New Year’s Resolutions You Can Make To Overcome Narcissistic Abuse

29 Dec 2017

If  you’re a survivor of narcissistic abuse what New Year’s resolutions should you set?  Is it even worth making resolutions?  When your very own Jerk has done so much jerking of your emotional strings that it can be hard to feel half-way sane or half-way certain about what you even can have in your future.

The answer has to be a resounding “Yes” – provided you are making the right kind of New Year’s resolutions.  But you do have to understand what will work, and what may well not work.

What works and what doesn’t for New Year’s resolutions

Setting big financial goals may well not be a brilliant move, if you’re not mentally and emotionally ready to pursue them relentlessly.

Being determined to ‘bag’ yourself a superior class of partner within the next 12 months, could well be a big ask.

Resolving to get your whole life sorted within a year might well be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.

What you don’t want to do is:

  1. Set goals that are too big, too soon, that will leave you feeling like a failure if you don’t reach them in the unrealistic time-frame you’ve set yourself
  2. Not see the wood for the trees
  3. Not give yourself time to heal
  4. Rush headlong into anything before you are really clear about who you are, and what is right for you.

Having goals that don’t take account of the consideration that your healing process will take the time it takes could be counterproductive.

Goals are great. Having big goals can be inspiring.  But it can also be confusing and demoralizing.

Let’s focus on the confusing piece for a moment.  In our society, everyone is forever extolling the wonders of goal-setting.

“Don’t worry about the How,” they declare, “just focus on the What.”

The unspoken corollary you might need to consider is the When. In reality, you likely can’t just schedule delivery for a time of your choosing from the so-called Cosmic Ordering Service.

If only.

Unfortunately, there tend to be a couple of glitches in the system when it comes to fulfilment.

Glitch #1 Focus

First, if you’re a survivor of narcissistic abuse  – even a recovering survivor of narcissistic abuse – you need to understand that you may well have a slight challenge around focus.   PTSD and/or mood swings can make it very hard to stay focused on things like goals and aspirations – and incredibly hard NOT to fixate on the Narcissist and his behavior towards you.

Glitch #2 The Who

I truly believe that focusing on the How may not be that important. Still, it can be hard to keep your eye on the What when you have a real issue around the Who. Most survivors of narcissistic abuse do have an issue – a BIG issues around the who?

Who are you to create the life that you want for yourself?

Is the kind of question you’ve been taught to ask yourself… by the Narcissist who has worked hard to diminish you.

A better question, to paraphrase Marianne Williamson, would be

Who are you NOT to…?”  (That is, not to create that life for yourself.)

Gain a sense of self-hood

The only thing is, before you can create the life you want for yourself, you do need to acquire  a healthy sense of self-hood.

Nobody comes out of an emotionally abusive relationship with a sense of who they are; only what they are not.

And this is where the New Year’s resolutions come in.  Here are a few that it is worth… not just making, but actually IMPLEMENTING .  To the best of your ability.

  • Be kind to yourself. That means cutting yourself a bit of slack, instead of asking yourself what kind of failure you are; because that is how Mr Nasty spoke to you.
  • Learn to love yourself. (I know, I know, you probably want me to wash my mouth out with soap for coming up with such a filthy idea!)  What this means is, start to NOTICE when you – more or less automatically – exclude yourself from the circle of respect and consideration you show to other people. Then make a deliberate effort to be half as nice to yourself as you are to other people.
  • Do something that gives you pleasure every day. You need to find something to do every day that is neither time-consuming nor expensive that brings you pleasure. You likely need to make a conscious start to put simple pleasures back into your life.
  • Change your beliefs about yourself and your happiness.

How much is that to ask?

Why small and unimportant can be good

Are you underwhelmed by how small and unimportant this sounds in the context of the feelings, and the challenges, you face?

Don’t be.

I’ve known women whose lives changed because of a regular bubble bath, or a cup of tea (drunk) in the bath, on a regular basis.  (Brits often have a love affair with the bath tub but there are plenty of other simple pleasures you can find that can produce the same result.  A daily latte in a coffee shop transformed another client’s view of who she was.)

This year, wherever you are on your healing journey, set yourself up for success by starting from where you are, and honoring who you are.  Do that and by the time December 2022 comes around you’ll have more to celebrate than you could imagine right now.

Wishing you a wonderful 2022,



Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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