Here’s why dealing with a narcissist is so tiring, and what you can do to survive.
Whether it’s your neighbor, your Great Grandma Sally or even your cat, dealing with a narcissist is complicated.
It’s tiring, degrading and challenging at best.
How can you approach a narcissist with hopes to communicate?
Since a narcissist is someone who, by definition, is extremely selfish, has a grandiose view of their own talents, a craving for admiration and who fails to distinguish themselves as completely separate from others, it’s going to take special care.
You’re going to have to think about it. Trying to share your point of view with them will likely open a whole can of worms.
But it can be good to remember that worms, insects and other creepy crawlies are actually seen as a great source of protein in some parts of the world.
Here are 6 tips for communicating with your narcissist:
1) Stay Positive
Narcissists come in two types, says Susan Krauss Whitbourne of Pyshology Today. If the one you’re dealing with derives pleasure from making you feel worse about yourself, keep a goal to remain positive when you communicate.
When you let them know you’re hurting, it will only encourage them to be more aggressive. If you never give your narcissist the reward of your frustration, eventually their aggressive behavior should back down.
2) Stay on Target
If your narcissist keeps taking center stage on every issue single issue, which is likely, you can forget what you’re trying to accomplish in the first place.
Give them some attention, remind them you care (even if, perhaps in the moment you don’t), and then get back to it. This will decrease your feelings of frustration that nothing is progressing as you’d like.
3) Reassure Them
Whitbourne states that some narcissists feel they are amazing and know they are amazing while others are simply insecure.
If you suspect that your narcissist has behavior that is actually coming from a place of deep in security, try to calm them. Reassure them they’re talented and doing the right thing.
Of course, do this with a grain of salt so that their ego doesn’t go soaring off into the stratosphere, but you get the idea. Some kind words, even if they don’t feel natural, might do some good.
4) Think of Getting Your Narcissist Professional Help
If your narcissist is dealing with an overdose of anxiety and insecurity, professional help could be the answer. It can be hard to breach the subject, but it might be the keystone to long term change. It could be that your narcissist doesn’t actually have enough friends to feel accepted and is acting in pure self-defense.
5) Be Exact and Avoid Adjectives and Emotions
If your narcissist enjoys seeing you suffer and has to ‘win’ in every conversation, keep it simple.
The more you show how much you like or dislike something, the more obvious your position is. Be straight and to-the-point. This can help to limit your time with the narcissist and can protect you against words that hurt.
6) Write it Down
Sometimes, the easiest way to communicate is in writing. Email your narcissist with your questions and thoughts, in order to give space to your ideas. They can’t cut you off in conversation this way.
True, they might not read your email, or they may simply trash it. If they don’t though, you will also have a chance to think about your reply, when it’s your turn.
When dealing with a narcissist, know that in this case, the problem isn’t you- it’s them. How you deal with it is all you can control.