The Self-Sabotaging Version of the Gray Rock Method

Breaking No Contact
The Self-Sabotaging Version of Gray Rock


If you’ve been reading about Narcissism, whether in regards to a romantic partner or business colleague, you’ve no doubt come across the term “Gray Rock Method”.

According to a contributor named Skylar on[1],

“The Gray Rock Method is primarily a way of encouraging a narcissist, psychopath, stalker or other emotionally unbalanced person, to lose interest in you.  It differs from No Contact in that you don’t blatantly try to avoid contact with the disordered individual.  Instead, you allow contact but only give boring, monotonous responses so that the mentally-unwell person must go elsewhere to get their need for drama gratified.

One might say that Gray Rock is a way of breaking up with a psychopath by using the old, “It’s not you, it’s me.” excuse, except that you act it out instead of saying it and the psychopath comes to that conclusion on his own.”

It’s important to emphasize again that you should never explain to a narcissist or psychopath that you are implementing the Gray Rock Method because they will only use that information to continue manipulating and dominating you— hence why Skylar mentions that you should “act it out”.

“You don’t just practice Gray Rock, you BECOME a Gray Rock. There are gray rocks and pebbles everywhere you go, but you never notice them. None of them attract your attention. You don’t remember any specific rock you saw today because they blend with the scenery. That is the type of boring that you want to channel when you are dealing with a psychopath. Your boring persona will camouflage you and the psychopath won’t even notice you were there.  This method strikes at the heart of the psychopath’s motivation:  to avoid boredom.”

The Gray Rock Method has been used successfully in many cases of workplace narcissism and co-parenting with the disordered.  However, these are two of the rare occasions when Gray Rock should be used.  It should not be used in cases where shared custody is not an issue or the disordered partner doesn’t work with the victim, yet I see this happen periodically with clients and repeatedly on recovery forums.  Below, I explain the basics of Gray Rock and how it is often used as a shoo-in for No Response.

Misapplications of Gray Rock and the Narcissistic Vortex

Implemented in its true form, Gray Rock enables you to communicate with the Narcissist without being sucked into the Narcissistic Vortex.  It allows you to make rational decisions about whether or not the narcissist’s emails or voice mails truly need a response or if their communications are a trap.  A good rule of thumb is to only communicate using yes, no, and specific dates and times.

If necessary, insist on using a monitored email system, such as Our Family Wizard, which is a wonderful co-parenting platform that allows you to communicate about your children without being harassed by your disordered Ex.  Includes email, expense logs, and an electronic journal so you can keep detailed documentation of missed visitations and other things which may prove advantageous in the event you have to go to court.

You can further avoid falling into the Narcissistic Vortex by not responding to any jabs that are made regarding your parenting style or lifestyle choices.  A good example of the Vortex is their mentioning something about your dealings with the children or the fact that you’ve begun dating again, and your subsequently sending them email tsunamis explaining your actions or becoming ensued in a long texting crusade–and before you know it, hours of your day have been wasted.

The self-sabotaging version of Gray Rock

Frequently, abuse victims consider themselves as having employed the Gray Rock method when really they’ve gone No Response, neither of which should be utilized except for the two situations previously mentioned (which is when Modified or Low Contact is required).  Often, this is a self-sabotaging behavior that victims use in order to leave the door open for the narcissist, hoping there might be that one time the narcissist has The Divine Epiphany and makes lasting improvements as a partner.

Subconsciously or deliberately, Gray Rock is regularly used as a shoo-in for No Response and used interchangeably with No Contact.  If the Narcissist is able to get in touch with you by phone, cell, email, and/or social media, this is No Response, and it’s one of the primary reasons why victims of narcissistic abuse remain stuck in their abusive relationships far beyond practical limits.

(Don’t feel judged, I did it, too, but there does come a time when you’ll want to cease these self-sabotaging behaviors so you can move forward ).

If you are not married and trying to end a relationship with a Narcissist, then the best strategy is to have no contact with him or her. You end the relationship cold-turkey, as if giving up an addiction.  No Contact means the narcissist or psychopath can’t get in touch with you.  Those who implement No Contact in its true form have a much higher chance of detaching, healing, and realizing happiness.

On the other hand, No Response means you allow them to call, text, or email, and you decide whether or not to respond.  Those who implement No Response usually stay enmeshed in the hypnotic influence of the Narcissistic Vortex, remaining stuck in dysfunctional patterns with the Narcissist years after the so-called “end” of the relationship.  Typically, this leads to existing as a secondary source of supply and being the fall back when relationship dramas arise with the narcissist’s other partners.  (And yes, it’s possible he or she may try to call from a blocked or unknown number, but that isn’t a valid reason to leave lines of communication open).

 What to do:  No Contact is hard because it’s accepting that the relationship over.  It means admitting it wasn’t based on love, but on control and manipulation.  Accept that the Narcissist will not change.  Give up trying to find potential loopholes in the narcissist’s behaviors in hopes of finding ways the relationship could have worked or what you could have done differently to make them wake up and love you.

If you do share custody or work with the Narcissist, then Gray Rock is your best line of attack.  It allows you to stop being manipulated into taking responsibility for things that weren’t your fault to begin with.

Learning how to effectively deal with a narcissist, especially in cases of divorce and custody issues, can’t be accomplished by reading just this one article. It takes practice, research, and a good attorney.  Don’t try to do this alone and definitely don’t put things off until the last minute.   Below are some great resources for navigating divorce when detaching from a Narcissist:

Divorce 101


Divorce 101:  A Woman’s Guide – Includes information for each state,  relevant laws, child custody, support calculators, worksheets, as well as professionals that practice in each state.  Protect yourself financially, create a workable custody arrangement and Parenting Plan.


