(Read time: 1-2 mins)
“You just don’t understand.”
Most survivors of narcissistic abuse have either said this, or wanted to say this, to a well-meaning friend or family member, in the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist.
And, it’s true. It’s impossible to understand the level of trauma, pain, and devastation that narcissists inflict, unless you’ve been subjected to it. Narcissistic abuse involves an element of cruelty, mental torture, emotional and psychological manipulation that makes it grotesquely unique.
Because they have been devalued and dehumanized the narcissist, survivors of narcissistic abuse benefit greatly from their feelings, and experiences being validated. It’s very important in the healing process.
The most well-meaning friends and family members, in an attempt to help the victim heal, will say things that they truly believe will make her/him feel better. The following list is an example of some of the typical things that are said to the survivor, that are actually counterproductive to her healing.
10 Things to Avoid Saying to a Survivor of Narcissistic Abuse:
- You all were just not a good fit.
- You’re better off now and have a chance at happiness. You should want him to be happy too.
- Hurt people, hurt people.
- He came into your life to make you aware of your core wounds, consider it a gift, consider him a teacher.
- He’s a jerk, move on and don’t obsess over it.
- You need to go out and just have some fun. Meeting someone will help you get your mind off of him.
- I know it was bad, but he’s not a monster.
- At least he didn’t beat you; at least you don’t have bruises and scars.
- It just didn’t work. There are two sides to every story, so try to focus on what you need to work on.
- Don’t allow yourself to become bitter, just let go and try to remember the good times, be thankful for that, and move on.
The next article will provide a list of helpful, healing statements that support the survivor during the long and painful healing process. The right words, at the right time, can make a world of difference.