Narcissists do not think like the average person. They are very egocentric, far more than the average person in that they have no emptahy for others and they are very self absorbed. It’s all about them. So how do you deal with someone like this? Here are some tips on how to handle a narcissist:
Repeat the same message
Narcissists don’t like taking “No” for an answer. The only way to get through to them and stop yourself getting sucked into their crazy schemes is to keep repeating your original answer. After you have explained your reasons, become like a stuck record. Narcissist often can’t be reasoned with due to the fact that their thinking is so warped and favourable biased towards themselves. Don’t let them exhaust you by offering up constant explanations to appease them. Stick to a short simple answer.
Be complimentary where possible
Narcissists can themselves be manipulated by others. Some document that narcissists are like six-year-olds. They were emotionally arrested in development at an early age. Where does this come from? Were they spoiled? Many say there was too much focus on self-esteem and coddling children and the parenting models need to change to a focus on accountability. But, where does empathy fit into this model?
Narcissists are brewed in families where feelings are denied, projected and not dealt with. The children are not attended to emotionally. Maybe they are given lots of goodies, play every sport imaginable and always wear designer labels. And, some were just plain ignored. In both cases their feelings were not important.
Narcissists respond well to compliments. It’s music to their ears and you can do ‘reverse manipulation’ on them by appeasing them to a certain extent. You will get far more out of them if you goad them in a way that allows them to feel valued and accepted instead of rejeting them or being angry with them. That just gets their barriers up and turns them back into the immature child they realy are underneath.
Accept that their thinking is dysfunctional
Never assume that a narcissist is thinking in a rational and reasonable manner because most of the time they aren’t. Their motivation in life is to receive adoration, achieve instant gratification and they function on an immature emotional level akin to a young child. They have not learned how to stop and think and not personalise things. They are extremely sensitive to any type of criticism (although they are very good at dishing it out) and will lash out with major fury if they feel slighted in any way.
Accept their selfish ways
For narcissists, it’s all about what’s in it for them. If there is no benefit to them, they won’t be interested. At times, narcissists can seem to be compassionate and kind but often the underlying reason for doing something good for someone else is because it will make them look good. They very rarely do something purely for someone else’s benefit.
It’s not all your fault
Narcissists never accept repsonsibility for themselves. When things go wrong it will always be someone else’s fault, this is part of their emotional immaturity. Learn to accept their limitations and don’t waste your energy trying to change them. Learn to pick your battles and let their behaviour run off you like watre off a duck’s back. They wil have their tantrums, let them get on with it. When you can distance yurself and undsertand their dysfunctional behaviour it makes it easier to cope with their mean remarks and unwillingness to look at themselves.
Find ways to meet your own emotional needs
You will find that you get very little comfort from a narcissist. Your needs will always be on the back burner and hoping that a narcissist will put your first is a waste of time. Learn to self soothe and have other people and activities in your life to keep you sane and mentally balanced. Be careful not to become too passive as this can easily happen and you might wake up one day and see how off track your life has become due to your passivity. Be assertive and keep your own direction in your life. Don’t allow a narcissist to control who you see and what you do (they will try repeatedly to control you).
Narcissists suffer from low self esteem and they counteract this by putting on an entitled front. They often brag and try to con others into believing their life is much better than it actually is. This is all a desperate attempt to convince others (and possibly themselves) that they are not the losers they fear they truly are (sadly most of them are losers!). They are generally quite unhappy people underneath (if they are truly honest with themselves – which they find almost impossible to do as it is too threatening) but they are masters at coming across as funny and charismatic. The real truth is that they feel frightened and scared and unworthy.
“It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you’re not comfortable within yourself you can’t be comfortable with others.” Sydney J. Harris
Ulitmately, being with a narcissist really is hard work. If you recognise narcissistic signs early on in your relationship, your best bet would be to get out and run…run as far away as possible!!
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