[1] The Gray Rock method of dealing with psychopaths. (2012, February 10). Retrieved November 10, 2015, from


The Insanely Jealous Narcissist

It’s no secret that Narcissists are extreme control freaks.  They consider their partners, children, and flying monkeys as their personal possessions, to be used and manipulated for their own selfish needs and wants.  They insist on having their way in all interactions and almost always have an agenda.  Even seemingly innocent exchanges are often contrived and premeditated as a means to an end.

Failure to comply with the Narcissists’ point of view is considered an attack on their perceived superiority.  Anytime you voice concerns about their behaviors, you are considered problematic and you must make the necessary adjustments to pacify them.  Their sense of ownership is one reason why their abuse escalates as their relationships get more serious over the passage of time.  The longer you stay with a control-freak narcissist, the more he thinks of you as his personal property.

This possessiveness is the foundation of the narcissist’s mindset.  On some level, he truly feels he owns you and therefore has the right to treat you as he sees fit.  This becomes painfully obvious to his romantic partners, who become targets and outlets for the Narcissist’s insane jealousy.  Below, I explain the rationale behind the insanely jealous narcissist’s behaviors and dealings with his romantic partner(s).

Jealousy and Consuming Suspicion

Although not characteristic of every Jealous Narcissist, they do share many of the same core traits regarding their efforts at control, which typically commence with seemingly harmless care and concern.  So-called justifiable statements that a romantic partner may initially hear include:

  • I just care about you so much that I can’t bear being away from you for a minute!
  • I love you too much and that’s why I feel so jealous about you.
  • I’ve been cheated on before and I don’t want that to happen again.
  • If you come live with me, you can stop working so you can finish ________ (fill-in-the-blank).
  • I just don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression of you.

…and other such statements which, on the surface, hold a romantic nuance.  However, in spite of the sometimes cute and puppy dog-style allusions of these statements, they hold detrimental intentions.

Any possibility of a new significant other is a threat to the enmeshment and psychic influence the Jealous Narcissist holds over his partner.  In other words, if he believes another man is interested in her (or she in him), it could mean the end of his ownership over her, and therefore, the end of his all-consuming control.  However, it’s important to note that his jealousy isn’t always directed towards possible romantic rivals, but sometimes to any relationship his partner may have with other people, whether male or female.  This is because he wants her to be focused on his needs ONLY, and any attention given to other people is less attention given to him.

(This is also an under-handed method of isolation to take away any sources of support that might contribute to her attempts at independence when the relationship becomes toxic, which is inevitable in relationships with Narcissists, jealous or otherwise.)

Paradoxically, the most accusatory Narcissists are among the ones most likely to be cheating themselves.  This explains why they always search for evidence of their partner’s infidelity even though, in most cases, none is ever found.  In spite of his partner’s attempts at reassuring the Narcissist that she loves him and won’t cheat on him, they’re not enough to calm his consuming suspicions.  This can usually be ascribed to his own chronic infidelity, which is an indicator of his lack of ability to develop normal attachments with his partners.

When Jealousy Becomes Pathological                                                                                                      
While jealousy is normal and even healthy in conventional relationships, the kind of jealousy experienced by the Jealous Narcissist is largely pathological—also referred to as morbid jealousy or delusional jealousy.  According to Wikipedia[1], some of the symptoms of pathological jealousy include:

  • Accusing partner of looking or giving attention to other people.
  • Interrogation of phone calls, including wrong numbers or accidental phone calls, and all other forms of communication.
  • Going through the partner’s belongings.
  • Always asking where the partner is and whom they are with.
  • Isolating partner from their family and friends.
  • Not letting the partner have personal interests or hobbies outside the house.
  • Controlling the partner’s social circle.
  • Claiming the partner is having an affair when they withdraw or try to escape abuse.
  • Accusing the partner of having affairs when the marriage’s sexual activity stops because of the abuse.
  • Lack of trust.
  • Verbal and/or physical violence towards the partner, the individual whom is considered to be the rival, or both.
  • Blaming the partner and establishing an excuse for jealous behavior.

If your partner exhibits these signs of pathological jealousy, please know that there’s really nothing you can do to change his perspective.  If he exhibits a need for constant contact (constant texts, long and frequent phone calls, insists on attending all of your appointments and interviews, visits you at work, etc.) and panics or rages when he cannot contact you immediately, that is a very strong warning sign that speaks to severe distrust and an unhealthy attachment.

Trust is an essential ingredient to a healthy relationship.  You should feel comfortable around your partner and not have to constantly prove your credibility.  If you feel belittled or hurt when you’re around your partner, then your partner is most likely using manipulative tactics to keep you under his control.

Healing from a narcissistic relationship – What you can do

Narcissists know how to manipulate your vulnerabilities and sabotage anything that will alter the balance of power inside your relationship with them.   Recovery from the psychological, emotional, mental and spiritual abuse of narcissism is imperative for you to put yourself and your life back together.  If you’re feeling extremely broken, powerless and like you can’t take it anymore, you can access powerful help and relief.  (Click on the link to be re-directed).

**Please note that if you’ve engaged in these behaviors after discovering your narcissistic partner’s infidelities or have been a victim of triangulation, this does not make you a narcissist. However, if these behaviors describe you, your relationship is unhealthy and you may want to consider ending it.

Copyright © 2015 Kim Saeed. All Rights Reserved

(No gender bias was intended in the creation of this article.  The pronouns “he, his, and him” were used for ease of reading).

