“No” is the single word that narcissists never want to hear. They believe or want to believe that they have full power and control over everyone and everything. They want to be able to feel as if they can get you and everyone around them to do exactly what they want. Saying no to a narcissist can seem like an impossible thing to do. I want you to think about these things when setting boundaries with a narcissist in your life so that you can be prepared and protected for when you do.
I want you to ask yourself what it is that stops you from saying no to the narcissist in your life. Are you afraid of a backlash in response to your boundary? Will they withhold affection towards you? Will they devalue you? Are you intimidated? Are you afraid of hurting their feelings? Are you afraid of letting them down? What is it that stops you from being okay with just saying no to the narcissist in your life?
You might be an empath. You may generally have a difficult time saying no (to anyone) because you are a people pleaser or don’t want people to disappoint people. You might be someone who feels fulfilled when doing things for others. It’s nice to feel needed. It’s nice to feel wanted. You might say no because you think that the narcissist in your life will finally appreciate you because of all the future faking that has been done.
With the covert narcissists in my life, I found myself doing, doing, and doing for them all the time. I thought I was just being kind, generous, or at the very least- doing the right thing. That’s just one of the reasons why I didn’t say no. Sometimes I would find myself saying yes to things I didn’t particularly want to do because I didn’t want to rock the boat or I just felt like going ahead and doing it would be easier than saying no.
What happens with saying yes to a narcissist all the time is that the more you do, the more that they’ll expect from you and the less validation and reciprocity in the relationship you will receive.
So many people that are targeted by narcissists are empaths. Empaths are people who feel very deeply for others – who have a lot of compassion and empathy. Narcissists like empaths because empaths are more easily ready to give away supply. Narcissists take advantage and exploit this characteristic of truly good people.
So if you’re dealing with a narcissist you’re giving, giving, and giving and never getting anything in return. You end up becoming depleted. Narcissists are energy vampires. They literally suck the life out of you until you feel like your soul is gone.
If you’re ready to start taking your life back, you’re going to have to start saying no. You can take baby steps. Start with saying no to things that don’t seem to carry much weight. Start saying no to emptying the dishwasher because it’s not your job to do. Start saying no to things that they expect you to drop your entire life for. If you practice saying no, you will begin to feel empowered and you’ll start to get your confidence back. Just take little baby steps. The longest journey starts with the first step.
Once you’ve started setting these boundaries it’s important to stick with them. This is going to be hard. You will stumble but you must keep trudging ahead. Don’t beat yourself up over just continuing to practice setting and sticking to boundaries. Once you start hitting these milestones of saying no and creating boundaries, you’ll start to realize that the narcissist is not as powerful as you think that he or she is.