**This article was written for victims of Narcissistic abuse. If you are experiencing Domestic Violence, please contact thehotline.org.
Narcissists enjoy instilling fear in their victims because it makes them feel omnipotent to do so. An added bonus is that it keeps their victims compliant. In their mind, a person with no self-esteem and a great sense of fear is the perfect subservient pawn.
For the most part, fear is nothing more than a conditioned reaction to a perceived danger. Most things we fear, we don’t have a direct answer for. It happens automatically at the subconscious level. This is especially so for victims of Narcissistic abuse because the conditioning occurs consistently, causing paralysis in the victim who doesn’t dare explore their available options.
If you “believe” that something is harmful to you, you naturally will fear it.
Common fears instilled by the Narcissist:
- You’re too old
- You’re not attractive anymore
- No one else would ever want you
- You can’t function in society
- You can’t do anything right
- You’re too sensitive
- You’d never win against them in court
- You could never make it on your own
- None of your friends or family have any sense of devotion left for you
- If you leave, the kids will never forgive you
They’re scared because the truth is, you hold real power. At any moment you could decide that you will take your power back, so the Narcissist has to work consistently in order for that not to happen. Your attempts at maintaining a relationship though open communication results in Narcissistic injury (i.e., you ask for respect, for them to stop being cruel, for fidelity, for emotion, for time together). To them, these requests represent a loss of power on their part, so they repeat the above conditioning statements and others like it to keep you fearful.
Most fears result in a self-fulfilling prophecy
Take another look at the above list of fears. Which ones do you believe apply to you? Do you behave in ways that cause those fears to manifest in your daily life? When we hold ungrounded fears we are not living at all, just existing. We become someone who is physically alive but psychologically dead.
Most fears result in a self-fulfilling prophesy. This means that more often than not, our fears become a reality because when we fear unknowingly and unconsciously, we do things that give rise to the prophesy and end up living the thing that we fear the most.
Take your power back – Install new beliefs
- Immerse yourself in new beliefs until your subconscious accepts them as true and integrates them into your mental operating system. For example, when the Narcissist tells you that you are no longer attractive, remind yourself that if that were true, they wouldn’t have been attracted to you in the first place.
- Each time you have a limiting, fearful thought…visualize the opposite. For example, if their favorite dig is to tell you you’d never be successful on your own, imagine yourself in your own apartment or home, easily paying your financial obligations and feeling happy.
- Pay attention to what’s going on around you and the activities you’re involved in. Perhaps you don’t work outside the home, but you likely take care of important business matters for the Narcissist. And you’re probably quite good at it, too, and had to be in order to avoid risk of their rage. Can you use those skills to find outside work? Can you hire a professional to prepare an attractive resume for you? Do you know a friend or acquaintance that can pull some strings for you at their place of employment?
- Tear up Plan B. – If your freedom is really important enough to you, then you can start by tearing up Plan B, such that you have no choice but to press on. Don’t tell yourself that if your attempts at freedom don’t work out, you can always stay.
“If you don’t burn those ships, you are sending the message to your subconscious mind that it’s ok to quit. And when the going gets tough, as it inevitably does for any worthwhile goal, you will quit. If you really want to achieve your goals, then you’ve got to burn those ships to the ground, and scatter the ashes.” ~ Steve Pavlina
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Fear is a choice.”~ Will Smith
When was the last time you looked at your true capabilities instead of the false fears fed to you by the Narcissist? Are you still hanging onto a dream that, in reality, died a long time ago and is quite literally stinking up your present life and that of your family, because of your fear that you cannot find true happiness?
Once upon a time, there was life before the Narcissist. You experienced love, acceptance, happiness, and joy. You had other relationships. These are all within your reach again, but it’s up to you to believe it…and it all starts by releasing the fear of your Narcissistic partner.
“Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear.” – Cheri Huber