[1] Morbid jealousy. (2015, October 2). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:27, November 16, 2015, from

Narcissistic Abuse, Recovery, and the Importance of Right Healing


Experts say it takes more time to recover from a breakup with a narcissist (be that a friendship, colleague, family member, partner, or spouse) because you have to grieve twice. You grieve first for the person the narcissist pretended to be (your most loyal friend, soulmate, perfect boss) and then you grieve yet again about the horror of who they actually are: your worst nightmare.

Exactly like drug addiction you are high from the intensity during the initial stages of the relationship. You spend the rest of the entire relationship wanting to get back to that initial high that never comes. Being in a relationship with a narcissist is akin to being addicted to heroin. It will slowly kill you. The longer you stay with a narcissist and endure intermittent cycles of abuse, followed by “loving” treatment, you become MORE attached through a process known as trauma bonding.


I am honored that Kristin Sunanta Walker, CEO of everythingEHR invited me to be a guest on Mental Health News Radio, along with her co-host,  Melanie Vann.  Join us as we go in depth about what these relationships are like, why it is imperative to cut off all contact for good, and how important your healing process is so you can recover.

Life truly does begin after No Contact.



Please read the full blog article here.

Some of the topics of discussion are:

What if he/she isn’t a narcissist and I’m giving up too soon?

What if I’m the narcissist?

Is there a possibility the Narcissist can change?

I’ve been in therapy for years, but I still don’t seem to be healing.

Is this my fault?

It feels like no one is interested in me. Maybe the narcissist was right about me.

How important is it to learn how to modulate/regulate emotions in the first step in healing?

How is the term ‘grey rock’ helpful and why it should only be used in cases of shared custody/shared employer.

Kristin WalkerKristin Sunanta Walker is the CEO of a behavioral health consulting practice everythingEHR and host of Mental Health News Radio. She advocates on behalf of behavioral and women’s healthcare providers and the organizations and vendors who provide services to these populations. She shares what she learns through conference presentations, blog articles and as part of her consulting work.

*Examples given regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Psychopathy, or Sociopathology may be related to the guest or host’s experiences over vast interactions in their field. An amalgamation of experiences may be described but may not represent any specific entity. Should any listeners resonate with the information discussed or written, a list of licensed professionals will be made available upon request. 

Where have I disappeared to?

~ by Ether

Warning – Any close involvement with a narcissist is likely to lead to loss of self.

One of the most agonizing hurdles to overcome after dedicating so much energy to a narcissist is that we are left with a looming inability to derive the same enjoyment out of previous interests and the smaller things that used to touch and move us.

We lose our value for ourselves and how to appreciate value in other things.  We don’t know where to begin with moving on.

This is the damage that narcissists do to others.  It is characteristic of their abuse and has nothing to do with your real value. It is a slow attack on your very own beautiful spark of life and, concurrently, the toxic and inevitable effect of a narcissist.

Whether they mean to do it or not is totally irrelevant because of their fundamental and irreparable character flaws.  Interacting with a narcissist weakens the vital part of ourselves that is so precious; our beautiful connection to the spring of inspiration and the recognition of our uniqueness.

So what can we do when we feel we are nothing and there is no one left to move on?   When we stop deriving pleasure out of anything that isn’t related to the narcissist‘s life?

In the beginning, getting out of the narcissist’s reach (despite the emotional abuse) can feel like moving from glorious Technicolor to black and white, but it is temporary.  Initially, you feel that they have hijacked your brain and soul.

The first thing, indisputably, is to recognize that even if you feel that you love them very deeply, you must come to an acceptance that they are dangerous to your health and you cannot see them anymore.  Many of us actually have to experience real physical health problems to finally come to this conclusion.

Remove the influence of the narcissist out of your life.  Stop romanticizing them.  Narcissists lack character and life skills. When you think of them, try to picture them in your head dressed as a spoilt princess wearing a dress and tiara–who cannot do anything at all unaided–having a tantrum.  Make their image humorous and ridiculous because, really, this is what they are underneath all the charm.

In order to connect with our spark again, we must realize that we are rehabilitating ourselves and begin to treat ourselves as the highest priority and with care and love.

You are unique and valuable and connecting to the value of your uniqueness is the key to recovering from abuse.

Pushing yourself to slowly develop in an area or a hobby that you were previously good at and derived enjoyment from is fundamental in recovering.  By pursuing your own previous interests and removing their influence on your emotions, gradually, your love of life will return and the narcissist will become a memory.

In the beginning it seems impossible but, eventually, you won’t even remember how they managed to have such a profound negative influence on you, because you will become fully engaged in your life and path.

But tread carefully, it takes some time to recover yourself and one short encounter can set you back. They are dangerous to your very essence, to your love of life and each step towards recovering yourself must be guarded fiercely.

Be patient with yourself. Your beautiful qualities are what got you involved with a narcissist in the first place and their lack of appreciation or validation of them is what damages you.

You haven’t disappeared.  Your spark may have shrunk, but it cannot be extinguished as it is life itself and you can encourage it to grow and glow brightly.  It is these very qualities deep inside of you–waiting for you to rediscover them or, in some cases, find them for the first time–that you need to recover slowly and that will bring you back to yourself, help you to recover your identity, and to flourish as the real you, far away from these ruinous abusers.

How to Do No Contact Like a Boss! Bestseller in three categories on Amazon!

Book Cover Resized for slider

**Make sure you never miss another post by “Ether” by following this site.

Do All Men Cheat?

Yesterday, I turned on the television and caught the tail-end of an episode of Dr. Phil on the OWN channel titled, “Race to the Altar”.  A guest on the show, Sharon, described how she was nearing fifty and desperate to get married and have a child.

