The 7 Most Common (And Harmful) Myths About Narcissistic Abuse

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The Most Common (And Harmful) Myths About Narcissists And Narcissistic Abuse

By Alexandra Hall

Narcissistic abuse is something that has been going on for a very long time, and even though people are becoming more aware of it, it is unfortunately still present.

Despite the recognition that it is a serious and dangerous thing to go through, there are several myths about narcissistic abuse that still swirl around. 

One of the best and most effective ways of understanding and dealing with narcissistic abuse is to dispel all the vicious myths associated with it. 

Once you start peeling off the layers of narcissistic abuse one by one, the real picture will become clearer, and easier to beat. As long as you continue to believe in the dangerous myths of narcissistic abuse, the more you will suffer.

RELATED: 4 Unusual-But-Scary Narcissistic Traits That Often Go Unnoticed

Here are 7 myths about narcissistic abuse that should be done away with.

1. People see us as the perfect family/perfect couple. 

For narcissists, what other people think and how they are perceived by them is very important. 

No matter how horrible they are to their family, they will go to any lengths to portray themselves as the perfect person in front of outsiders. Naturally, this gives off the impression that the said narcissist, apart from being absolutely perfect, has a perfect life and the perfect family.

Narcissists cannot imagine other people seeing them in a negative light, and that is why they inflict narcissistic abuse on their family and close ones behind closed doors, while behaving like a saint in front of the outside world. 

2. Abuse can only be physical. 

One of the most common myths about narcissistic abuse is that, if it’s not physical, it’s not abuse. Or, worse still, it’s not as bad. 

Narcissistic abuse can be sexual and physical, but sometimes it can be purely emotional, too. Psycho-emotional narcissistic abuse includes, constant criticism, blaming, shaming, belittling, and judgment. 

There are several studies that have shown how the effects of emotional abuse are nothing less than physical abuse, which ends up leaving permanent scars on the victim’s psyche. Abuse is abuse, be it physical, sexual, or, emotional. 

3. They can’t help that they lose control sometimes. 

The moment you try to justify narcissistic abuse by giving your abuser the benefit of the doubt is the moment you are digging a deeper hole for yourself. 

Narcissists are extremely intelligent people who know very well what is right and what is not; it’s just that they are experts in making their victims believe otherwise. They are perfectly capable of handling their toxic behavior; they just don’t want to.

You will notice that when they need something from you, they will behave like the sweetest person in the whole wide world. And once their needs are met, they will dismiss you like garbage, without even sparing a single thought towards you. 

Narcissists only care about themselves, and cannot even fathom taking someone else’s feelings into consideration.

RELATED: 9 Signs Of A Toxic Relationship With A Narcissist & Red Flags That Signal You're A Victim Of Narcissistic Abuse

4. There are happy times too, so how can it be abuse? 

Unless a narcissist is feeling threatened or cornered, they will be nice to you. As long as they need something from you, they will be nice to you.

As long as you are fulfilling all their needs without asking any questions or contesting them, they will be nice to you. It is only when you challenge them in any way, is when their demons come out. 

So, yes, narcissists will be nice to you, and you might even have a few good memories with them, but that is just an illusion. An illusion that is used to manipulate you into doing their bidding, and making sure that you never leave. 

Just because you have a few good memories with them, that does not eliminate the pain, hurt, and abuse they make you go through whenever they feel like it. 

5. They have had a difficult childhood. 

Justifying narcissistic abuse by taking into consideration their childhood, is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. 

Lots of people have hard childhoods, and do all of them become narcissists or abusers? Some people choose to be better and do better. 

Trying to protect a narcissist and their abuse by putting forth this factor will only give them another reason to be abusive. There is a crucial thing that needs to be understood about narcissists, and that is, they always count on others’ vulnerabilities and good hearts to take advantage of them. 

So, the moment you try to defend their behavior, they will work towards manipulating you more.

RELATED: Your Answers To These 50 Questions Will Reveal If Your Guy Is A Narcissist

6. It only happens to others. It can never happen to me. 

One of the biggest myths about narcissistic abuse, or any kind of abuse for that matter, is living under the delusion that it can never happen to you; it will always happen to someone else. 

Narcissists manipulate and brainwash their victims to the extent that the victims start believing that nothing is actually wrong. Saying stuff like, “other people have it worse," “it’s all in your mind,” “you’re crazy,” “you are making things up,” will always lead victims to believe that nothing is wrong with the abuser.

Sometimes, refusing to accept your abuse, and the refusal to acknowledge your hurt and vulnerability is a natural response to trauma, especially when you were a child and did not have any control whatsoever on the situations.

Getting out of that brainwashed zone is one of the keys to putting a stop to narcissistic abuse for good.

7. It’s very easy to get out of a situation like this. 

No, it is not easy to “just” get out of an abusive situation. Leaving a vindictive and dangerous abuser is sometimes easier said than done, as there are many factors at play. 

Keep in mind that, in most cases, victims are made to isolate themselves from their family and friends, and forced to do the abuser’s bidding with threats of assault, homelessness, and loss of child custody. 

Abusers also tend to drain their victims of all their finances, so that they cannot leave. Ever. 

So, contrary to what people might think and believe, it is not a cakewalk for the victims. They cannot just pack their bags and leave.

Beating narcissistic abuse is hard, but once these myths are completely done away with, the process becomes a tad bit easier. It might be a small step, but most definitely an important one, because every step matters in the long-run.

RELATED: 5 Forms Of Narcissistic Abuse That Narcissists Use To Get Inside Your Head

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Alexandra Hall is a writer who focuses on relationships, dating, and love. For more of her relationship content, visit her author profile on The Mind's Journal.

This article was originally published at The Mind's Journal. Reprinted with permission from the author.