How to Deal with a Narcissist

If you have a narcissist in your life it can be confusing and stressful. It is often difficult to navigate around their extreme emotions. They aren’t equipped with an ability to regulate their emotions; they are like a 3-year-old throwing a temper tantrum rather than a grown adult.

Narcissists often control people through their outbursts because their rage is exceptionally frightening. This can be especially tricky and difficult when the narcissist is a member of your own family or your boss. Be very careful when criticizing them. Saying things like, “I wouldn’t have done it that way” or “I could do it better” are very risky statements. Not only does it cause them to feel criticized –if you give them the impression that you are better at something than they are, they will find it intolerable. I would recommend something less confrontational such as “let’s work together to figure this out” or “what do you think about trying this?”

They do not do well with head-on confrontation, and they are vicious and cruel when they feel that they are being attacked. Therefore, saying “you are wrong,” doesn’t go well at all. I would try saying statements like “I hear you, but I see it a little differently.” I encourage you to remember to speak up for yourself but also pick your battles carefully.

Next, I want you to see them, for who they really are. Pay attention to how they treat people when other people aren’t watching. As long as you realize that you can’t change them and accept them for who they are, the better off you will be.

For your own well-being, distance yourself and manage your expectations. This means you should stop having unrealistic expectations or continue to wait for them to have empathy or treat you with respect. They simply aren’t capable of these things. Also, because they have the propensity to be very revengeful, it’s a good idea to put particular matters in writing to protect yourself and your family down the road. This is especially helpful for child custody situations.

Ideally, set firm boundaries with narcissists in your family and workplace and if possible REMOVE them from your inner circle and personal relationships. Most imporatantly – although they have tried to convince you otherwise, you are never responsible for their abusive behaviors and actions. No matter how lightly you tread around them, it doesn’t make much of a difference.

The narcissist rarely can change since it is a lifelong personality trait, and it generally gets worse with age. Most people in relationships with Narcissists are devastated again and again because they keep holding out hope that someday things will get better. Protect your mental health and inner peace by no longer allowing them into your life.