One of the hardest things to do in this world is to break up with someone and get out on the other side unscathed. Inevitably one person is more invested in the relationship than the other, and there's no kind way to go about splitting up.
Your words may be consoling or calm, but the anger, resentment, or underlying issues behind them really pack a punch. Particularly if they come unexpectedly.
But this is even worse when you are or have recently been in a relationship with a narcissist.
Closure is difficult anyway
It's about five times more complicated with a person who is so consumed by their own ego.
A narcissistic trait or behavior is one of the first and biggest red flags to look out for in a relationship. But don't be discouraged if you didn't see the early signs, it's never too late to take action.
So here you are, having freshly broken up with your narcissist, but struggling for closure. Here's some advice from someone with first-hand experience – you aren't alone in this!
Narcissists just don't have any care or need to prioritize another person, and aren't really suited to be in relationships at all. Relationships need a big give and take, and asymmetrical relationships never last long.
So why do they bother?
In many ways, a narcissist has two warring desires… Their need to be right all the time and totally in control, versus their need to present an image of perfection and social success.
Simply put, they don't want or benefit from a relationship, but they need to perform one in order to gain social validation. To reinforce their heavily controlled image. This makes closure so difficult.
Not only did you bear the emotional burden of a relationship without intimacy at your end, but you also had to pander to their insecurities. You had to constantly reassure them that they were great and charming, even though you rarely had any evidence to that end.
That said, they're classic emotional manipulators
So, even though it may not have felt like it at the time, or even though your friends watched on in horror, the narcissist wove their web around you.
They convinced you that you needed them more than you actually did; you came to rely on them. Then, when they left, you couldn't cope. Or at least, you thought you couldn't.
It became impossible to function without them and to separate your memories from the good times from the bad.
Their absence became so noticeable that day-to-day behaviors were difficult, even impossible without them. This is where you need your friends to step up and do the dirty work. Listen to you.
Hear your pain, accept your silence
Entertain you, distract you, remind you that you are loved and worthy of so much more love than your narcissistic ex was willing to give you.
Truly, they only care about themselves. No matter how unbearable their absence, remember how unsatisfying their presence was. All their bad habits and toxic traits didn't suddenly disappear just because you remembered that time they took you to Paris for Valentine's day.
That was just super cliché, actually, not that you've got perspective
Sometimes, to get closure you can only reflect on the memories and your own self-worth for so long before it gets worthless. Sometimes, you just have to get out there again.
Have a friend drag you out on the town, get dressed up, and jam to some classic tunes. You don't need to get with anyone, or even be looking – just have a good time.
You can't rush healing, but with time it will come. I promise, and you're so much better off without the narcissist. Closure will come when you're ready.