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How to Heal After a Relationship with a Narcissist


young distressed woman with hand over her mouth

Recently gone through a breakup with a narcissist?

You might be feeling a range of emotions, from anger and betrayal to sadness and confusion.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and even scared after ending a relationship with someone who was emotionally abusive. But the good news is that you can heal and move on. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a narcissist?

A narcissist is someone who suffers from narcissism, which is a personality disorder that causes an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.

Narcissists can be incredibly charming and persuasive, which is why many people get sucked into dating them in the first place. But make no mistake – being in a relationship with a narcissist is anything but easy. If you’re currently in a relationship with one, then you know just how challenging it can be.

They are often charming and charismatic at first, but their true colors eventually show.

If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you might feel like you’re never quite good enough or that your partner is always putting you down. Narcissists can be emotionally abusive, making their partners feel worthless and belittled.

Narcissism is different from healthy self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem is based on real accomplishments and positive feedback from others.

If you’ve recently ended a relationship with a narcissist, it’s important to give yourself time to heal and recover.

There is more than one type of narcissist!

Grandiose narcissism is a personality disorder that has been compared to actually being God. It’s characterized by an inflated sense of self- Importance, the need for excessive admiration, and lacking empathy for other people – with tragic consequences!

Vulnerable narcissists have a fragile sense of self, which means they are easily hurt and emotionally drained. Vulnerable narcissists usually crave attention or admiration from other people in order to feel whole again; when this doesn’t happen it leaves them feeling empty inside.

Malignant narcissists don’t feel empathy for others but rather view them as objects that provide momentary pleasure or pain. They can be very charming and convincing at first glance because they know how to use emotional appeal strategically in order to gain an advantage over their prey.

Covert narcissists on the surface of things seem like they have only good intentions but in reality, have ulterior motives that may not be what you expect them to be. They might seem friendly and kind towards others while privately manipulating or exploiting them for his/her own gain. They can cause significant damage in the world by pretending like their lies don’t matter or aren’t hurting anyone around them.

Behaviors of a narcissist

  • They constantly talk about themselves and their achievements
  • They brag and boast about their perceived successes
  • They have an inflated sense of self-importance
  • They believe they are better than others and should be treated as such
  • They lack empathy and are unwilling to understand or see things from another person’s perspective
  • They take advantage of others to get what they want
  • They have a strong need for attention and admiration
  • They react angrily or with disdain when they don’t receive the attention they feel they deserve

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulation in which someone tries to make you question your memories, perceptions, and even your sanity. They may do this by lying to you, denying things that you know to be true, or pretending to forget things that you know they remember.

Over time, gaslighting can erode your sense of self, leaving you feeling incompetent and confused. If you think you might be being gaslit, it’s important to reach out for support. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about what’s going on, and consider seeking professional help.

Is your partner showing signs of narcissistic personality disorder?

Here is a short list of questions that can help you figure that out:

  • Is my partner kind to me?
  • Is my partner consistently lying to me?
  • Is my partner respecting my boundaries?
  • Am I arguing over the same stuff again and again and again?
  • Do I feel safe in this relationship?
  • Does my partner consistently show a pattern of behavior that looks like emotional abuse?

How to heal after breaking up with a narcissist

Allow yourself to grieve

Just because your relationship wasn’t “traditional” doesn’t mean that it didn’t hurt when it ended. Give yourself time to mourn the loss of the relationship and the person you thought you were in it with. It’s okay to cry, scream, or go through any other motions that help you release your pain.

Talk to someone who understands

It can be helpful to talk to someone who has been through a similar experience or who can offer professional help. Consider talking to a therapist or counselor who can help you process your emotions and start to heal.

Create (or find) a support system

When going through such a difficult experience, it’s important to have people around you who love and support you unconditionally. Lean on your friends and family members during this time and let them know how they can help you heal.

Focus on taking care of yourself

One of the best things you can do after ending a toxic relationship is to focus on taking care of yourself. This means eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and doing anything else that makes YOU feel good. It’s also important to give yourself time to relax and unwind by doing things that bring you joy, such as reading, spending time outdoors, or listening to music.

Spend time alone

Being alone doesn’t mean that you’re lonely; it simply means that you’re not around other people. And sometimes, being alone is exactly what we need. Use this time alone wisely by doing things that make you happy and help you grow as an individual. Take up meditation or yoga, journal about your experiences, or read self-help books.

Practice self-compassion

After ending a toxic relationship, it’s easy to beat ourselves up for staying in it for as long as we did. But we need to remember that we did the best we could with the information we had at the time. So be gentle with yourself as you heal and remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes – even if those mistakes were staying in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Set boundaries

In order for us to truly heal, we need to set boundaries with the narcissist(s) in our lives. This means distancing ourselves from them completely – whether that means unfriending them on social media, no longer responding to their texts or calls, or cutting off all communication altogether. Setting these boundaries will help us move on from the past so that we can focus on healing our wounds and creating a better future for ourselves.

The Way Forward

Healing after ending any type of relationship is difficult, but healing after ending a toxic relationship with a narcissist can be especially challenging.


There are people who understand what you’re going through and there are resources available to help guide you through this difficult time in your life.

Love, light & laughter

Catherine (Cat) Farrar



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