“People Just Like You” Series – Dolly Parton “You will never do a whole lot
― People with NPD often don’t see a problem — at least not with themselves. As a result, it’s unlikely they’ll ever seek professional counseling.
Now that you have read the first piece on identifying a narcissist, it is just as important that we have a clear thought on how to handle and deal with them.
Typically, this would take a deliberate effort from anyone to get a grip of their life back from the firm clutches of that friend and buddie who is an NPD.
Start with the following guides;
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. You need to establish a clear boundary and make it clear that you do not appreciate their involvement in parts of your personal space or private life. This is one sure fire step to handle that person.
Expect them to push back
If you stand up to someone with a narcissistic personality, you can expect them to respond.
Once you speak up and set boundaries, they may come back with some demands of their own. They may also try to manipulate you into feeling guilty or believing that you’re the one being unreasonable and controlling. They might make a play for sympathy. You will have to stand firm. Stand your ground and enforce your stance. This way you get to manage their overbearing attitude and get some space as they are likely to respond by turning away from you or “defriending” you.
Remember that you’re not at fault
A person with narcissistic personality disorder isn’t likely to admit a mistake or take responsibility for hurting you. Instead, they tend to project their own negative behaviors onto you or someone else.
You might be tempted to keep the peace by accepting blame, but you don’t have to belittle yourself to salvage their ego.
You know the truth. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.
Find a support system
If you can’t avoid the person, try to build up your healthy relationships and support network of people. Spending too much time in a dysfunctional relationship with someone who has a narcissistic personality can leave you emotionally drained.
Rekindle old friendships and try to nurture new ones. Get together with family more often. If your social circle is smaller than you’d prefer, try taking a class to explore a new hobby. Get active in your community or volunteer for a local charity. Do something that allows you to meet more people you feel comfortable with.
Insist on immediate action, not promises
People with narcissistic personalities are good at making promises. They promise to do what you want and not to do that thing you hate. They promise to generally do better.
And they might even be sincere about these promises. But make no mistake about it: The promise is a means to an end for someone with a narcissistic personality.
Once they get what they want, the motivation is gone. You can’t count on their actions matching their words.
Ask for what you want and stand your ground. Insist that you’ll only fulfill their requests after they’ve fulfilled yours.
Don’t give in on this point. Consistency will help drive it home.
Encourage them to seek medical help.
People with NPD often don’t see a problem — at least not with themselves. As a result, it’s unlikely they’ll ever seek professional counseling.
But people with NPD frequently have other disorders, such as substance abuse, or other mental health or personality disorders. Having another disorder may be what prompts someone to seek help.
You can suggest that they reach out for professional help, but you can’t make them do it. It’s absolutely their responsibility, not yours.
Break the spell and stop focusing on them
When there’s a narcissistic personality in your orbit, attention seems to gravitate their way. That’s by design — whether it’s negative or positive attention, those with narcissistic personalities work hard to keep themselves in the spotlight.
You might soon find yourself buying into this tactic, pushing aside your own needs to keep them satisfied.
If you’re waiting for a break in their attention-seeking behavior, it may never come. No matter how much you adjust your life to suit to their needs, it’s never going to be enough.
If you must deal with a narcissistic personality, don’t allow them to infiltrate your sense of self or define your world. You matter, too. Regularly remind yourself of your strengths, desires, and goals.
Take charge and carve out some “me time.” Take care of yourself first and remember that it’s not your job to fix them.
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.
Speak up for yourself
There are times when ignoring something or simply walking away is an appropriate response — pick your battles, right?
But a lot depends on the relationship. For example, dealing with a boss, parent, or spouse may call for different strategies than dealing with a co-worker, sibling, or child.
Some people with narcissistic personalities enjoy making others squirm. If that’s the case, try not to get visibly flustered or show annoyance, as that will only urge them to continue.
If it’s someone you’d like to keep close in your life, then you owe it to yourself to speak up. Try to do this in a calm, gentle manner.
You must tell them how their words and conduct impact your life. Be specific and consistent about what’s not acceptable and how you expect to be treated. But prepare yourself for the fact that they may simply not understand — or care.
Thanks I hope this made for a good and edifying read.
Please post comments on how you dealt with someone you know who is an unrepentant narcissist.
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