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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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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RELATED IDEAS

Loves to Talk About Oneself

A pathological narcissist loves to talk about himself, often in exaggerated and grandiose terms. 

Common conversational topics for narcissists include accomplishments and achievements, exciting and envy-worthy activities, excessive focus on personal issues and concerns, excessive focus on looks and materialism, and putting others down to show one’s own superiority.

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IDEAS

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental health disorder that begins after a traumatic event. Events may include:

  • A natural disaster like a tornado
  • Military combat
  • Assault or abuse
  • An accident

PSTD is also known as "shell shock" or "battle fatigue." People with PSTD feel a heightened sense of danger. They are always in the fight-or-flight response mode, causing them to feel stressed or fearful, even in safe situations.

Habits of People Who Build Extraordinary Relationships
  • Take the hit. Few acts are more selfless than taking the undeserved hit and few acts better cement a relationship.
  • Step in without being asked.  They pay close attention so they can tell when others are struggling and then come up with specific ways in which they can help.
  • Answer the question that is not asked. They think about what lies underneath the question so they can answer that question, too.
  • They know when to have fun and when to be serious, when to be over the top and when to be invisible, and when to take charge and when to follow.
  • Prove they think of others. Take a little time every day to do something nice for someone you know, not because you're expected to but simply because you can.
  • Realize when they have acted poorly and apologize before they are asked to.
  • Give consistently, receive occasionally. They think about what they can give, not what they can get.
  • Value the message by always valuing the messenger.

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