When a narcissist abuses, an echoist suffers

Communities of victims of narcissistic abuse are pushing for awareness and recognition of their suffering.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
When a narcissist abuses, an echoist suffers - NewsMavens
Woman in a forest. Pixabay

Why this story matters:

Too often, we are people-pleasers. But when a people-pleaser is in the environment of a narcissist, they could be abused into being an echoist.

Echoism is the condition that arises from being in a toxic, abusive relationship with a narcissist, who could be a partner, parent, friend or sibling.

Sufferers live in all-consuming fear of their abuser, and lose their sense of self -- the process of "echoing", reflecting their abuser and overlooking their own needs.

While there is a stark lack of awareness of echoism in the mental health community, it affects thousands.

The Echo Society UK was also founded by counsellor Arlo McCloskey as a support group for victims of the abuse across Britain. It offers one-on-one counselling, outreach workshops and runs events for sufferers.

Details from the story:

  • Echoism was first coined in 2005 by psychoanalyst Dean Davis to describe the process victims of narcissistic abuse go through.
  • The term was popularised by psychologist Dr Craig Malkin, who published a book on the subject in 2015, called Rethinking Narcissism.
  • Victims will face relentless manipulation and abuse by someone with narcissistic tendencies, while losing their own sense of self, security and confidence.
  • While the condition is little known, an online forum for echoists and survivors of narcissistic abuse has 21,000 members, according to a Broadly investigation.
  • Meanwhile, an online test for narcissism and echoism has been taken over 100,000 times, whilst Reddit support group /r/raisedbynarcissists has 328,000 subscribers.
  • Communities of survivors are trying to raise awareness of the obscure condition and have their suffering officially recognised.
  • While more research is needed, psychotherapist Donna Christin Savery hypothesises that women may be more likely to unintentionally look for narcissistic partners.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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