Narcissist’s Enablers: Five Signs You’re Dealing With a Narcissist’s Enablers

Are you interested in narcissist’s enablers insights? Then this guide is for you!

Whether they’re in your family or in your workplace, narcissists are difficult to deal with. They can badly damage your quality of life and inflict deep psychological wounds.

Unfortunately, if you turn to other people for support, you may find the narcissist’s enablers.

Enablers help a narcissist get away with abusive or dysfunctional behavior. Whether or not they intend to, they hurt you by taking the narcissist’s side or failing to hold the narcissist accountable for anything.

To avoid further harm, you need to be able to spot the signs of an enabler, which include the following:

1) They’re quick to make excuses

When you tell an enabler about the narcissist’s abuse, their focus isn’t on helping you. Instead, they launch into excuses.

They tell you that the narcissist is just having a bad day. Even though narcissism involves patterns of toxic behavior over the years, enablers try to get you to think about each behavior in an isolated way.

There’s always an excuse. On one day, it’s the fact that the narcissist got yelled at by their boss. On another day, the narcissist had to fork over a lot of money for car repairs.

That’s why they flew into a rage and threatened you, right? To an enabler, virtually any behavior can be explained away and tolerated.

Other times, the enabler reminds you that the narcissist had a difficult childhood. Maybe this is even true. It could be that the narcissist was abused as a child or lived in highly stressful conditions of poverty or war.

The enabler urges you to be compassionate to the narcissist and stop making such a fuss. As a result, you feel guilty, ashamed, and confused.

It’s important to remember that anything horrible that happened to the narcissist doesn’t excuse their behavior towards you.

You can feel compassion for what they went through as a child, but you don’t have to suffer quietly over how they’re treating you now. You aren’t obligated to absorb their toxicity and abuse.

The enablers don’t understand that, or they don’t want to understand. Instead of showing you meaningful compassion, they want you to focus on the narcissist. And that’s precisely what the narcissist wants as well.

Another thing to remember is that many people go through rough childhoods or suffer setbacks as adults without behaving the way narcissists do.

You can acknowledge that someone suffered terrible pain without permitting them to act however they want and inflict abuse on others.

2) They minimize the narcissist’s harm

When the narcissist hurts you, enablers encourage you to shrug it off. “It wasn’t that bad,” they say. “Maybe you aren’t remembering it right.”

Another approach they take is to make you feel ashamed about your pain. “Why are you being such a baby?” they ask. “Why are you so sensitive?”

They often pretend that a narcissist’s toxic behavior patterns are ordinary imperfections. In response to the narcissist’s dishonesty, manipulations, and malice, they say, “Nobody’s perfect. We all have flaws. We all make mistakes.”

You’re meant to play along and question the strength of your pain and anger. Why are you so upset if the narcissist’s behavior is fairly ordinary?

Enablers may also try to compare your situation to other terrible things. Instead of addressing the narcissist’s behavior, they remind you that people are starving and living in war zones.

They don’t seem to realize that a problem can be deeply damaging even if it isn’t the worst problem anyone has ever faced in the history of mankind.

The enablers’ minimization is similar to an approach narcissists often take. When narcissists gaslight you, they tell you that you’re exaggerating, misremembering, or being weak and overly sensitive.

They try to convince you that a cruel comment was merely a joke or that a raging tantrum was merely an expression of mild annoyance.

Whether they realize it or not, enablers help narcissists gaslight you. After talking to an enabler, you may feel intensified doubts about your sanity, perceptions, and memories.

3) They draw false equivalences between you and the narcissist

Let’s say you’re arguing with a narcissist. The narcissist makes cruel comments about your physical appearance and your intelligence. In response, you raise your voice and tell them to shut up.

An enabler witnesses this exchange and creates a false equivalence between you and the narcissist. They admit the narcissist did something wrong but also tell you that you aren’t much better.

They ask you why you had to raise your voice and say something rude.

