Dealing with narcissists

My experiences are never far away. When it comes to dealing with, living with, or having narcissists in our midst, it’s important we stop thinking we could have done things differently.

Instead, it’s important we come to terms with the fact that our lives will never work out differently, or that we in some way could have changed our lives. That can never happen. If it did happen, we wouldn’t be dealing with a narcissist.

To think we can change the reality is to live in denial on the facts we have in front of us. When it comes to living with a narcissistic, all we can do is manage our lives around them. Whilst we continue to think we can change our reality, we stop living our lives elsewhere.

But dealing with narcissists means we must come to understand the people behind their actions. It is thought that family history, environmental factors and a child’s upbringing is usually responsible for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (“NPD”) as it’s known. NPD is also thought to be brought about through unhealthy relationships and people’s feelings of inadequacy.

Not everyone who is a narcissist will know or understand they have the condition, therefore they’re less likely to be open to anything constructive. They’ll just take what we say as criticism.

For those living with or being around someone with the disorder, it’s not something you can change, unless the person with the disorder recognises the condition for themselves and decides they want help. It’s not for us to change that person, but instead we must offer empathy, because that’s something they will need help with for them to develop and manage meaningful relationships.

For ourselves, it’s important we learn to cope and manage our relationship with them. It’s also important we keep feelings in check and not rush in or be judgmental or critical. It is not possible to bargain or trade with a narcissist, instead we must stand firm and recognise that person’s traits, so we don’t end up being like them.

Narcissism is abuse that can attract more abuse if not handled appropriately. But it is important we continue to keep our own identity throughout the relationship. Narcissists can make us feel as though we’re the ones letting them down.

But it’s easy for those without the condition to want to fight back, because they feel they’re being abused and victimised, but retaliation and further abuse doesn’t help. We can’t bargain or trade with a narcissist. Instead it’s important we find ways to react appropriately. For us to stand by our own convictions, to understand and empathise.

9 Sep, 2018

4 thoughts on “Dealing with narcissists

  1. Having a family member who is a narcissist, I often wonder what series of events created such an asinine personality.

    I cannot find empathy in my heart for people like that, especially when their behavior means pain for others.

    1. I think you’re spot on with your response Tim, thanks and I agree.

      Yes, it’s hard to love, let alone have empathy for someone who behaves in this way, even more so when you’re on the receiving end. If there was less of a stigma on mental health more people would try to get help with their behaviour.

      It’s harder of course when those you’re in contact with, think you’re the problem and there’s nothing wrong with them. That tends to happens frequently.

  2. My mother was definitely a narcissist but I don’t think it was her intention to be that way, but more to do with her diminished mental capacity and mental health issues.

    It wasn’t like she was totally evil, but just couldn’t help herself not to be the way that she was. My father wasn’t much better seeing as he had a hard time thinking about others, like his own kids, and seemed pretty content as long as he got his alcohol every night.

    I have to stop thinking about so many of the things that I can’t change like you said, as it’s never going to happen. I have to focus more on the things I can change in what time I have right now and try to enjoy the life I was always missing.

    1. Thanks Randy. It’s great that you’re thinking outside the box, I like that. It’s easy to say someone is something without looking at the reasoning behind why they present that way.

      You seeing that should help you move forward and just be okay with your mum. It is hard, but when anyone deals with mental health issues, there should be an element of compassion from us.

      It doesn’t mean we forget what’s been done or condone that person’s actions, but as my blog outlines, we must try and show empathy and compassion towards them, because what they really need is help.

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