Sharon was in a relationship with a man who had “some issues”, but she was adamant about the fact that she wasn’t really making a bad choice in her partner, but instead being a “realist”.  When asked if she might be making some poor decisions, her reply was:

“My fiancé drinks too much. He has some attachment disorder issues, and sometimes he isn’t that nice when he says certain things. Any man that you get is going to have some kind of problem, some kind of issue,” she continues. “My family has never met him. They don’t think they like him. It does hurt me that my family is not as supportive of my decision, but ultimately, it’s my choice. I don’t care what anybody has to say, Dr. Phil, anybody. Does Dr. Phil have a ticking biological clock? When he gets one, tell him to come and talk to me about it!”

Dr. Phil goes on to tell her, “Adult males with attachment disorder oftentimes have a borderline personality, or they have narcissism, or they have dependent personalities. They have sociopathic adjustments. These are people who have a real difficult time forming a bond and a relationship with somebody in a sustainable way.”

But, Sharon remained steadfast.

Not only was this man an alcoholic with “attachment disorder issues”, he had already cheated on Sharon.  When one of the other guests suggested that Sharon seemed to be settling, Sharon’s response was, ‘All men, or most men, cheat.  I’m just being a realist.”  She further went on to say to the ‘offending’ female guest that if she “could find one of the ten men in the US that doesn’t cheat”, then the two of them could talk.

She emphasized her statements by explaining, “It may not be a fairytale marriage…Prince Charming does not exist, but what exists is a man with issues and flaws”.  You know, the whole He’s Not All Bad fallacy.

Oh, the poor, wounded soul.  His Family of Origin issues have plagued him to the point that he just can’t say a kind word, nor keep his pants on.  What pity, what sorrow.

I felt a sting of indignation for all the faithful men out there — because not all men cheat.  Generally, only the narcissistic, sociopathic, emotionally unavailable ones do (btw, please don’t cleave onto the adverb ‘generally’ with desperate hope).

In spite of my annoyance, I was reminded how victims of narcissistic abuse have their expectations managed down to the point that they settle into toxic relationships because their partner has encouraged this faulty reasoning.

So basically, Sharon was holding out hope that the joint counseling sessions, along with her undying love and devotion, would eventually change her alcoholic, verbally abusive, and unfaithful fiancé.  That somehow, the next time he prepared to mount The Other Woman, the clouds would part and the mythical Greek Furies would descend upon him, anointing him with such guilt and remorse that he would abruptly begin bawling like a baby, scurry out the door (barely getting his pants zipped),  and race back to Sharon’s open arms.

I hear Sharon’s statement from clients very often, “All men cheat”.  And they’ve resigned themselves to living with unfaithful partners because there’s no point in fighting it, right?  Especially if they happen to be nearing middle-age and perhaps have developed a muffin-top and a few “smile lines”.  Yet, at the same time, they are very unhappy – distraught, really – because the partners they’d shared their lives with have betrayed their trust.

What’s a woman to do?

First of all, being pretty and having the body of an 18-yr old tennis player doesn’t guarantee your partner will be faithful.  Hollywood is full of shining examples of this sad irony.

We all have choices.  Sure, any of us might look at someone besides our partner (whom we are devoted to) and find them attractive –sexy, even.  But that doesn’t mean we should risk all just for a roll in the hay with them.  It’s called character.

As for loving a narcissistic cheater, we also have choices.  We can either 1) accept that they cheat and try to go on our not-so-merry way while turning a blind eye (or crying eye, to be more realistic), or 2) leave and make a go at finding someone who isn’t a cheater.

Is leaving easy?  No, but neither is forever getting shocked by affair ambushes and chronic trickery.  People develop PTSD from that garbage.  And I believe part of the emotional devastation comes from not only being betrayed by a cheating partner, but also because we betray ourselves when we stay in a relationship with them.

You deserve better.  You are a beautiful, decent human being with values and morals.  Own that sh*t.

Oh, and by the way…Prince Charming DOES exist.  You just have to get rid of all the toads along the way.

Copyright © 2015 Kim Saeed. All Rights Reserved

How to Do No Contact Like a Boss! Bestseller in three categories on Amazon!

Book Cover Resized for slider

Email tsunamis…just don’t

You sit down at your computer.

You’ve had something on your mind for a while and you need to share it.

You head over to your email account, hit “compose” and enter the narcissist’s email address.


You make an attempt at No Contact, but don’t really block your soon-to-be-Ex.  After sending the email and waiting by your phone for ten days straight, you finally get the “I miss you” text, but when you respond…crickets.

So, instead of pecking around on your iPhone, you sit down to write a come-to-Jesus email to the narcissist in your life.

It doesn’t matter which scenario foreshadows the event, what ensues is the email tsunami from hell.

You know what I’m talking about…the frame-by-frame depiction of all the pain and suffering they’ve put you through. Your rapid succession, chapter-length emails aimed at giving them lessons on being a decent human that always seem to get lost in cyber-space.

Then, after pouring out your heart and soul for four hours straight, you finally get their reply:

“You’re crazy”.


“I think you should see a therapist”


“Oh sorry, just got this”, with zero acknowledgement of the messages you sent, much less your emotional state.

Makes you feel kind of foolish, doesn’t it?  At least that’s how I always felt when I sent email tsunamis to my Narcissistic ex.  I must have sent thousands of them before finally ending the relationship. And with each one, I lost more of my power…until I just didn’t have any fight left in me.

Being a writer, an INFJ, and an Empath, words mean everything to me.  To my Ex, they were either fodder for his entertainment or ammunition to use against me later.

