Stress, anxiety or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. Because we are wired for consistency, the greater the divide between the belief, idea or value, the greater the stress, and the more apt the victim is to try to close the gap between the two and/or by avoiding situations that will increase the divide.
Cognitive dissonance is very common for partner’s of Narcissists to experience, as most people do not realize they are in a relationship with a Narcissist. They hold onto the belief that their partner can and will eventually change, and that they will (someday–if they hang in there long enough) have a solid relationship without all the lying, cheating, or stealing. The best way to fend off cognitive dissonance is by educating yourself on Narcissistic (and Antisocial) Personality Disorders.
Example: A person may be in a relationship with a Narcissist who has cheated on them multiple times. This person may not believe that divorce is an option, or that their husband would be capable of cheating so the wife blames her husband’s cheating on any number of external factors: substance use, stress at home/work, the other woman, even herself and not paying enough attention to the Narcissist. As long as she can make his behavior “not his fault” then she can justify staying married to him.
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.