How To Cut Ties With A Narcissistic Sister (Break Free From The Chains)
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Sometimes, it’s just too much toxicity to remain in contact with a narcissist, even if that narcissist is your sister. You always have to consider the possibility of going no contact with such a person, particularly when that person is as close to you as a sister.
It’s not an easy decision, however, and it’s important to be prepared for how your narcissistic sibling will react. There are some steps you can take to ensure that cutting ties with her is effective and complete.
Cutting ties with a narcissist is not always an easy process. You need to begin by reducing contact, strengthening your boundaries, becoming boring, and preparing for the backlash. You’ll also want to notify people who need to know, get ready to block her from contacting you, and seek support.
It’s also important to know how your narcissistic sister might respond because she might cause problems for you. When I cut ties with my narcissistic mother for a while, she began a smear campaign against me with other family members. She even showed up at my work unannounced.
If you’re ready, you can counter your toxic sister’s response, but knowledge is power. Here’s what you need to know about when you should consider cutting ties, how your narcissistic sister will likely respond, and how you can effectively go no contact.
When Should You Consider Cutting Ties with Your Narcissistic Sister?
There are a number of circumstances when your relationship with your narcissistic sister is no longer serving you. It’s at this point when you should consider cutting ties with her. Here are some of the most common signs that it’s time to part ways.
Your Needs Don’t Matter
Many times, a narcissist can fake caring about your needs. Sometimes, they can even be pretty convincing, but if your relationship with your narcissistic sister has reached the point where she doesn’t even tolerate hearing about your life or your needs, it may be time to go your separate ways.
You’ll never get true empathy from such a toxic sibling, but if she even refuses to pretend to care about what it is you need or want, then why are you bothering staying in contact with her? There’s effectively nothing that you’re getting out of the relationship, and that’s not even really a relationship.
She is Using You
It’s not at all uncommon for narcissists to try to manipulate you to use you for your money, connections, or other resources. If your sister is doing this, there’s no good that will come of it.
She won’t think twice about spending all of your money or abusing your connections. All she can think about is what she needs, and she’ll stop at nothing to get those needs met. If this is your situation, it’s better to cut ties and let her fend for herself.
She Refuses to Respect Your Boundaries
If she simply refuses to respect your boundaries, it’s time to let her go. I did this with my mother for a while, and it worked to get her to finally respect my boundaries.
If your sister just continuously violates your boundaries, you need to part ways, at least until she starts respecting you. If you don’t, she will see you as weak and continue to manipulate you without any regard for your limits.
She is Betraying You
A narcissistic sister may start rumors about you with other family members, she may tell your spouse or even your children lies about you, and she may even try to have an affair with your romantic partner.
She will do whatever she thinks she can do, and her betrayal is another way she is violating your boundaries. If she’s doing these things, it’s time to let her go for good.
You Feel Threatened by Her
Not all narcissists are physically violent, but some are, and if you think your sister might hurt you physically, you need to cut all ties with her. Period. You can’t put yourself at risk for something like that.
Additionally, if her emotional abuse has reached the point where you feel anxious or even terrified around her as you wait for her to demean or embarrass you, it’s time to cut ties. You shouldn’t have to live with that kind of emotional tyranny.
How is She Likely to Respond?
To say the least, your narcissistic sister will not respond well to your decision to cut ties. She will initially be enraged and may try to contact you by phone, social media, or by coming to your house or even your place of work. You might need the tips in this video to protect yourself from her rage.
If she is unable to contact you or if when she does, you hold firm on your decision, you can expect her to start a smear campaign. She will immediately begin damage control by telling family and other loved ones how terrible you are for cutting her off.
“When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but you stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth just like you did.”
― Jill Blakeway, Author and Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Of course, she will also make it clear that your reasons for doing so are not valid and that you are the bad guy in your relationship. She may also then begin to try to sabotage any of your efforts to stay in contact with family members and mutual friends.
She doesn’t want you to be able to contradict what she has told them, so she will try to manipulate the situation to keep you from contacting them. Narcissists are often paranoid, and she fears you’ll smear her if she doesn’t get you first.
This can become a big problem for you, particularly if she contacts people at your work, which is not unheard of. To try to prevent this, you can follow some of the recommendations to come about letting the people you feel should be aware of it know that you’re planning on cutting ties with her.
