The Dangers of Denial

Denial, defensiveness, distortion, and dismissal are all part of the narcissistic framework. Denial serves a purpose, in the case of childhood abuse or neglect, as it provides protection against situations that are overwhelming to the child. In adulthood, however, denial leads to broken relationships, distortion, and a refusal to accept what is. The dangers of denial are real.

The Dangers of Denial - The Word Denied in Red

People with NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or those who have narcissistic tendencies, use denial as a way to escape reality and to protect their fragile self-esteem. Facts are distorted, perceptions are altered, and reality is held at bay so that the narcissist’s shaky sense of self is not disturbed.

Do not be fooled…

Narcissists know the difference between fact and fiction. Ignorance, or being misinformed, are not the issues driving denial. Denying reality is used as a defense mechanism to protect the toxic person from being held accountable for their actions. No accountability, no consequences.

It’s quite convenient!

What does denial look like in intimate relationships? Well, if the narcissist is constantly lying, blame-shifting, and refusing to accept what they said or did, the spouse of the delusional partner is going to end up assuming 100% of the blame for the problems in the relationship. Not exactly a recipe for success…

Denial Is Self-Delusion

Denial, which is more aptly called self-delusion, is a toxic person’s way of couching themselves in a protective barrier where they are never complicit, and where everyone else, most notably their spouse, is to blame for anything and everything that has gone wrong, or will go wrong in their lives.

Matters are further complicated in that narcissistic people tend to parentify their spouses. This means that the normal, empathetic spouse assumes the role of the abusive parent and is punished accordingly. The spouse becomes the recipient of the same treatment that the narcissist received as a child.

The beleagured spouse becomes the scapegoat for all hurts, slights, and inconveniences. It’s no wonder that narcissistic relationships, either do not last long, or do not deepen and thrive.

If a relationships with a narcissist is long-term, the neurotypical partner becomes invisible and exhausted as they continually bend and twist themselves to meet the never-ending demands of their tumultuous partner.

Healthy relationships are built on trust and mutual respect. Neither of these vital aspects can be present in the face of denial. Narcissists are famous for justifying their actions, minimizing and negating others’ feelings, and downright denying that harmful words or actions were said and done.

The dangers of denial are real. Denial is a form of gaslighting and manipulation.

The Dangers of Denial - Holly Knudson Signature

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