Trauma Bonded To A Narcissist? You May Display These 5 Behaviors

Rationalization and minimization of mistreatment.

Thought Catalog

--

Yuliia Tretynychenko

By Shahida Arabi

Over-explaining yourself constantly.

Victims who are trauma bonded to narcissistic individuals have often been chronically gaslit into believing their emotions and perception of reality are inaccurate. As a result, they’ve been trained to question themselves and overexplain their perspective, often when it’s not necessary. Whether it’s overexplaining yourself to the narcissist in an attempt to convince them the legitimacy of your feelings or finding yourself overexplaining yourself to your loved ones and friends because you’ve developed a habit of having to defend yourself, this behavior is deeply rooted in the trauma bond you’ve developed to the narcissist. It keeps you in the vicious cycle of defending your basic rights and boundaries rather than embodying them and taking proactive action.

Fawning.

Fawning is a trauma response where you respond by appeasing a predator or complying with their demands to avoid danger and mitigate threat. A hostage may try to fawn and be kind to their captor so they can try to stay alive, or a victim of domestic violence may walk on eggshells around their abuser lest they face punishment and retaliation for speaking up or standing up for themselves. Trauma bonded survivors tend to fawn and people-please both within the toxic relationship as well as outside of it because they start to fear taking up space. They’ve been destructively conditioned over time to associate being assertive with being punished, threatened, shamed, humiliated, mocked, or aggressively attacked by the narcissist. As a result, they begin “shrinking” in many aspects of their lives in an attempt to avoid potential consequences.

Rationalization and minimization of mistreatment.

Surviving a toxic relationship, let alone exiting one, is no small feat, but even survival on its own takes many internal resources. When a victim is in a perpetual state of cognitive dissonance about who the abuser really is due to their Jekyll and Hyde behavior, they have a tendency to minimize and rationalize the brutality…

--

--

Thought Catalog

We’re a community of creators based in NYC. We publish a digital magazine and limited edition books. thoughtcatalog.com // shopcatalog.com