Of Self-Care Haven by Shahida Arabi: “As an author who writes for survivors of abuse, I have communicated with thousands of people who have been touched by malignant narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths as partners, friends, family members, colleagues or even bosses. Throughout my work, I have noticed a common theme: societal invalidation and the gaslighting of survivors.
This form of secondary gaslighting and invalidation is incredibly painful, especially when it comes from the professionals, friends, and family members who are meant to help the survivor on their healing journey. Secondary gaslighting from other people not only further isolates the survivor, it actually hinders the healing process. I can’t tell you the number of times a survivor has contacted me to tell me of the retraumatizing effects of being invalidated by a friend, family member, spiritual leader, or even a therapist who dispensed misinformed , sometimes even ideas accusing the victim.
. . . It is important to learn the appropriate ways to communicate with survivors of malignant narcissists – those who lack empathy, who exploit others for their own gain, who chronically abuse others, and who lack remorse and conscience for their actions.
Here are common mistakes people make when communicating with survivors of this type of insidious violence: