Narcissists are some of the most dangerous men out there. I honestly think they should be sent to an island where they just have to put up with each other. Narcissists are worse than simple, mean jerks because simple, mean jerks are usually too dumb to hide the fact that they’re jerks. That’s good for everyone else because simply mean guys show their true colors early, so we know to run away. Narcissists, however, are manipulative and intelligent—almost to a sociopathic degree. They know that their true colors aren’t attractive, they know what kind of traits are attractive, and they are very good at pretending to be something they aren’t (generous, gentle, kind, patient) until you’re so attached that you can’t walk away. Then they unleash their narcissistic tendencies. Narcissists can really do a number on your mental and emotional health. Almost nobody walks away unscathed. Here is how to heal after dating a narcissist.
Block him. Everywhere.
Narcissists don’t take to be dumped kindly. They will try to text you, call you, email you, Facebook message you, call you at work, Instagram message you, and even show up at your door. Take every precaution you can to block the narcissist. If he shows up at your door, file a restraining order immediately. I’m not kidding.
Warn your friends he may reach out
Warn your friends that the narcissist may reach out to them. If you haven’t been open with them about the emotionally abusive, toxic nature of that relationship yet, it’s time to tell them what really happened. They need to know the truth before the narcissist calls them, sounding so kind and caring, convincing them to convince you to take him back.
Spend time with your friends and family
You need to be around people who love you unconditionally right now because, for so long, you were with someone who only loved you conditionally—and they were unhealthy, terrible conditions at that. That’s not even love, of course. But right now, to rebalance the lack of love you were receiving, you need to surround yourself with genuine love.
Reflect on why this happened
This may be hard to accept but, something about you attracted a narcissist. It’s okay—you can fix that! Narcissists are drawn to people who they perceive as weak—perhaps people who are easy to influence, or come off an insecure, or appear not to love or accept themselves fully. If any of this could be true about you, it’s time to see a therapist, and work that out.
Retrace your steps, and the signs
Think about on the early days of this relationship (though it’s painful and hard to do). Retrace your steps. Identify when his behavior changed. Pinpoint the moments, behaviors, words, and actions that slowly began to reveal his true colors. Write them down. You need to remember these so you don’t date a narcissist again.
Learn something new/become stronger
Your narcissist ex probably convinced you that you weren’t intelligent, that you were weak, and that you weren’t capable. You need to prove to yourself right now how wrong he was. Take a class. Take a challenging class. Take on something challenging. Learn krav maga. Do something that reminds you how strong, resilient, and capable you are.
Break some rules/go a little wild
You were probably living with strict rules about how you were allowed to behave and what you were allowed to do. So go break a bunch of rules. Do whatever you want with no regard for what anyone thinks. Remind yourself that you can do that and…nothing bad really happens. It doesn’t really matter what people think about how you have fun or enjoy yourself.
Treat yourself. You need it. Go on a trip to see a friend, or go to a spa by yourself. Take some personal days to read uplifting books, go to the beach, and spend time with your dog. Be gentle to yourself.
Don’t date for a while
The narcissist takes a while to get out of your system. You probably shouldn’t date for at least half a year if you were involved for a long time with a narcissist. You need to make sure you don’t repeat your same decisions. Just be with friends.
Remember who you were before
Think back to who you were before dating this narcissist. Think about the things you used to do, that you stopped doing because he told you not to. Really meditate on who you were before the narcissist tried to break you.
Get your old self back
Now get your old self back. Consciously recreate that person—that person who was lively, happy, brave, adventurous, and social.
Do the things that he wouldn’t let you do
Go to the places, buy the things, wear the things, eat the things, see the people, do the things…that he wouldn’t allow you to.
Be a bit selfish
Don’t waste any time on friends who are selfish right now—be the selfish one. You don’t need to say yes to every invitation, or do every favor asked of you. You were taken from for so long. Right now, you need to be around givers.
You probably got in the bad habit of apologizing all of the time, even when you didn’t do anything wrong, when you were with the narcissist. Be cognizant of that, and stop it.
Weed out habits he taught you
Pay attention to other little habits he taught you, like doing lots of back pedaling, doing lots of prefacing, not speaking up, not saying what you mean, asking, “Is that okay?” a lot and more. And kick those habits to the curb.