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Narcissistic Emotional Bullying

How to Deal with Narcissistic Emotional Bullying

If you’ve lived with emotional abuse, you know what it feels like to be bullied, criticized, humiliated, and powered over. It can be so overwhelming that you simply don’t know what to do! Dr. Hawkins gives you some practical steps to help you know what to do when you feel narcissistic emotional bullying.

How to Deal with Narcissistic Emotional Bullying

Have you ever been overwhelmed, paralyzed, caught in the forcefulness of the covert narcissist bully? The blame-shifting bully is truly frightening and overwhelming, leaving you feeling daunted. Dealing with a covert narcissist, an emotionally immature individual who cannot handle criticism, can be challenging and even terrifying. In this article, we will discuss effective strategies to help you deal with narcissistic emotional bullying and regain your sense of self.

Anticipate the Bullying: Prepare Yourself

The first step in dealing with a narcissistic bully is to anticipate their behavior. Recognize that their bullying will resurface, and you will feel threatened and overwhelmed again. By anticipating their tactics, you can mentally prepare yourself and create a sense of readiness to face their behavior.

Name the Bullying: Identify and Acknowledge It

While anticipating the narcissistic bully’s behavior, actively watch for signs of bullying. Acknowledge it by identifying and naming it when it occurs. Recognize the patterns of intimidation, domination, and blame shifting. Take note of how they act superior and belittle you, using half-truths to distort reality. By naming the behavior, you create a psychological gap between their actions and your reactions.

Take Time to Reflect: Pause and Think

When faced with bullying, resist the urge to react immediately. Instead, inform the bully that you need time to reflect on what they are saying. By stepping back and taking time to think, you prevent yourself from getting caught up in the moment and making impulsive decisions or responses. Reflect on the situation, your feelings, and the validity of their claims.

Avoid Defending Yourself: Don’t Get Caught in the Cycle

Defending yourself against a narcissistic bully is a futile effort. They are not truly listening, nor do they consider your perspective valid. Engaging in a defensive argument only leads to emotional turmoil and confusion. Avoid trying to explain or justify yourself, as it will likely be met with further manipulation and dismissal. Save your energy and sanity by refraining from getting caught up in the cycle of defending against their attacks.

Set Boundaries: Communicate Your Decisions

After taking time to reflect and gather your thoughts, communicate your decisions to the narcissistic bully. Clearly express what you have concluded regarding their behavior and the impact it has on you. This is not about negotiating or arguing; it’s about setting firm boundaries. Keep in mind that bullies dislike boundaries and may try to test or break them. Nonetheless, assert your limits with the knowledge that it is crucial for your well-being.

Establish Consequences: Hold Firm to Your Boundaries

When setting boundaries with a narcissistic bully, ensure there are consequences in place for crossing those boundaries. Bullies are notorious for attempting to undermine boundaries and exert control. By establishing consequences, you demonstrate your commitment to self-respect and personal growth. Remember that enforcing boundaries requires consistency and resolve.


Dealing with a narcissistic emotional bully can be emotionally draining and challenging. While true change ultimately rests with the bully themselves, the steps outlined here can help you regain your sense of self and reduce the paralysis caused by their blame-shifting behavior. It’s important to remember that these strategies are not a magical solution, but rather tools to empower you in small ways. Taking these steps can help you breathe, think more clearly, and regain control over your own life.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: The Passive-Aggressive Narcissist Explained

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


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