In Depth on the Idealization Phase of Narcissistic Abuse
by: Todd Doyle, International Author of Healing the Shattered: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse
The idealization phase is the first phase of a narcissistic abusive relationship, during which the abuser lavishes the victim with attention, affection, and praise. The victim may feel special, valued, and loved during this phase, and the abuser may seem perfect and charming. The abuser may also present themselves as a “savior,” promising to rescue the victim from their problems and to make their life better.
During the idealization phase, the abuser may go to great lengths to win the victim’s affection and to convince them that they are the perfect partner. They may shower the victim with gifts, attention, and affection, and they may make grand gestures and promises. They may also engage in love bombing, which involves overwhelming the victim with affection and attention in order to win their love and loyalty.
The idealization phase can be intoxicating and seductive, and it can make the victim feel like they have finally found their “soulmate.” They may feel a strong emotional connection to the abuser and may feel grateful and indebted to them for their kindness and attention.
However, it is important to recognize that the idealization phase is often a ploy used by the abuser to win the victim’s trust and loyalty. The abuser may use this phase to manipulate the victim’s emotions and to gradually gain control over them. They may also use this phase to gather information about the victim’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses, which they can later use to manipulate and exploit them.
It is important to be aware of the signs of the idealization phase in a narcissistic abusive relationship, such as:
An intense emotional connection or “soulmate” feeling
A sense of being “chosen” or “special”
A constant need for attention and validation
A lack of boundaries or a willingness to overlook red flags
A feeling of gratitude and indebtedness towards the abuser
A belief that the abuser is the perfect partner
If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing the idealization phase of a narcissistic abusive relationship, it is important to seek support and to be cautious. It is important to set boundaries and to be aware of the warning signs of abuse, such as manipulation, control, and a lack of empathy. It is also important to seek help from a trusted friend or family member, a mental health professional, or a domestic violence resource center. Remember that no one deserves to be abused, and it is never too late to seek help and to break the cycle of abuse.