Do you recall that time when you had a toxic person next to you? If so, you should know that in most situations difficult people are kind of attracted by the reasonable ones… And they manage to successfully drain us of energy and even promote negative feelings – this is why it is so important 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 suffers from 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, along with an excessive need for attention. Besides constantly harming interpersonal relationships, a narcissist person is extremely fragile due to the 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 which is why communicating with such a person can get difficult. 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 extremely charming!
Sounds like someone you know? Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to deal with a narcissist person to keep both your relationships and mental health up!
How To Deal With a Narcissist Person
1) Identify the narcissistic tendency in a person
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 he or she will always place personal interests above others. They may also express some sort of “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.
Here are 9 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
- 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 his or her positive traits and remember them when things get tough
A great way to deal with a narcissist person is to find their positive traits and try to remember those when things tend to get a little hard. Focusing on the positive will allow you to understand that such people function on a lack of confidence and attention. Many things they do are just desperate attempts to find proof that they’re confident and liked.
Also, if you are in a close relationship with a narcissist, you should always remind yourself that this type of personality has a lot of trouble with expressing genuine intimacy as well.
3) Don’t expect apologies
A narcissist 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 in such a way that they actually start to believe their version is the truth. So, accept the fact that apologies are not included!
Also, trying to prove to a narcissist that he or she is wrong, will only keep the argument going endlessly. Narcissists have difficulties in accepting the fact 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 rather judgemental. Moreover, they tend to overexaggerate everything – and this means they can shed a bad light on you. Unfortunately, this is how toxic people function – to avoid being judged by you, a narcissist person may try to transform YOU into a bad person.
So, how to deal with a narcissist person who has a tendency to judge? Well, it is best to simply 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 focus too much on trying to make a narcissist happy
Usually, the main mistake someone does 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 really hard to make a narcissist happy and satisfied. If their inner conflict and attention hunger are especially deep, it might even be impossible without professional help. (This is actually pretty sad, knowing that most of these people 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 with them. This can be quite demanding when dealing with a narcissist person.
Important: if you love someone who is narcissist, make sure to always remember two things:
- Argument 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 any kind of abuse just because a person is narcissistic. Being in a bad mood and being abusive is two different things, so 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:
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When dealing with a narcissist, it is best to remind yourself that you can’t change them and try not to take everything personally. That’s the way they are designed and it’s not your fault for all the negativity they redirect towards you.
If you are having a hard time coping with this, you can always ask for professional help. Otherwise, it’s always a great idea to expand your knowledge so you can improve your relationship with a narcissist person (if you want it, of course). These books are wonderful resources for that:
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