Interacting with Your Abuser

Uploaded 5/19/2011, approx. 4 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

Having chosen your team of consultants and experts, and having, of course, hired their services, relegate any inevitable contact with your abusive ex when and where possible to professionals, so your lawyer, your accountant. Work with these qualified third parties to extricate yourself and your loved ones from the quagmire of an abusive relationship.

Be sure to maintain as much contact with your abuser as the courts, counselors, mediators, guardians, or law enforcement officials mandate.

Do not contravene the decisions of the system.

Work from the inside to change judgements, evaluations, and rulings, but never rebel against such institutions. Never ignore them. You will only turn the system against you and your interests.

But with the exception of the minimum mandated by the courts, decline any and all gratuitous contact with the narcissist. Remember that many interactions are initiated by your abusive ex in order to trap or intimidate you.

Keep referring him to your lawyer regarding legal issues, to your accountant or financial advisor concerning money matters. And to therapists, psychologists, and counselors with regards to everything else, yourself, your common children.

Abuses react badly to such treatment. Yours will try to manipulate you into unintended contact.

Do not respond to his pleading, romantic, nostalgic, flattering, or threatening email and snail mail messages. Keep records of such correspondence and make it immediately available to the courts, to law enforcement agencies, court-mandated evaluators, guardians at Lytton, therapists, marital counselors, child psychologists, and to your good friends.

Keep him away by obtaining restraining orders and injunctions aplenty.

Abuses crave secrecy. Expose their needs. Deter abuse by being open about your predicament. Share with like-minded others online and offline. It will ease your burden and keep him at bay, at least for a while.

Your abusive ex-partner will try to dazzle you with attention. Return all gifts that he sends you, unopened and unacknowledged. Keep your communications with him to the bare cold minimum. Do not be impolite. Do not be abusive. Do not be abrasive.

It is precisely how he wants you to behave. It may be used against you in a court of law.

Keep your cool but be firm, especially about your boundaries. Do not let him re-enter your life surreptitiously. Stealth and ambient abuse are powerful tools.

Refuse him entry to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom. Do not talk to him on the phone. Hang up the minute you hear your voice while making clear to him in a single, pithy, polite, but unambiguous sentence that you are determined not to talk to him, that it is over and for good.

Do not succumb to your weakness. It is tough living alone. You are bound to miss him horribly at times, selectively recalling only the good moments and the affection in your doomed relationship.

Do not dip into the poisonous offerings of your abuser. Do not relapse. Be strong.

Fill your life with new hobbies, new interests, new friends, new loves and lovers, and a new purpose.

Do not visit your abuser on special occasions. Do not call upon him in emergencies. Do not let him convince you to celebrate an anniversary, a birthday, a successful business transaction, a personal achievement or a triumph. Do not let him turn your own memories against you. Do not visit him in the hospital, in jail, a rehab center. Do not join him in a memorial service. He does not exist for you any longer. Do not ask him for anything, even if you are in dire straits and dire need.

When you are forced to meet him, do not discuss your personal affairs or his personal affairs.

Your abuser's friendship is fake, his life with you, a confabulation, a sham, his intentions dishonest and dishonorable.

He is the enemy. Remember that.

Abuse by proxy continues long after the relationship is officially over.

Do not respond to questions, requests or pleas forwarded to you via third parties.

Disconnect from third parties whom you know are spying on you at his behest and on his behalf.

Do not discuss with him your children. Do not gossip about him.

The majority of abusers finally, after a protracted period admittedly, get the message.

Others, more vindictive and obsessed, continue to hold their quarry for years to come.

These are the stalkers.

There are several videos on this channel which deal with stalkers. Be sure to watch them.

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Narcissist's Victim: NO CONTACT Rules

Professor Sam Vaknin advises victims of narcissism and psychopathy to maintain as much contact with their abuser as the courts, counselors, evaluators, mediators, guardians, or law enforcement officials mandate. However, with the exception of this minimum mandated by the courts, decline any and all gratuitous contact with the narcissist or psychopath. Avoiding contact with the abuser is a form of setting boundaries, and setting boundaries is a form of healing. Be firm, be resolute, but be polite and civil.

