How Healing From Narcissistic Abuse Affects Your Work and Social Life (& How To Balance It)

Recovering from narcissistic abuse is an incredibly challenging and stressful process, especially because the emotional and psychological scars left by such abuse can significantly impact various aspects of the survivor’s life, including their work and social interactions.

While this may not happen to the total percentage of survivors, the majority of them often find it difficult to function optimally in other areas of their lives, leading to even more depression and anxiety. In this blog post, the truth about how narcissistic abuse can affect work and social life will be revealed, along with helpful and practical solutions to help balance these aspects while recovering.

How It Affects Work Life

Many survivors of narcissistic abuse may have already lost their jobs because of the trauma. But for those that still hang by a thread, here are the common things they’ll be facing:

Decreased Productivity

Survivors often struggle with concentration and focus, leading to decreased productivity. The constant mental battle with intrusive thoughts and emotional pain can make it hard to stay on task and meet deadlines. This leads to a rift between them and their upper hand, causing even more sadness.

Increased Absenteeism

Also, the emotional toll of recovering from abuse can lead to physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and other stress-related illnesses. This can result in increased absenteeism as survivors may need more time off to cope with these challenges.

Impaired Professional Relationships

Finally, trust issues and fear of criticism can make it difficult for survivors to build and maintain professional relationships. In the same way, co-workers may start to reduce association with the person due to reduced productivity and increased absenteeism. This can lead to further isolation at work and challenges in collaborating with colleagues effectively.

What About How It Affects Social Life?

Besides work, friends, family, and romantic relationships also suffer. While narcissistic abuse can come from either of these sources (including at work), these are the ways the other aspects of the survivor’s social life will suffer while healing from narcissistic abuse:

Social Withdrawal

Survivors may withdraw from social activities and interactions due to feelings of shame, fear, and anxiety. The trauma can make it hard to engage with friends and family, leading to a sense of loneliness and isolation.

Difficulty Trusting Others

Narcissistic abuse often damages a person’s ability to trust others. Survivors may find it challenging to form new relationships or maintain existing ones, fearing further manipulation or betrayal.

Hypervigilance in Social Settings

Constantly being on guard and overly sensitive to potential threats can make social interactions exhausting and stressful. This hypervigilance can hinder the ability to relax and enjoy social gatherings.

How to Maintain Work and Social Life During Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

It is essential to begin treatment before balancing your work and social life. If you have not yet started therapy or other treatments, it is advisable to do so first, as addressing the root causes of your distress is crucial for effective recovery. Once treatment is underway, you can focus on integrating these aspects of your life. Here are some strategies to help you achieve balance while receiving treatment:

  1. Establish Boundaries: Clearly define and maintain boundaries in your work and social life. This will help protect your emotional well-being and prevent further exploitation.
  2. Practice Self-Care: Engage in activities that promote physical and mental health, such as exercise, meditation, and hobbies. Prioritizing self-care helps rebuild your strength and resilience.
  3. Seek Support: Contact trusted friends, family, or support groups. Sharing your experiences with others who understand can provide emotional relief and valuable insights.
  4. Set Realistic Goals: Break down tasks into manageable steps and set achievable goals. This approach helps manage the overwhelming feelings often associated with recovery and improves productivity.
  5. Communicate Your Needs: Be honest about your situation with your employer and close ones. Open communication can lead to understanding and support, whether about needing flexible work hours or more understanding in social contexts.

While there are a few others, these basic five can get you started towards putting it all back on track.

Some Treatments that Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Quickly, the following are the treatment options that promote healing include:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  3. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  4. Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications prescribed by a healthcare professional
  5. Group Therapy


Healing from narcissistic abuse is a long and arduous journey that can significantly affect your work and social life. However, understanding how these areas are impacted and implementing strategies to balance them is crucial for your recovery. Establishing boundaries, practicing self-care, seeking support, setting realistic goals, and communicating your needs are essential steps in regaining control and rebuilding your life. Additionally, various therapies and medications can provide the necessary support to navigate this challenging period. Remember, healing is possible, and taking proactive steps will lead to a healthier, more balanced life.

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