Knowing the symptoms of PNSD can be incredibly helpful, especially when you’re trying to figure out what can be done to aid a survivor of a narcissist. Here are some ways to make the life of a survivor easier and help their transition from living with a narcissist to living their lives again.
Survivors will want to tell their truth as they remember it. Allow them to speak. Listen to them and validate what they’re saying. WikiHow states, “Use active listening. Don’t interrupt but try to repeat what you hear in order to make sure you understand. Let the conversation end if it becomes too intense.”
Make sure they know that you hear them. It can be incredibly valuable to the healing process for a survivor to be heard.
2. VALIDATE THEIR EMOTIONS
They may be feeling all over the place, but the important part is they are feeling. Emotions aren’t “good” or “bad”. They’re neutral and important to our survival. If a survivor tells you that they’re feeling angry, or hurt, or afraid, listen to them and validate how they’re feeling. Even if the emotion isn’t appropriate for the situation, survivors often have to relearn how to use their emotions.
3. SUPPORT THEM
People who exit a relationship or living situation with a narcissist often have to build their support system from the ground up. “You can gently encourage and empower your loved one to start healing the rift by interacting with people and the world. Again, don’t push. Your loved one might resist, so simply promise to be there,” adds WikiHow.
Being there for them will mean more than you can imagine. Sometimes, all they need is someone to be there when things get rough. Even if you’re just there to offer a listening ear, you’ll make a world of difference.