Why I love co-narcissists and why you should too

elephants by debbie happy cohen for joy-based living blog post co-narcissists

(note: a co-narcissist is someone who has been targeted by a narcissist and is dealing with the effects of complex post traumatic stress (CPTSD / CPTSR / codependency))

I dislike labeling people.

I dislike labels so much that I chose NOT to become a psychologist after achieving a Master’s Degree in family counseling. I thought humanity would be much better off with a bible of humanity’s psychological and spiritual strengths rather than a bible of mental disorders and illnesses (DSM).

I became a coach because I truly love drawing out people’s dreams and talents and strengths . . . and bringing them to life.

And, I’ve grown.

I still prefer not to label people.  But when it’s done with good intentions (for discernment, for healing or for connection), a label can be a gateway for reaching out to the right people and places… for healing, for community, for possibilities, freedom. For getting your needs met.

Discernment is power.

No different than if you got a bite on your neck. Did it come from a snake, spider, vampire or your lover? Your next action will depend on your discernment. And your life may depend on it!

As we wake up to the effects of narcissistic abuse in our world (and in ourselves), we are discovering antidotes, prevention tools, and long term healing techniques. We are also discovering that WE ARE NOT ALONE. And that, in itself, is a huge boon. So much of the insanity is due to the secrecy. THANKS TECHNOLOGY!!!

Why I love co-narcissists

The reason I love co-narcissists, especially those who have chosen to heal and thrive after abusive relationship(s), is because they are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. They are:


and caring

More importantly, they STAND FOR TRUTH, they APPRECIATE JOY and they practice RELATEDNESS WITHOUT AGENDA more than any other group of people I know.


Because they had to FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES TO TAKE BACK these invisible precious qualities of life. Many co-narcissists have to use all of their power, their spirit, their resources, their will and their inner strength in order to survive. And then to thrive.


Co-narcissists who are tired of fighting the same old battles have become open to learning and changing. This includes willingness to bravely let go of people, places and things that have hurt them in the past. Including people they love.

Not only that, but in order to heal, they often have to face really horrible memories to come BACK to their bodies, BACK to themselves, BACK to their values, BACK to their lives.

The levels of shame that were projected onto them is unbelievable.

Facing this shame in order to release it requires constant endurance. Their level of resilience required to survive the tyranny is breathtaking.

My compassion goes out to each and every co-narcissist.


Their achilles heel is “too much” resilience and “too much” self-reliance.

Too much giving.

But within healthy relationships, those sacred places where co-narcissists feel safe enough to tell the truth, where they feel comfortable enough to really let their hair down, their doors of possibilities open wide in ways that are simply magical.

When they tune in to their resourcefulness and creativity, they are able to offer perspectives, solutions and leadership in ways that nobody else can.

When they tap into their courage, self-respect and deep sense of connection with life itself, well, that’s when their power shines brightest.

Hopefully it’s clear to you by now that my love and appreciation of co-narcissists runs deeper than even these words.

I know for a fact I have drawn into my life a number of incredible and beautiful friends whose emergence as radiant lights in the darkness has lit up my world immeasurably.

Many of them have had to address what I’ve put into this message, and are coming out with flying colors.

If any of this resonates with you, please know you’re warmly welcome to join us in this dialogue. Our conversation begins with the Joy-Based Living Treasure Map.

And the Treasure is YOU.

With so much love,

Happy D!

ps. if you enjoyed this post, you’ll also appreciate:
Definition of Co-Narcissist (Cinderella), Starving to Give (Cinderella Part Deux) and our Collection of related articles.


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