Overcoming narcissist abuse, by Elizabeth Shaw.
That narcissist in your life. You wish it was not the case, but it is. There is a narcissist in your life and, because you have children with them, you are left with no choice but to interact with them.
You do not have to live the rest of your life with their never-ending games, get control back of your beliefs, your values, your standards, put yourself and your children first, do not listen to the narcissist.
I have it so they can contact me via messenger only, it’s also in the restraining order that they can only talk about the children. With it being in messenger, I can pop them into the ignore box, ( if you click on their name at the top in messenger, you can see on pic above there is the ignore box option.) then I’ve no idea if they’ve messaged or not, I only have to go in, if I need to let them know something, or they have the children, you can do this with emails also. Make sure you keep everything in writing, in case they take you to mediation.
The narcissist may be in your life, they do not have to be in your head. The grey below requires practice and you won’t get it right the first time, but, when used consistently, it will put emotional distance, between you and the narcissist, please see my observe don’t absorb post for when you are face to face with them.
The best way to handle a narcissist ex, is no contact, when you have children with them, this isn’t always possible, so the best step is grey rock, as I said above, with practice it’s very achievable, in the future it’ll become second nature, you may also get to the point, where you don’t love the narcissist, you don’t hate the narcissist, you want nothing to do with them, but you can not help pity them, for going around in circles, with nothing in their lives other than abuse and control.
Believe you will get to the point when your emotions are purely pity towards them when you read a response, and realise that how they see it. It’s not how it is, but they are so full of self-pity and woe is me they believe the worlds against them.
Why will grey rock work? Narcissist are a false person in a mask, they believe they are the star of the movie. It’s very difficult to be that star, without the supporting cast, the directors, the film crew and no audience to watch, something that didn’t get made. They might try now and again, while ever you’re giving emotional responses, they will keep going.
Charles Dickens, once wrote, “blood cannot be obtained from a stone.”
So with the grey rock, it’s a case of emotions cannot be obtained by a rock.” The narcissist is trying to gain emotions and you will be the rock.
Keep conversation to an absolute minimum. If you don’t have to talk to them, don’t. If you don’t need to talk to them, don’t.
When you do have to talk to them, stick to tedious subjects like the weather. If they ask questions, give short, uninspiring answers that can’t possibly lead to further conversation. “ that’s interesting.” “Ok.” “Yes.” “No.” Do not get drawn in, do not go off topic. Keep responding with “ interesting.” If they try new topics. If you don’t want to commit with a yes or no. “ we’ll see.” “Hmmm.”
They ask, “how are you?” and you respond “fine, thanks.” Do not ask how they are.
They ask, “what did you do at the weekend?” and you respond “Washed the pots.” Or “cut the grass.” Or “ nothing.” Do not ask them what they did.
If they respond with “you’ve become boring,” just nod, no need to respond you know different.
Never talk about your personal life, they will hook onto the smallest detail, don’t let them know anything about your new life. They are extremely envious people and will try to hoover if they think they can get something from you.
Never tell them how well you are doing. They are driven by their egos, as much as you’d like to show them how well your doing, DO NOT, they believe they are better than anyone, this will ignite their inner rage, if that’s in anger or coming to hoover you back up.
Do not ask them questions. No conversation at all.
When you do have to talk face to face, look over their right ear. Show no emotion, do not respond or react, whatever they may say if you need to let it out once they’ve left do so. Never in front of the narcissist.
Try to stick to facts wherever possible.
Stick to statements. “Antibiotics at 11, 15:00 and 19:00.”
“Parent evening Thursday at 17:00.”
Do not respond to anything after they have the information they need, what they choose to do with that is up to them.
Do not talk about the past. If they try to reminisce, with a do you remember. Your answer is. “No.” Stick with “no.” Look past them, through them or blankly.
If they blame you for something, via message, do not respond, or explain, that’s what they want. You’ll have given them countless opportunities in the past, and explained till you blue in the face, they are not listening, if the blame you to your face it. “Ok.” Or play them at their own game. “ I’m sorry you feel that way.”
Grey rock isn’t easy, especially at the start, but it soon becomes second nature, it’s very effective.
You may want to stand up for yourself, scream and shout at them. ( let it out once they have gone) Do not do this. Stand up for yourself, by leaving them to get on with their pitiful lives, whilst you enjoy yours, that is the best way to stand up to them. The more you do grey rock, you’ll soon get to a point you no longer feel the need to react, baby steps until you reach that point.
Remember, your rules, your boundaries, your values, your standards, you have given them enough chances.