How To Understand & Identify Narcissistic Abuse

Tamara Low

Energetic Freedom Coach, Author

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Narcissistic abuse is a form of psychological and emotional abuse experienced by so many. My goal in this article is to expand on the last and to further understand and identify the workings of Narcissistic Abuse. Including characteristics such as narcissistic injury, defence mechanisms, narcissistic supply, and the impact of their tactics and abusive behaviour.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula describes them as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and says, if they did not masquerade in this way, they could not do the damage they do. It serves them. I believe that knowledge and understanding are power, and the more powerful and aware we are, the easier it is to identify, spot, and make sense of this type of person and then decipher the next steps to take in our lives and our personal healing. It can be experienced in romantic relationships, with parents, caregivers, relatives, friends, bosses, co-workers, etc. 

Narcissistic Injury Resulting From Early Inner Wounding

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is tied to narcissistic injury, which results from early inner wounding, which causes deep internal shame. As a result, the wounded ego works tirelessly to protect and prevent this shame from coming to light and consuming them.  Multiple defence mechanisms, such as lying, deflecting, gaslighting, denial, projecting, creating drama, etc., are firmly in place to ensure that they do not have to experience the deep emotional pain stored in their minds and bodies. Susan Forward says that in relationships with them, these defence mechanisms are a “crazy-making, guilt-inducing combination that guarantees that it will be extremely difficult to express your differences—or stand up for yourself.”

Narcissistic Supply 

Narcissistic supply is the energetic food that sustains them- it’s their insatiable need to be fed by others’ admiration, attention, validation and praise. This is how they regulate their self-esteem, says Dr. Ramani Durvasula. They need others outside of themselves to accomplish this; they cannot get it or regulate it on their own. Lisa Romano refers to narcissistic supply as being like a drug for someone with narcissistic traits. She says,

“It acts as a stage for them to act out their false identities and characteristics. Whether you praise or condemn them, both sides of the ego coin are being fed. When you praise them, you feed their sense of superiority over others. When you condemn them, you fuel the other side of their fragile personality, which insists they are victims.”

Lisa A Romanom The Breakthrough Life Coach.

Joanna Kujath says, “Narcissists do not value you, and they don’t care about what you have to say unless it relates to them and their narcissistic supply.” This is extremely difficult to make sense of and understand when the truth of this comes to light. 

Abusive Behaviour and Strategies that Pathological Narcissists use (not a complete list):

They use manipulation and control to attempt to have power over you

Some ways of accomplishing this are criticizing you, belittling you, confusing you, brainwashing you, and trampling on your boundaries. They need you to believe that they are good, kind, righteous, honest, trustworthy, etc., so they will do whatever they can to accomplish this. They do this for multiple reasons: “in the event you ever begin to question who they really are, they have created a mental schema of who they want you to believe they are. In doing this, when you catch them in a lie or if they hurt you, your mind may immediately turn the notion down (Lisa Romano).” This creates two conflicting realities resulting in extreme inner tension and confusion (cognitive dissonance) in the person experiencing it.

They groom you to be dependent on them, compliant and fear them

“It is important to know that the condition you to seek their approval and fear their disapproval; to fear to dare to oppose the grandiose facade of a self they have worked methodically to construct and to brainwash you to believe in, says Lisa Romano. If you disagree with them or express an opinion different from theirs, some tactics that they use (to try and get you back in their control) might be to stonewall, ignore you, give you the silent treatment, and maybe even rage. Another tactic often used is to belittle or devalue your opinion and tell you repeatedly that what you say is not right, correct, or valid- they are right.

They need to always be correct. They will appear to be loving and kind, your best friend and supporter until you disagree with them, question them or set a boundary. You quickly learn that this is not something you are to do (with this person, that is!). It is also a form of control. As mentioned earlier, other people are their “supply”, so they do not accept others as individuals with separate wants, needs, desires and feelings.

In relationships with a Pathological Narcissist, there is a predictable cycle of abuse.

They groom you to become the perfect partner. It begins with “idealization” or “love bombing”, moving to devalue you, and then discarding you (if you do not end it first). Jackson Mackenzie says this cycle involves “gleefully and systematically wiping out the identity of an unsuspecting victim.”

Their tactics condition others to feel ashamed and inadequate and cause you to question and doubt yourself. Ross Rosenburg says, “if the Narcissist can get the Co-dependent to turn against themselves, they have control.”

Who Pathological Narcissists are attracted to

Ross Rosenburg, the author of “The Human Magnet Syndrome“, says:

“They have to find someone that fits their opposite profile; a certain type of Self Love Deficient/Codependent who they feel that there is less of a possibility of being abandoned or neglected, vulnerable, and capable of having their mind manipulated by accepting another person’s reality- theirs, which in turn will create a power and control dynamic”.

