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How to Help a Friend In A Narcissistic Relationship

Helping Your BFF Navigate Their Toxic, Narcissistic Relationship! Here’s How.

How to Help a Friend In A Narcissistic Relationship by Som Dutt

Watching a friend struggle in a narcissistic relationship can be agonizing. You witness their self-esteem wither under the narcissist’s cruel insults and mind games. 

Your once vivacious, joyful friend morphs into a timid, withdrawn shell of themselves. It crushes you to see the narcissist’s toxicity extinguish their spirit. You want to rescue them from the emotional violence. 

However, you know forcing them to leave could drive them straight back to the narcissist. To truly help your friend break free, you need understanding, patience, and a plan tailored to their situation.

Narcissistic relationships follow a familiar pattern of idealization, devaluation, and discard. In the beginning, the narcissist showers your friend with praise and attention — the idealization phase. 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

But soon, criticism and abuse begin chipping away at their self-worth during the devaluation phase. By learning the stages of a narcissistic bond, you can pinpoint where your friend is at and adjust your support appropriately. Simply reacting risks them seeing you as the enemy rather than an ally.

To truly help your friend, educate yourself on narcissistic techniques like gaslighting, stonewalling, and smear campaigns. Recognize threats the narcissist has likely used to entrap your friend, such as retaliating with personal information, turning family against them, or convincing police they are unstable. 

Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to assisting your friend safely. With vigilance and empathy, you can help your friend establish the inner resilience and external resources they need to cut ties on their terms. 

Lend a compassionate ear, recommend a counselor familiar with narcissistic abuse, and be the stability they desperately need. With patience and care, you can help your friend reclaim their strength, courage, and freedom.

In this blog, we are going to explain to you certain tips that will help you and your friend to understand and get out of a Narcissistic relationship.

Educate Yourself On Narcissistic Abuse Tactics

Narcissists are masters at using psychological manipulation to get what they want. They use tactics like gaslighting, triangulation, and love bombing in order to confuse their targets and make them feel like they can’t trust their own judgment.

Narcissists also often employ charm offensives in order to win over friends or family members who might be able to help the victim escape the relationship.

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If you know someone in a narcissistic relationship, it’s important that you educate yourself on these techniques so that you can recognize them when they’re being used against your friend (and therefore be better equipped to help her).

Validate Their Feelings And Show Empathy

You can help your friend by validating their feelings and showing empathy. This is not the same as sympathy, which means feeling sorry for someone else’s misfortune. 

Empathy is about understanding how another person feels, even if you don’t share their emotions or experiences.

For example:

  • If your friend tells you that they feel like they’re being mistreated by their partner, ask them what makes them think so (and then listen carefully).
  • Then say something like “I get why this would be upsetting to you.” Or if they say they feel angry at their partner’s behavior, try saying something like “That seems frustrating! How do I know? Well…when I’m upset with someone else…(then explain).”

Don’t Criticize Their Relationship Or Try To Force Them To Leave

You should never criticize their relationship. Narcissistic partners are extremely sensitive to any criticism, so if you try to force them out of the relationship or make them feel bad about themselves for being in it, it will only make things worse.

You should also avoid making them feel guilty for staying in the relationship. This can come across as manipulative and controlling, which may cause your friend to resent you rather than trust your advice.

Instead of trying to get them out of their current situation by making them feel bad about themselves or guilty over what they’ve done wrong (or haven’t done right), try helping them understand why they might want out in order for both parties involved — you included — to move forward with their lives as best they can under these circumstances.

Encourage Seeing A Narcissistic Abuse Counselor

If your friend is in a relationship with a narcissist, then it’s important for them to seek help from a professional. Narcissistic abuse counseling can help your friend understand the abuse and develop confidence and self-worth so they can leave safely.

Narcissistic abuse counselors are trained to help people who have been victimized by narcissists learn how to set boundaries, build self-esteem, and develop healthy relationships.

Photo by Monica Melton on Unsplash

The goal of this type of therapy is not only for them to leave their abuser but also to prevent them from getting into another abusive situation in the future by teaching them how to spot warning signs early on in new relationships (like when someone shows interest only after you’ve shown interest first).

