One of the most important things when dealing with a narcissist or any difficult person in a negotiation is power thinking. What is equally as important as the external is what is happening between your ears and behind your ears. I always say that 80% of a negotiation is won before you even walk into the room. 50% of that is based on your mindset- your winning mindset. When you are entering a negotiation with someone, what is on your mind? What are you thinking? How are you thinking?
In my book, “Negotiate Like You Matter,” I use the word “matter” as an acronym. The “M” in matter, stands for My Value is Defined By Me which means that you- and you alone – define your value. With that, it’s important to remember that people think what you tell them to think. This is a lesson that I learned a long time ago when I was wrapped up in concerns about what others’ thought about me. I used this lesson by shifting my perspective and taking power over the direction of my thoughts and the way in which I portrayed myself.
If you think that the person you are negotiating with is much more powerful than you are, you need to start to shift your mindset. By starting to think to yourself, “I am powerful. I am wise. I am courageous. I am …” you’re actually placing an order to the universe. You’re actually telling yourself and the world what it is that you want.
I’ll often hear people say in consultations and coaching sessions that they are never going to win, never going to get alimony, never going to get custody, and never going to work out the way they want it to. If this sounds like you, I want you to stop yourself. Ask yourself what you are saying and why you are saying it and then start saying, thinking, and doing the opposite. You need to start thinking of yourself in a more positive light.
If this is a difficult task you can start small by telling yourself that you’re starting to feel better and that you’re learning to do what it is that you need to do. I had a client once who was just losing everything and truly felt like he could and would never win. His wife was ganging up on him with all kinds of flying monkeys. He had a false domestic violence injunction against him. He didn’t see his kids for a year and a half. The judge kept ruling against him in all different capacities because we weren’t able to show the right evidence at the right moment. She would lie. She doctored photos. Eventually, he just felt like giving up. Every time he would say something along those lines, I would tell him to immediately stop and change his thinking, change the way he spoke to himself and others. Once he did this, he was able to shift the dynamic and actually get the results he wanted and deserved- of course, with strategy and invincible leverage.
Having a powerful mindset is so vital in negotiations of any kind. Like attracts like. This is a scientific principle. Your thoughts will attract whatever it is you’re thinking. Shifting your mindset into a state of power thinking will help you to pivot your brain. Thinking in terms of positivity and strength will be a huge portion of getting you to a winning position. Gratitude is another great way to start developing a powerful thought pattern. You can’t be in both gratitude and negativity at the same time. It’s incredibly important to remember these notions when you are getting ready to negotiate with anyone- especially with a toxic personality or narcissist who has drained your mental, physical, and spiritual energy.