Abuse Warrior may earn a commission for purchases made after clicking links on this page. Learn More.

200+ Quotes from Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

“I was married to a Narcissist for 16 years. It’s the closest thing there is to HELL ON EARTH.” 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met: 

• Feels grandiose and self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements); 

• Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion; 

• Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions); 

• Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply); Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favourable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations; 

• Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends; 

• Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others; Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her; 

• Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.

367467694 18100448191337251 3824656224819272169 n
@ Elizabeth Shaw

The Narcissistic Predator

“The narcissist inflicts pain and abuse on others. He devalues sources of supply, callously and off-handedly abandoning them and discarding people, places, partnerships, and friendships unhesitatingly. Sudden shifts between sadism and altruism, abuse and ‘love’, ignoring and caring, abandoning and clinging, viciousness and remorse, the harsh and the tender – are, perhaps, the most difficult to comprehend and to accept. These swings produce in people around the narcissist emotional insecurity, an eroded sense of self-worth, fear, stress, and anxiety (‘walking on eggshells’). Gradually, emotional paralysis ensues, and they come to occupy the same emotional wasteland inhabited by the narcissist, his prisoners, and hostages in more ways than one – and even when he is long out of their life.” 

“The brutal change in him was all the more shocking because of what he had appeared to be. The devaluation was indescribable, unnerving, and frightening. His N rages used to burst forth several times a day. I found I was married to a total stranger, a Jekyll and Hyde who sometimes looked at me as if he didn’t even know me. Exhausting is an understatement – it was like clinging to the edge of a cliff 24 hours a day.” 

“I suppose you can tell I’m scared. I believe I will end up either dead or in a mental hospital very soon if something drastic doesn’t happen. He is so diabolical and so convincing to other people that my own family has abandoned me. My kids have also been brainwashed, something I would have bet my life could never happen. All of my financial means have been exhausted. Child support should have been more than enough to make it until I could finish my degree, but he quit his job to keep me from having money, and no matter what I try to do, I hit a big brick wall.”

“The night he dumped me, the last thing he said to me before wandering out was ‘protect yourself. I’ve always puzzled over exactly what he meant, and those words have returned to haunt me now – that warning to get away from him. Without a doubt, the worst had yet to come…” 

“Narcissists are great con artists. After all, they succeed in deluding themselves! As a result, very few professionals see through them.” 

“I keep stressing that people with NPD do not present with the traits of their disorder. Far from it. How could any normal person take up with someone who had his NPD traits on show at the outset of a relationship? | Suppose my husband had lots of practice and had his supply-hunting tactics down to a fine art. This is the case with the real thing, full-blown NPD.” 

364300506 958750048517347 7707235674883348133 n
@ Grace Under Fire

“Where would these Ns be without women, kids, and the elderly to pick on?” 

“I feel like I have extricated myself from a cult.” 

“I stood there thinking: ‘He can’t mean it.’ I had the shudders; my skin was crawling. This N-from-hell exuded pure evil. Over the next 5 years, he kicked his father out of the house, cut off his pension, and slandered him. He cheated his first wife and his kids of money he should have paid, manipulated his business(s), lied to his separate little groups, split away from former friends and family, got ‘religion’, verbally abused his kids, turned other people into his little evil-doer proxies, hired and fired people on a regular basis. He’d cheat himself to satisfy his own greed if he could. About every three months I’d hear about some treachery he was inflicting on someone, somewhere.”

“They think they are untouchable, inhabitants of a special world, one parallel to ours but never touching. Outlandish behavior is the N’s hallmark. They can draw other unsuspecting, and usually respectable, people into their criminal or pseudo-criminal activities.”

“N’s count on our shame to keep their secrets. They know that exposing them means exposing our own failings. That’s what makes them so powerful. They manipulate us into these situations, then sit back and watch us squirm between protecting ourselves or blowing the whistle.” 

“You have to live through the horror of the N experience to be able to understand it. People say: ‘But he’s mad about you’. The only pertinent word in that sentence is ‘mad’.” 

“The relationship with the N was too good to be true. They want something from you. When you finally wake up and confront them on their bad behavior, it’s something you do for yourself. You get it off your chest. When the N asks how you are doing, they are taking your emotional temperature to see if you are reacting because they are looking for that reaction from you. When you finally give them a piece of your mind, they’re not even listening. It goes in one ear and out the other. They sit, rather impassively, appearing like they are taking it in, but if you do a test, you find that they were not listening at all, because they can not quote back to you, anything you said. So consider that action as an exercise for yourselves. Nothing you will ever say to that person will make a difference.”

“Yes I told him exactly what I think of him, his lies, his deceit, his lack of emotions, he is just an image not a real person … and I realise that not only did this not bother him, it actually made him feel great! He knows that he has a dramatic impact on my feelings and since he won’t let me love him anymore, now he makes me hate him. This must really make him feel like he’s one damn special and unforgettable person!” 