Help Them Recognize Red Flags In The Relationship

The first step in helping your friend is to understand what red flags look like. Red flags are signs that a relationship may be unhealthy, dangerous, or toxic. Some examples of red flags include:

  • The person you’re dating makes you feel bad about yourself. This can happen by making snide comments about your appearance and/or personality, or even just by constantly criticizing themself — and consequently, making their partner feel guilty for not being perfect enough for them.
  • Your partner isn’t willing to compromise on anything in terms of how much time you spend together as well as other aspects of life (where do we go on dates? Who pays for what?). They also refuse any plans made without their input first because they don’t want any surprises coming up later down the road when things get tough between two people who have different needs than each other do.

Remind Them The Abuse Is Not Their Fault

  • Remind them the abuse is not their fault. Narcissists have a way of making you feel responsible for their behavior. You might feel like if you had been better or done something differently, they wouldn’t have hurt you. This is not true! They are responsible for their own actions and reactions; they are grown adults who make their own decisions about how to treat others — even if those decisions are bad ones that hurt people close to them.
  • Do not engage in any kind of discussion about what happened between yourself and your friend’s partner/spouse/lover/significant other (NSSOL). This can take many forms — discussions about what went wrong, why your friend was treated so poorly by NSSOL, whether or not it’s possible that NSSOL has some redeeming qualities despite being abusive etcetera ad infinitum until infinity squared times infinity cubed plus one equals zero point zero zero zero one percent chance anything productive will come out of such conversations ever again because nothing ever does when dealing with narcissists who only care about themselves anyway so why bother trying?

Suggest Discreet Safety Planning For Leaving

  • Identify good places to go to escape.
  • Know how to get out safely.
  • Know how to get help if needed.
  • Get a restraining order if needed, and know the process for doing so in your state or country of residence.

If you have children with your friend, try to talk them into leaving with you before things get worse for everyone involved (the narcissist will make sure of this). 

If they refuse, then at least make sure there’s someone else who can protect them from their parent’s wrath when times get tough — perhaps another family member or friend who lives nearby?

If possible, keep pets safe too!

Recommend Journaling To Process Emotions

Journaling is a great way to process emotions and thoughts. It can help you identify patterns, triggers, and the effects of your actions. 

Journaling also helps keep track of your progress, so that if things aren’t going well for you, then it’s easy to look back on what went right in the past month or year and see if there’s anything similar happening now.

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

It might be difficult at first but once you get into it, journaling will become something that helps motivate yourself as well as others around them who also suffer from depression or anxiety issues like narcissism abuse victims do!

Discuss Covert Tactics Like Gaslighting And Triangulation

Covert tactics like gaslighting and triangulation are insidious and difficult to spot, but they can be particularly damaging.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which the perpetrator attempts to make their victim doubt his or her own sanity. The term comes from the 1938 play Gas Light, in which a husband tries to convince his wife that she’s losing her mind by dimming the gas lights in their home and then insisting that she didn’t see any change.

The message here is clear: You’re crazy if you say your reality has changed; therefore, I’m not responsible for hurting you or making changes that affect your life negatively (i.e., withholding affection).

Triangulation refers to using others as pawns against your partner — for example, getting another person involved with both of them so they don’t feel like there’s anyone on their side but themselves

Help Build Their Confidence And Self-worth

  • Talk about their strengths.
  • Encourage them to set goals for themselves and tell them how proud they are when they succeed.
  • Help them find a new hobby or activity that they’re interested in, but don’t push too hard — let them discover it on their own!
  • Reinforce their self-worth by telling your friends how great they are at whatever it is that they do!

Advise Going Low Contact With The Narcissist If Possible

If you can, try to avoid contact with the narcissist.

  • Don’t respond to texts or calls from them.
  • Don’t go over to their place (unless it’s an emergency).
  • Don’t answer the door if they come over or go somewhere where you know they will be (like a party).

Offer To Assist in Documenting Abuse Incidents

The more objective evidence you can provide, the more likely it is that your friend will be able to make the decision to leave her relationship. You can help by offering to assist in documenting abuse incidents.

First, try recording some of the abuse incidents yourself so that they’re not coming from only one person’s perspective (this is especially important if you live in different states). 

If possible, ask someone else who was there or saw them together firsthand — a mutual friend or family member — to corroborate what happened.

If this isn’t possible, write down as much detail about each incident as possible: when and where it took place; who was involved; what words were said; how others responded around them (for example if others seemed uncomfortable or embarrassed on behalf of themselves/you); anything else unusual about that day/night/weekend etc…

Secondly, keep a journal or diary where you write down any instances where narcissists have hurtful behavior towards others (including yourself).

You could also include any times when people tried speaking up about abusive behavior but were silenced by a “gaslighting” technique where they would deny everything happened even though everyone else knows otherwise!

