Knowing that personality disordered individuals have a win or lose mindset and see every interaction as a battle gives you the higher ground. The personality disordered are fighting a battle when you are simply asking for detail or assistance. While we are on the subject, actually working is not a thing narcissists like to do unless working garners the narcissist praise from others. So what can understanding the narcissist do for you in terms of interacting with them?
First, you must be careful not to harm the narcissist’s ego while engaging with them. Their ego is like a three year old who just wants his/her mommy and daddy to like her/his drawing. It is this emotionally stunted person you are dealing with, in an adult’s body. Black and white, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable. When engaging with a narcissist you need to stroke their ego a little while presenting yourself as an adult. You must praise them for a skill they possess when you disagree with them. Any imagined slight makes you fair game for shame dumping, passive aggressive sabotage, and a hate campaign that is unending. Of course they really hate themselves but they are unaware they are the problem and the answer lies within them.
Second, you must not share too much personal information with them or let your guard down around them. They are watching and learning your weak points so they can exploit them. Really sharing even false information is better than sharing true information with a narcissist.
Third, take them as seriously as you would take a two year old who needs a nap. Narcissists act in the moment with no regard for truth or continuity. They are always trying to win the battle that began in childhood and has never ended. Do not be condescending but also do not believe a word they say or promises they make. The next time you see them they will be blissfully unaware of any past interactions, unless you said or did something that wronged them. In fact they think that verbally and emotionally abusing others is an acceptable part of life and any retaliation from you is unacceptable.
Finally, interact with narcissists as little as possible without ignoring them completely. Definitely do not interact with them when you are tired or stressed and might slip and share personal information or trust them to support you. Needing support from a narcissist is their cue to exit.
The personality disordered are individuals who constantly fighting the turmoil within. Be careful so you do not get caught up in the turmoil. Keep your distance as much as possible and if you do not have to interact with them, use the space to your advantage.
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All the Best!
Founder of the Unstoppable Man and Woman’s Mindset