“I went back to him a dozen times, each time somehow thinking it was different, that maybe now that we had addressed all the issues and brought everything into the open, and he admitted he had treated me badly … it would change. And it WOULD go back to (almost) how it had been, but each time that honeymoon period would last a shorter and shorter amount of time. It absolutely wrecked me – my self-esteem has never been lower than during my years with him.” 

Untitled design 7 1

“But these qualities are indeed ‘charm’. The proof of the power of this brand of charm is that you and I, both women who are probably reasonably alert, failed to see through this well-constructed mask.” 

“Maybe it is bad for me to wish her unfortunate times, but that is what she deserves. I have never met anyone more evil than she is. It’s the kind of evil that masquerades as good.” 

“It was the losing of myself that caused me the most anguish. I could feel it, like a brainwashing, like a vampire, and he claimed he didn’t know anything was wrong, didn’t know what I meant when I said I was sad all the time and couldn’t trust a word he said.” 

“I have always felt like they did this on purpose – like they were the most cunning people I’ve encountered to orchestrate all this turmoil, but through this Web site, I’ve come to learn that I’m wrong and that there truly are deeper reasons an N acts out like they do. The key for you is to learn as much as you can as fast as you can, and protect yourself financially and emotionally. Not too many people survive the devastation of a tornado.”

“NPD is actually quite simple. When they want supply (adoration/veneration), they put on the whole show to obtain that supply. As the supply wanes, because no one can sustain all the time that high-octane adoration the N requires, then the N begins to get uneasy and devaluation sets in, followed by confusion and bewilderment on the part of the spouse/partner, who thinks s/he has done everything ‘right’.” 

“To overcome one’s enemy, one must study diligently to understand how he came to be your enemy and his motivations and goals. Fully understanding your enemy and then rational planning based on that knowledge is the only way to emerge the victor. We are learning about those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Histrionic Personality Disorder, as well as those with Sadistic and/or Masochistic Personality Disorder – the psychopaths in our lives, learning to defend ourselves against their destructive forces and how to avoid them in the future. 

357224136 234156972749593 4433561422991922341 n
@ Grace Under Fire

“Knowledge is power; know everything you can about narcissism.” 

“I raise a glass to all the other warriors on here.”

“The withdrawal from my N has been terrible and hard on me but it is getting better. I no longer have anger and rage and my mind is settling down. And I no longer think of him 24 hours of the day. I never thought that would ever happen just a couple of months ago.” 

“I loved him, very much, but no way was I about to be obsessed. I also lived for my work, for myself, for all manner of things, friends and family included. This, the N cannot take at all and will try to drive in that wedge in order to get ALL attention for himself.” “My ex-N would constantly talk about himself. Every type of conversation somehow always came back to him talking about him. It would be embarrassing, when friends would need to talk about something happening in their lives, he could not listen, or be supportive. He never got it. He would quickly turn the conversation back to himself.” 

“The other thing he did was leave me in all kinds of situations to go find someone to charm. He would not talk to me all night if we went to social things. He would need to be the centre of attention in some group. Usually women.” “He will have a new female N supplier ASAP and you can bet he’ll be parading her in front of you too.” 

“I wish I could offer you any encouragement with your NPD/Bi polar loved one, but in the 11 years I’ve dealt with them in my life, I’ve only known grief, lies, distorted realities, schemes, police, chaos, courts. I often feel like they sit in the eye of a self-created tornado and watch their loved ones circling around in total chaos, and if the winds ever die down, they find a way to get them whirling again.” “My ex-girlfriend seemed to be a kind, caring, supportive person for nearly six years… and then did a 180. Trashing me and, trashing (it turned out) at least one other person that I know of. Extremely rude and cruel behaviour, calculated to cause me extreme pain.” “If you want something to cry about, cry for the N’s new victim(s), the innocent, unmarked, un-inoculated prey. The victims are carefully chosen, and I feel sad for them.” 

“In fact I didn’t even realise how badly he was abusing me. I didn’t know that all of the silent treatments I got and the alienation from my friends and family were all forms of abuse. Which made me even feel more victimized when I put two and two together.” 

“The abuse doesn’t happen because the victims volunteer for it. The abuse happens because the abusers lie, manipulate, and speak in mixed messages, and out of love and a sense of fairness, we trust them.” 

“Towards the end of my relationship with N, he told me: ‘Your father couldn’t break your spirit, and as hard as I’ve tried, neither can l’. About sums it all up wouldn’t you say?” “He would tell women he loved them all at the same time, keeping each woman separate from the others, trying to get one of them to marry him.” 

