friends stop supporting you

When Friends and Family Pull Away During Your Toxic Relationship

Sharing is caring

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 resources:  

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

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

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. 

Sharing is caring

Leave a Comment:

carol says January 25, 2021

Our sons partner disguised herself as his councilor. She tried to arrange a day with our son to talk about his childhood bullying when they were expecting a baby when it should have been a happy time for both of them!. The visit to be arranged between his sister. This narc is the very person who wanted to work for the Samaritans after her sister posted about being a career for her dying gran. The narc also said it was her sisters fault for a miss carriage because she should never have copied her jealous of her was the statement. This is the person “narc” who told us ever detail of her best friends sad life deep secrets. This was just after her best friend told her she was too clingy. She digs things up to use as an emotional bullet and clearly was doing this to our son. Sadly we have had issues with our son but love him she used this and no doubt still is we still haven’t seen him nor his baby for six months. I broke down with stress shielding my diabetic husband daughter with heart operation not having contact with son coming up covid my head went flip now having to have meds. ” from the narc there’s nothing wrong with me” . Through out lock down my husband was trying so much to keep in touch but just not getting contact back. Our son stopped contact in lockdown with us and his best friend who he was very close to for so many years. I had a pycosis attack so ill my head flipped. Daughter and husband told him i am ill he was coming around to understanding this but since then he has cut me and my husband off. The narc since then has gone onto social media bragging that she looks bleeping fantastic and sexy four months after babies birth but at the same time complaint after complaint that she has no family no one loves them this after she cut us off. We love our son deeply I was still am ill his sister needs a life operation to save her life in covid world. She got in touch with her brother answer back was just give the date no other contact. One horrid thing she did was to dress the baby up in an outfit our daughter bought the baby put it on social media daughter ticked like the narc then after getting his sister attention erased every single picture of her nephew out of her life our daughter was so distraught used our grandson as an emotional missile already at three months old sick person. Our daughter has been kind to her but also at the same time never fully understood or gave into her I guess the narc always knew this.

Kim Barone says December 24, 2020

Since I last commented my ex has passed away from complications from throat cancer. My daughter is the one who called me because his family didn’t have my new phone number. She tells me he passed away 2 weeks prior and that his sister wanted her to wait to call me because they were dealing with his daughter and exwife over his trucking company which his daughter has stolen 2 of the trucks. But enough of that. My daughter went on to tell me he died alone that he had nobody taking care of him, that he had to call the ambulance and really made me feel bad. Then I spoke with her again and she blamed me completely for his passing. She said I left him to die for my own selfish reasons. She has no idea what I had been going through and what the circumstances were for me to leave. She was obviously told lies about all of it but never once did she ask me about me. She has hurt me many times over the years and seems to think I’m this horrible parent and person. I asked why it was she hated me so much and why she wanted to hurt me. She said there you go again playing the victim. I have been through a lot of abuse in my life and never once played a victim always a survivor so for her to say that is totally ridiculous. I told her to take a look at her own life before she can judge me. I really hope she opens her eyes to see how she has hurt me and embarrassed me in front of everyone.

Kim Barond says December 7, 2020

I just got out of a toxic narc relationship with a man who has throat cancer. I took very good care of him and all he did was tell me I haven’t done anything and didn’t take care of him. I have all of his care documented.
Also one of my long time friends whom I have now discovered is also a narcissist lost her place to live so my narc told me to tell her she could come stay with us and only have to pay a fraction of what she would pay somewhere else renting a room. That was because I asked him to. She also manipulated me and got me kicked out before I had any money or place to live. She has gaslighted and turned my kids against me. I found out she had been calling my daughter and lying to her about me for a very long time. She has made her believe things I am not even capable of doing. Which in turn my daughter has relayed to my son ( they are both adults) and he says he’s not happy with my choices. Niether one of them have asked me anything about how I’m doing or if I’m ok where I’m at. It really has taken a toll on me. I love my kids with every part of my being and i am a good parent. I have always been there for them even as adults so it’s very hard to feel this unloyalty to me. It had been extremely hard not being able to talk to them. They won’t take my calls or answer my texts. I hope they see the light some day soon.if you could shed some light on my situation it would be greatly appreciated. Also I fear my daughter is a narc also.

Anonymous says December 6, 2020

Thankyou! Right on with what I’m going through!!

Annie says November 30, 2020

What to do when your loved ones want to maintain openness and honesty with someone, while you have to go no contact with that person? Do you then have to drop(/distrust) everyone (again) and make a new life elsewhere (again)? I’m so tired of hiding and running and being scared. There’s so much anger in me, on the other hand.

    Kim Saeed says December 18, 2020

    They can continue to maintain “openness and honesty” with that person, but it’s only one-sided. Narcissists love to maintain relationships with their target’s family and friends because this is a wonderful way for them (the narcissist) to scrape information about you. So, it may be in your best interest to cut ties with other people, too. It happens a lot and most people are ultimately glad they did so.

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

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!

    Steven says November 17, 2020

    I have the same issue and can’t believe he got to my own two boys (32 & 24), the 32yo even has his masters but believes in my x narcissist. He worked on them for over a year is all I know. They believe him and do not want ANY of the evidence that would clearly show all the proof they need to validate what I have told them all along. They too project the narcissist as good, have their interest at heart & I am the opposite, smearing his name not the other way around. So that leaves me alone, very ill, doing everything on my own both physical and simply trying to take care of everything at home and getting to all the dr. appts every week. I understand what you are going through – dont know how to fix it, I am focused on me now and they can simply think what they want to think. If I find myself thinking about the past in the present – I quickly give it to God & it goes away.

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

Add Your Reply