Why is it that so many victims of Narcissistic Abuse seem to develop social anxiety as the years pass with their abuser?
When you are in a romantic relationship with a covert narcissist, often the verbal and emotional abuse is covert, hidden, flies under the radar. How?
Sometimes we think of abuse as screaming, yelling, breaking things, hitting and outright insane behavior. But the truth is there are many subtle forms of abuse that the narcissist often employs to undermine the self esteem of their victims: the silent treatment, stone walling, never allowing their partner to feel as if they can please the narcissist, the constant rolling of the eyes, the narcissistic glare, the double bind technique; all of these are subtle forms of abuse that chip away at a persons self esteem.
Combine this subtle form of abuse with gaslighting. The narcissist claims none of these subtle forms of abuse are taking place, in fact they look appalled at the insinuation as if you are cruel to even contemplate such a thing. The narcissist then tells you they love you, they are good husbands or wives that only want the best for their partner (lies and more lies) said with such conviction that you begin to believe them. When we believe the narcissist we then begin to doubt our own perceptions our own judgments.
What makes it even more difficult is when the narcissist chips away at your self esteem, your self worth they do so in a way that insinuates that they are telling you these things for your own good, to help you.
They are so convincing in their desire to “help” that they convince their victims that they are sincere, genuine in motives which creates cognitive dissonance in the victims.
During this emotionally weak state of mind of the victim, the narcissist abuses either overtly or covertly before and/or after every single social event. The mere going out in public begins to be associated with pain, emotional duress. And when you reach out for help to the narcissist, they use this anxiety that you are experiencing as a weapon.
Social anxiety and/or panic attacks becomes a constant in the victims state of mind.
The victims mind begins to be conditioned, associating negative thoughts and experiences with being around others, while the true source of the duress, the narcissist, hides in the shadows of his abuse pretending the be the one helping the victim.