“She said she was like a recorder that took everything in and reported it just like a recorder. What I was slowly realizing was that yes, she was like a machine – a recorder that took the info in, twisted, spun it into whatever, and then used it as a weapon to stir up controversy or create problems.” “The N has no feeling of any kind; you must absolutely remember that. Any ‘feelings’ or emotions shown are like those put on by an actor on stage. They look good, but are only an act.” “The person with NPD is unpredictable; that is part of the disorder. Their world is a heaving, restless, unquiet place, full of anxieties and unknown quantities. And when they withdraw the ‘caring’ and the ‘loving’ and start on the devaluation stage, then the contrast is so appalling that we are wrecked, unable to understand (at this stage most of us had never heard of NPD) so naturally we thought we were at fault in some way.” “When I met my N I thought I had just met the most wonderful person ever born! Nice, kind, talented, intelligent, even caring and concerned. It wasn’t until a few months had passed that I began to feel something wasn’t right and I was confused. I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown but couldn’t put my finger on the problem (because I thought it was me) until I came here. I still can’t figure out the telltale signs that | apparently missed. It took a long time for the confusion to build up. And I still haven’t had the courage that a lot of you have had to make the complete break.’ 

“You cannot understand his mind, the disordered mind, because you are normal. How could you? You can believe it – he is not real, and nothing is real to him. That is his tragedy.” 

370992455 815067620268984 1804602283192581103 n
@ Dimming The Gaslight LLC

“As I said, it is only lately that I heard about how she hates him to this day, after twenty years or more.” 

“Anyway, the uneasy was always there for me too. It was just easy to ignore in the beginning. As I got to know him, the uneasiness shifted to a feeling of walking on eggshells since I never knew what action or word I might do would trip over one of his innumerable emotional landmines.” 

“I made a huge mistake today. After receiving the latest personal assault from my N, I tried to arrange an amicable settlement without having to go to court. My biggest concern was that he not get overnight visitation. Well, he agreed to my terms and our lawyers called the judge to adjourn our ‘motion’. Soon after that, my N backed out of the whole deal, saying he didn’t see why he shouldn’t have our child overnight. Now we don’t go to court for another 3 months!! They will use anything and everything at their disposal.” “He is a very insecure (and jealous) man, but he is also a dreadful coward. The Ns usually are.” “If some man were to say to your daughter: “Here’s the deal, sweetie. For several months or so, I’m going to pretend to be everything you ever wanted. I’ll shower you with attention, affection and all manner of stuff to make you feel special. Then, once I know you’re depending on me as your significant other, and have made a commitment, I will quit pretending and be who I am. I’m going to start treating you really badly, I’ll say insensitive things, lll lie, I’ll cheat, I’ll be really cruel, possibly humiliate you in public. Hey, I might even beat you. Your job will be to figure out what happened and do everything in your power to restore the relationship to what it was, until you either die, try to kill yourself, or collapse and get sent to hospital, which will be pretty funny because there’s no chance whatsoever I’ll ever pretend to be that ‘nice guy again – and by the way, it WAS a pretence. So what do you say, sweetie? Do we have a deal? Several years of hell in exchange for a few months of fantasy?’ 

If your daughter whipped out the pen to ink the deal, you’d smack her and say, ‘What are you, NUTS? This guy’s a lunatic!!!’ Right? But that is the deal. That is the contract. If that contract wouldn’t be nearly good enough for your daughter, why would it be good enough for you?” “I went along with him once and he said: ‘Hey I like the way you talk!!!’ He actually praised me when I agreed with him that a person who causes an accident should be left on the highway to die and just drive on by. What a polished piece of work! I swear | met the devil.” 

“What I’m wondering right now is … in the beginning when he was treating me like a Queen, was there a hidden agenda there? Was it always in the back of his mind that he would soon unleash the hidden fury to hurt me? He acts like I am the one’, the ‘kindred friend’ that he’s never had before. Is this all a lie? I seem to be hanging on to hoping it will be different for me. Am 1 fooling myself?” “Does he want to hurt you? Well, now, that would imply that he thinks of you as a human being – an N doesn’t. What he wants is to secure supply. If he cannot do it by means of flattery, he will do it by means of cruelty. The goal is to get you to give him what he wants. He doesn’t especially care which method he uses, so long as he finds one that works. I know that sounds cold. It is cold. That is the mind of a narcissist. Cold and devoid of empathy. Because he lacks empathy, he probably doesn’t know or care if he hurts you, unless he’s using bullying as a technique for extracting NS from you. Even then, he couldn’t care less what that does to you, apart from eliciting the desired response. If it makes him feel better about himself to belittle you, he will do that, but the ultimate goal isn’t to make you feel bad, the goal is perpetuate the myth of his own perfection and simultaneously control you. If by hurting you it gets you in check, makes you take on his failings as your own, and make you work twice as hard for his approval, it’s a bonus for him. If he doesn’t need to employ cruelty in order to accomplish either of the above goals, he won’t. It’s that simple.” from elimself to belittle bad, the goal is 

