While not all narcissists resort to physical abuse, it is a possibility, particularly with narcissistic spouses. That’s why it’s important to learn about the potential for physical abuse so you can avoid it.
One of the defining traits of a narcissist is that they lack empathy. Moreover, they blame others for their problems. Because of those two features, it’s not hard to understand that it is possible for a narcissist to physically hurt you.
It’s common with many abusers to blame others for their abusive acts. They say things like, “You made me upset,” “If you would just act better, I wouldn’t have to use force,” or, “It’s because of what you did that I acted that way.” All of the statements are putting the blame for the resulting physical violence on the victim.
Blaming others for their bad behavior is one of the narcissist’s favorite manipulation tactics; it’s common to hear these kinds of remarks from a narcissist who uses physical abuse to control their victim. In between their bouts of physical violence, they are likely to love bomb you to keep you in the relationship.
Types of Narcissistic Physical Abuse
When you think of physical abuse, you likely think about being hit, but there are actually different types of physical abuse that a narcissist typically employs. It’s important to understand what you might see from the physically abusive narcissist.
Physical abuse is not limited to those acts that leave a mark on the body. A narcissist may use bullying tactics to intimidate their victim. They may hover above you or get in your face and refuse to back off.
Intimidation also includes throwing things, breaking things, or even punching walls or doors. While they aren’t hitting you, they are using physical force to frighten you. It’s a way of showing you that they could do that to you too.
The threat of bodily harm can often be every bit as effective as actual physical abuse. It’s a way to get you to do what they are demanding.
Isolation is another favorite tactic of the narcissistic abuser. Most narcissists try to isolate you so that you have no support for either the emotional or physical abuse you may be experiencing. They will engage in abusive behavior to distance you from your friends and family.
They don’t want you to have anyone but them to rely on. It’s also a way to keep you from validating your perception of reality. If you don’t have anyone on your side, you’re more likely to buy into what they are telling you.
By isolating you, the narcissist is also keeping you from escaping what might become a very dangerous situation. They could, for example, trap you in the car by driving recklessly and leaving you with no escape.
They could also take you to an isolated area and expose you to severe weather or other dangerous environmental conditions. If you’re injured, they might prevent you from getting medical care by calling you names or minimizing your injury.
Finally, they can also make you feel isolated by destroying your important personal items. They will likely tell you they are insignificant, but you don’t feel that way. Remember, however, that your feelings are unimportant to the narcissist.
All of these tactics are done with the aim of making you feel as though the only person you can rely on is your narcissistic abuser.
This is typically the way that physical abuse begins, and it may later turn into other types of physical abuse. Physical restraint may take the form of holding you back, blocking a doorway, grabbing you if you try to leave, locking the door, or even tying you up.
This results in feelings of imprisonment with no escape, and it definitely is a way of warning you that additional aggression is likely. That’s why physical restraint is a huge red flag that you should get away from this person if you can.
There are various types of physical aggression a narcissistic abuser might employ. All result in pain, discomfort or injury, and all are unacceptable in any relationship.
The various types of aggression include things like punching, shoving, biting, twisting your arm, slapping, shaking, choking, pulling your hair, pushing, burning, cutting, force-feeding, and strangling. This is not an exhaustive list, and you will be blamed in some way for bringing these aggressive acts on yourself.
Once this kind of physical aggression has started, it won’t stop. Instead, your narcissistic abuser will simply find more justifications for their brutal physical actions. It’s also likely that the abuse will escalate.
This is the most dangerous kind of physical abuse because it is at this point that your life is in danger. By the time the abuse in your relationship reaches this stage, it’s likely you’ve become numb to things like intimidation and isolation.
You’re also accustomed to physical restraint and the aggression no longer really shocks you. That’s when a narcissist will realize they are no longer commanding the kind of fear they want to see in you. They then decide it’s time to escalate the physical abuse.
You might experience threats to kill your family members or you, and of course, you’ll continue to experience physical violence. At this point, the only thing you can — and should — do is to get out immediately.
Don’t worry about taking anything with you or trying to talk to your abuser, just get yourself and anyone else in danger to safety. Go to a shelter or someplace where your abuser cannot find you.
Not all narcissists utilize physical abuse and not all physical abusers are narcissists. If you are involved with a narcissist who resorts to any of these abusive tactics, you need to take the situation seriously.
It’s important to understand you will not be able to help them heal nor will you be able to change them. Only they can do either of those things, and unfortunately, it’s not likely they will even recognize they are part of the problem.
Narcissists are so accustomed to blaming others for their behavior that they are unable to see their role in the problem. Even more than that, it feels dangerous to them to entertain the idea that they might be doing something wrong. Their sense of self-worth is so fragile and externally validated that they can’t risk any kind of introspection.
This is why there is little you can do to help this kind of person. Even if they have not yet resorted to direct physical abuse, if they are engaging in the other tactics — intimidation and isolation — they are on the road to using more direct types of abuse. The best thing you can do for yourself in that situation is get away.
Getting away means rejecting the abusive narcissist. Click on the link below this post, and I’ll send you a free copy of “5 Must-Know Techniques to Effectively Reject a Narcissist” directly to your inbox. You’ll learn great techniques to help you get away from the abuse.
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