The rise of narcissistic abuse in lockdown – the common traits and how to avoid it

By Emma Davey, Narcissist Abuse Counsellor and Founder of

sexual abuse and sexual violence awareness weekNow that we’re in lockdown part three, many people are again going to be isolated with their abuser.

All of us are finding it hard being at home all day, but for a victim of Narcissistic Abuse being locked in with their abuser is horrific. The daily torture of mental and physical abuse people go through is unimaginable to anyone who has never been a victim of Narcissistic abuse. According to the Centre for Women’s Justice, there was a 49% rise in the number of calls to domestic abuse services during the previous lockdown.

The common traits of narcissistic abuse are:

Gaslighting – Gaslighting is one of the most dangerous forms of emotional abuse. The Narcissist uses many techniques to make the victim question their stability and sanity.  Some of the Gaslighting techniques that narcissists use are:

  • Lying to you constantly, making you question what is real and what isn’t.
  • Ignoring you for long or short periods of time, making out they are the victim and making you apologise when you don’t know what you’ve actually done wrong.
  • Narcissists like to play mind games. You feel like you are walking on eggshells trying to do anything but upset the Narcissist. The victim is constantly living in fear.
  • You feel like no matter what you do its wrong.

Gaslighting causes health problems such as anxiety, depression and PTSD. My advice if you feel you are being gaslighted is to write everything down. Take pictures of things, even record conversations if you have to. This is to reassure you are not going mad and what you’re feeling is validated. Writing things down starts to put things into perspective and makes you start seeing the patterns in which the abuse is taking place. If will also help you remember things that you may have supressed and forgotten out of love.

Isolation & Brainwashing – Narcissists like to isolate you to brainwash you. My advice is don’t allow yourself to be cut off from the world. Still reach out to family and friends as much as you can. Having other people to talk to and to support helps and don’t be afraid to tell people what you’re going through. Try to get some alone time away from them, even if it’s a half an hour’s walk. This gives you a chance to reflect on things and process them.

Narcissists have a Jekyll and Hyde personality; you never know who you’re going to get. Depending on what mood they are in can have a huge impact on your a day. Try and remain yourself and remove yourself away from them even if it’s in another room. Keep motivated and busy. Try not to show any emotion or react to their abuse. A Narcissist hates it when you show zero emotion as this is what they feed from. It’s very much like a child throwing a tantrum, if they don’t get a reaction they tend to give up.

Narcissists like to future fake; they tell you what you want to hear to get their own way. Do not fall for the nice act. Remember what they say and what they do are two hugely different things. They only do something for an effect, and it is only benefiting them. Start looking out for yourself and ask yourself if it benefits you. The best way to know how to deal with a Narcissist is to learn as much as possible about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Knowing as much information as possible about NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) will give you an insight into their behaviour and why they are acting a certain way. A good thing to remember is Narcissists never change, its not curable. If during the pandemic you have realised, you are with a narcissist start to plan your exit strategy. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

For free online support join the Victims of Narcissistic Abuse group on facebook.

Emma DaveyAbout the author

Emma Davey is a Narcissistic Abuse Counsellor and Founder of

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