Walking away from a narcissist can be difficult but, if you can empower yourself, you can do it. The first step towards leaving is to acknowledge the situation for what it is.
Sometimes recognizing a narcissist isn’t as easy as you’d think, which could make you question yourself. Questioning yourself is what makes walking away tricky, so you must empower yourself and learn which characteristics to look for. It’s easier to walk away once you have learned to identify narcissistic behavior, luckily.
There are sure signs you can watch for that will let you know someone is a narcissist. These signs are generalized, so keep in mind that a narcissist may not exhibit all of them. To identify a narcissist, look for the following signs:
- they think they are the single most important person
- a sense of entitlement
- require constant communication
- they think they should be superior even when others have achieved more
- exaggerate personal events, achievements, and talents
- won’t associate with anyone they feel is beneath them
- frequently take over conversations
- they expect others to do whatever they say
- take advantage of others to benefit themselves
- an inability to recognize or acknowledge the feelings or needs of others, lack of empathy
- arrogant and easily angered
- they need the very best of everything, or they can’t be happy
- can’t handle criticism and always has a problem with other people
- easily offended and take innocent remarks as a slight
- will begin to shout and insult to gain superiority
- can’t regulate emotions or control explosive behavior
- become moody or depressed when they don’t do something perfectly
Recognizing the signs may not be enough to get you to walk away for good, however. You must continue to empower yourself in other ways, too.
How to Empower Yourself to Walk Away from a Narcissist
You recognize the need to leave, but you must muster up the courage. Here are a few guidelines to help you make the transition.
1. Join a Support Group
When you first recognize that you are in this situation, it can be hard to overcome. You might feel as if you are a failure for not walking away sooner.
You aren’t a failure, however, as there are many narcissistic people in the United States. Encountering a narcissistic person is common, and you may be in too deep before you realize their real personality. This means that many other people have been in a situation similar to yours.
To overcome the situation, accept the way it is, and walk away for good, you may need support. This support is best when it comes to those who fully understand what it is like.
Joining a support group can be the perfect place for this. Make sure the support group is led by a therapist so that you can learn to move forward positively.
It’s crucial that you don’t turn to those who may judge the situation. Whether they will talk badly about the narcissist or they make you feel bad for staying, it can be counter-productive. This reason is why it is often best to turn to a third party for support.
2. Have a Life Separate from Them
Narcissists like to isolate you from other people who love you. This is one of the ways they gain control of you. They may also expect you to give up your hobbies or career so that your life only revolves around them.
This situation makes it harder to walk away, so you have to build a life separately from them. If you have gone out-of-touch with friends or family members, reach out and work to rebuild the relationships. Start spending time pursuing your old interests and hobbies, and find a job that makes you happy.
The relationships you rebuild should be separate from the narcissist’s friends and family. Likewise, the hobbies and job opportunities shouldn’t include them, either.
This attitude will give you a chance to start fresh and have people to support you and things to keep you busy. Plus, it will prevent you from returning due to loneliness or overthinking.
3. Learn Your Worth and Practice Self-Love
To successfully walk away, you have to learn to love yourself. Know your worth and work on building your self-esteem and confidence. Value your needs and wants and take the time to take care of yourself.
When you do this, you’ll begin to trust yourself more. You will be stronger and well-equipped to walk away. Then, you will notice that you no longer feel guilty, and you’ll stop doubting yourself.
4. Set Boundaries and be Assertive
When you have been affected by a narcissist, it can be hard to set boundaries and be assertive. It is possible, though, and you will be glad you did afterward. Typically, the first time you do this, you’ll feel powerful and in control. Each time you are assertive after that is only helping you gain strength.
Set boundaries by making it clear that you don’t like the behavior. You can also set boundaries by having an exit strategy when things go awry. Make sure you have a car, Uber, or a trustworthy person who can pick you up quickly.
This way, you can leave a situation when you are dealing with a narcissist. You won’t be stuck with them, and you won’t have to count on them for a ride. Use this same way of thinking for all situations you are in, and you’ll be able to walk away.
When you give yourself the power to decide when enough is enough, you’ll quickly build self-esteem. Plus, it’ll help get the point across that you aren’t going to be their victim anymore.
5. Leave When you Say You’re Going to Leave
If you keep threatening to leave only to stay every time, you’ll be going in circles. When you say that you are planning to leave, it’s time to leave. If you don’t walk away, you will stay trapped as a victim in this toxic cycle of narcissistic behavior.
Don’t let them convince you to come back, either. When you walk away, let it empower you. Embrace the freedom and the safety you feel when you are away.
6. Identify the Role of a Victim
No person deserves to be a victim, and you might not even realize you have become one. If you begin feeling hopeless or powerless, it’s a sign that you have become a victim. These are signs of an unhealthy, toxic relationship.
When identified, you can use it to empower you to walk away. Choose to stop being a victim and put yourself, your happiness, and your mental health first.
7. Learn About Narcissism and Toxic Relationships
The more you know, then the more you will feel empowered. Learning is key to successfully walking away from a narcissist. As mentioned before, you have to learn the characteristics so that you can identify them at the moment.
You must also gather your inner-strength and remain assertive about your intent. Likewise, you have to learn how you can begin to detach yourself from this person.
It might help you to read about the effects a narcissist has on another person. This could help you understand why it is so important to walk away.
You can also learn how to safely walk away if you feel physical abuse might occur. There is a way out, and by learning all you can, you will feel stronger and more capable of leaving.
8. Take Steps to Do Things for Yourself
Don’t wait on this person to get things done for you. Usually, they are so busy thinking of themselves that they forget what you’ve asked of them. Learn to do something for yourself, and you will feel empowered.
It will make you healthier and help you realize that you don’t need them as much as you thought you did. If you cannot complete a task yourself, then hire someone, or find a handy neighbor to help you out. The sooner you realize how independent you can be, the sooner you will be ready to walk away.
This doesn’t just pertain to getting things done around the house, either. If you feel stuck because you have no education or work history, begin taking classes or signing up for training. Even if you can only pursue it at a slow pace, it will get you started and empower you.
Before you know it, you will embark on the journey to being more independent. With empowerment comes confidence, and that could lead to you landing the perfect job to help you walk away.
9. Take Control of Your Happiness
You are solely the person to ensure your happiness. When you are unhappy, remind yourself that you are responsible for that, too.
If you continually feel like something is causing you to be unhappy, think of how to change it. Remember that you are 100% the only one who can make changes in your life. So, if you are unhappy with something, it is your responsibility to change it.
10. Cut Off Contact or Make it as Minimal as Possible
Once you have walked away, it is crucial to stay away. Narcissists have a way of making you believe they will change, but you can’t fall for that. It’s easier said than done, so cutting off contact is the best way to avoid the trap.
If you can’t cut off complete contact, make it as minimal as possible. Only discuss necessary topics, and set boundaries to ensure they don’t try to discuss anything else.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Empower Yourself to Walk Away from a Narcissist
Narcissists are manipulative and controlling, and their behavior can take a considerable toll on your mental health. Even so, it can be hard to walk away. If you can empower yourself, however, you will be able to do it.
Remember that you are tougher than you realize, and you deserve happiness and positivity. Remember these tips for empowerment the next time you are in a toxic situation, and think about your wellbeing.