One of the most pernicious things our narcissists do is violate our boundaries. This can take a number of forms, ranging from physical violations (such as rummaging through your things or physically attacking you) to more subtle mental or emotional violations.
So I’ve devised a checklist of some of the ways narcissists violate our boundaries. They do this to give us less power or make us feel diminished. Don’t allow it. If you see any of these behaviors from your narcissist, if you can’t cut contact with them, be very firm and tell them you will not tolerate it. Do not back down or make excuses. You have every right to protect your boundaries. Your reasons why are really none of their business.
Physical boundary violations:
1. Physical abuse — hitting, pushing, punching, getting “in your face,” cornering you.
2. Forcing you to have sex when you do not want to.
3. Rummaging or going through your personal possessions.
4. Stealing from you. A lock box (these can be cheaply purchased form stores like Walmart) is a good idea. Get one with a combination, not a key.
5. Touching you or sitting/standing too close during conversation, when this is not desired by you.
6. Some somatic narcissists can violate your boundaries by dressing immodestly in front of you. If you object to your narcissist sitting around in his threadbare boxers (or nothing at all), tell him it makes you uncomfortable and that you won’t tolerate it.
7. Making a lot of noise, talking loud, playing loud music, slamming things around to get your attention (my ex was infamous for all these things, especially the loud music).
8. Excessive use of language you disapprove of.
9. Staring at you in a predatory way.
10. Making unreasonable demands (spending money on them, doing favors, running errands for them that go beyond what’s reasonable).
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Emotional/Mental boundary violations:
1. Telling you how you feel or accusing you of feeling or thinking something you do not. Taking your inventory.
2. Gaslighting and triangulating against you.
3. Telling you you have no right to feel the way you do, that it’s wrong, stupid, etc.
4. Insults and namecalling.
5. Grilling you about your activities when you are not with them.
6. Spying on you; stalking you online.
7. Not allowing or making it difficult for you to see your friends, family members, etc.
8. Telling you how you should dress, look, etc.
9. Dismissing or putting down your accomplishments or interests
10. Telling you what you feel is crazy, that you are being over-sensitive, etc. (really a form of gaslighting).
11. Interrupting you or not allowing you to speak.
12. Doing other things while you are trying to talk to them, or continually changing the subject.
13. Lying to you.
14. Trying to make you do something illegal or that goes against your morals.
If your narc does any of these things, be firm and tell them you will NOT tolerate these behaviors. Do not be nice about it. Narcissists can only be handled with tough love, if you can’t disconnect. Do not back down no matter how much they object.
They will react with rage, of course–at first. Without narcissistic supply from you, they will eventually stop being mad and either sulk or leave.
Obviously, leaving or going No Contact is the best thing you can do for yourself, but in some situations this isn’t always possible, especially if there are children involved.