to reach out to me when they want to cave in. This helps us keep each other accountable.
As you learn about the disorder, create a mental checklist of red flags that will be a guide to preventing you from getting into another narcissistic relationship again.
#4 Rebuild Yourself
Revisit the things that bring you joy. This can be activities such as reading, an art form, going on hikes, photography, cooking, etc. By pursuing your previous interests, you are removing their influence from your narcissistic relationship.
It can also be reconnecting with friends and family. Remind yourself that there are people out there who are willing to do anything to NOT hurt you.
Get therapy. This is so important. Find a therapist who can help you process the effects of abuse. Find one who specializes in NPD and have them build a treatment plan to help you recover and thrive.
Gradually, you will rebuild your self worth and the narcissist will become a memory.
Self-improvement is the best revenge you can deliver to your narcissist. Take back your power from a narcissist. They do not deserve it.
In the beginning, it seems impossible to heal and feel “normal” again, but eventually, you will. You won’t even remember how they managed to have such a profound negative influence on you. You will have become fully engaged in the healthier version of yourself.
Know that it will take time. For some people, it takes as much as two weeks. For some, a year. And for some, decades. Don’t put a time limit on your healing. Take it day by day and be kind to yourself.
Your beautiful qualities are what got you involved with a narcissist in the first place and their lack of appreciation or validation is not your responsibility. However, it is your responsibility to heal from a narcissistic relationship.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions, need a friend to hold you accountable, or just want to talk. I am always here for you.
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