Ross Rosenburg, “The Human Magnet Syndrome”

They seek out the “wounded” and can sense and smell these Codependent traits. Debbie Mirza mirrors this saying, “covert narcissists look for people who are kind, authentic, self-reflective, nurturing, loving, and caring people with a conscience. They look for energy supplies, so without these attributes, the narcissist has no use for you, and their manipulative tactics wouldn’t work on you.” Narcissists are not attracted to people that do not like them.

What Happens When We See Through the Facade

When we begin to question, notice, or become aware of who they truly are; when their facade or mask slips, we will come to realize that we were groomed, manipulated, devalued, and abused by someone who has faked their love, care, kindness, compassion, and consideration. This inevitably brings us SO much DEEP, hurt, pain, confusion, shock, distress, trauma, anger, etc. It is an unimaginable betrayal and cannot be understood unless someone has been through it.

On top of this, a severe narcissist is highly unlikely ever to admit being “wrong.” They deny their manipulative, abusive, unkind behaviour. They are unable and unwilling, to be honest, authentic and self-reflect. They do not recognize the needs and feelings of others. It is extremely crazy-making and piles on more feelings and emotions to the long list of feelings and emotions that are already needing tending to. It is overwhelming. If you are in this place right now, there is hope to get through it!

Narcissists can work as a catalyst on an Empath’s journey

This person/people/experience sets us on a journey that we likely never anticipated or expected. Diane Kathrine says, in her blog, “Are you a Narcissist Target?”,

“The good news is that narcissists can work as a catalyst on an Empath’s journey. Although it will not feel like it at the time, anything that ignites insecurities, emotional injuries, victim mentality or personal challenges, can also push an Empath towards transformation. The darkness reveals the inner light. It encourages us to work on ourselves, which in turn takes us to a higher vantage point. It is often the case that the more challenges an Empath faces, the wiser they become and the greater their understanding of life. I am certainly not suggesting that constant suffering is the perfect formula for enlightenment, but we come to a point when we understand why we have endured such difficulties. We can then see how they shaped us into becoming better people”.

Diane Kathrine, Are you a Narcissist Target?

Benefit of an EFT practitioner and Energetic Freedom Coach for HSP/Empaths:

My goal is to provide a SAFE, compassionate, secure, and non-judgemental space for you to peel back the layers to release what no longer serves you.

Narcissistic Abuse is something that I have experienced and am very familiar with, and I KNOW that it is possible to heal from!

If you are curious about how EFT can help you, I’d love to have a no-pressure chat. Please feel welcome to reach out and schedule a free 15-minute call today or email

Warmly, Tamara

You can find my follow up article (to the above) here: “Healing from Narcissistic AbuseIn “Dynamics and Patterns Between Empaths and Narcissists,” I explore Narcissistic Personality Disorder, how it develops, some of the core traits, characteristics, and tactics that they use to control and manipulate people.

Related Articles


  • Durvasula, Ramani S. “Don’t you know who I am?” How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility (p 31). Post Hill Press. 2019. 
  • Forward, Susan. Mothers Who Can’t Love (29 and 30). Harper. Kindle Edition. 
  • Kujath, Joanna. Journey Thru Wellness. YouTube. 
  • Makenzie, Jackson. Psychopath Free. Berkley Books, New York. 2015. 
  • Miller, Meredith. Inner Integrations. YouTube.
  • Mirza, Debbie. The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist: Recognizing the Traits and Finding Healing After Hidden Emotional and Psychological Abuse (p. 10, 14-18, 29). Safe Place Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Northrup, Christiane. Dodging Energy Vampires (p., 69, 81). Hay House. Kindle Edition
  • Romano, Lisa. The Breakthrough Life Coach. YouTube.
  • Main Reasons Why Narcissists Use Projection as a defence mechanism to 
  • Romano, Lisa. The Breakthrough Life Coach. YouTube.
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap. Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition. 

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Soulful Purpose in Business

Wouldn’t it be incredible if we were all encouraged to find our soulful purpose from a young age?

Imagine how your life and work would be different as a free-spirited HSP/Empath. It’s never too late to reclaim those buried or dormant parts. You CAN live and work with more meaning, authenticity, and enjoyment. It’s a matter of clearing the blocks that are getting in your way. Using EFT, I can help you with that.

The challenge for free-spirited, creative HSP/Empaths:

I have always felt the profound significance of living authentically with soul purpose. To live free of conditioned paradigms (that do not work for us). And to experience creativity, joy, and wonder.

