healing after narcissistic abuse

6 Strategies to Help You Stop Overreacting When Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

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When we are on the path to healing after narcissistic abuse, we often overreact to situations without even knowing it.

Why does this happen?  

Well, for one, we allow our emotions to take over. But more than that, we are so used to being on the defensive that our baseline reaction is protect and preserve

Overreacting in the aftermath of narcissistic abuse is also indicative of having formed PTSD and C-PTSD, both of which require dedicated commitment in order to heal from.  It’s also partly why victims of narcissistic abuse are often misdiagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder.  

There are some public figures who say that we can heal completely from triggers, but that’s not a goal to set for yourself.  Some triggers are part of the grieving process and trying to bypass them will only cause a rubber band snap-back effect that can be devastating, delaying your progress considerably. 

I created a video that tells you the truth about healing after narcissistic abuse and why we actually need triggers sometimes.  You can watch it here:


Although healing from narcissistic abuse includes the process of learning new behaviors, for a while, we continue to experience an automatic, overwhelming urge to justify ourselves, defend ourselves, and attempt to get others to see where we are coming from because we’re so used to explaining everything down to the smallest minutiae. 

Once you gain control over your emotions you’ll be able to choose better reactions, which leads to better solutions.

It’s important to remember that no one is perfect. Everyone overreacts from time to time. It’s when your overreactions become the norm that you should seek a better way.

Consider the following action strategies to help you stop overreacting while healing after narcissistic abuse:

  1. The art of not reacting. In order to stop overreacting, you can try using the art of not reacting.  This means that when you’re presented with a certain situation, your goal will be to not react at all. Instead, you’ll take the time to think about the situation and then formulate your action, which won’t necessarily require interaction with the narcissist (can be a coworker, friend, parent, sibling, etc.)  

    This is especially important if you are co-parenting with a narcissistic ex.  Remember, you have more control over your new life than you think you do.  You may still feel trapped and that you’ll never get away from the narcissist, but much of that is your perception (because you’ve been conditioned to feel that way). 

  1. Let out your emotions. Let yourself feel your emotions as they come to you and find positive ways to express them. When you allow your emotions to build up, they become stronger inside of you. It’s difficult to stop yourself from overreacting when you’re full of pent up emotion.
  1. Take a time out. If you tend to overreact with anger, it’s vital to allow yourself some cool down time. If you feel strong emotions building inside you, instead of bursting out, go somewhere where you know you can be alone. Cooling down will help you to react with a clear head.

If you have children, taking a time out is critical if you find yourself overreacting with anger towards them on a regular basis.  Children who consistently feel unloved often grow up to develop either narcissistic or codependent traits.

  1. Write it down. Instead of reacting to a situation at all, go write it down. Writing it down is another way of giving yourself time to think over the situation. Later on, once you read what you wrote, you may be able to see whether your reaction was an overreaction or not.
  1. Practice relaxation techniques. When you adopt relaxation techniques, you’ll find that you’re automatically more in control of your emotions. Try deep breathing or attend a yoga or meditation class. Relaxation will reduce your stress and you’ll be less likely to lash out with negative emotion.
  1. Avoid judging. Make it a point to stop judging yourself and others. Judgments can give you strong opinions that may be unwarranted, which can lead you to overreactions. In the same vein, when you judge yourself for overreacting, you aren’t allowing yourself to make mistakes, which is a self-defeating attitude.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff 

If you find that you’re overreacting to most of life’s situations, it’s time to start with the small things. Ask yourself why you’re reacting to small situations with such negative passion.

This is a sign that there is an underlying issue you need to deal with. Are you overly stressed? Is your mind obsessing about your past? Answer these questions and solve these problems first. It’s likely you need to implement self-care into your daily routine, which would include healthy ways of processing your emotions.  Hire a therapist or a coach.  Plan regular movie nights instead of wearing yourself out after work.  Just take it one thing at a time.