I know you want them to understand.  You want them to “get it”, but you’re just wasting your precious energy while giving away your power with every email you send to them.

Narcissists absolutely love it when we send email tsunamis.  It means we’ve been worked into a feverish frenzy over something they said or did.  They don’t care about how we feel, but they sure love knowing they have such an enormous effect on us.

In fact, sometimes they enjoy our hateful emails even more than the loving ones.  If they’ve pushed us far enough to feel that we hate them, that means their mind-games have finally come full circle.  And it usually provokes them to treat us worse, because by the time we start with the email tsunamis, it means we’re likely trauma-bonded and brainwashed.

Plus, it feeds their drama dragon, which makes them happy, especially if we’ve just had a nuclear melt-down.

To summarize, each time we engage in email tsunamis, we give away pieces of our dignity and self-respect.  Save your emotions for your journal, your therapist, or your cat.  The Narcissist just doesn’t care.

Copyright © 2015 Kim Saeed. All Rights Reserved

Healing from narcissistic abuse?  Join the Let Me Reach Facebook Community!

How to Do No Contact Like a Boss! Bestseller in three categories on Amazon!

Book Cover Resized for slider

Got an hour? Try this and you’ll wonder why you waited so long

Getting through the pain of No Contact is sometimes brutal. It can seem impossible to take care of ourselves when we must work a job and have kids and pets to take care of. Many people think that self-care is a decadent privilege that’s only available to those who are able to stay at home or have a vast support network to help them through the first weeks of No Contact.

Taking care of yourself during NC may be hard to pull off , but it’s certainly possible. Not only is it possible, it’s essential.

When we make time to take care of ourselves, we are better able to show up for ourselves and also better able to connect with our loved ones.  Making the choice to be present for yourself is something you can do in a short amount of time. I think of it as a shift, helping you feel grounded before you move on to the next item on your agenda.

Here is an easy self-care suggestion you can try this weekend when you have about 45-60 minutes at the end of your day (and it’s much better for your peace of mind than scouring the Ex’s social media).

The Decadent Home Spa Experience

FullSizeRenderDraw a warm/hot bath.   If you really want to pamper yourself, you can add bath salts and candles as I’ve done in the photo. I used Kuumba Made Bath Salts in Egyptian Musk and various candles that I procured at the local TJ Maxx.  Next, pour yourself a glass of your favorite pleasant beverage. Here, I enjoyed a few glasses of Belcreme de Lys Chardonnay.

Petals Soy Wax Candle
If you have a TJ Maxx nearby, you can buy these lovely candles very affordably.  I have a penchant for the Victorian-themed packaging, and these candles are hand-made, 100% all-natural soy wax.  They’re made by Michel Design Works and are also available on Amazon, if the above retailer isn’t located in your area.

IMG_0622To truly make this an experience, I highly recommend queueing your favorite musical maestro and turning off the lights.  One of my favorite jazz artists is Diana Krall, and I listened to the strains of her 2007 album, The Very Best of Diana Krall.  Relax and let the ambiance gently guide you into a state of forgotten bliss.

L'OccitaneAs the hour draws to an end, exit the tub and pat your skin dry with your favorite bath towel.  Apply a good moisturizer while your skin is still damp.  I used L’Occitane Shea Butter Body Cream and Amande Hand Cream with Almond Milk.

Being a hippy at heart, I don’t buy many clothes, shoes, or purses…but I do like to splurge on nice body care products.  For those times when I need to scale it back, I use Jason Hand & Body Lotion in Cocoa Butter.  It’s AMAZING during the dry winter months and also non-toxic.  If you’re detoxing from narcissistic abuse, you’ll want to make sure that the products you use on your body don’t contain toxic chemicals that can further damage your body’s delicate systems.

For the record, my kids were at home the whole time I pampered myself with the Decadent Home Spa Experience…

For more ideas on detoxing from narcissistic abuse, check out my articles on Homeopathic Remedies and Healing Recipes.

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” – Mandy Hale

The Top 3 Ways to Epically Ruin Your Chance at True Love (for Women)

One of the most common questions I receive from my female clients and readers is, “Are there any GOOD men out there?!”

I know from personal experience that it can seem that the world is full of self-serving cads. I absolutely loathed being on the dating field. I’d almost resigned myself to living a life of solitude and celibacy. Seriously, that’s how bad most of my dating experiences were.

First off, most of the men on dating sites are looking for someone to hook up with. It can be a huge waste of time to finally narrow your choices down to one guy and then, when you meet up with him, he mentions he isn’t ready for a committed relationship (even if the conversation was about something completely unrelated).

You know, the whole, “I’d prefer to keep it casual” spiel. (Translated – fun, drinks, and friends with benefits). And sadly, if you agree to the Fun-Drinks-Let’s Keep It Casual scene, then that’s probably all you’re going to get.

Because while a man may enjoy a woman’s company and even have great sex with her, it doesn’t mean he considers her long-term relationship material. Once the initial lust wears off, things can get pretty hairy if there isn’t some type of solid foundation started.

The fact is that our brains and beauty can attract a man, but they won’t necessarily keep him. Men aren’t always about looks. They are obviously drawn to those things, but a woman’s actions and confidence (or lack of) are what determines if a man will stick around or keep searching.

Does that make him selfish, or even a narcissist? Not necessarily, especially if a woman agrees to “keep it casual”. (Although it IS a red flag if his profile says he wants a relationship, and then he says he prefers casual dating).

We can’t hold a man accountable for something that we agree to. If casual dating is not something we want in regards to relationships, then we shouldn’t continue dating a man who has made it clear that he doesn’t want commitment — no matter the seeming connection or chemistry.

