How to Deal with a Narcissist
Rules Adapted from: 12 Steps to Dealing with Narcissists – Emotional Self Protection and Boundary Setting
Author/Producer: RICHARD GRANNON SPARTANLIFECOACH
Original Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-Ud9tV90U0
A Twelve-Step Program
- Identify and admit that you are dealing with a narcissist.
- Test it: do you feel like crap when you speak to them?
- Clarify to yourself what you are feeling at the moment (while dealing with them).
- Clarify the boundary between your problems and their problems. (say “I’m not having that problem.”)
- Assert to yourself that you don’t let people treat you like this.
- Be aware they have ulterior motives and an interminable agenda. (It won’t get better.)
- Physically withdraw as much as possible and create distance between you and them.
- Psychologically withdraw from them. Don’t be tempted to share or be friendly.
- Recognize and remind yourself that you cannot help or fix them, no matter how reasonable or compassionate you may be.
- Manage your own state of being and remember that they are provoked the most by vulnerability (exploiting the weak).
- Remember that they need your pain and discomfort to feel good.
- Do not discuss personal issues with narcissists. Redirect the conversation.
I find I always have to remind myself most that they cannot be helped (#9) and it will not get better (#6). As a reasonable and empathetic person myself, I am so often flabbergasted by their inability to integrate new self-knowledge via external feedback, coaching, guidance, and so on that they receive from others. The fact that they engage in feedback-seeking behaviors without the fundamental capacity (and/or willingness) to induce personal growth in themselves using said feedback just confounds me. I constantly find myself feeling sorry for myself that it *truly* won’t get any better and I can’t do anything to change, halt, or unravel the narcissist’s indiscriminate vomit-spewing agenda.
And then I find myself caught in this rabbit-hole loop of positing new and ever more refined, plausible-sounding theories about the childhood trauma-based, alcoholism-exacerbated, insecurity-ridden, self-aggrandizing, other-invalidating behaviors that eminate from this pathetic shell of a person. This pathetic shell of a person who gets drunk and then cries for her mama after she’s done trash-talking you and your family for an hour. This pathetic shell of a person who pounds his chest and interrupts the meeting 38 times in 25 minutes so he can feel like Big Important Ape-Man and then go cry in his car for an hour in the office parking lot while drinking himself stupid.
And I feel the damned temptation to be merciful, compassionate, and understanding. But at least I am not damned like them. I have the ability to choose how I bring these patterns and this fluctuating dynamic into my conscious awareness, to choose to see things as they really are. I am blessed to have this burden that is empathy, that is other-awareness, that is sense-of-fairness, that is self-awareness. Not everybody has that particular giant boulder to push up the hill every day now do they?