Still, like most of us, I was trained to follow, ‘fit in,’ and got swept up in conditioned paradigms and expectations. 

When we are young, we learn by observing and adapting to our worldly surroundings. We are often told or shown by our parent(s), caregivers, and society at large who THEY THINK we are and should be. It’s about WHO they want us to be, WHAT they want us to do, say, or behave like, and what they think we should DO. This can create an immense amount of confusion.

Unconsciously, we can become controlled and led by beliefs that were learned and taught. Often, they do not even have origins in who we are and how we desire to live. It is so incredibly easy to become lost and deviated.

The trouble is, we are beautiful spirits designed to create, express, learn, grow, share, and explore. To live a life that is from us. Meant for us. And to BE FREE of conditioning. Free from the layers of pain, hurt, trauma, shoulds, and have to’s that direct us away from our true nature, uniqueness, and soulful purpose.

It’s painful to be a free-spirited, creative HSP/Empath trying to navigate and fit in where we do not belong. This can result in depression, anxiety, deep discontentment, and frustration, etc. 

The good news is that there are things we can do to retrieve and reclaim those buried or dormant parts of us. The parts and expectations that are not a fit for us. And to heal the parts of us that do not believe it’s possible to be ourselves. So we can do what we love OR take the risk to do something else that is more in line with us!

How do we make the needed changes to align with our purpose/soulful path?

I have had many unfulfilling jobs in my life and a two-decade business that was not soulfully fulfilling for me. I felt deeply bored, stuck, and trapped. My discontentment kept getting louder, and my spirit would no longer let me look away. Making a leap into the unknown felt terrifying. I did not know what my financial future was going to hold. But I knew that I HAD to do whatever it took to find where my soul was longing to be.

I did A LOT of EFT sessions on all the fear, paralysis, terror, guilt, etc. lying under making the change. It took a deep desire, diligence, openness (and a bit of courage) to remove the fears and conditioning so I could realign with my path. But it is so worth it!

And in the end, it ALL turned out even better than I could have imagined!

You know the expression ‘the universe has your back’? Well, once I cleared all the energetic blocks and fears, things started falling into place. I felt utterly ‘taken care of’ in the broader sense. And I believe everyone can access it if that is in their heart and soul’s desires!

The power of alignment:

I was listening to an interview with EFT Master Carol Look, and she sums this up extremely well by saying, “…appreciation is the energy of alignment. Manifestations follow emotions, and when you are in the emotion of appreciation, that is when things start to shift on that vibrational (or energy) level.”

When we are in the alignment or frequency of flow, life can bring us all kinds of miraculous things with ease. Ideas, solutions, inspirations, seeing things differently, opportunities.

Look goes on to say that, “when we are in alignment, we are open to all possibilities and can appreciate them when they arise.” 

Yes!! I have seen this over and over in my own life! So, to get into alignment, we need to remove the incongruencies (aka negative limiting beliefs, fears, etc.). Then life energy is free to flow in us, and we can create joy and beauty through our alignment! 

How EFT Helps us to Get Into Alignment With Our Uniqueness and Soulful Purpose:  

Shoulds, have to’s, guilt, shame, fear, mistrust, etc., are NOT in the energy of alignment. What is? Authenticity, passion, purpose, curiosity, meaning, trust, faith, expressing our uniqueness and true selves.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) helps us learn about, observe, hear, and accept how we FEEL. With honesty and compassion, we can honour what’s happening (unconsciously) in our inner worlds! It helps us to gain clarity, insight, and inner knowing. When we are open, we can better understand ourselves and the parts and places that need care and healing.

It has helped me gain insight and understanding in a profound way. I have developed compassion for myself. Freed myself from layers upon layers of conditioned thoughts and beliefs. Released deep emotional pains and burdens. BE me. Live and create a life in line with me.

EFT also helps us to regulate our nervous system so that we experience more balanced calm. Then, with openness and curiosity, we can hear our inner knowing, wisdom, and what our spirits reveal to us!

We Are Not Meant to Fit Into or Conform to Societal Norms and Structures!

We are here to find, reveal, and cultivate the path that is unique to only us!

I am in awe of how beautifully unique everyone is. Unique gifts, talents, abilities, goals, passions, desires, energetic vibration, and soulful purpose(s). Each of us is an essential piece of the bigger puzzle of existence here on Earth.

From my perspective, free Spirited HSPs and Empaths are here to assist in breaking free of old, toxic, harmful, and worn-out institutions and paradigms. We can see/feel/know things that are not aligned with truth and love. So we have essential elements to offer and contribute to healing in the world/planet.