To an enabler, this approach is balanced. They assume they aren’t taking sides, and they congratulate themselves for being fair.

In reality, the enabler is willfully ignoring the lopsided nature of the exchange and the difference in degrees of harm and malice. While it’s true that you may have tried to speak more calmly, the narcissist’s behavior was much worse.

Over time, you may notice that enablers seem more sensitive to your mistakes and flaws than they are to the toxicity of the narcissist.

Enablers compare your ordinary missteps to the brutal and damaging patterns of a narcissist’s behavior. Even as they pretend to be impartial, they’ve essentially taken sides.

4) They encourage you to disregard your own needs

A relationship with a narcissist is draining and damaging. It’s important to take self-protective steps, such as setting boundaries and figuring out ways to distance yourself from the narcissist or cut off contact entirely.

Enablers have different set of priorities. Instead of encouraging you to look out for yourself, they want you to maintain the status quo.

Maybe they hope to preserve the reputation of a family or an institution. They may want to keep the peace and maintain a certain image.

Maybe they’re a good friend of the narcissist and think you should try to be more patient and forgiving. Regardless of their motives, enablers don’t prioritize their well-being.

They pressure you to forgive and reconcile quickly. They advise you to stay silent about abuse. Even when they admit that the narcissist behaves terribly, they still encourage you to stick around.

They tell you that you’re the only one who can manage the narcissist properly; the narcissist would simply be lost without you.

They accuse you of being selfish if you try to look out for yourself. Accusations of selfishness are meant to make you feel guilty about having needs of your own.

The enabler tells you to think about how the narcissist feels as if you haven’t been analyzing and tiptoeing around the narcissist’s feelings for years.

5) They help the narcissist get to you

Even when enablers don’t feel any malice towards you, they may wind up helping the narcissist hurt you.

Let’s say you’re conversing with an enabler, and you tell them something about your life. Maybe you describe your daily schedule, talk about an upcoming job interview, or mention that you went on a date the night before.

The enabler may share all of this information with the narcissist. Even if you ask the enabler to keep various details secret, they may disregard your wishes.

If you’ve cut the narcissist out of your life, an enabler may find out your home address or phone number and share this sensitive information with the narcissist.

Sometimes, the enabler is deliberately harmful. But in many cases, they may be acting on a misguided impulse to bring about a reconciliation. They disregard what you need and the potential danger you’re in.

Enablers sometimes take on the role of flying monkeys to the narcissist’s Wicked Witch of the West. They believe anything the narcissist says about you and help spread those lies and exaggerations.

On behalf of the narcissist, they berate you or threaten you with damage to your finances and reputation.

You may wonder why they’re acting this way. Maybe they truly believe the narcissist’s false and one-sided account of victimhood.

Maybe they’ve been taken in by the narcissist’s charisma, or it could be that they’re acting out of fear or a need to preserve certain appearances. It’s also possible that they have a personal grudge against you.

Regardless of their motivations, you need to protect yourself from enablers. Your self-protective strategies may include reducing contact with them and choosing not to share much information about your life.

They’re also not the people to turn to for understanding and support.

Dealing with a narcissist is difficult enough. You want to avoid further harm from enablers. Even when enablers mean well, they can’t be fully trusted, and their behavior can undermine your healing and growth.

Can a gifted therapist help you too?

If you struggle with anxiety, depression, high-stress levels, relationship issues, or other specific challenges, one-on-one support from a therapist can help a lot.

You don’t need to go through this alone. There’s no shame in getting help!

Thousands of people get tailor-made support from a kind, empathetic, helpful therapist when faced with difficult life situations.

I recommend BetterHelp, which is a sponsor of Personality Unleashed.

It’s private, affordable, and takes place in the comfort of your own home.

Plus, you can talk to your therapist however you feel comfortable, whether through video, phone, or messaging.

Are you ready to break the negativity cycle?

Personality Unleashed readers get 10% off their first month. Click here to learn more.

Similar Posts