“Who would not assume s/he was so lucky to have met this wonderful, caring individual? Nothing wrong with that. It is when the cannon-ball of devaluation hits you that the horror of the situation begins to dawn, but you cannot work out why. Naturally, you assume (because you think within normal parameters) that your partner/spouse is ill, has encountered a serious problem (work, finances), is maybe physically ill. Because you have never 

heard of NPD you do not, indeed cannot, know about the idealisation-devaluation process.” “The N I write about probably never did a thing, unless there was something in it for him. He simply did not bother. He started from a position of weakness, in that he had a huge inferiority complex, but the pretentiousness of his facade gave the impression of enormous self-confidence.” “My N also had very low self-esteem. It was as if he had to constantly bolster himself up to me by references to past relationships, and present/future possibilities. He always made me feel like I just didn’t match up. Now I realise that probably no one ever could have. He was always looking for such an amount of NS that no normal person/relationship could have possibly have supplied it, and I think that insecurity was also behind the need to have, ideally, lots of different alternatives.” “It is THEM, not you or I, who can’t trust enough to invest/try/be content with one relationship and build on that. The lack of commitment, sneaky manipulation of targeting new NS, guarantee that they will get dumped by anybody decent – lowering their self esteem even further. But they seem to hurl compulsively along the same tired worn-out path.” 

“I had to analyze him closely, and that’s what saved me. I drew up a list of things he had done, sat down with my therapist and discussed what those behaviours/symptoms were, from a psychological perspective. We were like 2 scientists working on a project where there wasn’t a lot of documentation to refer to. Ultimately we identified narcissism, but went further. We wound up with the diagnosis that, not only was he a psychopath, he was also a sociopath, as he had no conscience.” “Diagnosing Ns truly isn’t rocket science. Go through the list of criteria. Give an example beside each one stating why s/he’s like that. When you get 5 or more, BINGO. It’s the stories, the anecdotal reports that diagnose Ns. My N fully met the criteria for 4 different PDs, plus bipolar. He went to a psychiatrist only once, about 16 years ago. He’s a successful businessman and he’s a narcissistic psychopath.” 

“In actual fact, it was the doctor who diagnosed my husband who remarked on the high incidence of NPD among prison inmates, i.e. among the criminal population. This same doctor is also a prison psychologist working for the State, (as well as a university lecturer).” 

“Yes, absolutely. It’s not a disorder of intelligence. Far from it. My N graduated law school near the top of his class. Emotionally, he’s 5 years old!!!” 

“He told me that based on what he has read in my journals and narratives, providing that all the information is correct (which it is) that my N is a psychopath, narcissist and borderline. I was shocked that he thought it was more than narcissism. So, I am interpreting it to mean that a person with Multiple Personality Disorder tendencies will exhibit some of the characteristics from each, but not necessarily all of them.” “On first meeting an N, what is it that they do, that a normal person does not do? From the perspective of the one who is meeting the N for the first time, a N goes to great lengths to make a big impression on the listener. The N never stops doing that. They want to be sure they have your attention and they will appear to be listening very attentively, as you speak. The listening attentively part is an illusion. If questioned about the discussion later, they will not remember a word that was said. Reason: They were too busy studying you. What you care about. They make such observations to use against you, later on.” 

“It is best to keep them at arm’s length and not even start a relationship with someone who is too much ‘over the top’, in every way. They leave a path of destruction and dozens of broken hearts in their wake. Sometimes, the damage cannot be undone and you must live with it. So beware of someone who is coming on too strong.” 

“We have a saying around my house which is that an N will put you through a series of increasingly difficult (and more ludicrous) tests in order to get you to prove loyalty to them. If you manage to pass all of these ridiculous tests, you are rewarded for your considerable effort with the right to worship the N. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve got other plans.” 

“I have come to think of those years as a classroom in which I learned about my own vulnerabilities. Nothing seems as scary to me anymore … how can it be when I have survived living with, as Sam Vaknin has said, an encounter with the first carbon-based form of artificial intelligence’.” 

“I had never known a real conman in my life. I thought only the stupid or elderly got suckered.” “What I, and others on this board, have learned from dealing with N bullies in our personal lives applies to terrorists. There can be no appeasement, no attempt to reason with them, no attempt to “fix” them, to unseat their deep-seated hatred, shame, and envy. Sounds terribly harsh to the uninitiated, but not recognising that can only lead to our own destruction.” 

