How to handle yourself around a narcissist.
So you have a narcissist in your life. You perhaps wish it was not the case, or at least they’d suddenly become a loving, caring, empathetic person, yet they are not. They are selfish, negative and hurtful. No matter how many times you give them another chance to learn from their own mistakes and no longer hurt you, they hurt you again, time and time again the pain hits, until one day you’ve finally had enough, then all hell breaks loose, and the manipulative games and smear campaigns begin. This is for those on the lower end of the narcissistic personality disorder spectrum. If you have children with them or it’s a parent, you can not remove them as that would mean cutting off genuine people. Now those on the upper end of the scale, you will have no choice but to start no contact and stick to it no matter what. It isn’t easy. It is possible.
You do not have to live the rest of your life with their never-ending games, get control back of your emotions, your thoughts, your beliefs, your values, your standards, put yourself and your children first, do not listen to the narcissist.
Here in Facebook messenger, you can choose to ignore messages, meaning you’ll still receive them, they’ll not let them know you have read them, and you can look when you are calm and collected to do so, if they have sent something that still hits a nerve, retreat, rethink and only respond once when calm if you need to do so.
When you get to a point where you are good with who you are, and their toxic words no longer impact you, which will happen, find the laughter in their unbelievable messages, it truly helps.
Another thing is to set up a new email address only for them to email you, so you only see if you look.
The narcissist may be in your life. They do not have to be in your head. The grey rock method requires practice. Most of us don’t get it right the first time, but when used consistently, it will put an emotional distance between you and the narcissist. It’s Observe don’t Absorb if you are face to face with them.
Pattern interrupt can also help.
The best way to handle any narcissist is no contact and remove them from your life, this isn’t always possible when you have children with them, or it’s a parent or a boss. If they are low end on the disorder, you can try other ways.
The best step is grey rock, with practise it’s very achievable, in the future, it’ll become second nature, you can 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, you might even pity them.
Believe you will get to the point when your emotions are nothing towards them when you read a message and realise that’s 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? A narcissist has two sides to them, the admiration seeking face, when they want positive attention and praise, them the envious face when things aren’t going their way when they lose control of others, they then seek to destroy. 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 that cannot be obtained from you. The narcissist is trying to gain attention and emotions from you, and you will be the rock. The idea is the narcissist will get bored receiving no supply from you and leave you alone.
“How to starve a narcissist, give them no attention. ”
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.” Reply with any answers that are as boring as possible. Things the narcissist finds tedious or dull. 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 you’re 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.
For parallel parenting. ￼
Stick to statements. “Antibiotics at 11, 15:00 and 19:00.”
“Parent evening Thursday at 17:00.”
Do not respond to anything they come at you with 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 at them.
If they blame you for something via message, do not respond or explain. That’s what they want. You will have given them countless opportunities in the past and explained till your blue in the face. They are not listening if they blame you to your face it. “Ok.” Or play them at their own game. “ I’m sorry you feel that way.”
Understanding they have a disorder, and it’s who they are, it did not start with you, and it will not end with you. You did not cause it, you can not change it, and you can only control yourself.
Why they can not understand you video.
Trying to explain your point of view is pointless if they disagree, they are not interested, and they don’t care. They just feel anger and resentment towards you for not doing as they want. Why they will throw almighty childish tantrums in adults body’s, the blame-shifting, projection, provoking, rage, silent treatments and sulks, to get reactions from you, break down your boundaries and get their needs met.
Video on their mind games.
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. It’s ok to feel and process these emotions ( let it out once they have gone). Do not do this in front of them. Stand up for yourself by leaving them to get on with their lives. While 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, boundaries, values, and standards. You have given them enough chances.
When they come at you, retreat, rethink and only respond if you NEED to do so.
Another extremely controversial method as some are dangerous, and if you’re not in a good place, it’s not a nice place to live, you have to know who you are, know your worth and know your confidence to be able to pull this off, it’s in a way treat them how they treat you, without any manipulative mind games, more with the good intentions of living peaceful, parallel parenting for your children.
This is you levelling up and training them to manage up.
1. Always have children ready at the time stated. Always make sure you drop off and pick the children up at the set time. If for any reason you’re late, let them know in brief. “Traffic running 10 min.” No need to go into great detail stick to the point. If they drop the children off on time, collect on time, meet you on time, shower them with praise and lots of it, without criticism. “Thank you so much for being here. It’s much appreciated, and I’m grateful for you.” You will have to play along with the conversation. (Focus on the back of your mind, it’s for the children.) when they are late, or children are not ready, grey rock it, the business like boring.
2. When they get the children’s hair cut, don’t give it away with your dislike on your face. Praise them. “Thank you for getting their hair done. This had saved me so much time and money. It’s much appreciated.”
3. When they don’t stick to children’s schedules or don’t show up for things, don’t give chase. Instead, pretend they do not exist. When they do the show, shower them with how grateful the children and you are.
If it’s parents or bosses, the same applies. When they treat you right, acknowledge them, don’t give them what they want if it breaks your boundaries, yet if you’re ok, give them the appreciation. When they are being hurtful or manipulative, give them nothing.
Basically, you are training them that you are no longer interested in negative, hurtful behaviour, you’ll no longer react or tolerate it, and they will get no attention from it. Yet, they are learning that they get a response when they stick to arrangements. This is not to manipulate them in any way. This is to show they are appreciated when they work with you for the children’s best interest and that you don’t need them and will lose all interest in them when they play their games.
Again not easy, as you need to recover from the hurt and the pain first to be in your best possible state of mind. Also, some narcissistic people are extreme, and you will have to go no contact.
Keep all emails, all messages, in case you need for evidence in future. Remember, no one throws a tantrum like a narcissist being shown facts and evidence of something they definitely did do.
Remember, the best way to play a narcissist’s games is by simply no longer playing when we have to communicate with them. Sometimes the only way to do this is how they communicate with us. On the level they understand, they ignore us to hurt us and break down our boundaries. We ignore them to protect our boundaries and save our sanity.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach. She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with Click here for BetterHelp. (Sponsored.) Where you will be matched with a licensed councillor who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
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