Do you recall that time when you had a toxic person next to you? If so, you should know that the reasonable ones kind of attract difficult people.
They manage to drain us of energy successfully. They can promote negative feelings. They can hurt. This is why it is vital to identify harmful behavior in someone and deal with it accordingly.
For instance, let’s talk about narcissistic personalities. A narcissist is a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder or NPD. This is a mental issue in which people are prone to develop a deep sense of personal super-importance and an excessive need for attention. Besides constantly harming interpersonal relationships, a narcissistic (selfish) person is highly fragile due to a lack of self-esteem.
Narcissist people tend to have troubled relationships with others due to their constant need for attention, praise, and admiration. They also lack enough empathy for others, so communicating with such a person can get complicated. They want to win every argument. They don’t accept different opinions. They tend to exploit and belittle others. Yet – believe it or not – they can also be incredibly charming! They can be someone you love deeply.
Sounds like someone you know? Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to deal with a narcissistic person to keep both your relationships and mental health up!
1. Identify the narcissistic tendency
The first approach towards dealing with a narcissistic person is to spot the signals. A narcissist has an extremely high sense of personal importance, so you will observe that they will always place personal interests above others. They may also express some “entitled persona” behavior.
Keep in mind that narcissistic personalities can be quite different. Some are extremely rude. Others are inoffensive at all. As mentioned before, at the same time, a narcissist can be very charming or even concentrate all their energy towards loving unconditionally. Therefore, a narcissist is not always a bad or toxic person.
The official criteria for Narcissist Personality Disorder (according to Healthline)
- grandiose sense of self-importance;
- preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love;
- the belief they’re special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions;
- need for excessive admiration;
- sense of entitlement;
- interpersonally exploitative behavior;
- lack of empathy;
- envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them;
- demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes.
2. Identify their positive traits and remember them when things get tough
A great way to deal with a narcissist person you care about is to find their positive traits and remember those when things get a little challenging. Focusing on the positive will allow you to understand that such people function on a lack of confidence and attention. So many things they do are just desperate attempts to find proof that they’re confident and liked.
Also, suppose you are in a close relationship with a narcissist. In that case, you should always remind yourself that this type of personality has a lot of trouble expressing genuine intimacy.
3. Don’t expect apologies
A narcissistic person will most likely avoid saying any apologies, even though they might’ve done something wrong. This type of person can also change a story and retell it so that they start to believe their version is the truth. So, accept the fact that apologies are not included in the package!
Also, trying to prove to a narcissist that they are wrong will only keep the argument going endlessly. Narcissists have difficulties accepting that they might be wrong, even when it’s obvious, so sometimes it’s best to conserve your energy and let it go.
4. Prepare yourself for their judgemental side
Psychologists say that one of the most recurrent traits of narcissist people is their tendency to be judgemental. Moreover, they tend to exaggerate everything, which means they can shed a bad light on you. Unfortunately, this is how toxic people function – to avoid being judged by you, a narcissistic person may try to transform YOU into a bad person.
So, how to deal with a narcissistic person who tends to judge? Well, it is best to avoid fuelling the argument. The truth is that, most likely, you won’t win, and you don’t need to. Sometimes being the one who “lost” the argument is better for your own peace.
5. Don’t try to make a narcissist happy
Usually, the main mistake someone makes when dealing with a narcissist is that they try to do everything to make them happy. But take this: you’re wasting your precious time because it can be tough to make a narcissist happy and satisfied. If their inner conflict and attention hunger are intense, it might be impossible without professional help. This is pretty sad, knowing that most narcissists don’t even know that they could be a lot happier.
6. Prepare for toxic bursts
A narcissist has the power of transforming anything into a toxic issue. Even harmful and nice words can suddenly sound bitter to them. This can be pretty demanding when dealing with a narcissistic person.
Important: if you love someone who is a narcissist, make sure always to remember two things:
- Arguments and toxic behavior can feel pretty normal to these people. If you love this person, you might want to come at peace with the fact that toxic outbursts will happen, yet they’re usually NOT your fault.
- You should never justify deeply offensive words or abuse just because a person is narcissistic. Being in a bad mood and being abusive are two different things. If you suspect that things are going more on the abusive (or even violent) side, please seek help immediately because you might be in an abusive relationship:
When dealing with a narcissist, it is best to remind yourself that you can’t change them.
That’s the way they are, and it’s not your fault. You’re not a plausible cause for all the negativity they redirect towards you.
If you have a hard time coping with this, ask for professional help. Otherwise, it’s always a great idea to expand your knowledge to improve your relationship with a narcissistic person (if you want it, of course). I recommend these invaluable books for everyone who has to deal with narcissists:
And at the end of the day, there’s also something we can all learn from narcissistic people – to love ourselves deeply. Just maybe not that deep.
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