In any relationship with a narcissist, there will be a large and often hidden amount of punishment directed toward you. If you know a little about narcissistic punishment methods, you can better protect yourself. The purpose of the narcissist punishing you is to control you and prevent you from thinking too much for yourself. Punishments can come out of nowhere and seem to have no reason – but for the narcissist, it makes sense to maintain control. Punishments happen especially if you shame the narcissist or put them in a bad light in any way. It could also be that you have asked for something and the narcissist prefers to be the one receiving it.

Be careful!

I should start by saying that you should not reveal what you are doing when investigating the underlying reasons for your punishment. There are many narcissists who can actually harm others. Many only show their true evil selves when the relationship or conflict escalates into something serious.

At the dangerous end of the punishment you may be subjected to, it may be that you have uncovered a crime or something else that makes you want to get out of the relationship. Here, you should be aware that the punishments can escalate in severity, so you may need to seek help and protection. The bigger “your offense” is, the greater punishment you may receive. Also, the sicker the narcissist is, the harder the punishment you can receive. Take no chances! Accept the situation (i.e. don’t resist) and escape when you can.

6 ways the narcissist punishes you

  1. Withdrawal: The narcissist has a whole range of methods to ignore you and make you feel worthless. It could be not answering you (silent treatment), not telling you what’s going on or what they’re doing, or only giving you short, angry answers to your questions. Withdrawal is also about withholding emotions and physical touch or help. You may therefore experience that the narcissist does not like you and is no longer sexually interested in you.
  2. Anger: Most narcissists harbor enormous amounts of anger, but some are able to hide it, so it comes out in other malicious ways than just shouting and verbal attacks. This is called narcissistic rage.
  3. Passive aggression: Injuries to your importance, a lot of belittlement packaged in sentences that are not direct attacks, body language that is almost comically exaggerated – these are all signs of passive aggression.
  4. Humiliation: If you do something wrong, you can almost be sure it will be noticed. Preferably while others are listening. Backbiting is very pronounced among narcissists. Often they go to extremes and get others to support lies.
  5. Threats: Threats can be in the minor leagues, but can also be about the relationship and even threats of violence or death. If you set boundaries or make threats yourself, there is a high likelihood of a counter-threat.
  6. Appearing better than you: Narcissists often need to show themselves to be better than you by being richer, prettier, smarter, etc. If this does not correspond to the truth, it will become a very violent relationship with plenty of other types of punishment. Being a know-it-all is a very big part of being a narcissist. You can therefore easily be in a discussion where the other party lies to get their way. The lie is never admitted or apologized for to you. Instead, you may receive a long list of excuses.

The solution: Get out of your feelings

Get out of your feelings and use your knowledge and mental power to protect yourself. Getting out of your feelings means registering them, but trying to use your energy to analyze what is happening – instead of reacting emotionally:
“Now I feel like this… Why am I doing this? What should I do to take care of myself right now?”

Therefore, use the knowledge above to identify which narcissistic punishment methods you are subjected to, and force yourself to consider which one you have just been subjected to when you can feel your emotions being hurt by something the narcissist said or did.

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