Coping with Stalkers: Psychopaths, Narcissists, Paranoids, Erotomaniacs

Stalkers come in different types, including erotomaniac, narcissistic, paranoid, and anti-social or psychopathic. Coping techniques suited to one type of stalker may backfire or prove to be futile with another. The best coping strategy is to first identify the type of abuser you are faced with. It is essential to avoid all contact with your stalker, but being evaded only inflames the stalker's wrath and enhances his frustration.

Erotomanic Stalker

The erotomaniac stalker believes they are in love with their victim and will go to great lengths to prove their devotion, including making legal, financial, and emotional decisions for the victim without their consent. They ignore personal boundaries and intrude on privacy, and may even force themselves on the victim sexually. Coping strategies include ignoring the stalker, not responding to any communication, returning gifts, and avoiding any contact with the stalker. Any contact with the stalker is seen as a sign of love, so it is best to avoid them completely.

Coping Styles: Narcissist Abuses "Loved" Ones Despite Abandonment Anxiety

Narcissists abuse their loved ones to decrease their abandonment anxiety, restore their sense of grandiosity, and test their partner's loyalty. Abuse also serves as a form of behavior modification, as it signals to the partner that they need to modify their behavior to avoid abuse. Coping styles for dealing with abuse include submissiveness, conflicting, mirroring, collusion, and displacement, but some of these styles can be harmful and should be avoided.

Victims of Abuse: Recovery and Healing

Sam Vaknin discusses the process of healing and recovery for victims of abuse. The therapist's first task is to legitimize and validate the victim's fears and make it clear that the victim is not responsible for the abuse. Facing, reconstructing, and reframing the traumatic experiences is crucial for healing. Education is an important tool in the recovery process, and the victim should be made aware of the prevalence and nature of violence against women, warning signs, legal redress, coping strategies, and safety precautions. The therapist should emphasize the survivor's strengths and help the victim regain control of her life.

8 Ways to Survive the Narcissist (ENGLISH Excerpts)

The lecture is divided into two parts, with the first 15 minutes outlining the eight proven ways to manipulate a narcissist, with the most effective being no contact. The other seven techniques include gray rock, deflection, mirroring, shared psychosis, high-grade narcissistic supply, withholding, and intermittent reinforcement. However, the speaker warns that these techniques can lead to the development of narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors in the victim. The lecture concludes with an invitation to explore the narcissist's mind.

Body Language of Narcissistic and Psychopathic Abuser

Abusers emit subtle signals in their body language that can be observed and discerned. They adopt a posture of superiority and entitlement, and they idealize or devalue their interlocutors. Abusers are shallow and prefer show-off to substance, and they are serious about themselves. They lack empathy, are sadistic, and have inappropriate affect. They are adept at casting a veil of secrecy over their dysfunction and misbehavior, and they succeed in deceiving the entire world.

Mentally Ill: Bail Out, Save Yourself - Not THEM!

Mentally ill people often emotionally blackmail others into becoming their rescuers, and once they have, they want to infect them with their illness. This is because they want to share their pain and feel accepted. However, mentally ill people do not want to be helped, and they have strong resistances and defenses against healing. Therefore, it is important to harden your heart and walk away from mentally ill people to save yourself.

Contract with Your Abuser - Part II

To negotiate with an abuser, it is best to co-opt their prejudices and pathology by catering to their infantile emotional needs and complying with their wishes, complex rules, and arbitrary rituals. It is useless to confront the abuser head-on to engage in power politics. To move the abuser to attend couple or marital therapy, tell them that you need their help to restore your relationship to its former warmth and intimacy. Gradually, try to free the rigid edges of your sex rules.

Toxic Family Holidays Gathering Guide

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses coping with toxic families during holidays and family reunions. Toxic families are characterized by abusive, controlling, or humiliating behavior from one or more members. To cope with such families, one should accept the reality of the situation, plan ahead, set boundaries, and expect nothing. It is also important to avoid getting sucked into arguments, sensitive topics, and showing emotions. Lastly, it is crucial to have an exit strategy and debrief with a close friend or partner after the event.

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