Change for The Better

Once you’ve discovered a method that works well for you, incorporate that change into your life permanently.

It’s important to expect that you will make mistakes along the way – but that’s okay! You may still overreact from time to time, but we are only human and it happens. Don’t let mistakes discourage you from jumping right back into the methods that work for you.

If you’re having trouble changing, remember to take small steps. It’s quite difficult to become a different person overnight. Try to bring an overall awareness to your life so you no longer feel the pull to overreact. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself regaining control over your emotions and making true progress while you are healing after narcissistic abuse!

Break Free and Discover the Healing & Happiness You Deserve

Even if you’re struggling in the aftermath of narcissistic abuse, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to this destiny forever. You can restore your sense of control. You can embrace a healthier way of living and loving.

Whether you’re just discovering you are dealing with narcissistic abuse or are trying to heal from a narcissistic relationship, here are some helpful resources:  

2 – The Break Free Program – Explore techniques derived from behavioral therapy (vetted by the psychological and neuro-psychological communities) to finally break free from the nightmare and heal your life.

3 – The THRIVE program – Rediscover your lost self after narcissistic abuse, rebuild your confidence, and prepare yourself for true love.

The Bottom Line

Everyone has the innate capacity to heal themselves. But, it’s likely you will need external support to heal the traumas that get in the way of your ability to tune into this gift.⠀Helpful tools and resources can assist you in developing effective ways to break free from narcissistic abuse. 

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Leave a Comment:

Suzanne says May 1, 2023

This is what I have been looking for but unable to find. Thank you.

    Kim Saeed says May 10, 2023

    You’re most welcome, Suzanne. Thank you for stopping by…

    Kim xo

Jennifer says January 17, 2022

I am still hear reading everything you post….
I’m 3 yrs out of my 28 yr relationship of being with and raising my children, with a narc.
Once I gained the knowledge of what he was and what I was living I worked hard to move past the relationship.
Through your posts I am now trying to regain who I am.
My children are adults and I’m a grandmother…my children saved me and now my grandchildren save me.
Thank you greatly for sharing your knowledge and your heart.
I have to work onmyself everyday!
It’s not easy.

Harold says May 25, 2021

I always enjoy hearing from you and received the keys that help free us from narcissist abuse from your program I can also relate to losing my My temper of times and I used to walk into that trap that the narcissist draw me in when she wants an argument so I’ve learnt so much from your program I want to thank you and you know the way you personalise ending of your letters really helps as well thank you again.

Anonymous says May 25, 2021

This was very helpful! In also helps for a rear view mirror kind of look as well as to look forward.

Anonymous says November 16, 2020

My daughter hates me and she comes ip with things that never happen.But it is always my fault i have not talked to her in 3 months. I miss my granddaughter HELP

Brooke Bundrant Maness says November 14, 2020


Elena says September 3, 2020

Good morning Kim, things fell threw for me last year. Still with Him. But thank God things are better. I confront him when he’s getting nasty. And I also walk away. He Knows I know Who he Is. But Greater is He who IS in me . Then he who is in the world. Thank you for all you do. Gods many blessings to you and yours. Sorry you had to move to city. I know how that felt.☺️I’d hate to move away from the Mts again. Shalom

Anonymous says November 26, 2019

Ty cu,zin going to move on

Gina says August 12, 2019

This message explains that my triggers are necessary and important to my healing journey. It has been 5 1/2 years since my abuser died. I still have triggers and am trying to apply what I have learned so far. I am aware that I am responsible for my self-love. Thank you.

