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How to Deal With A Narcissist: 10 Tips Plus When to Move On

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-deal-with-a-narcissist

healthline.com

How to Deal With A Narcissist: 10 Tips Plus When to Move On
We tend to use the word narcissist to describe a person who's self-centered and short on empathy. But it's important to remember that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a legitimate mental health condition that requires diagnosis by a mental health professional. Still, people can exhibit some narcissistic characteristics without having NPD.

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Narcissistic characteristics

Narcissistic characteristics
  • having an inflated sense of self
  • needing constant praise
  • taking advantage of others
  • not recognizing or caring about the needs of others

People with narcissistic tendencies are often very sensitive to criticism, despite their high self-esteem.

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See them for who they really are

Those with narcissistic personalities are pretty good at turning on the charm. Watch how they treat people when they’re not “on stage.” If you catch them lying, manipulating, or blatantly disrespecting others, there’s no reason to believe they won’t do the same to you.

The first step in dealing with a narcissistic personality is simply accepting that this is who they are.

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Speak up for yourself

Some people with narcissistic personalities enjoy making others squirm. Try not to get visibly flustered or show annoyance, as that will only urge them to continue.

If it’s someone you’d like to keep close in your life, then you owe it to yourself to speak up. Try to do this in a calm, gentle manner. Tell them how their words and conduct impact your life. Be specific and consistent about what’s not acceptable and how you expect to be treated. 

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Set clear boundaries

A person with a narcissistic personality is often quite self-absorbed. They may have little sense of personal space, so they tend to cross a lot of boundaries.

Be very clear about boundaries that are important to you and the consequences of not respecting your wishes. They start to pay attention when things affect them personally. 

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Expect them to push back

If you stand up to someone with a narcissistic personality, you can expect them to respond.

Once you speak up and set boundaries, they may come back with some demands of their own or try to manipulate you. Be prepared to stand your ground. If you take a step backward, they won’t take you seriously next time.

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Remember that you’re not at fault

A person with a narcissistic personality disorder isn’t likely to admit a mistake or take responsibility for hurting you. Instead, they tend to project their own negative behaviors onto you or someone else.

You might be tempted to keep the peace by accepting blame, but you don’t have to belittle yourself to salvage their ego. You know the truth. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

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Find a support system

If you can’t avoid the person, try to build up your healthy relationships and support network of people.

Spending too much time in a dysfunctional relationship with someone who has a narcissistic personality can leave you emotionally drained.

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Insist on immediate action

People with narcissistic personalities are good at making promises and even be sincere. But once they get what they want, the motivation is gone. You can’t count on their actions matching their words.

Ask for what you want and stand your ground. Insist that you’ll only fulfill their requests after they’ve fulfilled yours.

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Narcissists may need professional help

People with a narcissistic personality disorder often don’t see a problem — at least not with themselves. As a result, it’s unlikely they’ll ever seek professional counseling.

You can suggest that they reach out for professional help, but you can’t make them do it. It’s absolutely their responsibility, not yours.

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High-conflict people (HCP)

  1. Narcissistic HCPs: They may seem charming at first but think themselves to be superior. They insult, humiliate, mislead, and lack empathy while demanding respect and attention.
  2. Borderline HCPs: They start out friendly but can suddenly change into being extremely angry. During this rage, they may seek revenge for minor insults.
  3. Antisocial (or Sociopathic/Psychopathic) HCPs There extreme charm is a cover for their drive to dominate others through lying, stealing, publicly humiliating people, physically injuring them, and sometimes murdering them.

While these are disorders and these people are suffering, mental health professionals would advise you to keep your distance from them, if at all possible.

Behavior Patterns Of HCP

Everybody has bad days or weeks. To tell if someone is a High Conflict Person, we can look for four traits of behavior.

  1. Lots of all-or-nothing thinking: When problems arise, it is their solution or no solution. They don't compromise or listen to different points of view.
  2. Intense or unmanaged emotions: HCPs become very emotional about their points of view. Their responses are out of proportion to whatever is happening.
  3. Extreme behavior or threats: They engage in extreme negative behavior that includes physical harm, spreading lies about someone else, emotional manipulation, or obsessive contact.
  4. A preoccupation with blaming others: They frequently blame other people close to them or people in authority over them.

Nobody is perfect, but if someone has all four traits, they almost certainly are an HCP.

Recognize the signs

  • You're tired all the time. 
  • Cooperating with colleagues takes an enormous effort. 
  • You keep your office door shut and interact with your computer. 
  • ...

Take a mental health break

It's hard when you can't function as well as you're used to, but slogging on doesn't work when you're in a downward spiral. 

When you're at a crossroads in terms of your mental health, you need to really say, 'OK, I'm going to ask for five days off. That might mean the difference between me not having a mental health breakdown, or needing to take additional time off.

Find treatment

"Depression is no different from any other chronic condition," says Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America. 

"To stay with it and maintain an independent and productive life -- it's important to identify it, get the appropriate treatment and then stick with that treatment."