If you’re reading this article, the chances are you have been in a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Below are some of the criteria listed for Narcissistic Personality Disorder but not limited:
How to Deal with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
1. Seek a professional help: find a therapist to process your own feelings of anger, frustration, silence, anxiety, withdrawn, depression, and other related feelings. A therapist can help you to process how to manage your feelings, how to survive being in a relationship with a narcissist or when to walk away.
2. Find coping skills to deal with every day challenges: join a support groups ( NAMI) , attend individual therapy, listen to music, journal 2-3x per week, paint ( art work), spend time with supportive friends, do physical activity and so on. Do something that you enjoy every day.
3. Accept them as who they are: We all have the need to be in control or the need to change others to fit our own needs. Accepting NPD as who they are only means you have made the decisions to set boundaries for yourself. By accepting NPD as who they are it does not mean you agree with their perspectives, opinions, and lifestyle. It only means you are now aware of your own emotional triggers and ready to make your own path and journey, differently. It means you are letting go of the judgments of yourself and others and ready to move forward. It means you are ready to focus on the present moment and forgive the past.
4. Listen to their stories: Most individuals with narcissistic symptoms have a history of abuse, trauma, depression, anxiety or grew up in a family of alcoholic parents. Some have witnessed scary events (war, accident, death) which has impacted their relationship with their partner or with their children.
5. Be open /flexible: NPD are everywhere. You can meet them in a work place, in a bar, he/she can be your next door neighbor, family members (cousin, aunt, mother, uncle, grandparents) and so on. It’s crucial to learn how to set boundaries for yourself and to say NO when necessary. When talking about sensitive and important topics be assertive and use your “I” statements (I feel, I think, I need..) statements.
6. Communication: it would be helpful to provide choices and options when speaking with NPS. It gives them a sense of control and it validates their feelings which decreases a chance of an arguments and fights.
7.Don’t take it personally: It is not about you. People with NPD makes rude, offensive, and unnecessary comments to avoid feelings. They escape from making the essential changes in their life. Change is hard for them. They surround themselves with an emotional walls. They walk around in this world by wearing an emotional mask. Their mask protects them from getting hurt in the world by others. Their mask helps them to hide their emotions and from being vulnerable. We all wear a mask however we take it off when we feel safe with our loved one and when we make connection. People with NPD don’t take the mask off, it’s on all the time!
8. Expect little
9. Be Honest