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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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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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 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.

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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