While dating can be frustrating, the fact remains that there are good men out there. I know, because I am now sharing my life with a wonderful man who also happens to be my best friend.

But, getting to where I am now wasn’t easy. I had to wade through the losers and users to find him and I learned some very valuable lessons along the way.

As a narcissistic abuse survivor who’s been in the trenches and made it out alive, here are the top three mistakes we make as women that can epically ruin our chance at true love. These are applicable to women everywhere, but if you’ve been through the dark night of narcissistic abuse, don’t make these grave blunders:

  1. Hold every man accountable for what your Ex did to you.

Not all men are narcissists, jerks, or emotionally unavailable. Healthy, normal men want to know that they can make a potential partner happy. They also want to feel loved and accepted. If they begin to feel they are being scrutinized, pressured, stalked, tracked down, and suffocated, they’ll pull away and eventually start looking for someone else who is more warm, open, and free-spirited.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t expect open lines of communication with a potential partner, but the first few months of dating are about getting to know someone. It’s not really the time to lay all of your weaknesses and failed relationships out on the table or expect instant exclusivity from someone you just met.

On that note, a man who immediately wants to know about how you broke up with your last boyfriend or husband is likely either a manipulator or has self-esteem issues (besides, who wants that kind of negative energy flowing on the first few dates?)

If you feel hypersensitive after meeting someone new, it might be a sign that you have some more self-work to do. However, if you want to date, then do so, but don’t expect to strike gold (or a committed relationship) right away…and definitely don’t hold a new person accountable for your happiness and sense of security.

2.  Accept the wrong men.

Not so long ago, I believed that I attracted men who wanted to take advantage of me. What I later discovered is that the problem wasn’t that I was attracting the wrong men, but that I was accepting them.

Does that mean I deserved to be treated as an afterthought or that I was just asking for manipulation?


It means that in spite of knowing what I didn’t want in a relationship, I swept deal-breakers under the rug, somehow expecting things would work themselves out – all because I felt a sense of connection or attraction.

I wanted to be approved of by a man that I barely knew instead of stepping up for myself when a red flag popped up. Such that, when things seemed to be going swimmingly and then the deal-breaker happened, I brushed it aside.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that all men who violate one of your deal-breakers are narcissists, only that those particular men aren’t for you.  (Although, a narcissist will definitely violate all of your deal-breakers, and others you hadn’t thought of yet).

No one man is so unique and special that we have to throw caution to the wind and take whatever we can get. Having that mindset will land us in relationships where we will always be disappointed.  (Besides, a good man won’t expect you to violate your values just to stay in a relationship).

Maintain your deal-breakers. Always.

If we find ourselves in relationships with liars, cheaters, addicts, or emotional vampires, our job isn’t to get them to stop lying, cheating, drinking, watching porn, or consuming our lives. Our job is to leave.

You might have to leave several wrong men in the course of finding the right one, but it’s worth it.

3.  Assume that giving a man your all is what’s needed to keep him.

We grew up being told that women are supposed to be submissive, nice, quiet, and do whatever men wanted.

This isn’t the 1950’s and we aren’t June Cleaver.

I’m not trying to be feministic, and I certainly don’t speak for women everywhere, but the truth is that what we learned about how to be a woman that men love and want to keep is mostly wrong.

A normal, healthy man doesn’t want a woman who takes care of him as if he were a child–sitting around, always at his beck and call. There’s no magic or intrigue in that. (Although this is exactly what narcissists and other manipulators want). In fact, doing so can actually cause a normal, healthy man to be very uninterested in you.

Men also don’t want a woman who is so strong-willed and alpha-oriented that she makes him feel emasculated. It may seem old-fashioned and counter-intuitive, but there is something to be said for masculine and feminine energies.

Before you start thinking that feminine energy is about slaving over a hot stove and a washing machine, think again. Feminine energy is about warmth, love, openness, and nurturing—not being someone’s door mat.

Avoid the wrong ones, attract and keep the good ones…

I’m not taking up for all the men who use and confuse women. You know, the ones who only come around for a booty call, carry out their relationships via text messages and Facebook pokes, or string women along for years without ever committing.  In short, narcissists, cheaters, and the emotionally unavailable.

These men will always exist and there’s a very good chance you’ll be approached by more men just like this as long as you’re on the dating scene.

My purpose is to help you avoid the common mistakes we make as women that either keep us entangled in unhealthy relationships, or worse, drive healthy, commitment-ready men away.

There is love after narcissistic abuse, once we stop believing what we think we know about how to be a “good woman”, thus allowing ourselves to avoid unhealthy, narcissistic men.

Have you found true love after narcissistic abuse? Share your story below so that we can learn from you. Peace and Love!

6 Strong Signs You Have Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome

Narc Abuse Syndrome Comp

Like many people who’ve endured Narcissistic and emotional abuse, you probably didn’t realize what was happening to you until you reached a point of near insanity and began searching desperately for reasons why your fairytale romance took a grievous turn for the worst.

Further, the person you love has made you feel you can’t do anything right. The salvation of the relationship always lies on the distant horizon and is entirely dependent upon your changing something about yourself– which is impossible to do (in spite of frantic efforts on your part) – because your self-absorbed partner constantly changes the goal posts.

While these shady behaviors on your partner’s part are indicators of having a destructive personality disorder, there are other very strong signs that your partner may be a Narcissist, which have more to do with how their behavior affects you. If the following signs seem like your life, it’s likely that your partner is a Narcissist, which means your relationship problems are undeniably not your fault.