Outline The Cycle Of Idealization, Devaluation, Discard

The cycle of idealization, devaluation, and discard is a common pattern in narcissistic relationships. It’s a way for the narcissist to get what they want from their partner while keeping them around just long enough to do so — and no longer.

The cycle begins with idealization: The narcissist will lavish you with praise and attention, telling you that you’re better than anyone else in the world and making grand declarations about how wonderful your relationship is going to be. This can go on for months or even years before it shifts into devaluation (see below).

Devalue: Once this phase kicks in — and it can happen quickly — the narcissist starts treating their partner as if they were worthless garbage who doesn’t deserve anything good at all; this can include name-calling, emotional abuse, and withholding affection or resources until the other person gives in to whatever demands are being placed upon them by their partner’s unreasonable behavior patterns (e.g., “I won’t let my kids go anywhere near them anymore because they’re toxic”).

Help Identify Sources Of Support Like Family And Friends

A friend in a narcissistic relationship can be supported by family and friends.

  • Emotional Support — Friends and family members can help the person who is being gaslighted by giving them emotional support. They can listen to the victim’s experiences, validate their feelings, and reassure them that they are not crazy or alone in this situation.
  • Financial Support — If your friend needs financial support because of their partner’s behavior (e.g. if they were kicked out of the house), you may be able to help by providing money or other resources like food or shelter until they find somewhere else to live on their own terms — for example, if there are no affordable apartments available in their city but there are some across state lines where rents are lower than average rates here locally) then maybe you could offer up your guest room until things get better! Remember: never give anyone money directly unless it’s someone who has proven themselves trustworthy over time; otherwise someone might take advantage of us when we least expect it!)

Discourage Isolation And Increase Social Activities

When you’re trying to help a friend in a narcissistic relationship, it’s important that you don’t get pulled into the drama yourself. Narcissists can be charming and persuasive, so it’s important to stay away from them as much as possible.

If they’re at your house, leave the room if possible; if they call or text you while you’re out with friends, don’t answer; and if they try to contact your friend directly, encourage him or her not to respond (or block their number).

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Also, remember that narcissists often use social media sites like Facebook and Instagram as ways of keeping tabs on their targets — so avoid posting anything publicly that might tip off your friend’s partner!

While it may seem counterintuitive at first glance given how much time we spend online nowadays…it might also be worth staying offline altogether for a while too until things cool down between these two parties involved in this complicated situation involving three people rather than just two like most relationships tend towards being centered around these days.

Exercise And Mindfulness For Emotional Regulation

Exercise is a great way to regulate your emotions. It helps you feel more energized, less stressed, and more in control of your life — and all those things can help you stay happy when someone else is making you unhappy.

If your friend has a narcissistic partner, then exercise might be especially important because it will give them an outlet for all those negative feelings they experience because of their partner’s behavior.

Photo by Chander R on Unsplash

Physical activity has been shown to improve moods by increasing endorphins (the body’s “feel good” chemicals) while reducing stress hormones like cortisol (which makes us feel bad).

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity as well as muscle-strengthening exercises twice per week.

This could include walking briskly or jogging around the neighborhood; playing tennis; swimming laps in an indoor pool; hiking through nature trails outside town — anything!

Set Boundaries Around Enabling Harmful Behaviors

As you begin to help your friend, keep in mind that boundaries are crucial. Boundaries are essentially limits on the ways in which we allow ourselves and others to behave. 

They’re what separate healthy relationships from unhealthy ones — and it’s important for everyone involved to know where those lines are drawn.

For example: You may have a friend who always asks for money when they’re short on cash but never offers anything in return; you might want to set some ground rules around lending them money so that they don’t take advantage of you anymore (or vice versa).

Or perhaps someone has been talking about their ex-partner nonstop since the breakup; setting aside time every week where nobody talks about their exes could help prevent burnout among friends who have no choice but to listen anyway!

However, there are also situations where setting boundaries doesn’t work as well — for example: If someone is struggling with depression or anxiety issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trying too hard while helping out might actually make things worse rather than better because it could make them feel isolated instead of supported by loved ones during stressful times such as these.

Advise Against Couples Counseling With A Narcissist

Couples counseling is not a good idea. Narcissists can use couples counseling as a way to manipulate their partner and blame the other person for their problems.

Sometimes, this can be done subtly; for example, by asking questions like “Why do you always create drama?” or “How come when I tell you something you always get mad at me?”

