Sure, exceptions exist. But 99.99% of people with extreme forms of narcissism won’t ever admit when they’re wrong, nor will they acquire the necessary self-awareness to confront their selfishness.
To them, everything is always somebody else’s fault.
So, how can you deal with narcissists without pummeling your mental health? Let’s explore a few ideas.
- Assess Your Behavior: Are you making yourself an easy target? Are you constantly making excuses for the narcissist and enabling their behavior? If so, think about what boundaries you can draw to shield yourself from their projection and emotional manipulation.
- Work on Yourself: Instead of focusing on the narcissist, turn your attention inward. Plot out your goals and get to work. The more focused you are on your prize, the less consumed you’ll be with the machinations of an insecure megalomaniac.
- Practice Mindfulness: Studies show that mindfulness is a great way to reduce anxiety and improve cognitive function. When your brain is sharp and firing on all cylinders, you’ll be better able to brush off some of the narcissist’s bad behavior.
- View it as a Decoder: Though challenging, try to see narcissists’ projections as windows into their souls. Because essentially, every time they throw a biting remark in your face, they’re actually admitting their fears and insecurities. Use what they give you!
- Don’t Engage: No rule says you must engage with people behaving poorly. So when the narcissist infesting your life starts acting up, respond by ignoring their behavior. Refusing to throw fuel on their dramatic fire turns down the temperature — (and has the added bonus of ticking them off).
- Wittily Point Out Their Projection: While confronting a narcissist can be emotionally dangerous, landing a witty remark at their expense can be surprisingly effective. Under the right conditions, it works like a muzzle and knocks the narcissist off their high horse.
Dealing with a narcissist is excruciating. But sometimes, you can’t immediately escape them because the person in question may be a family member, colleague, or spouse.