 1.  You almost always feel alone. Down to the core of your soul. While your partner may be living with you, eating meals at your table, and sleeping beside you in bed, you’ve never felt such stark loneliness. You often find yourself curled in the fetal position, envisioning someone coming to put their arms around you to help relieve your feelings of isolation.

The reason you feel this way is because you’re living with a mirage of the person you love. That person doesn’t exist and, meanwhile, you are being abandoned in every way possible. According to Susan Anderson, author of The Journey from Abandonment to Healing,

Abandonment has its own kind of grief – a powerful grief universal to human beings. The grief can be acute – as when we go through the ending of a relationship, or chronic – as when we feel the impact of earlier losses and disconnection. Abandonment’s wound lies deep and invisible. It tugs and pulls, making it hard to let go, always acting beneath the surface, spilling primal fear into moments of disconnection, disappointment, and loss, generating feelings of insecurity and self-doubt that persist into future relationships. Unresolved abandonment is a primary source of self sabotage.

If you feel your partner simply “puts up” with you, only coming around to keep you strung along, it’s because you serve a purpose. If communicating with your partner leaves you feeling unheard, unstable, and frustrated, it’s because they don’t care about you, much less what you have to say. A person who loves you would want to spend time with you, know all about you, and ensure that you feel safe and cared for.

2.  You don’t feel good enough. Although you’ve proven successful in your career, have built a solid foundation for yourself, receive compliments regarding your accomplishments (and even your looks), you’ve begun to feel like an imposter. No matter the Kudos you receive from the outside world, your partner doesn’t seem to notice, and worse, mocks you for them.

Narcissists mock and ridicule for many reasons, including making themselves appear superior, but the main reason they mock their victim’s triumphs is because they aspire to destroy their victim’s self-esteem. What better way to keep you under their rule than to make you believe that no matter what you accomplish, you’re “still a loser underneath it all”. Sadly, this works quite effectively in many cases, resulting in victims of this type of abuse becoming so broken and dysfunctional that they lose everything – careers, children, homes, licenses (such as those required to perform as doctors, attorneys, and therapists), bank accounts, and worst of all, their sense of self.

If you’ve noticed yourself feeling overwhelmingly insignificant inside of your relationship and a failure at life in general – which coincides with the time spent with your partner – this is a sign of narcissistic abuse.

3.  You feel engulfed by the relationship. One of the trademarks of narcissistic individuals is the way they hijack their victim’s world, effectively consuming every moment of the day. This engulfment can be observed in the way they call, text, and email numerous times a day (often well into the hundreds), encourage you to detach from friends and family, dictate how you should dress and/or wear your hair, display excessive jealousy, and, sometimes, even control what you eat.

This engulfment also consists of the “walking on eggshells” feeling and persistent anxiety that you experience. This comes from the fear of not knowing what will upset your volatile partner. Therefore, every action you take must be prefaced with a detailed analysis of whether or not it will upset them and even then, your best thought-out plans may crumble around your feet – leaving you with a gnawing feeling of despair and hopelessness.

Healthy relationships do not make you feel like a prisoner. You should feel free to be yourself and rest easy in your nuclear and extended relationships with friends and family.

4.  You’ve begun to compromise your personal integrity and values. In the past, you stood up for what you believed in, but inside of your relationship you’ve started tolerating (and possibly taking part in) things that make you uncomfortable because, ironically, doing these things is how you’ve come to believe you can show your love to your partner.

You focus all your energies on how to make your partner love you and treat you once again like the soul mate they said you were. Paradoxically, in the “name of love” you may have found yourself watching porn at your partner’s insistence, considering a threesome, or other demeaning sexual activities that make you feel sick to the stomach when you think of them.

In other cases, you may have stopped leaving tips at restaurants, donating time or money, volunteering, and participating in other philanthropic activities because your domineering partner has told you those things are a waste of time and money and/or mocks you for doing them.

Even worse, your children may have taken a back seat to the constant drama.

A caring and trusting partner would never force you to participate in things that make you feel uncomfortable or insecure, nor would they coerce you to stop taking part in charitable activities. If your partner has led you to believe that you can only prove your love by violating your values, then you are in an abusive relationship. There is no loophole in this regard that disqualifies your partner from being abusive, no matter what they would have you believe.

5.  You feel unworthy due to your partner’s name-calling. It’s one thing for your partner to call you pet names or even tease you on occasion, but another entirely to call you “crybaby”, “a moody bi**h” (or “not a man”), “unstable”, “crazy”, or other hurtful names – which are intended to hurt you.

Name-calling is a form of abuse. It is used to belittle you and make you question your worth. It is employed during rage attacks and blame-storms and, alternately, under the guise of joking. Whether your partner is arguing with you or the two of you are having a “good” day, name-calling is never appropriate.

Note that Narcissists and other abusers call their partners names and then pretend that they are kidding (i.e., “You’re too sensitive” or “I was only joking”). This is a trademark of verbal abuse and it’s no different with your partner, regardless of whatever excuses they lob at you. Having a difficult childhood, bad past relationships, or stress at the workplace doesn’t give them the right to embarrass you, humiliate you, put you down, or make you feel guilty.

6.  You are exhausted by the repeated cycles of Hurt and Rescue. This tactic preys on your emotions. Here, the narcissist causes you a great deal of stress and anxiety and then abruptly relieves that stress.  The most common tactic used by the Narcissist in this category is the silent treatment, which evokes your fear of abandonment.  When the Narcissist finally returns, you experience a rush of euphoric relief.