If your friend has been in a relationship with someone who is narcissistic for some time now (and has not sought any help), then it may be difficult to convince them that they need help from an outside source.

If they do agree to go see someone else professionally without their partner present, this could open up some room for discussion between friends after the sessions end.

Warn About Hoovering And Charm Offensives

When you see your friend in a relationship with a narcissist, one of the first things to do is warn them about Hoovering and charm offensives.

Hoovering is when the narcissist tries to suck you back into the relationship by being extra nice and giving you attention. They’ll tell you how much they missed talking to you and ask how things are going in your life — and then expect that because they were sweet for five minutes, it means everything else was forgiven.

You should never accept an apology from someone who hasn’t done anything wrong; if they want forgiveness, they need to actually earn it instead of just expecting it because they’re suddenly being nice again (which could stop at any moment).

Charm offensives also happen after fights or breakups — the narcissist will try very hard not only to win over their victim again but also to make sure everyone else knows what great friends/lovers/partners are.

Have Domestic Violence Resources Ready

Domestic violence resources are available in every state, and they can help you or your friend get out of an abusive relationship. 

There are many different types of domestic violence shelters, but all of them provide safe shelter for victims and their children.

There are several things to consider when choosing a shelter for yourself or a friend who needs help in a narcissistic relationship. First, decide whether it’s best for you (or the person being abused) to live in an emergency shelter or transitional housing situation.

Emergency shelters provide short-term housing while they wait on longer-term options like transitional living facilities or permanent homes; these tend to be more expensive than other options because they provide 24/7 supervision by trained staff members who can assist with safety planning and finding new employment opportunities once someone leaves their abuser behind forever!

Suggest Trauma Therapy Like EMDR Or CBT

Trauma therapy is the best way to help a friend in this situation. The benefits of trauma therapy are that it can help them deal with their emotions and heal from the abuse they’ve experienced at the hands of their narcissistic partner.

A trauma therapist will be able to help your friend understand why they feel so much guilt, shame, and pain around being treated poorly by someone who was supposed to love them unconditionally.

They will also teach them techniques for coping with the stressors associated with being in an abusive relationship (which may include things like practicing breathing exercises).

Discourage Confrontations Which Can Provoke Rage

You may have heard that narcissists don’t respond well to confrontation. This is true, but there are ways you can confront someone who has narcissistic personality disorder without provoking a rage.

First, if you are already in an argument with a narcissist and they become enraged, leave the situation immediately and take time to calm down yourself before approaching them again.

If they do not want to be confronted by anyone (including themselves), then don’t try again until they seem more receptive or at least less defensive about being confronted.

Secondarily: If possible, try not to get into arguments with people who have NPD — it’s just not worth it! And finally…if none of these options work for whatever reason — you’re stuck in an argument with someone who has NPD — then seek help from someone outside of your relationship who has experience dealing with this kind of thing before trying anything else!

Learn Protective Strategies Like The Grey Rock Method

You may be wondering what to do if your friend is being emotionally abused and you’re not sure how to help. One way that we can help is by learning protective strategies like the Grey Rock Method.

The Grey Rock Method is a way of responding to emotional abuse that doesn’t make you feel worse, but it does keep the narcissist from getting their way.

It’s important to remember that narcissists are often masters at manipulation, so don’t take their words as gospel truth! If someone isn’t treating you well or listening when you talk about your feelings, this could be a sign they have narcissistic tendencies — or it could just mean they’re having an off day (everyone has those!).

If there seems like there might be something deeper going on with them or their behavior towards others concerns me personally then I would definitely recommend talking with someone else about it before reaching out directly myself — maybe another friend who knows both parties involved better than me would know better how best approach these situations?

Help Find Safe Housing Or Domestic Violence Shelter

In addition to the above, you should be able to help your friend find safe housing or domestic violence shelters. If they’re in a state where they can get an order of protection, that would be ideal — but even if not, there are still many resources available for getting out of abusive situations. 

Here are some places where you can start:

  • List of shelters in your area (state)
  • Homelessness prevention resources for your state
  • Find a lawyer in your area who can help you with an order of protection or domestic violence issues
  • Find mental health professionals and therapists in your area who specialize in dealing with narcissistic abuse survivors and their families/loved ones

Warn Against Narcissist’s Fake Apologies And Remorse

When you’re trying to help a friend in a narcissistic relationship, it’s important to warn them against the narcissist’s fake apologies and remorse.