“I’ve come to believe that, to the N, the world looks like a place where the only food is meat and we’re the cattle. That’s why, at the most primitive level, they think they ‘have to act the way they do in order to survive. They’ve got a vested interest in suppressing that empathy. At a fundamental level, WE ARE NOT REAL to them. Do you ever wonder if your hamburger had a name? You and I are interchangeable cows to them. Stings a little, right? Yes, they’re accountable, all right. They try to mutilate us for meat! Once we get over the shock that THAT THERE REALLY ARE PEOPLE LIKE THIS IN THE WORLD, our sense of survival kicks in and we get out before they slaughter us wholesale. Arguing with them about the reality of their perceptions is pointless; it won’t stop them from hacking off a piece of meat. The damage they do is real, but don’t expect them to ever understand that, not on a gut level where it counts for you and me. You want to get even with the N? Take away the meat.” “They mix people up by screwing up the issues up so we get confused. Then they reprioritize everything for us by getting angry. So we have to look at them first, we think, and we worry about them first. It becomes all about them. Everything else, especially ourselves and things once important to us becomes second fiddle. No wonder we feel something isn’t right and we don’t realise how we got ourselves into such a predicament.” “Like you, I have the ‘I hope he gets his just desserts’ thoughts. But there’ll always be someone they can fool. (In my ex-N’s case, aged 45, I see he’s homed in on a 20-year-old who he “helps’ with her exams. I hope she’s astute enough to suss him out, but who knows?). The really true sign we’ve recovered completely is that we won’t harbour thoughts about what they’re doing to whom – not care – or at least accept that it’s out of our control. Do we really care about the ‘others’ – or – and I hold my hand up here, are we perhaps not more enraged that they’re still getting away’ with it!?”

“I was married for several years to a man who exhibited this precise pattern. It ultimately ended in a domestic violence situation and after great struggle, I left him. The act of leaving him brought further abuse and grievances.” 

“I guess the reality is that even when it seems so completely innocent, there’s always an ulterior motive running through their minds. It blows me away that every event in their lives, no matter how significant or insignificant, can always be used to create the turmoil that seems to surround them constantly.” 


“Your post evoked a memory of yet another conversation I had with my ex-N. I had referred to sex as making love. She looked at me very inquisitively and said: ‘I noticed you say that a lot – why do you call it making love?’ So, I replied: ‘Why, what would you call it?’ Her response was: ‘I would just call it SEX. I’m not really sure what LOVE is! Looking back, it was yet another obvious NPD zinger that zinged right by me.”

“Almost four years and he didn’t know my birthday or my full name! It’s their way of saying you don’t matter that much to me’.” 

“Pretend you are someone other than yourself looking into what’s going on in your head. It helps me because it detaches me somehow and I can see things clearer when looking at it in a different perspective.” 

“We cannot accurately predict what response we will get on any given day. And without the ability to predict – without a stable system on which we can rely – we wind up tying ourselves into knots trying desperately to please and walking on eggshells hoping to avoid this unpredictable wrath.” “It is excruciating pain. It is a pain of separation, the pain of loss, the pain of dreams and expectations unrealized. It is the loss and death of a mirage.” “He chose every path less likely to cause him any disruption in his routine, without giving one ounce of thought of the retributions of his acts. And whenever asked for an explanation the response was always the same… It was someone else’s fault or, if there was no one else to point the finger of blame to, he ‘couldn’t remember the event in question, or he was just feeling bad that day.” “In my case, N, my husband of 12 years, is not exactly malicious. He doesn’t set out to hurt me just for kicks, in my opinion. He hurts me as little or as much as it takes to achieve his goal: to make me dependent on him in as many ways, obey him, give him all the NS he demands, and abdicate control. So, while his primary goal isn’t to hurt me, it becomes a goal if that’s what it takes to get NS out of me.” 

“Through my self-education I’ve experienced opposite ends of emotion. On one hand it’s been enlightening, cleansing, joyous, and uplifting. On the other hand it’s been revolting, heart-achingly painful, gut-wrenchingly toxic, and horribly embarrassing.” “After finding this group, as much as I have been comforted, I have also been disturbed by the hurt that all of us have survived thus far at the hand of an N. I think I might still be in shock that my N, a human being, is actually capable of hurting another so much, with no remorse – except when it impacts him.” 

“One of the very difficult things to deal with after being the victim of a N is that most people will not want to believe what happened to you, even if they saw it with their own eyes!” 

“The point is, I was getting sick and mad, was losing weight and concentration at work… I’m the typical co-dependent, I know … and I really thought the power of love would help.” “Sam Vaknin’s article Other People’s Pain is well worth reading right now. It’s like a bucket of ice water when we need it to remind ourselves what this is all about.” 

“I guess the computer is a screen for Ns – they can present themselves any way they want and be exactly what you say, someone’s prince charming. The e-card that I found from his last affair had her saying: ‘I can’t wait to make you happy for the rest of my life and give you the love you deserve!’ UGH! I can’t even imagine what bag of goods he sold her.” “I, too, became lost in HIS world, started walking on eggshells and worrying if I said or was behaving the right way for him. He was so methodical in his control over me and like you, he would throw a bone at me (usually some old flowers on their way out), and I like a jerk would get so excited that he thought a little about me with the award of almost dead flowers. So sad.” 

