How to Handle A Narcissist
Does your ex—or maybe his wife or your partner’s ex–frequently cause you to feel embarrassed, confused, foolish or maybe resentful and pissed off? They act as though they’ve got all the answers, treat you with condescension, rarely apologize, and are prone to angry outbursts if they don’t get their way? If so, then you might be dealing with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or to put it simply, a Narcissist.
These individuals mask their deep-seated insecurity with immense grandiosity, arrogance and the expectation that they’ll be treated as your superior. If you have trouble communicating or relating to someone like this, you’ve unknowingly gotten caught in their dynamic: you start believing you’re doing something wrong, can’t keep up with their expectations, and are to blame for the problems you experience with them.
To effectively handle a narcissist, you must first identify this pattern of behavior and then develop a strategyfor dealing with it. We’re easy targets when the narcissist casts blame or shame if we’re already blaming ourselves because of a negative self-concept. You’ll be continually frustrated if you expect them to tolerate constructive feedback, because they don’t and won’t. So, when you interact with this person you must decide how to do this on your terms. Understand you’ll never have a mutual relationship or be recognized and seen for who you truly are. So, you must have your own back and stay strong and grounded.
Some communication tactics you can try are humor (not sarcasm), detachment (not feeding power plays), and non-agreement (agree to disagree). You need to become the master of your emotions; if triggered you commit to managing your anger, self-doubt, disappointment, etc., so that you don’t become swept up in them and consequently become disempowered. The narcissist looks for weaknesses to exploit to feel superior, so don’t provide the fuel to their fire. You’ve got this.