Narcissists are not sorry for what they did; they are sorry for getting caught. They don’t feel remorse for hurting someone else — they feel shame about being exposed as bad people and losing control over their victim(s).

Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

Because of this, if you try to help your friend by reminding them of how terrible their partner can be or showing them evidence that backs up your claims, the narcissist will use these things against both of you: firstly in an attempt to make himself look like less of a monster than he actually is (which he’ll probably succeed at) and secondly by making you feel guilty for having done so! In other words…don’t believe his apologies!

Caution About Potential Stalking And Harassment

Stalking is a crime. It can be physical or emotional, and it can be done by friends, family members, strangers, and even the narcissist himself.

Stalking is not just about following someone around or checking up on them; it’s also about sending harassing messages to them over social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

If you’re concerned that your friend may be being stalked by their partner (or anyone else), tell them about the dangers of being in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic traits. 

Encourage them to report any incidents of stalking immediately to police so that they don’t have time to escalate into something more serious.

Recommend Changing Phone Numbers, Locks If Needed

  • Change Phone Numbers: If you have their cell phone number, change it. If they have your home phone number, also change that.
  • Change Locks: If you live with your friend and/or have a key to their house or apartment, change the locks immediately if they were abused by their partner (and even if they weren’t).
  • Change Passwords: When changing passwords for online accounts like Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter make sure that only the person who needs access can get it — don’t just let anyone have access because then someone else could easily log in as them! This can be done by going into “Security” under settings within each account type mentioned above — you’ll find options for changing who has access here!

Advise Hiding Valuables And Important Documents

  • Hiding valuables: If you have access to a safe, hide your important documents and valuables there. The narcissist will use this information against you if he or she can get their hands on them.
  • Hiding passwords: Make sure that you change all passwords for online accounts, social media platforms, email accounts, and bank accounts so that no one else knows them but yourself (and maybe a trusted friend).
  • Hiding keys: If possible, make sure that the narcissist does not have access to any of your keys such as house keys or car keys. This way they cannot get into places where they could find something harmful for both parties involved in this relationship such as sensitive information about other people in their lives who might be targeted by him/her later on down the road if given opportunity enough time during which none would notice anything unusual happening before it’s too late!

Research Legal Options For Restraining Orders If Needed

If you’re concerned about the safety of your friend, it’s important to know the difference between a restraining order and a protective order. 

A restraining order is an official court document that prohibits contact between two parties; it can be filed by either party and is typically granted on a temporary basis until further hearings are held in court.

A protective order is similar, but it also requires one party to give up certain assets or property as well as imposing restrictions regarding the care and custody of any children involved in the case.

If your friend has been threatened by their partner — or if there have been signs of physical abuse — you should help them learn more about obtaining legal protection from their abuser through obtaining either type of order (or both).

This step may require some research into local laws and procedures before proceeding with filing for anything officially with law enforcement agencies involved with family matters like this one. 

Make sure not only that these forms are filled out properly but also that your friend understands what each section means so they can answer questions accurately when questioned by police officers later down the road.

Outline Tactics To Safely Leave With Kids If Applicable

If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s likely that they have controlled your life and the lives of those around you for some time.

They may have isolated you from friends and family, restricted access to money or other resources, abused economic power by controlling the household budget or personal finances, threatened physical harm (including threats against pets), used intimidation tactics such as yelling at others in front of them while they are silent so as not to appear as if they were doing anything wrong — the list goes on.

Narcissistic abuse is often very hard to spot because it can look like love at first sight: “I’m here now so everything must be okay!”

But once someone gets into an intimate relationship with someone who has these traits (and especially if they start having children together), then things become more complicated because there are legal implications when leaving an abusive partner who also happens to be your spouse/cohabitant/parent/guardian etcetera.

Discuss Economic Abuse And Financial Control

Financial abuse is a form of abuse that can be hard to detect. It’s not always obvious, but if you know what to look for, it’s possible to help your friend by educating her about financial control tactics and how they work.

  • Discuss the importance of economic independence and self-sufficiency. Narcissists will often try to control their partners by making them dependent on them financially or emotionally — this makes it easier for them later when they want out of the relationship and want their partner back in their life again as a friend or lover! So if you suspect your friend is being economically abused, let her know how important it is for her own well-being that she learns how to get along without him/her so that he/she doesn’t have any power over her anymore!
  • Encourage your friend not only with words but also through actions: If there are ways in which YOU can provide some assistance (e.g., helping out with bills), then offer those up first before suggesting anything else because there may be other reasons why someone might not want help from others besides just being too proud; perhaps there are legal issues involved as well (such as child custody).

