How to Emotionally Detach from the Narcissist by Lucianne Gerrard


This series, outlined by Registered Counselor and Narcissistic Abuse Specialist Lucianne Gerrard, guides you through a 10-step journey, empowering you to recognize, understand, and finally break free from a narcissistic individual’s hold on you. 

Whether you’ve experienced or are currently dealing with narcissistic abuse, this series aims to empower you with the knowledge, strategies, and self-care practices to heal and thrive. 

Emotional detachment from a narcissist generally refers to distancing oneself from the emotional influence, manipulation, and control a narcissist may exert. It’s about gaining awareness of the dynamics of the relationship, setting appropriate boundaries, and cultivating self-reliance and personal strength. 

Step 1: Why Do We Seek Relationships with Narcissists and How to Meet Our Needs

In this Step 1, we focus on uncovering the conscious or unconscious unmet needs that draw you to narcissistic relationships and discovering ways to satisfy those needs on your own. 

We reduce our dependence on the narcissist by recognizing and meeting our needs independently. This self-reliance builds strength and makes separating emotionally from the narcissist easier, helping us move forward.

Step 2: Signs of a Narcissist

In this Step 2, we focus on learning to spot the warning signs of a narcissist and protecting yourself by understanding their patterns and tendencies.

Recognizing narcissistic behavior equips you with the tools necessary to navigate complex dynamics, protect yourself, and facilitate the process of emotional detachment.

Step 3: The Drama Triangle

In this Step 3, we focus on diving into the ‘Drama Triangle’ concept.

The drama triangle model shows how people can fall into victim, persecutor, or rescuer roles in a conflict. By recognizing these roles, we can see how a narcissist manipulates and creates conflict. This knowledge helps us step out of these roles, and move away from the emotional control of the narcissist.

Step 4: Accepting That You Cannot Change the Narcissist

In this Step 4, we focus on grasping the hard truth that changing a narcissistic individual is futile.

By understanding that we can only control our actions and responses, we can focus on what we can change: ourselves and how we react to the narcissist. This shift in focus is essential for breaking free from emotional entanglement and moving toward healing and self-empowerment.

Step 5: Building Yourself Up

In this Step 5, we focus on exploring techniques to strengthen your self-esteem and independence.

Strengthening our self-esteem and confidence helps us become less dependent on the narcissist’s approval or validation. Focusing on our personal development allows us to stand firm and move forward independently, even in the face of the narcissist’s attempts to control or manipulate us.

Step 6: Boundaries

In this Step 6, we focus on setting and maintaining boundaries to safeguard your well-being against narcissistic manipulation.

Boundaries help us to recognize and assert our own needs and values, shifting the focus away from pleasing the narcissist. As a result, we create emotional distance, allowing us to see the relationship more objectively and take control of our lives without being swayed by the narcissist’s demands or influence.

Step 7: Be Aware of the Narcissist’s Hooks

In this Step 7, we focus on learning to recognize and resist the hooks that narcissistic individuals use to get an emotional response out of you. 

These “hooks” are tactics or behaviors they use to pull us back into their control and manipulation. By understanding what these hooks are and how they work, we can recognize when they are being used and choose not to react.

Step 8: Narcissist’s Power Games

In this Step 8, we focus on understanding the power games narcissists use to dominate relationship dynamics. 

These games are manipulative tactics designed to control and dominate, often leaving us feeling confused and powerless. Recognizing these tactics allows us to see through the manipulation, preventing us from being pulled into the narcissist’s emotional web.

Step 9: Becoming an Observer

In this Step 9, we focus on learning to analyze a narcissist’s behaviors without getting entangled.

Observing from afar allows us to see their actions without getting emotionally entangled, helping us understand their patterns and manipulation techniques.

Step 10: Breadcrumbing & Hoovering

In this Step 10, we focus on breadcrumbing and hoovering, understanding how narcissists use these tactics to manipulate, and learning strategies to stay unhooked.

These tactics, where the narcissist gives small signs of interest (breadcrumbing) or tries to pull us back into the relationship (hoovering), are designed to confuse and control. Recognizing these behaviors helps us see them for what they are: manipulative strategies to keep us emotionally tied to them. By identifying and understanding these tactics, we can resist their pull, stay committed to our boundaries, and take decisive steps to detach emotionally, reinforcing our independence and control over our lives.