How Can You Cut Ties Effectively?
There are several things you want to do to prepare for cutting ties with your narcissistic sister, and then, there are certain things you’ll want to do when you actually go no contact. It’s important to get everything ready so that when you actually pull the plug, it goes as smoothly as possible.
The following recommendations come from myself and experts on narcissism, so you can trust they are tried and true methods to help you with this very difficult decision. Here’s what you need to do.
Reduce Contact First
It’s very helpful if you can begin the process of going no contact by reducing contact first. This prepares your sister for less contact, and it removes you from her toxicity.
Your success in doing this depends, in part, on how much contact you regularly have to begin with. If your sister is someone you talk to every day, then she is likely going to notice less contact.
You can make excuses regarding why you’re not in contact as much to get her used to the reduced communication from you. Let her know, for example, that you’re working a lot or have some projects that are taking up your time.
The more you can put her off, the better it will be for the both of you, particularly when it comes time to cut ties altogether. Reducing contact also helps you solidify your resolve to cut ties with her since you’ll find that you’re much happier without her toxic manipulation.
You should be aware that reducing contact can create an emotional response in your narcissistic sister, particularly if you talk frequently. She may feel slighted and fly into a rage, or she may try turning on the charm to get you back into contact on a more frequent basis.
Just be prepared, and don’t give in to her manipulation. Once you’ve made the decision to go no contact, this is actually a good way to ease into it.
Use the Grey Rock Technique
The grey rock technique refers to making yourself boring, so your sister won’t actually want to be in contact with you. If a narcissist is not getting the emotional reaction they want from you, they get bored and will often move on to focusing on someone else.
Becoming the grey rock, in this case, can make you boring to your toxic sister so that she won’t actually miss you much when you’re gone. It’s also an effective technique for deterring her abusive treatment.
“This strategy involves becoming the most boring and uninteresting person you can be when interacting with a manipulative person.”
― Ellen Biros, MS, LCSW
Make no mistake about it, she will try to push your buttons and get a response from you, particularly if you’ve always reacted when she’s done this in the past. So, you might expect an increase in her taunting, and be prepared not to react in order to show her that this ‘new you’ is here to stay.
Strengthen Your Boundaries
It’s important to strengthen your boundaries before going no contact with a narcissistic sister since she will definitely increase her violations when you cut the cord. She will likely initiate massive attempts to violate your boundaries once you do actually go no contact.
She will be enraged at that point, and she will be willing to do even more than she usually does to get a response from you. It will also put her in a panic, and she will become even more desperate than she normally is to provoke you.
If you’re prepared for that possibility with stronger boundaries, you can easily rebuff her efforts to pull you back. Rage, however, is not the only way she might respond.
Your narcissistic sister might also turn on the charm to try to get back into your good graces. You shouldn’t be fooled by this since it won’t last. She might be good for a while, but if you reinitiate contact, she will soon return to her old ways.
What’s more, she’ll perceive you as being weak since you gave in after a little manipulation. It’s just better to say something like, “I just need some time to myself. I’ll contact you when and if I’m ready to talk again.” Better yet, don’t say anything at all.
Notify People Who Need to Know
If there are people in your life that you need to inform of your decision, you’ll want to do it before you cut ties. When you cut ties, your sister will start trashing you to other family members, friends, and other people in your social sphere.
If you want to prepare them for this, you can let them know of your decision before you implement it. You don’t need to go into detail about why you’re choosing to do this, but you can say something like, “We just don’t get along, and I feel like it would be better to take a break for a while. You might hear from her though, so I wanted you to know beforehand what’s going on.”
That will set it up so that if they do hear from her, they will know there’s trouble between the two of you. Most people have a good understanding that it takes two to tango, so they’re less likely to believe everything your narcissistic sister might tell them.
Additionally, if they’ve interacted with her for any length of time at all, they might be well aware of some of the problems she has. They may even want to know how you did it once you cut all ties.
Prepare for the Backlash
They say that the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes, but I would like to add a narcissist’s rage when you go no contact to that list. You can expect your narcissistic sister to become enraged when you let her know you’ll no longer be in contact with her.