“I remember asking tons of people if he ever made eye contact with them. This was before I knew anything about NPD, but I knew there was something very, very wrong with him. EVERYONE said 

NO, without hesitation – it was as if they had all thought about that very thing, or at least had noticed it independently. Creepy.” “I learned that “kicking you when you’re down’ is a standard characteristic of the N.” we do, say.do/say/th this? Until to some 

“I told him no more because he was making me feel horrible, but the fact that he accepted it so easily hurts all the more. It validates just how meaningless all of it was and is. I was feeling OK and suddenly it’s all hit me again like a ton of bricks.” “Ns install a mental filter in our heads a little bit at a time. Before we know it, everything we do, say, or think, goes through this filter. “Will he get upset if I do/say/think this? Will he approve/disapprove? Will he feel hurt by this?’ Until we can uninstall the N-filter, our actions are controlled by N to some degree.” “The humiliation, the insults, the lies, the abuse, the character defamation and on and on and on. We may understand that they are ‘sick’, but then it is just us understanding them again. It doesn’t really help us much to heal our pain.” “When we get to feeling too good, too happy, too satisfied, too optimistic, too excited, too anything that the N was not responsible for, then it is the N’s job to rip that feeling away from us.” 

“Was mine a charismatic psychopath or a garden-variety N? I just don’t know 100% what he is capable of. Maybe he doesn’t either. It’s a very good thing to be scared sometimes, especially when tempted to N-dip. It’s not only our emotional wellbeing at stake here. It can be our physical (health included) safety as well.” “You may see in the man a part of yourself that is missing. A good man can help supply a feeling of wholeness and inner peace. He can help make you feel safe. An N can spot this better than anyone else. He goes after it like the drumstick at the Thanksgiving dinner. He knows people because of an overdeveloped inner sense. He reads people for a living. His needs are greater than yours, but he denies it to all. You may face on occasion anxiety and fear, but his is more intense and always with him. It is inevitable that the two of you will find each other. You are looking and so is he. He has the advantage because of his over developed inner sense.” 

“They memorise body language and can spot a person who might feel a little vulnerable a mile away.” “My motto from here on out is: If someone or something (including me) in my life is conducting themselves in such a way that they can be seen on Jerry Springer, it’s time to take out the garbage!!! When you stop taking their behavior personally and see their antics as a true reflection of their character, it becomes absolutely nauseating.” 

“That’s the way he conditioned you to respond. You know that bad things happen when you do something other than what he wants you to do, which may change based on his whim. Cut it, now. Cut the cord, and never look back.” “Of course, as normal humans, we search inside ourselves for answers. That is precisely what the N never does. If he did, he would go for therapy forthwith. It is natural to wonder how we could be fooled so easily and so ruthlessly. Ever watch sleight of hand? Well, it is the same. You are fooled by the speed and skill of the ‘magician’ or the card sharp. But, and this is the but, it is only an illusion. Always remember that. You are healthy. The N is not. The best way to do battle with this situation is to walk away, to grind the memories under your heel, and look to better things.” 

“I had an N for a partner, and he built me up like yours and made me feel good, and then, straight afterward, he brought down the hatchet and cut me out of his life. Don’t be fooled – just as he opened up, so can he close up – and heaven help you when he does.” 

“Don’t worry, he didn’t pick you because you are weak or an easy target. He picked you because you have all the qualities he wants and can’t have. The problem is, while he was, as we say, sucking you dry he caused you over time to feel confused, edgy, distracted and all the things you described. We loved these men and why wouldn’t we? In the beginning they make us feel so special and comfortable and loved. It’s later when, like you described, our minds are reeling because we know something is ‘off” but can’t put our fingers on it that we start searching around and find ourselves here. Then all the pieces start to fall in to place. People with NDP are master manipulators, subtle and strong at the same time. You have been brainwashed and it’s going to take a while to detox but you’ll be all right. It’s important not to blame yourself but get on with detaching both physically and mentally. Not easy and not pleasant.” 

“THE FIRST GIANT RED FLAG … needed instant gratification. It felt like he was needy. Had to spend every moment together. Pushed the sex so insistently. The relationship did not form naturally, it was rushed and he dictated the pace … totally controlled and manipulated things in spite of all my efforts to slow it down.”

“I guess there were red flags everywhere, but I had no idea what narcissism was.” 

“Looking back on ALL the Ns I’ve ever known and merged with, I see there WERE signs within minutes of meeting the N that they were grossly selfish, immoral, sex-addicted or something was definitely ‘off’ that I couldn’t explain. I didn’t honour my intuition, gut feelings and instinct. The truth is that I had almost no experience setting healthy boundaries.” 

