Narcissists hate boundaries. If there’s one thing you can do to make narcissists run in the other direction, it’s having boundaries.
Narcissists bank on you having either no boundaries or very weak ones. This way, they have to do the minimal work to emotionally manipulate and abuse you. They want to be allowed to let the red flags run wild and free throughout the relationship!
Of all the things I could tell you to do in order to not only recover but prevent further abuse, it’s enforcing your boundaries. That usually means learning to say NO.
People Pleasing and Boundaries
However, when in a long term relationship with a narcissist, we can tend to become people pleasers, as we seek validation from the narcissist. That’s the starting point in learning how to set and enforce boundaries.
It’s important to understand what your core values are. What do you believe in? How do you think you should be treated or not treated?
When setting boundaries with a narcissist, it’s so important be assertive and specific about your needs. Use “I” statements to express your feelings and expectations. Stay firm and consistent, because they will try to overstep them, and it’s up to you to highlight it to them when they do.
Try to avoid getting drawn into arguments, as this can be used against you. Narcissists can gaslight you through arguments, making you feel guilty, hence letting your guard down.
I always suggest digging a bit deeper into your core values, through CBT counselling. It can help you identify areas where you lack boundaries because of past experiences and belief systems you’ve become accustomed to.
Whichever the case, know that when you stand up and stand strong on your boundaries, narcissists will usually flee, because you refuse to bend to their will.
Narcissists hate boundaries, so what better thing to do than use them 🙂