narcissist

 

How to handle a narcissist

Narcissist’s are chronically insecure people. Their biggest fear is that they will be exposed and be seen as not good enough by others around them. As a consequence of this, they often choose partners whom they perceive to be above them or superior to them in some way. They often see their partners as an extension of themselves and possess very poor boundaries when it comes to relationships. So if you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, at least you can congratulate yourself on being above average in many aspects.

Due to the fact that narcissists have very low self-esteem, they attempt to surround themselves with good-looking and successful people. They see this as testament to their own worthiness. As far as a narcissist is concerned, there is only success or failure and nothing in between. Narcissists have very rigid rules about the world they live in.

When your rules for living are inflexible, these rules are more easily broken. Narcissists live in a perpetual state of fear, they intensely dislike any kind of criticism and often act in an entitled and spoiled way. They do this to overcompensate for their feelings of inferiority.

The best way to handle a narcissist is to know your own boundaries. Narcissists will frequently try to move the boundaries and will use manipulation, emotional blackmail and guilt to get what they want. The tough part is that narcissists are emotionally intelligent enough to know how to manipulate and ingratiate themselves with those they wish to control. They can be extremely charming and charismatic, one-minute making you feel like the most special person ever and the very next moment can make you feel as if you are the lowest of the low. They are especially adept at reeling you in emotionally and then once you are hooked, they begin their campaign of control.

Never waste time arguing with a narcissist. Nothing is ever their fault and they have such impenetrable walls up to protect themselves that they will never acknowledge your points of view. Instead of getting them to see your side, you have to stick to your boundaries and give up trying to negotiate with them. They will always want more, no matter what you give them. This is why you need to decide what you will give them (what you feel is reasonable) and desist from discussing your decisions. It is just wasted energy as they do not possess the empathy required to acknowledge how you feel. There is very little room for manoeuvring with a narcissist.

Repetition is a good form of defence. Stick to your guns and when a narcissist tries to persuade you otherwise, keep repeating your original statement/offer. You will never change narcissist, so if you are in love with one-learning to manage them rather than change them is the best plan of action.

Narcissists are extremely selfish, self absorbed and are motivated by self-interest alone. If they appear cooperative and kind, it is because they feel this behaviour will get them what they want. They are unlikely to behave in ways that are purely altruistic.

My advice would be to avoid a narcissist at all costs. I see them as emotional vampires-they are exhausting to be around. If however you feel you cannot be without your narcissistic partner, learn to value yourself and keep firm boundaries around you as to what you will and will not allow. Never allow criticism or unfair expectations to be placed upon you. The more you give a narcissist, the more they will want. Protect yourself and love yourself and make sure you surround yourself with people who truly love you without expecting anything back-your friends and your family.

Mandy X

Mandy Kloppers

Mental healthblog run by Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. Mental health blog covers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Psychology and relationship counselling.

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3 Comments

  1. A great article indeed.

  2. A great article in indeed.

  3. A very thought provoking article or even a missive to warn us of ‘narcissist’s’ who could be the biggest threat to mankind since King Herod!

    Surely there must be degrees of narcissism as there is with other human traits, such as selfishness eg., and are we not all born with these traits. We all act in selfish ways and we all like admiration, admitted or not. As I said though, all in varying degrees. Is someone who buys a new item of clothing/jewellery to make themselves look good a narcissist? – yes, but only in an innocent and small way and can anyone in the western world claim not to have done just that.

    Although the article is written in a gender neutral way, there is a heading with a picture of a man, who looks in a post shave position, but do all of the problems outlined above relate to women as well? Probably.

    I think a lot of narcissistic symptoms manifest in teenage years when looking to attract, but when teenage years pass by and permanent relationships are sought, with thoughts of families and home making, then seeking admiration tends to take a back seat, though can easily surface as the drive to succeed in life arrives.

    These are my thoughts and I do not claim to have a sane mind, I am just a simple country boy trying to do good in the world.

    Thanks for writing the article, I enjoyed it.

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