Recommend Personal Empowerment Books And Videos

You can also recommend personal empowerment books and videos. These are great because they offer tools for people who are ready to take action, but not necessarily ready to leave their partner immediately.

Here are some examples:

  • Narcissistic lovers: how to cope with one and win back your life by patricia evans
  • The verbally abusive relationship: how to recognize it and what you can do about it by patricia evans
  • Codependent No More: how to Stop Controlling Others and start caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie (this one’s a classic!)

Help Them To identify How Narcissists Manipulate That Cause Emotional Abuse

When you are in a relationship with an emotional manipulator, they will use their powers of persuasion to make you feel like it’s all your fault. Narcissists can be master manipulators and they know how to make people doubt themselves.

Their goal is to get what they want at all costs — even if it means breaking down your self-esteem or making others feel bad about themselves.

Narcissists also have no problem lying in order to get what they want from others; this includes lying about things that happened in the past (such as telling someone who was previously married that she was divorced).

This makes it difficult for anyone trying to help them because there is no way for anyone else besides those involved directly with each other to know exactly what happened during interactions between two people who are both manipulative narcissists.

Keep Reminding Them The Narcissist’s Behavior Is Not Their Fault

When you’re helping a friend in a narcissistic relationship, it can be hard to know what to say. It’s important that your friend knows that they are not at fault for the narcissist’s behavior and that they should not feel responsible for fixing the situation.

Keep reminding them of these facts:

  • It’s not their fault. The narcissist has chosen to behave this way, not because of anything your friend did or didn’t do; it’s just who they are! Your friend isn’t responsible for changing them into someone who treats others with respect and dignity (if such a thing were even possible). They cannot control what another person does — and it would be unfair to expect otherwise from anyone else besides yourself, right? You wouldn’t want someone else trying to control how YOU act; so why would we expect our friends or partners to do this with us?
  • Don’t take responsibility away from yourself by thinking “I could have done something differently” or “There must have been something I could have done differently.” When someone is hurtful towards us, we often think back on every single interaction between ourselves and try desperately figure out where exactly things went wrong so we could avoid making those same mistakes again next time around…but sometimes there isn’t anything else either one party could’ve done differently because both sides were equally invested in keeping everything stable until suddenly things blew up after months/years worth cumulative worry about whether everything would eventually fall apart anyway due their own self-fulfilling prophecy regarding their partner being unable at some point down line from today’s date when deciding whether continue investing more energy into relationship rather than walk away now before things get worse because there was always risk involved knowing full well ahead time since day one when starting off first meeting each other during college years while attending class together back then through mutual friends’ connections before moving forward together further down line today when deciding whether stay together long term future plans instead leaving behind past mistakes forever forgotten as if never existed before moving forward forward forth

Final Thoughts

Supporting a friend in an abusive narcissistic relationship is an ongoing process, not a single conversation. The manipulation they’ve endured trains them to protect their narcissistic partner. 

They need time to regain clarity and perspective. Avoid criticizing their choices — this only isolates them further. Rather, rebuild their confidence and independence little by little.

With an empathetic, non-judgmental approach, you can help empower your friend over time. Recommend small steps that won’t provoke the narcissist’s rage. Help them carve time for hobbies, friends, and self-care. 

Encourage therapy to process trauma and begin taking control of the narrative. Offer to assist with researching resources to have prepared for leaving safely when they are ready.

Above all, let your friend know their worth and that there is a full, vibrant life waiting for them outside the narcissist’s grasp. With time, validation, and compassion, you can help nourish their depleted inner reserves so they can reclaim their agency and courage. 

Keep reminding them the abuse was never their fault and that they deserve genuine love.

Lend a listening ear when darkness creeps back in. Keep extra vigilance during weak moments like holidays or the narcissist’s attempts to hoover them back in with faux charm offensives. 

Your consistency will help them weather those setbacks. With each small step, you are helping unlock their prison, empowering them to recognize that the door to freedom is always open, awaiting their choice to walk through it. You cannot rescue them, but you can shine a light reminding them the way out was always within their own strength.

About the Author :

Som Dutt, Top writer in Philosophy & Psychology on I make people Think, Relate, Feel & Move. Let's Embrace Inner Chaos and Appreciate Deep, Novel & Heavy Thoughts.

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