The Gentle Mind

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and hypnosis for dealing with Narcissists

‘Narcissist’ is a word you hear bandied around. Usually to refer to someone who’s a ‘bit of a big head’ or ‘pompous’.

But a true narcissist can do serious lasting damage to others.

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition giving people an unreasonably high sense of their own importance.

They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them. People with this disorder may lack the ability to understand, or care, about the feelings of others.

At the core, they are not sure of their self-worth and are easily upset by the slightest criticism.

In return, they can make your life a living hell.

They appear in your life at various stages most notably school, work or relationships.

Spotting the signs of narcissism

Look out for the following:

  • They have an unreasonably high sense of their own self-importance and need constant, excessive admiration.
  • Feel that they deserve privileges and special treatment.
  • Expect to be recognised as ‘better’ regardless of their achievements.
  • A constant preoccupation with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.
  • They’ll be critical of you and look down on people they feel are not important - belittle their achievements.
  • Expect special favours and expect other people to do what they want without questioning them.
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want.
  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognise the needs and feelings of others.
  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them.
  • Behave in an arrogant way, brag a lot and come across as conceited.
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office.

How narcissists reveal themselves

The most obvious signs appear when they are criticised or feel they are being criticised. They usually can’t handle this and you get a chance to look behind the mask.
They can:

  • Become impatient or angry when they don't receive special recognition or treatment.
  • Have major problems interacting with others and easily feel slighted, or constantly want to be the centre of attention.
  • React with rage or contempt and try to belittle other people to make themselves appear superior.
  • Have difficulty managing their emotions and behaviour.
  • Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change.
  • Withdraw from, or avoid, situations in which they might fail.
  • Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection.
  • Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, humiliation and fear of being exposed as a failure.

Where narcissists can really damage you - in relationships

When you’re in the thick of it - usually when you’re deeply in love - that’s when narcissists can really go to work and create mayhem.

Narcissists can be controlling and intolerant while refusing to acknowledge wrongdoings.

They'll use an array of manipulative strategies to escape blame and perpetuate abuse. Sometimes, they'll "gaslight" you into questioning your own feelings. Or they'll use "baiting" to purposefully provoke you when you want to be left alone. Even after the relationship ends, the emotional abuse can continue with tactics like "hoovering."

Explained: The phrases associated with Narcissists

Love bombing

Even the most abusive relationships can start off like a fairytale with lavish gifts, extravagant getaways and public displays of affection but this initial phase, cycled with abuse, is an emotional manipulation tactic known as love bombing. It’s a case of too much too fast.

And so it continues. The true difference between an exciting start to a blossoming romance and love bombing is what happens as the relationship progresses.

If this is ‘love at first sight’, you’ll be accepted when you get more comfortable and expose the annoying and unattractive parts of yourself. With love bombing this is never the case.

Instead, they may lose total interest in you and disappear leaving you completely confused. Or, in some instances, they may drip-feed little romantic gestures along with opposite gestures like criticism. What going on here is that the narcissist is using a deeper motivation to hook you into something and manipulate the relationship to benefit their own needs.


You feel you’re questioning your sanity. Your memories, or sense of reality.

Gaslighting doesn’t just happen in relation to big events, it can occur over little things as a way to plant self-doubt and shift the power dynamic.

Some examples include:

  • Lying about or denying something - even when you show them proof.
  • Insisting that an event never happened; that you’re remembering it wrong.
  • Changing the subject or refusing to listen when confronted them.
  • Telling you that you’re overreacting when you call them out.

Basically, elaborate lying.


When a narcissist isn't getting the attention they want from victims, they can deliberately provoke or trigger them by "baiting."

They may, for instance, insult somebody they know you care about or make inflammatory, false accusations about you.

Other examples of baiting include:

  • Overt insults such as mocking, taunting and ridiculing with offensive jibes.
  • Guilt-tripping, playing the victim, blaming others for their own unhappiness, to get a response.
  • Intimidation and threats to provoke fear or anxiety in order to keep you compliant, for instance, they may threaten to publicly expose secrets, vulnerabilities or insecurities.


This is when a toxic ex tries to reenter your life under the disguise of change. They'll say they've grown into a more loving partner - even offer up tempting gifts. But do they mean it?

This is a narcissist using "hoovering". Sucking you back in through manipulation and lies – only to continue the cycle of abuse.

Someone who has actually changed will acknowledge the hurt they've caused or take behavioural steps like therapy. Instead, a hooverer will say something like, 'Baby, if you take me back, we're going to buy that house' or 'I won't work at the bar anymore if we get back together.' So the coming back becomes enticing because it offers things they know the person wants.

How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Hypnosis helps you deal with Narcissists

Unfortunately, it’s usually after the event that I see people who have had to live with a narcissist.

Sometimes people can recognise the signs and my advice is to get out.

To get a narcissist to change is extremely hard - and draining for you.

Typically after the event you find you’re:

  • Exhausted
  • Lost your confidence
  • Lost your belief
  • Find it hard to trust others/new partners
  • Feel you’ve been made a fool.

But we can turn things around. We can work together to take away the meaning and attached feelings so all you’re left with is the experience and learnings. And a better tuning to your emotional radar.

The hurt, self-doubt and feeling of all that time wasted can be dialled down. Sometimes to zero.

We can neutralise the hurt, give you your mojo back and get you ready to trust and love again.

Who am I?

I’m James Thomas a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist. I’ve used hypnosis thousands of times to deal with clients’ stresses, anxieties, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, PTSD, overeating, low self-esteem, eczema, and anger, to name but a few.

And to help people, usually women, recover from the harm of a narcissist. It takes time, but we can get there.

I cover all of Lincolnshire with my rooms in Louth and Lincoln.

Get in touch with me at or call 07787563099.

Let’s take the learnings and put these things in the past.

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