368436118 1223723515688250 1764407172630851482 n
@ Dimming The Gaslight LLC

“He also admitted to being ‘difficult’ and ‘moody – so yes, if someone says this in the early stages of a relationship, I think the red flags should definitely be up. They simply cannot sustain ‘niceness’ for any period of time – to anyone – unless they want something from them, or unless that person can offer them something.” “I pushed the gnawing out of my mind, relaxed, and suspended judgment for a while when his behavior or stories of his past rang odd. I just figured I was only hearing bits and pieces and chose to wait to hear the whole story from him before I concluded anything about his personality. I should have paid more attention to my ‘gut instinct’.” “NPD is serious, big-time stuff.”

“Life is a superficial game for him and you are a pawn on his board. Is that what you want to be, a pawn in the hands of a madman?” 

“I don’t know what nastiness your Ns did before, but I can see a lot of HOOKS in your story. If your N displays off and on again behaviour BEWARE! My ex N knew how to hook me by drawing me into her sad stories. You may be your Ns main source of Supply right now and it’s true you may even know more about your N then anyone else will ever know. My N still wants to be in contact with me because I too know my x-N better than anyone else. But remember, some Ns like to be MYSTERIOUS because it keeps them in control while you’re dancing to FIGURE them out.” 

“The N will not change; you must absolutely keep this before your mind. But the N is constantly ‘paying’ in his internal hell, which is the essence of his disorder. In this sense ‘what goes round, comes round’.” 

“The N is like bog-fire (jack-o’-lantern). You race after him, and race into the marsh, where you are swallowed up and suffocated. The N will suffocate all that is good in you, will twist your psyche until you don’t know who you are yourself, eventually your own face will not seem your own in the mirror. Yes, it gets that bad, believe me.” 

“The N is bad even for your looks – reason enough in itself to leave him quickly. He will make you feel ugly, unwanted, inadequate, not up to his standard, no matter how intelligent, good-looking, or smart you are. He makes you feel like this so that you are in line with his dreadful feelings about himself.” 

“I have been apart from my N for almost 2 years, yet periodically, he keeps coming back into my life. Not only is he narcissist, he is bipolar as well, not to mention he also has a chemical dependency problem.” “The devaluation was as shocking and devastating as it was unexpected.” “He’s built up a pile of adversaries and victims over his 73 years, and anyone who remembers anything about him realize the scum underneath.” 

“I think that is part of what they like to do to their targets. Abandon the target, leave them hanging, right in the middle of a sentence. And, you, having emotions, just have to get it out.” 

“I can only offer a comparison: a person who has been in a wheelchair since infancy cannot have any notion of what it feels like to walk, run, jump, do gymnastics, ride a bike etc. The person with NPD is in the same position, an emotional cripple, whose experience of life bears no resemblance to the ordinary person’s.” “One thing I do have to remind myself of all the time is this. They are always looking for who they are in someone else.” 

“When I asked him why he had stopped terrifying me, he said: ‘It didn’t work’. What this says about him is that his behavior was not out of control, as one might think, because it was so bizarre, but a strategy. He stopped using that strategy when it didn’t achieve his ends. That’s important to remember when dealing with a true N.” “N’s are notoriously bad gift-givers. My ex-N only used to give gifts to me he had received as free samples from representatives.” 

“Since my N told me he wanted a divorce, I have been amazed at the people who have come up to me and said they never liked the way he treated me and that I will be so much better off without him … and I thought they liked him.” “Any apparent (and spurious) remission of NPD is just that – fake. The individual is marshalling his/her forces for the next round, which will be one hundred times worse than what went before. Believe me.” 

“The one you married, the terrific guy, was the False Self. When you finally realise that the horror he became, is the Real Self, then you understand NPD and you understand the nightmare for all of us.” 

“I rationalized and made excuses until I was blue in the face. When there was no possible excuse for certain behaviors, he would come up with a sob story that I ‘rationalized’ and fell for. That’s why I was perfect NS. I will never go there again. I am not a slave for anyone!” “I stayed far away from him. But he would not leave me alone. || was extremely violated by this person and it took 7 years of intensive therapy to overcome the injuries | suffered because of him.” 

“He has never been empathetic towards anyone and has no idea how much pain he causes people when he makes choices that affect them.” 

“I have a very strong supportive network who keep reminding me that I am a worthwhile human being. They have told me, however, that the years spent with him have altered me, made me nervous and anxious, and questioned my capabilities. It’s insidious and you never even realise you are changing.” 

“He has this vindictive, mean streak in him. He knows exactly which buttons to push and can tell you to go to hell and you’ll look forward to the trip.” 

