A common question many people have after experiencing narcissistic abuse is, “How can I start building healthy relationships?”

Eight things you can do to build healthy relationships after narcissistic abuse are learn more about narcissistic abuse, set boundaries, rebuild your trust, improve your personal development skills, address your trauma, practice self-care, and self-compassion, and define what a healthy relationship means to you.

In this article, I will explain these eight steps so you can grasp a better understanding of what you can do to build healthy relationships after experiencing narcissistic abuse.

1.) Learn More about Narcissistic Abuse

Learning about narcissistic abuse is like getting a map for relationships. 

What do I mean by this?

Well, when you know more about abusive people’s tactics to control others, you can spot and avoid them in future relationships. 

A woman thinking about the future fakes and the lies the narcissist in her life throws her direction.

Having this knowledge helps you surround yourself with healthy people who truly care about you and want what’s best for both of you. 

In addition, when you learn about narcissistic abuse, you will likely come across others who’ve gone through similar experiences. 

Talking to them can teach you what a healthy relationship should look like.

2.) Set Healthy Boundaries

I want you to take a moment and imagine your heart as a house. 

After bad experiences, such as narcissistic abuse, you need to decide who gets to come in and who doesn’t. 

This is what setting boundaries does. 

Suggested Reading: How to Set Boundaries with a Narcissist (6 Steps)

It’s like putting a fence around your house. 

By telling others what you’re okay with and what you’re not, you make sure only the right people, who respect and care for you, come close. 

In new relationships, this helps you and the other person better understand each other, leading to a more caring and supportive bond.

3.) Rebuild Your Trust

Trust is like glue in a relationship; it keeps people close and connected. 

After facing abuse, it’s natural to feel unsure of who you can trust.

But it is important to work on rebuilding trust if you want to build healthy relationships and the first step you should take is learning how to trust yourself.

Suggested Reading: 10 Ways to Trust Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

When you trust yourself, you can better judge who’s good for you and who’s not.

Having the ability to do this is important when it comes to building healthy relationships.

Now, a problem many people face here is believing they will never trust anyone again.

While having this belief is normal and completely understandable, it’s also important to remember that there are many kind people out there. 

Taking small steps to trust others can help you find and build strong, happy relationships where both people look out for each other.

4.) Improve Your Personal Development Skills

Personal development is about sharpening your ability to communicate, understand, and connect with your surrounding environment. 

When you improve your personal development skills, you can better express your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs to others.

Two people working on their personal development skills.

This makes it easier for you and the person you are building a healthy relationship with to understand each other. 

This is important because when both people in a relationship can communicate clearly, they can solve problems and avoid misunderstandings. 

Having the ability to do this creates a stable foundation for a relationship where both parties feel heard, valued, and respected.

5.) Address Your Emotional Trauma

Addressing and understanding the emotional impact of narcissistic abuse is vital for healing and building healthy relationships.

This is because it allows you to recognize and heal the deep emotional wounds that narcissistic abuse often leaves behind. 

By addressing this trauma, you can remove barriers that might prevent you from fully trusting or connecting with someone new. 

Now, it is important to remember that doing this doesn’t mean you will be stuck in the past or ruminating about the abuse.

Working on processing and overcoming your emotional trauma about letting go of your past experiences so it doesn’t dictate your future. 

Doing this will help you enter new relationships with an open heart and clear mind.

6.) Practice Self-Care

When you prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical health, it positively affects your relationships. 

By ensuring you’re in a good place emotionally, you can approach relationships from the standpoint of strength and stability. 

Suggested Reading: 10 Ways to Love Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

Now, this doesn’t mean you won’t have vulnerabilities, but by practicing self-care, you ensure you’re in the best position to communicate, understand, and support others. 

This will help you gravitate toward relationships where both parties can support and uplift each other consistently.

7.) Practice Self-Compassion

Practicing self-compassion means treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you’d offer to a close friend. 

This is crucial, especially after experiencing narcissistic abuse, because it helps heal the internal criticisms or doubts that this type of abuse causes.

When you’re compassionate towards yourself, you acknowledge that everyone, including you, deserves love and respect. 

By nurturing a kind inner voice, you set the tone for what you will and won’t accept in future relationships. 

As a result, you gravitate towards people who treat you with the same compassion and kindness that you’ve learned to give yourself. 

This fosters a relationship environment where both parties feel valued and cared for.

8.) Define What a Healthy Relationship Means to You

One of the most empowering steps in personal growth is defining a healthy relationship on your own terms. 

Everyone’s definition might differ slightly, based on personal values, experiences, and desires, this is normal.

But after experiencing narcissistic abuse, it’s especially vital to decide what qualities and behaviors are essential for you in a relationship. 

A woman redefining what a healthy relationship means to her.

This personal definition serves as a guiding light, ensuring that future partnerships align with your core beliefs and desires. 

You create a personal benchmark by understanding and articulating your version of a healthy relationship. 

This allows you to gauge potential partners and situations against it, ensuring that the relationships you cultivate align with what you truly seek and deserve.

In this way, you become proactive in creating a relationship landscape that resonates with respect, understanding, and genuine connection.

What Should You Take Away from This Article?

Healing from narcissistic abuse and building healthy relationships is a long journey, but taking these steps will make it much more manageable.

About the Author

Hey, I’m Elijah.

I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years. 

I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.

Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.

If you’re ready to heal, visit The Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse to get started.


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