(Read time: 1-2 mins)
A reader recently asked me the following question, and I think it’s an important one to ask: ¨If you figure out a narcissist quickly enough, can you make a clean break of it?¨
Narcissists are so adept at love-bombing that this typically does not happen. The best chance the partner has for a clean break is to listen to her/his intuition, and follow it. This means paying heed to the flashes of feeling, in the beginning, that something is just not right.
There are always red flags. It is typically the case that the partner feels uncomfortably overwhelmed by the narcissist in the initial stages of the relationship. There is a nagging feeling that it’s too much, it’s not a normal pace, and it needs to slow down. At the same time, the narcissist is spinning tales of being soulmates, future-faking, keeping the partner swooning and off-balance, and isolating her, making it very difficult for the her to be objective. She falls victim to her confirmation bias, which favors the narcissist.
Her brain is biochemically hijacked by an endless cascade dopamine and oxytocin. Her heart is captivated by incessant lovebombing tactics. The result: she ignores, or rationalizes her intuitive feelings, to bring them into line with the soulmate candy-land narrative the narcissist is busy weaving all around her.
Moreover, narcissists are very successful at presenting themselves as “not that guy” or “not that girl” – not the typical jerk, not the selfish prima-donna, not the insatiable philanderer. The narcissist presents himself as everything the partner has ever dreamed of, and hoped for. He’s the fairytale, come to life. She doesn’t realize she is being lured into a dark, lifeless, and toxic landscape that will become her prison.
There is hope, however, and making a clean break from a narcissist is possible. It requires a firm commitment to No Contact, when her biochemically hijacked mind, turned inside out by the gaslighting-induced cognitive dissonance, is telling her: “But you love him, he will change, he’s your soulmate, it wasn’t that bad, this time it will be different, you’re meant to be with him” and so on.
It requires resolve and strength, because the partner believes she is giving up everything she ever wanted, because in her mind this is exactly what the narcissist is.
It requires listening to her intuition, and doing what it tells her: leave and don’t look back.
“Intuition is always right in at least two important ways; it is always in response to something, and it always has your best interest at heart.” – (Gavin De Becker, “The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence”)