Do you have a narcissist in your world? Then stop doing these things right now. By the end of this article, you’ll know what you need to stop doing right now if you want to preserve not only your sanity but yourself.
If you have a narcissist in your world, then you need to stop doing some certain things right now that may be costing you. Costing you what may you ask? Costing you your sanity, your mental health, costing you money, costing you leverage, costing you things that you might want and your divorce action, costing you all kinds of things including the life you want and on and on. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, whether it’s a marriage, whether it’s a business partnership, friendship, neighbor, employee, boss, whatever, then you’re going to want to stop doing these things right now.
So drum roll please, number 10. Number 10 is never call them a narcissist. They hate that. For one thing, they’re never going to see themselves as a narcissist. Plus, whatever you call them, that’s what you’re going to become because they always end up projecting, gaslighting, manipulating, all of those things that narcissists like to do, and it’s just going to get turned around and become that that’s what you are, and they’re going to say that you have all of those traits and everything that you say, so you’re going to end up being the one that’s called the narcissist. So don’t call them a narcissist. That’s number 10. All right.
Number nine. Number nine is don’t let them cross boundaries that you’ve set. You have to create really definite boundaries when you’re dealing with narcissists. Narcissists don’t respect boundaries that’s part of their entitlement and their control and all of the things that they’re involved with. So if you go ahead and set boundaries, like I’m not going to allow this person into this part of my life, or I’m not going to allow this person to communicate with me in any way other than this particular way, or I’m not going to allow this person to whatever it is, then you’ve laid down those boundaries.
Now if you let them cross those boundaries, now you’re lowering the bar, and they know exactly how much they have to push next time to get you to blow past those boundaries because as soon as you set a boundary, first thing they’re going to do is try to blow past them. So you’re actually conditioning that narcissist. It’s almost like behavior modification tactics. Every time you allow them to blow past that boundary, then they know they can just beat you. Next time they know that they just have to have a little bit more of a tantrum, have a little bit more of narcissistic rage, a little bit angrier and you’ll step back. So once you fix a boundary, you need to stay with it. Never let them cross that.
Number eight is never allow them to disrespect you. This kind of goes hand in hand with the boundaries. They are going to do the things that they do. They’ll gaslight, manipulate, intimidate, gather their flying monkeys on their side, and do all the things that narcissists do, including pathologically lie. But if you allow them to disrespect you by calling you names and degrading you, here again, you are setting that standard for how far they can go. I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt that said that “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So don’t give them that consent.
If they disrespect you, you can very calmly say to them, “I’m not going to have a conversation with you while you’re disrespecting me” or “We can speak again later when you gathered yourself and you’re under control and you can speak to me in a way that is respectful.” Be prepared that as soon as you say that you’re not being resepcted, they will retort with “Well you’re not respecting me.” That’s when you’ll reply with “Absolutely, I’m respecting you. And that’s why I don’t think it’s productive for us to have a conversation right now.” These are just examples of how you can command and demand that you be respected.
Number seven is stop expecting them to take responsibility for their actions. They’re not going to. That’s part of being a narcissist. They’re not going to say, “Oh, you know, I really shouldn’t have treated you like that” or “You’re right, I screwed up at that project.” I’ve had employees like that in my law practice where it’s mistake after mistake after mistake and it’s always someone else’s fault or something else that happened. It’s never their fault. That’s typical of narcissists. So stop expecting them to take responsibility for their actions. They’re not going to.
And number six, stop explaining or justifying yourself. When you get those emails that are very clearly meant to trigger you, that call you the deadbeat dad or call you the crappy mom or say that you’re irresponsible or some such garbage, they’re trying to bait you. They’re trying to goad you. They’re trying to inflame you. They’re trying to incite you. That’s what narcissists do because that’s how they get control over you. Once you lose control, then they know that they have you. So if you go into this whole thing where you’re trying to explain, you’re trying to defend, you’re trying to justify, you’re oversharing, all of these things, then you’re just handing them control. So stop doing that, stop explaining, stop justifying, stop trying to get them to see what you’re trying to say. It’s pointless anyway. So, just save your energy for more productive things.
