friends stop supporting you

When Friends and Family Pull Away During Your Toxic Relationship

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We all need emotional support when we’re dealing with difficult times. This is especially true when we’re the target of emotional abuse.

However, it often happens that if you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse, friends and family may begin to withdraw from you, making it feel as if they’ve stopped caring.

Nothing feels more lonely than when friends and family you’ve counted on for emotional support begin to pull away, leaving you to deal with the trauma of your situation all alone. ⁣⁣It almost feels as if the narcissist’s accusations are true…maybe NO ONE cares about you anymore.

This can leave you feeling as if it’s better to stay with the narcissist. At least they are there for you, even if you’re miserable with them.⁣⁣ More times than not, there are other reasons your friends and family begin to pull away, and it’s not because they’ve stopped caring for you.

Video Transcription:

Welcome back! In this video, I want to talk about a different way to think when it feels like your friends and family are pulling away from you during your toxic and traumatic relationship.

Maybe you’ve been getting in touch with them to get some emotional support and perhaps it’s come to the point where it feels like they are avoiding you and pulling away.  I want to help you not take things so personally.

Three Types of Supporters During Your Toxic Relationship

Basically, there are three camps of people when it comes to helping us process the experience of narcissistic abuse. 

Camp One – People who are not solutions-based

Maybe they don’t have a history of thinking for themselves. These are people who will, just right off the bat tell you, “Well, I don’t understand why you just can’t get over this.  Why don’t you just leave them? It shouldn’t be so hard. “

These are the people you obviously want to avoid going to for emotional support. They have not had this experience, or maybe they have, and you just don’t know about it. And you don’t really want to spend too much time trying to analyze that.

The only way to approach people like this is simply to stop going to them for emotional support because you don’t need the additional invalidation. These people are not going to witness your experience. They’re not going to give you any real, emotional support. They are dismissive and that’s not going to help you at all.

Camp Two – Friends and family who might have experience with high-conflict people

These folks are trying to be there for you. They’re trying, they’re listening, they’re taking your phone calls.  Maybe they’re offering solutions, but perhaps you’ve noticed that they are pulling away from you, as well.

Now, what I want to share with you today will hopefully help you understand where these people are coming from. Humans are generally focused on finding solutions to problems, and maybe you’ve been in a toxic relationship for some time and you normally go to a certain person or group of people to help you. And things are starting to spiral downwards, perhaps. And you’re not understanding what’s going on. It feels like they don’t care anymore. They’re not there for you anymore.

When we are trying to find solutions to problems, there comes a point where if we’re trying something over and over and it’s not working out, we have to look for another approach. And so these people in the second camp have come to realize that there is no feasible solution to your problem, as long as you remain in your toxic relationship.

They have been able to see the patterns. They’ve offered you some suggestions, perhaps they’ve even offered to let you live with them or have offered you money to help you get back on your feet. And maybe you’ve taken them up on that and then went back to your toxic relationship. So there does come a point where they feel like there’s simply nothing more they can do for you, even though they really want to be there for you. There’s simply nothing more they can offer.

What we want to realize here is that human beings only have so much energy to put out into the world every day. Therefore, sometimes we have to put up boundaries for ourselves, even with people we love and care for very much. So, if you do have friends and family who are starting to avoid you a little bit, or it feels like they’re pulling away, that’s probably because they just feel like they don’t have any more energy to put into the situation that you’re in.

Maybe it’s starting to affect them and perhaps it’s starting to affect their other relationship dynamics. Maybe they have a spouse or a child who’s not understanding why they’re putting so much energy into trying to help you in your own situation. These are the things that we need to consider when it feels like friends and family are pulling away. You know, there does come a time where there’s simply nothing more they can do. And they’ve probably come to that realization. And it’s at this point where they are feeling like they need to let you figure things out on your own. And sure, they’ll probably be there for you later on. But sometimes they simply need to pull back a little bit so they can try to recoup and to regain some of that energy back.

Camp Three – Mostly your ride or die people

They’re always there for you, regardless of what’s going on in your life. They’ve always told you that they have an open door for you. These people have probably experienced some sort of toxic relationship or a big disappointment in their lives. However, they may have begun approaching your relationship as though you’re a drug addict, because basically, that’s what we’re dealing with here.

This is when we need to realize where they’re coming from. It’s not because they don’t love or care for you. This is when people will tell you, “I love you, but I can’t be involved in this situation anymore”. They might say, you know, don’t come back until you’ve left. The person don’t come back until this relationship that you have is over. 

These are people who really do care about you, but they understand that they can’t keep offering you an outlet because the outlet is starting to affect them. It’s also not helping you. It is similar to a sponsor in a rehab center. Sometimes people have to use a tough love approach because at the end of the day, no one, no matter how much they love and care for us, can rescue us from a narcissist if we’re not trying to rescue ourselves.  It’s the same with addiction.

The Bottom Line

Don’t take it personally when people that you have been able to depend on start pulling away, we have to think about it from their point of view also, and realize that ultimately we have to be our own saviors. We have to turn inward.

As victims of narcissistic abuse, we only have so much energy, as well. We can only absorb so much toxicity. We can only absorb so much trauma. Then, we start to leak that out into our other relationships.

People aren’t always able to absorb that for us because they have their own lives and they have their own things going on. If none of the solutions they’re offering you are helping you in your life – there’s simply nothing more they can do.

Now, we may have people who are always there for us. I had people like that in my own journey and thank God I did. But, if I had remained in that relationship, there may have come a time where my best friend said, “Kim, look, I’ve tried everything, but I don’t think there’s anything more I can do or say to help you.”

We also need to think about how these relationships might be affecting them.

If you’re visiting a friend or family member and the narcissist is showing up at their house, starting to scope out their house, they’re sending flying monkeys and they’re calling their home…we have to realize that people may not be able to offer that to us. Especially not long-term. So that’s where the boundaries come in.

No matter how much we love someone, sometimes we have to put up boundaries to protect ourselves and to create some kind of space for forward progression for the friend or family member. That means they’re creating space to get some more peace and stability back in their lives. And they’re creating space for you to realize that this situation is out of control and you really can’t deny it anymore.

I hope this has helped you realize that your friends and family still care about you, but they just can’t help you anymore. Even though they want to very much. Feel free to drop your comments down below, and I’ll try to answer them as I’m able to, and I’ll see you next time.

How to Get Help

If you believe you’re experiencing narcissistic abuse, you don’t have to tolerate it. Consider whether or not the relationship is doing you more harm than good.

Don’t blame yourself. A person’s choice to be abusive isn’t because of anything you’re doing or not doing. You’re not the cause for their behavior, no matter what they say.

Taking care of yourself is the biggest priority, which may include breaking off the relationship. 

Here are some helpful tips and resources:  

1 – The Beginner’s Healing Toolkit is a free resource that includes everything you need to get started on healing your life after narcissistic abuse.

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

3 – The THRIVE program – Rediscover your lost self after narcissistic abuse (and prepare yourself for true love).

4 – Personalized guidance – I will answer your request via a short, raw, offline video.

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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3 comments
Esperanza Solano says November 23, 2020

How can I be certain that he is cheating on the internet… Ok I found a few suspicious activity on his phone, such as a email address for his ex wife… And just things that are all pointed to him missing his ex wife, I confronted him and of course he denies it

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Kalyani says November 8, 2020

The issue is my family of origin are not willing to believe me and they engage in smearing my name and project the narcissist as good!

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Linda C. Mitchell says November 4, 2020

Thank you> that has helped me understand with my last issue that was sort of bothering me. I will continue my journey of healing and now after 6 months it is so much easier. Thanks again. Linda

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