How to Deal with a Narcissist

Nov 3rd, 2016 by adminadam in articles

john_william_waterhouse_echo_and_narcissus

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

  1. Identify and admit that you are dealing with a narcissist.
  2. Test it: do you feel like crap when you speak to them?
  3. Clarify to yourself what you are feeling at the moment (while dealing with them).
  4. Clarify the boundary between your problems and their problems. (say “I’m not having that problem.”)
  5. Assert to yourself that you don’t let people treat you like this.
  6. Be aware they have ulterior motives and an interminable agenda. (It won’t get better.)
  7. Physically withdraw as much as possible and create distance between you and them.
  8. Psychologically withdraw from them. Don’t be tempted to share or be friendly.
  9. Recognize and remind yourself that you cannot help or fix them, no matter how reasonable or compassionate you may be.
  10. Manage your own state of being and remember that they are provoked the most by vulnerability (exploiting the weak).
  11. Remember that they need your pain and discomfort to feel good.
  12. Do not discuss personal issues with narcissists. Redirect the conversation.

My Challenge

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?


The Myth of Sisyphus

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