Adapted from Have They Really Changed? posted on the blog Sanctuary For The Abused, a very good blog for victims of Narcissists and Sociopaths.
If many of your answers are yes, these are all signs that she has no intention of changing how she is. This then is her choice of how to live her life. You must choose yours. What will it be?
First you must identify the negative behaviors. The following is a list of behaviors that carry huge red flags. Ask yourself whether:
- She refuses to let the subject of her abuse come up (stonewalling) or gets angry when it does (narcissistic rage).
- She pretends not to understand what you are talking about, or “kicks up dust” to confuse the conversation and avoid talking about it. (Diversionary tactic, actually knows full well what you mean.)
- She says “I’m not the only one who needs help.” She tries to get sympathy from you, family members, and friends. She is still lying to you, your friends or other people about what she’s done. She continues to attempt to cover up or rationalize what she’s done to you. She won’t acknowledge that it was wrong. She doesn’t seem sorry that she did it, she only seems angry for being confronted about it or sorry that she has suffered some consequences for it. (diversionary tactic)
- She says: “I can’t change unless you do.” Which means that she’s trying to get you to agree to give up your rights and freedoms in exchange for her not abusing you. Also stated as: “I’ve changed, but you aren’t changing.” (diversionary tactic)
- She tells others about your behavior, problems and private business as a method of pre-emptive attack on you designed to make you look bad and her look good. This is often done with sweet sympathetic tones, to convince people that she cares about you. She will also simply tell people lies. (betrayal; defamation; lies; Jekyll/Hyde personality)
- She won’t discuss her controlling behaviors and attitudes. (entitlement)
- She defends her behaviors. (entitlement)
- She still tries to deny it, minimize it, excuse it, or justify it. (gaslighting)
- She insists you “just get past it.” (gaslighting)
- She plays the victim. She says “How could you do this to me/my friends/my family?” or “How DARE you?” (diversionary tactic)
- She still blames you for all the problems. (scapegoating)
- She is overly charming, always trying to remind you of all the good times you had together and ignore the bad. (diversionary tactic)
- She will not get professional help or she will say she’ll get it, but never does. Or she does get it (for a SHORT period until you’ve calmed down) then tries to convince you that she’s cured and you need to take her back now, or “stop bringing up the past.” (“Now that I’m in this program, you have to be more understanding.” Or “I’m learning a lot from this program without specifically stating what that is.”)
- Sometimes, instead of submitting to counseling or therapy she will suddenly claim to have found God; will start going to church/temple a few times or even regularly. (Hiding behind religion: “I couldn’t possibly be guilty of the things you are accusing me of.”)
- She cries and begs. She particularly likes to do this in a public situation so that you are embarrassed and appear “cold hearted.” (passive-aggressive manipulatio; defamation)
- She does things to try to sabotage your efforts to make it on your own without her friendship and/or assistance. (co-dependency tactic)
- She harasses or stalks you, covertly and/or overtly. (aggression)
- She ignores you completely and says YOU left her all alone. (stonewalling)
- In some cases, she will harass you with phone calls, threats, legal frustrations, showing up at work, hanging around family or friends, interfering with your relationships with various people.
- She continues to restrict your rights. (co-dependency tactic)
- She still behaves as if she’s superior. (belief that there is nothing wrong with her; perfectionist)
- You aren’t able to express yourself and speak freely. (controlling, stonewalling)
- She picks at you and criticizes you, and ignores your strengths and contributions to the relationship. (superiority)
- She puts her wants and needs above yours. (Often done very cleverly so that it isn’t detected by others.)
- She doesn’t — or refuses to — recognize the damage she’s done. (stonewalling; diversionary tactic)
- She judges you for the consequences you’ve suffered over her abuse. (i.e., your FLEAS will cause problems in your life, for which she will blame you, but in which she had an integral part)
- She’s indignant or seems confused about why you fear her, don’t trust her, are hurt, and angry.
- She tries to get out of the consequences by trying to convince you that something’s wrong with you for allowing her to have any consequences.
- She behaves as if she’s above reproach. (entitlement; believing she is perfect)
- She claims that she would never hurt you, despite the fact that she’s done many things to hurt you. (diversionary tactic)
- She’s mad that you left, instead of recognizing your right to have done so. (entitlement; codependency tactic)
- She still acts like you owe her, and/or that she still owns you. (entitlement)
- She’s impatient or critical with you for not forgiving her immediately, for not being satisfied with the changes she may have already made, especially if she hasn’t made the changes you requested, or hasn’t changed but claims she has.
- She’s only concerned with how hard the situation is for her, and no one else. (entitlement; diversionary tactic)
- She doesn’t show appropriate concern for how you feel about what she’s done. (Abuse does more than just hurt, it is damaging, and if she doesn’t show appropriate concern for the damage she’s done, then she hasn’t changed.)
- She gets angry with you because you “won’t realize how much she’s changed.” (entitlement)
- She gets angry that you don’t trust she’s changed for good. (entitlement; diversionary tactic)
Adapted from Have They Really Changed? posted on the blog Sanctuary For The Abused
How To Stop Attracting Abuse from a Narcissist – Behaviors that invite mistreatment. Take responsibility for your part in the abuse you’re experiencing.
How to Get Rid of a Narcissist – If the Narcissist is someone you can rid from your life (a boss, a platonic friend, a romantic partner, etc.)
Cutting Ties With a Narcissist – If the Narcissist is someone who by circumstances is probably not going to leave your life (i.e., a parent, a sibling, an ex-husband with whom you have children, etc.)