She will likely try to contact you to vent that rage, but if she can’t do that, she will then turn to a smear campaign to ensure that no one believes anything you might say about her. While you might not be concerned about that, it is possible she could damage relationships you care about.
That’s why you might want to prep those people about your plans, as we’ve already discussed. There’s more, though, because when a narcissist sees you as an enemy, which you will become when you do this, they often try to destroy you.
Your narcissistic sister could, therefore, even do something like contact your work or engage in emotional blackmail to try to force you to get back in contact with her. She might also simply publicize embarrassing photos or stories you would rather not have people know about.
For this reason, you need to prepare yourself, and anyone you think needs to know, for your sister’s possible actions. At least if you’re prepared, it won’t take you by surprise.
Write Her a Letter
When it comes to how you might let your sister know that you no longer want to be in contact with her, writing a letter may be your best option.
In a letter, you can tell her exactly how you feel without interruption. You can also take the time you need to figure out how you want to say it and exactly what you want to say. Here is a sample of what you might say:
We’ve been through a lifetime together, and you will always be a part of me. In recent years, however, I have found that you don’t seem to care about my needs, feelings, or desires. You seem angry with me in ways I don’t understand.
As a result of your anger, you demean me by criticizing me on a constant basis. You also accuse me of things I haven’t done and am not trying to do to you. You’re very sarcastic and condescending when you talk to me.
I know I am not a perfect sibling for you, but I am part of your family. I know that I deserve more respect than I am currently getting from you. I try to respect you, but it seems as though I can never do enough to make you happy.
You also constantly violate my personal boundaries, even though I have asked you not to time and again. You tell me frequently about your rights, but you don’t seem to think I have the same rights. I do think that my rights should be respected, however.
For this reason, I feel as though our relationship is no longer serving either one of us. I am going to break off all contact with you for an indefinite period of time as I seek to heal my own emotional wounds. I hope that you can do the same. Perhaps, at some time in the future, we can reconcile, but it will only be contingent on you treating me with the respect that I deserve and that I try to treat you with.
I wish you well in the future.
Block Your Narcissistic Sister
Just because you let your narcissistic sister know that you don’t want any more contact with her, that doesn’t mean she will respect your wishes. That’s why you’ll want to block her from calling you, on your social media accounts, and on any other media where she might be able to contact you.
When a narcissist feels slighted, they go to extreme lengths to force you to notice them. They hate being abandoned because it makes them feel powerless, and it threatens to expose their true self, which they believe is flawed.
That’s why your sister will want to contact you in any way she can so that she can yell at you, and then, she can be the one to discard you. That way, she can tell everyone that she cut off contact with you rather than telling the truth.
You don’t need this aggravation, so you’ll want to prevent it by blocking her before she can attempt to get in touch with you. If you’re trying to get someone out of your life, this video has some more tips about how to stop her from contacting you.
You might want to cut ties with your narcissistic sister, but you’ll be surprised at the many emotions that will come up when you actually do. You’ll feel guilty, and you’ll wonder if you are a terrible person. You’ll wonder if you’ve made the right decision.
If you have a narcissistic sister who is emotionally abusing you and won’t respect your request to stop, you absolutely have made the right decision. You should stand strong in that knowledge.
It can help to get therapy to support your decision and heal the wounds she has created. You’ll also want to reach out to your social support network to get their loving support as you go through this process. You did the right thing, but you will second-guess yourself.
That’s why you need to surround yourself with loving support, and it’s also why you need to begin the process of healing your own wounds. Your sister has undoubtedly caused damage to you, but there may also be other factors in your childhood that created your trauma.
Addressing these issues and healing your wounds is a good way to learn to love yourself in the way your narcissistic sister should have loved you.
A narcissistic sister is a toxic source of emotional abuse that can cause lifelong damage to her siblings. She will abuse you in many ways, and cutting ties with her may be the only escape you have. Make no mistake about it, she will try to use your emotional triggers to get a rise out of you when you do this, and if that doesn’t work, she will respond in other ways. You have to prepare for her response, and I can help.
I have created a 5-Step Roadmap to Heal Emotional Triggers that can help you identify, defuse, and heal emotional triggers and the wounds that created them. That will prevent your toxic sister from using them to manipulate and control you. To get a free copy of this handy guide, just click here and I’ll send it directly to your inbox. You can start freeing yourself today.
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