TIPS TO DEAL WITH A NARCISSIST
We tend to use the word narcissist to describe a person who’s self-centered and
short on empathy. But it’s important to remember that narcissistic personality
disorder (NPD) is a legitimate mental health condition that requires diagnosis by a
mental health professional. And when it comes to staying in a relationship with
them, it becomes way harder. If you choose to stay with a narcissist or have no
choice but to interact with one, you may find these communication strategies
DON’T TAKE THE BAIT
The narcissist knows you well and what your soft spots are. He may say things to
get a rise out of you. Ignore him and leave the room or house.
SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES
A person with a narcissistic personality is often quite self-absorbed. They might
think they’re entitled to go where they want, snoop through your personal things,
or tell you how you should feel. Maybe they give you unsolicited advice and take
credit for things you’ve done. Or pressure you to talk about private things in a
public setting. They may also have little sense of personal space, so they tend to
cross a lot of boundaries. More often than not, they don’t even see them. That’s
why you have to be abundantly clear about boundaries that are important to you.
DON’T GET STUCK
Sometimes it’s useful to buy yourself some time before committing to a
response. If you need more time to collect yourself or gather your words, say
something like, “I understand what you said, but I need more time to think about
it.” or, “Let me get back to you on that.” Hopefully, he’ll forget, but if he doesn’t,
you’ll have time to craft a response.
SEE THEM FOR WHO THEY REALLY ARE
When they want to, those with narcissistic personalities are pretty good at
turning on the charm. You might find yourself drawn to their grand ideas and
promises. This can also make them particularly popular in work settings. But
before you get drawn in, watch how they treat people when they’re not “on
stage.” If you catch them lying, manipulating, or blatantly disrespecting others,
there’s no reason to believe they won’t do the same to you.
Despite what someone with a narcissistic personality may say, your wants and
needs are likely unimportant to them. And if you try to bring up this issue, you
may be met with resistance. The first step in dealing with someone who has a
narcissistic personality is simply accepting that this is who they are — there’s not
much you can do to change that.