““But enough about me, how do you feel about me?”
Toxicity, like many things, exists on a scale. People who exhibit toxic behaviors towards others are not always monsters. However, if someone engages in these behaviors repeatedly, with no empathy and with an intent to damage the other individual, there is a high chance the person may be a toxic narcissist.
In recent decades, there seems to have been a rise in the number of narcissists present within society. In some instances, it’s easier to simply avoid narcissists. This solution only works, however, when the narcissist takes up no space in your personal life. Avoiding the narcissist becomes much more challenging when they’re a family member or a close friend. From the exaggerated sense of superiority to the lack of empathy, dealing with a narcissist can, at times, be quite overwhelming. Below are four steps that will teach you how to deal with a narcissistic loved one.
#1- Calmly Communicate
When dealing with a narcissistic loved one, you should speak openly and honestly about issues that arise. Narcissist don’t take criticism well and it’s best to avoid accusatory words. Use phrases like, “I’m coming from a place of love”, “I care about OUR relationship. “I want to be a good (spouse, best friend, sibling) to you, but it’s difficult to when I feel this way.”
When these phrases are used, they help you avoid bruising the narcissist’s ego.
When faced with a misunderstanding, despite how valid your points are, be sure to not get pulled into arguing. Arguing with a narcissist is draining and pointless. If you’re narcissistic loved one continues to be defensive, it’s best to discontinue the conversation.
#2- Be Patient
Behavioral changes take time and narcissism is very hard to change. Understand that narcissism is a personality disorder and you should deal with your loved one accordingly. Consider also, the possibility that your loved one was the victim of a narcissistic parent or another kind of abuse, growing up. When dealing with a narcissist, you may have to exhibit the most amount of patience necessary.
#3- Seek Professional Help
Admitting that you need help is very difficult for many people, especially narcissists. Narcissists are known for having very fragile egos and typically believe everyone else needs to change and not them. When ego is overlooked, it becomes clear that narcissists truly have low self-esteems and profound feelings of inadequacy. Single-handedly attempting to treat a narcissist is exhausting. It’s best to get help from a professional. It’s also important to mention that you cannot change a narcissist. You can only try to help them. The decision to change solely depends on the narcissist.
#4- Stop Dealing With It!
Narcissistic abuse is real and is often fueled by the lack of empathy. Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. If you’ve felt as if you’ve done all that you can or if the situation has gotten detrimental to your emotional & mental health, it might be time to leave. Deciding to leave a narcissistic relationship takes courage. Narcissists can do real damage to the people around them. The mental and emotional scars left from loving a narcissist can be tremendous and long-lasting. If you’re dealing with a narcissist, it’s best to seek professional help for yourself also.
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