Narcissistic and Toxic Relationships
Narcissistic and toxic relationships can occur at any point in our lives. You may have had a parent or parents, partners and/or friends who have been emotionally or verbally abusive or perhaps they have been narcissists.
Undoing the harm from these relationships is a process, you have to unlearn what you have been taught, re-build your self-esteem and resilience and sometimes re-gain your sense of who you are. Therapy can help you understand that you are not at fault or ‘bad’ that you should not feel guilt and shame for another persons behaviours.
Narcissists want control and admiration, they manipulate and exploit people for their own gain. Narcissists are able to make you feel like the world revolves around you one moment then make you feel like something they stepped in then shower you with ‘affection’. They distort your reality and make you question what is real by denying what actually happened or was said, telling you that you are over-reacting or crazy and making out that no-one else would have you.
Toxic people are not always narcissistic, they may have their own issues/insecurities that they are trying to hide and often project these onto other people. Like narcissists, toxic people like the appearance of being ‘perfect’ to those on the outside. This makes it hard for those in their crosshairs to feel like they would be believed when they have been hurt by them. Other toxic people maybe judgemental, manipulative, self absorbed or even play the ‘victim’ themselves.
You may may have experienced toxicity in relationships where there are drug, alcohol, gambling or other forms of addiction. Growing up in an abusive household is also considered toxic whether or not you were the one who suffered the abuse.
What therapy can help you with.
Wether you are in or have been in a relationship with either of the above, therapy can help you make sense of what is real and what is their reality, why you react the way you do and how to respond in a way that keeps you safe. To manage these types of people the best cause of action is often to cut them from your life, however this isn’t always possible. We will explore how to put in boundaries so that if you do have to interact with them you can do so without losing your self or react in a way that feeds into their agenda. You will also learn how to spot these types of people so that you aren’t vulnerable but also build your ability to trust again so that you can create healthy relationships.