Number five. Number five is stop giving them ammunition. Remember that every text, every email, every thing that you put in writing will always be used against you if they can. So don’t give them ammunition. Don’t behave in a way that gives them ammunition. Don’t say anything that gives them ammunition. And believe me, I know that what I’m advising you to do right now is almost superhuman. You have to be Superman or Wonder Woman and just have the strength and the discipline to not react. But, if you need to vent or react, go react outside of the presence of that narcissist. Scream when you’re in therapy. Scream to your best friends. Scream to your pillow or go home and yell, or go in the bathroom and cry. Do what you need to do to let it out, but never show the narcissist that they’ve gotten to you. Don’t you dare do that. And don’t give them any ammunition.
Number four is don’t take anything personally. Remember that the narcissist inside is the scared little hollow chocolate Easter bunny that has absolutely nothing inside, has no ability to have any empathy, any compassion or any caring for any single person, but themselves. It’s all about self preservation for them. It’s like as if you have a really bad toothache and when you have a really terrible toothache, all you can feel is that toothache. You’re don’t really understand what impact you might be having on somebody else if you scream at them or yell at them. That’s what’s going on with the narcissist.
Everything is manipulated and for their use to make themselves feel better, to give them that narcissistic supply. They’ll grab onto it like those hitchhiker things that stick onto clothes. Whatever they can do to grab onto something to give them narcissistic supply. It’s all about them. So you can ever take it personally when they cut you down, when they are nasty to you, when they degrade you, devalue you. It’s all about trying to make themselves feel better. It has nothing to do with you and it has nothing to do with your value as a human being. So remember that and never take anything personally.
Number three, stop expecting them to have empathy, care, concern or compassion. Stop expecting that because they’re not going to give it to you. As I said, they don’t have the ability to give it to you. People can only give what they have. You’re seriously expecting blood out of a stone. It’s not going to happen. They just don’t have the ability to It’s like wishing someone had an arm if they don’t. If somebody doesn’t have arms, you can’t go and tell them to go pick up something off the floor with their hands because they don’t have them. That’s what you’re expecting a narcissist to do when you’re expecting care, compassion, empathy or concern. It doesn’t exist for them. They don’t even understand really what you’re saying.. It’s like speaking a different language. They understand that other people have that I think, but they don’t have it. So stop expecting it.
Number two, don’t underestimate them. Don’t underestimate how far they will go, how far they will go to protect their ego, how far they will go to maintain control, how far they will go to make themselves look good and you look bad. They’ll basically do whatever they can get away with. And even more than what they can get away with. They’ll do whatever they need to do for their own self preservation and to make sure that they’re the ones that come out looking good. Their survival instinct is strong and they’ve been manipulating since the beginning of time for themselves. You know that whole 10,000 hours to become an expert at something? Well they’ve got way more hours than that. They are master manipulators. So don’t underestimate them. Don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. They don’t deserve it. And don’t underestimate how far they’ll go.
And number one. Number one is don’t waste your breath, energy, time, mental power or anything else trying to get them to see the error of their ways. Don’t try to get them to say, “Jeez, look what I’m doing to the children.” They don’t care. They care about “Look what you’re doing to me.” That is all. Don’t point out the impact that they are having on you or anyone else. They don’t care. All they care about is self preservation and survival. So if you sit there and you try to say, “Look at how much I’ve done for you. I can’t believe you’re doing this to me.” You are talking adult-Charlie Brown to them. Wuh. Wuh. Wuh. Wasting breath, wasting breath, wasting energy. They’re not going to see the error of their ways.
Spend your time on your strategies, spend your time on your communication skills. Spend your time on plotting how you’re going to get out of this relationship with this person if you can. Spend your time on something that’s productive, like self care for yourself.
If you are dealing with a narcissist and you want to know more about how to communicate with them, come join me at my FREE Webinar, the 3 MUST HAVE Secrets for Communicating with a Narcissist. You can sign up for that RIGHT HERE.