The world needs the energy, skills, compassion, love, care, heart, creativity, kindness, peace, wisdom, etc. of HSP/Empaths…

Getting Support to re-emerge with Soulful Purpose in your Business (as an HSP/Empath):

I am here to support you in celebrating your uniqueness. To help you re-emerge as who you were (before being caught up in cultural and societal conditioned and false beliefs about yourself). If you don’t feel like you fit or belong – you are not meant to!

Book a 15 min discovery link call and we can begin to honour and discover your unique soul’s path!! What you dream of, lights you up, gives you goosebumps, and fills you with joy, freedom, and aliveness!! 

What if you could authentically do what you love AND experience the universe’s support via financial security?

Would you be doing something different in your business right now? Elsewhere?

Let’s explore and see!



Welcome to Sensitive Soul Path

I am passionate about Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and Empaths living beautifully authentic and inspired lives!


 I delight in assisting people to gently uncover the parts and places (in us) that are longing and need to be heard. Our feelings and body sensations hold MUCH wisdom! Often, we try to push away feelings we have labelled as uncomfortable, scary, wrong, or shameful. In locking them in, we cannot hear and understand their deeper meaning, what they are really trying to communicate to us. It also affects our energy and interest levels, and health. 


When we gently give voice to locked-in emotions and sensations, we can discover the gifts and wisdom they offer and become energetically free to BE ourselves completely! 


  1. Where is your inner voice and soul’s purpose guiding and directing you (to which people, situations, service, passions, gifts, etc.)?

          2. What is wanting to be heard, said, released or done?

 I love to work with HSPs and Empaths that love to do safe, deep inner exploring work to release the layers that do not serve them and their purpose, such as


  • clearing and unravelling the energetic blocks along their soul path. These could be unconscious beliefs we took in as a child. 
  • to break free from harmful conditioning in all its forms that do not fit our soul’s purpose and embrace all of themselves and a life fulfilling and authentic to them! 
  • energetically removing yourself from being bogged down by other people’s negative energy or expectations, e.g. do you stay in a situation because of guilt and shame? 
  • clearing the energetic residue of what is keeping you stuck and paralyzed in places and situations that do not resonate in harmony with your souls. 
  • external drains and pressures that do not come from our true desires 
  • clearing the blocks and barriers to accepting and caring for ourselves at the deepest levels.
  • balance our sensitive nervous systems

 If you answered ‘Yes!’ to any of the following questions, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or ‘Tapping’) and/or Pranic Healing could assist you. Please ask me how! 


Do you?

  • want and need to make a significant change, but fear, guilt or shame is leaving you paralyzed, preventing you from taking that leap?
  • feel bogged down by other people’s expectations, societal pressures, and early conditioning? 
  • are you aware of how many expectations you have of yourself that don’t actually belong to you?
  •  feel like you do not fit into society and the existing paradigms and institutions?
  • is the pace of society too busy and rushed for you and your nervous system?
  • struggle with SHOULDS? And as a result, feel like you are not living a life in alignment with your TRUE self?

 Does any of this leave you feeling frustrated, bored, disillusioned, anxious, angry, depressed, unfulfilled, stuck, etc.? 


While avoiding external pressures can feel challenging on many levels, ultimately, this is what I believe:


 We (HSP Empaths) are not meant to try and “fit in”; we are meant to SEE and FEEL and BE in the world from OUR unique perspective and soul’s purpose!! 

Emotional Freedom Techniques are especially helpful in supporting HSP Empath healing and empowerment:

Emotional Freedom Techniques (also called EFT, or “Tapping”) is a masterful way to gain clarity and insight. EFT helps remove the energetic and emotional blocks, fears, beliefs, and emotions (such as shame) from the body.

Struggle and/or emotional pain is a block or disruption in our body’s energy system. Our body gives us clues through feelings and sensations about what is happening within us (e.g. a sore stomach, tight chest). Similarly, it tells us how we feel around others and in certain environments. 

In other words, our body tells us when something is not in alignment. With that awareness, we have the power to shift it.

Benefit of an EFT practitioner and Energetic Freedom Coach for HSP/ Empaths:

My goal is to provide a SAFE, compassionate, secure, and non-judgemental space for you to peel back the layers to release what no longer serves you (aka all those SHOULDs).

SHOULDs, HAVE TOs, and other people’s expectations don’t have to hold you back from your passions and stop you from embracing your brilliant, sensitive, and empathic nature.

You CAN live a life in a way that feels TRUE to you….

If you are curious about how EFT can help you care for your HSP Empath nature, I’d love to have a no-pressure chat.

Reach out and schedule your free 15-minute call today or email

Warmly, Tamara