People with narcissistic personality disorder have this image of themselves that is more grandiose and idealized than they actually are. In the age of social media, this is no surprise. Whether someone is sufficer from NPD or as strong narcissistic trails, it causes romantic partners to feel manipulated, patronized, and emotionally exhausted. Here are our top ways to deal with a narcissist.
1. Focus on your own dreams and emotional needs. Don’t lose yourself in the other person’s delusions and self-possessed way in life. Focus on your life trajectory, which may include the fantasies you need to give up in order to feel more fulfilled.
2. Set boundaries that are clearly recognizable. Some narcissists feel entitled to go through your things, do whatever they want, or take credit for your work. Discuss consequences if boundaries are crossed, and don’t be too lenient.
3. Don’t be passive – speak up! Picking your battles might not be applicable here – instead, always communicate clearly, but using a calm and non-confrontational tone, explaining why their behavior isn’t acceptable.
4. Remember that it is not your fault! Even though narcissists have a tendency to project negative behaviors onto other people, don’t fall for it and accept the blame just to soothe their ego. Know the truth and hold onto it.
5. Talk to them about potentially getting professional help. A therapist might help take some of the weight off that emotional baggage so that they can be a better partner. However, you can’t force someone to change.
6. Remind yourself on a daily basis that you are lovable, unique, and smart. Positive self talk or mantras can help you maintain self esteem in moments when your partner is lashing out with narcissistic behavior.
7. Understand that you if you don’t accept them as they are now, you may never accept them. Narcissists often find it hard to form a truly close and loving relationship that grows, no matter how much effort you put in.
8. Try to instill values of empathy in them by giving real life examples using the lives of people around them, helping them focus outwardly, as opposed Ito in a self obsessed manner. Getting away from the “I” narrative can help a lot.
9. Make sure that you have a strong support system, and possibly even a therapist if it helps you remember that you’re not alone. Being surrounded by loved ones appreciate you can help guide the way more clearly, in whatever decision you make.
10. Exit the situation and retreat if there are signs of yelling, public humiliation, or name calling. Breaking up with someone is traumatic, but so is staying in an abusive or manipulative relationship. If that big move is too much for you, we hope that you at least plant the seed of seeing this as a possibility.