Brenda Barton says August 11, 2019

It’s been a year since I left an abusive cruel soulmurdering Narcassist. I wish I had read this article, or been able to find something similar. Most of your articles have kept me from getting relationship abnesia and going back to him. My life today is a hundred and ten percent better and though I’ve never met you, reading the things you wrote, like about trauma bond helped me understand and leave for good. I thought I was crazy for awhile. When asked I couldent explain why I kept going back to him, but understanding after reading what you’d write helped me understand what a trauma bond, and relationship abnesia was. And seeing the whole picture, empowered me to go no contact. I wish I’d read this after I first left him cause though I’m with a man now who is not abusive, I was being triggered right and left, and though feeling bad about it later I was handing his ass to him on a daily basis. It was all that pent up, shoved down toxic trauma coming out. I was no longer afraid and it was coming out in tornados of rage. I feel ashamed of this but I had to start seeing a Catalyste Counsler cause I had started being abusive to my little dogs and after crying for hours feeling awful about it, I went to counsling and since I’ve been going I haven’t hurt them since. I go and release my built up frustrations and so the top of the Crock-Pot to blow of over every little thing. Thank you

Lala says August 11, 2019

Intentional harm
Physically& emotionally

Donna E Clowers says July 9, 2018

My narcissistic abuser is my one and only child. Daughter. I’ve been no contact for nearly 2 years. In doing that I have lost my 3 grandchildren that I spent my life with and thought they were adult enough to decide for themselves. They have always loved their grandma! I just had to go no contact again because I prayed so hard for God to change her and to give me back my family. Now I feel as if I did something wrong and God is punishing me because I didn’t have enough faith and reached out when I should’ve left it up to Him. I don’t want to lose everyone I love because they believe her lies! And they do!!!! Ones who’ve known me all my life!! I am hurting really bad right now! Somebody please help me!!!!

    Tom says August 12, 2019

    God isnt punishing you. God gives love , grace, & power to save yourself. It Hits & hurts bad, but you have to save yourself, save yourself first! Got it? . Do not expect to change the way their head works. A narci is busy turning them into flying monkeys, & there is no way to change that. Finally and firstly you gotta build yourself. Right now, I see co dependency. This where you pray for your self strength.

5 Emotional Freedom Technique Benefits in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says December 18, 2017

[…] Going to see a therapist can be expensive. Acupuncture, which works similarly to EFT, can also help, but also costs money. EFT is a wonderful free tool that anyone can use to work on emotional healing from narcissistic abuse. […]

Anonymous says May 17, 2017

Tears in my eyes. Needed this reminder. My kids say Mom, its okay you don’t have to defend yourself. We love you. Most of the time I didn’t even realize thats what I was doing. I’m working on being more conscious. Lots of deep breathing and taking walks to clear my mind. I’m seeing a counselor. Fighting the soul wrenching depression is a challenge. I’m using the strategies in the No contact bootcamp.

    Kim Saeed says May 18, 2017

    Hi Anon! I’m glad to know you are moving forward and healing. You deserve to be happy.

    Kudos on using the strategies in the Bootcamp! I’m happy to know it 🙂 Wishing you all the best in your healing journey!

    Kim XoXo

    jewlz says September 27, 2017

    I can hardly wait to be where you are. Because this failing on a daily basis is making me loathe myself more and more.

Resource part 4 – rebuildingmylife2016 says April 24, 2017

[…] 6 Strategies to Help You Stop Overreacting When Healing from Narcissistic Abuse […]

Michelle says February 16, 2017

I needed this read this. i blame myself each time I overeact the the narc abuse, thinking it’s me. Maybe I’m the problem

    Kimberly says March 1, 2017

    No Michelle you’re not the problem you’re not the problem when all you want to do is love and be loved you not the problem when you were trusting you’re not the problem when you’re hurt so deeply that you’re reaching out looking everywhere for her a normal breakup is different from that with a sociopath and narcissist don’t beat yourself up love yourself sit beside yourself and try to look at yourself from a distance most of all love yourself through it and know and understand why you fell for someone like this it was hard for me to face it but the truth is we think other people need our happiness it’s not our job to make everybody happy it’s our job to make ourselves happy wishing you love and peace Kimberly

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