Repeated cycles of hurt and rescue are emotionally exhausting.  This is the same method used in police interrogations to get a person to confess, sometimes even when they are innocent!  When the Narcissist returns after numerous stints of the silent treatment, you are emotionally defenseless and more prone to accepting their offensive behaviors in order to avoid their leaving you again.  Further, this often leads to your pleading, apologizing, and begging the Narcissist to stay, even when you have done no wrong.

Hurt-and-rescue cycles explain why narcissistic abuse victims experience cravings and obsessive thoughts once No Contact has been executed.  According to an experiment inspired by Langer, Blank, and Chanowitz (1978), and recently conducted by Dolinski and Nawrat**, when the event that provokes and justifies one’s experience of fear is suddenly removed (i.e., No Contact with the Narcissist), we may experience a short-lasting state of disorientation. The action produced by fear is no longer functional in the new circumstances (your removal of the silent treatment due to implementing No Contact), and a new program has not yet been instigated. Their assumption is that during this period of disorientation, people function automatically and mindlessly, engaging in automatic, pre-programmed actions.

In other words, even when we’ve gone No Contact, we tend to engage in the same obsessive thoughts and behaviors as when we were still with the Narcissist and endured the Silent Treatment because our subconscious minds cannot tell the difference.

What it all means

If you constantly wonder about the status of your relationship, ruminate about what you could do differently, question whether the problems in your relationship are all your fault, constantly obsess about what your partner is up to, experience mood swings, are constantly fearful and anxious, and/or feel like less of a person than before you met your partner, these are the signs of Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome and you have been the victim of emotional abuse.

Anxiety concept word cloud background

The good news is that you can untangle yourself from the toxic relationship.  However, it’s important to understand that the aftermath of emotional trauma needs to be taken seriously.  Books can help, but the most effective programs for recovery include going No Contact (with the help of a coach, if necessary), finding a licensed therapist who specializes in emotional trauma, incorporating energy healing techniques, and implementing healthy boundaries.

Copyright © 2015 Kim Saeed. All Rights Reserved

Healing from narcissistic abuse?  Join the Let Me Reach Facebook Community!

How to Do No Contact Like a Boss! Bestseller in three categories on Amazon!

Book Cover Resized for slider


** Dolonski, D., Ciszek, M., Godlewski, K., and Zawadzki, M. (2002)Fear-then-relief, mindlessness, and cognitive deficits. European Journal of Social Psychology.

LMR Q&A Tuesday – Could it be true? Is he really a narcissist?

LMR Q&A Tuesday

Dear Kim,

I’ve been with my partner almost two years now, and while looking up verbal abuse articles, I came across some very alarming links regarding Narcissism. Now, instead of believing I’ve simply been the target of verbal abuse, I think my partner is exhibiting traits of narcissism because he lies and cheats, too. I’ve tried working with him on these issues, but now I wonder if there’s any point because, honestly, these behaviors haven’t improved since I first confronted him on them. When we argue about these problems, he seems to improve for a while, but always reverts back to his old, devilish ways.

I left him three days ago, and since then, he’s been sending texts saying he’s sorry and doesn’t want to lose the love of his life.

Is my partner really a narcissist? What advice can you give me?

Signed – Increasingly Suspicious

Hi there, Suspicious,

I’m not in a position to diagnose your partner, but what I can offer you is what I know about Narcissists (and other “Unavailables”) and how they repeatedly use their partners’ forgiveness to continue getting away with relationship crimes scot free.

Narcissists function in contrast to what we expect in a relationship, but they also display what appear to be very “normal” times, and can even go through periods when they seem very loving, thoughtful, and accommodating, which leaves their partners conflicted over whether or not they are actually a narcissist (this is a byproduct of cognitive dissonance). Their inconsistent behavior creates a silent uncertainty in their partner’s mind, causing the partner to stay put and try harder to make things work.

This is exactly what Narcissists rely on and it’s all very intentional.

Aside from that, his texts are a classic example of hoovering and are designed to make you believe he has very real feelings for you, which he intuitively knows you wish for. In this way, he can extract large quantities of forgiveness and tolerance from you, all while continuing his dirty deeds behind the scenes.

We all cling to the Narcissist’s texts hoping to draw out some small indication that they really care, but the truth is that Narcissists only communicate with us as a way to condition and manipulate us. Nothing they say, whether good or bad, should be taken at face value. In fact, to understand the true intentions of Narcissists and other Cheaters, one should never listen to their words, but take their actions to heart instead.

As far as whether he’s truly a Narcissist, only a professional assessment could determine that. What you want to focus on isn’t whether or not he’s a narcissist, but how many times you’re willing to forgive him each time he pretends to be remorseful. It’s up to you to put an expiration date on the forgiveness, regardless of his issues, and be willing to walk in spite of how difficult that may prove. The truth is, he will likely keep you in his life as long as he possibly can, but are you willing to sacrifice that kind of time from your own life?

And, by the way, I feel the need to add that being a good person doesn’t require that we tolerate toxic behaviors from people who take advantage of us. It’s good that we may have the willingness to be loyal to someone, but we need to look at whether or not that loyalty is being appreciated and respected. If not, we need to stop throwing our good nature down a rat hole, and instead, save our devotion for someone who will treasure it.

Hope that helps!


Do you have burning questions about your shady partner?  Submit them to and your question will be entered into our database and possibly included in a future publication. 

Suffering from Narcissistic Abuse?  Join the Let Me Reach Facebook Healing Community by clicking the link.

No Contact Coaching & Mentoring services are available.  Click on the link to learn more.

© Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach, 2015

Surviving Narcissistic Abuse | No Contact | Narcissists and Lying | Narcissistic Husband | Love Bombing | Cognitive Dissonance


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,148 other followers

%d bloggers like this: