I have recently learned the secret to dealing with a total narcissist.
The obvious answer, most people would say, is simply "don't". Don't engage with them, ever. But sometimes that's not possible. What if it's your ex husband or wife, or a parent or child, or co-worker you must continue to engage with? Then what?
How do you handle a total narcissist when you don't have a choice but to be in a relationship with one in some capacity?
1. First, understand what you're dealing with here!
I have recently in my life been involved with someone who I have found shockingly frustrating to deal with, on a level that makes me want to scream, and cry, and fucking move to a small island somewhere so I would never have to see them again.
I tried every possible thing imaginable to "deal" with them. I tried constantly giving in to them. Alway being there for them. Giving them everything they asked for, (despite it being in direct conflict of what I personally needed). Always putting them first. Basically I spent years trying to hustle some love and respect from them.
And it wasn't until I realized what I was actually dealing with until I learn how to actually deal with them. Knowledge is power!
Therefore, first of all, it's important to understand that Narcissism is actually a personality disorder. It's not like depression (which can be helped with medicine or therapy). Narcissist do not see the world the same way that non-narcissist do, so dealing with them is extremely difficult!
You're not dealing with someone who sees the world from a collective perspective, balancing all elements of understanding and empathy (as most non-narcissist do). You're dealing with someone who is truly incapable of seeing life outside of themselves.
You cannot reason with them.
You will not change them.
You can't fix them.
And you can't help them see the world differently.
Once you recognize this reality about ALL of them, you can deal with them accordingly!
2. The second step (and probably most important) is to remove ALL elements of control from the relationship.
You must make it abundantly clear that they are no longer able to control you, in any capacity!
Look around at all of their close personal relationships (if they have any). There's one single common denominator you'll probably notice within them all.... which is that they are in control of them all.
Narcissists are calculated in ways you don't realize. They would never have entered a relationship with you unless they realized they could control you to some degree.
Therefore, the core of your relationship has been built on their ability to be controlled, and not a mutual understanding for respect, love, kindness, empathy, or shared perspective on life. You must remove their ability to control you.
3. Stop trying to change them (or their point of view).
It's not possible for you to change them anyway. In order for someone to change they must be willing to consider the reality that they need to change, and narcissist aren't even capable of this type of understanding at all.
And, as a non-narcissist, you think your job is to help them see things from a different perspective, but the truth is that they are totally incapable of it (hence the personally disorder)!
I have literally cried tears. Screamed tears of frustration as they're falling down my face because I so badly wanted them to see my perspective.
Stop the madness. It's never going to happen.
Self preserve. Move on.
4. Stop reacting to them.
Reactions are power. Reactions from you mean they still have control over you!! Take the reaction away, immediately! And be aware, that once you take the control away they will go down kicking and screaming (and often lying and manipulating in any way pisssible to get a reaction from you). It's actually comical to look back and see the things "my narcissist" said to me in order to get a reaction from me. They'll do anything to get you to respond to them. Any fucking thing!!!
At all costs necessary....Walk away. Don't engage. Block them from your cell or email if necessary, and set up extremely clear boundaries for communication (and NEVER deviate from them).
Once they realize they can't control you, they will then turn on you...and create some new reality in their mind that they were the victim in your relationship. This is classic narcissist behavior.
Don't give in to it. Remember, you will never be able to change their minds or attitudes or behaviors.
5. Set up very clear boundaries, that YOU control!
Put parameters around how you are willing to communicate with this person. I would say to "my narcissist", "The first time you send me a text with any negative comments about myself, my life or my partner, I will block you from being able to text me, and you can email me from that point forward. If at any point that email is also full of negative comments, I will delete it immediately block you from my email. And the only other form of communication you will be allowed to have with me is literally writing me a letter and mailing it to me. This way I'll know you had thoughtful consideration of your words. I do not care to hear your manipulative, controlling tactics. Speak to me with kindness and respect, or I will not engage with you in any capacity".
Trust me when I tell you, this didn't go over well. This person went down fighting. Threatening to "take me down", "sue me", "tell the world how awful I am", "ruin my life", etc.
And when I still didn't respond...the last message I received was, "I'm capable of anything, probably even killing them because I'm such an awful human being". I just laughed out loud when I received it because I realized how desperate this person was to get a reaction from me.
The next step for all narcissist is to play the victim in the end, so they go down "controlling" the last part of the story with you.
It's ALL about CONTROL.
Let them say what they want. Do what they want. Threaten all they want.
Let's be honest here. The best thing you can do for yourself at this point is by looking back and recognizing your own culpability in how you got there.
You gave up control, it's not like they just took it without your permission.
Don't be a victim yourself. Take responsibility and learn from your mistake!
And the second you can wholly break away from this relationship. DO IT. And never, ever, again, ignore the red flags that we all admittedly saw when entering into these relationships.
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