“After about a month no contact, he was back on bended knees begging to ‘negotiate his surrender’ to me. He asked me to marry him. I fell for it again and the drinking started again. Shortly after the wedding, the fighting started again. I realized that drinking was lowering my inhibitions, and I let out all of the anger I was still carrying from the prior devaluation. Then I discovered all his lies regarding his business, which he considered his little secret’. After 6 months of marriage he came home from a business trip, waited ’til the next morning after I left for work and moved out.” 

“Now he’s suddenly devout. Jesus’ is a verb or noun in every sentence. He carries three Bibles (a pocket-sized one for reading on the train, a medium one, and a large one for Sundays). Unreal. This same man is having an affair with a woman who is married. She is entirely dependent on him financially, and has left her husband and two sons. Her life is now becoming the wreck my life used to be. Sometimes, I too, wish I could just tell her ‘Run!’ but I don’t dare. I just hope she believes her eyes, instead of his lies … and saves herself.” 

“Don’t tell them ANYTHING you aren’t prepared to get shoved up your butt later … or down your throat, or in your heart in the form of a dagger. And of course there are those things you tell them that you have to be prepared to have TWISTED into things they can shove…” 

“He got hooked on the computer for NS. Totally ignored his children. Never responded to them when he came home from work. The computer took over his whole life. He was having an affair with his co-worker, at the same time having affairs with women online.” 

1. To forgive is never to forget. But to remember is not necessarily to re-experience.

2. Pathological narcissism is a life-long pattern of traits and behaviours which signify infatuation and obsession with one’s self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one’s gratification, dominance and ambition.

3. Narcissus is not in love with himself. He is in love with his reflection.

4. The narcissist is an actor in a monodrama, yet he is forced to remain behind the scenes. The scenes take centre stage, instead.

5. The narcissist ages without mercy and without grace. His withered body and his overwrought mind betray him all at once.

7. In the narcissist’s surrealistic world, even language is pathologized. It mutates into a weapon of self-defense, a verbal fortification, a medium without a message, replacing words with duplicitous and ambiguous vocables.

8. The narcissist’s lies are not goal-orientated. This is what makes his constant dishonesty both disconcerting and incomprehensible. The narcissist lies at the drop of a hat, needlessly, and almost ceaselessly.

9. The narcissist holds his sycophantic acolytes in contempt. He finds his fans, admirers, and followers repulsive and holds them to be inferior.

10. The narcissist is never whole without an adoring, submissive, available, self-denigrating partner. His very sense of superiority, indeed his False Self, depends on it.

11. The narcissist identifies being loved with being possessed, encroached upon, shackled, transformed, reduced, exploited, weakened, engulfed, digested and excreted.

12. Psychopathic and narcissistic abusers hate it when other people are happy. Besieged by gnawing inadequacy, the narcissistic abuser does his best to destroy everybody else’s celebratory mood.

14. Deep inside, the narcissist hates himself and doubts his own worth. He deplores his desperate addiction to Narcissistic Supply. He judges his actions and intentions harshly and sadistically.

15. When narcissism fails as a defense mechanism, the narcissist develops paranoid narratives: self-directed confabulations which place him at the center of others’ allegedly malign attention.

Read More about Narcissist Abuse and Domestic Violence

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories


UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

2 thoughts on “200+ Quotes from Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse”

  1. Your article is the best article on narcissism I have read. I went to shrinks from Columbia University and Yale who couldn’t figure out what personality disorder my partner had. I was depressed ,anxious and upset all the time. I started to get sick from the stress. I felt I was losing it, I couldn’t figure out why he was so abusive I am a great wife, kind, hardworking and good looking.He was having online affairs. Flirting with everyone. Humiliating me in public. I had to take tranquilizers when we went out in public because constantly humiliated me ; ignored me at parties. He refused to hang out with my friends totally isolating me. I am a beautiful woman and he would stare and ogle anything that walks. He totally devalues my accomplishments and achievements. When he talks to the people he knows, as he has no friends, never says a word about me.Through research of my own I checked-off the boxes. Of course, in public he can do no wrong. He has my family fooled. They think I am the crazy one. Thank you for giving me validation I needed. It’s spot on. I am strong and I recognize his behavior and after 9 years he won’t break me. I am forming my own life and interests to break free ;the secret is recognizing the behavior.. Once you recognize the behavior you have the POWER. I feel a sigh of relief In knowing what I suspected is totally true as your article goes into more detail than others. He is sick and nothing will change but I think now I can handle it ; stay married but play checkmate. When he humiliates me in public by staring at other women or flirting I don’t flinch. Fake it like he does. If he devalues you well f him. You know your worth. I look at him as a total loser. To be a winner ,you have to beat him at his own game. In the meantime ,get yourself a spa treatment you deserve it. I checked his phone once ,in his notes he wrote: You can’t keep a good woman down. You got that right buddy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *