Isolation / A Warning Signal
If you’re in a relationship with a person who has narcissistic personality disorder, they will try to isolate you from others as best they can. Someone who’s been married to a narcissistic person or someone who newly broke up from one eventually finds themselves completely alone or unable to decide who to trust.
How and why do they do this to you?
It’s almost impossible to see the big picture if we’re looking at it too closely. That’s why it’s quite hard to notice our own mistakes and the deep cracks in our relationship. Though it’s never too hard to observe other people’s problems and the cracks in their relationships. This is exactly what a narcissistic person fears. They’re afraid that someone will see the big picture and warn you about it. Because deep down, narcissistic people are much like little children who lack a true identity and they feel the need to put on their masks every morning. They’re afraid that one day this mask will fall and expose their true colors. If their chosen victim refuses looking at things through their eyes and starts talking about how they truly feel, people around them may realize what’s actually going on. As a result, narcissists try their hardest to keep their victims away from other people’s perspectives so that they can easily manipulate them to their heart’s desire.
On the other hand, they do this so slyly that most of the time it’s never obvious, in fact it often looks like an innocent act. For example, at the beginning of the relationship they pretend like they love you so much they want to spend every waking hour by your side. They can’t get enough of you; they miss you all the time. So, when you’re not around, they often text you and ask how you’re doing. But actually their true purpose is to find out who you’re with and to breathe down your neck even when they’re away. They also need to know that they are in control.
The fact you want to spend some time on your own or with friends when there’s someone who loves you this much will seem quite selfish even to yourself. They’re likely to guilt-trip you for not spending enough time with them. You may find yourself feeling like you need to try harder for this relationship. Being so cruel to someone who’s all over you may even look ‘narcissistic’ to you.
Another common method narcissistic people use to isolate their partners is continuously saying bad things about people around them and trying to set them against those people. They can tell you things like your family or friends are not appreciating you enough, and that you’re giving them more than what they deserve without receiving anything in return. They can remind you of a small argument you had with a friend to fuel your negative thoughts. Sometimes, they can show up unexpectedly to surprise you when you have other plans with your friends. If you tell them that you had other plans and they already knew this; they can either claim that they completely forgot about it and offer to take their leave to avoid putting you in a difficult situation, or insist that you told them no such thing. In any case, they put you in a difficult situation and you find yourself trying to decide between your two options.
If you’re married and more dependent on them economically, isolating you will be even easier for them. You’re already sharing a house and a bed, so you’re likely to feel responsible. If you have children, they can tell you that you’re neglecting your family and that you’re supposed to spend more time with them. Or if you’re in a long-term relationship, they can offer to live together or move to an entirely different city with them so that you’re more isolated and thus, much easier to control.
No matter how it’s done, isolation is one of the most important phases of abusive and possessive relationships. The further you are from the people around you, the lower your chances of being influenced by them. Eventually, you get so lonely that you feel the need to clutch at a straw to avoid drowning.
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You can also find the articles on https://medium.com/@narsistsiz:
Mind Body Green. “8 Unexpected Ways A Narcissist Isolates You”. Access 2 March, 2019. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/8-ways-a-narcissist-isolates-you .
Fiercely Unfettered. “Why Do Narcissists Isolate?”. Access 24 July, 2018. https://fiercelyunfettered.com/why-do-narcissists-isolate/.