Dealing With Narcissists 101: The basics
I have been there done that with narcissists. Far more than I would like! I’ve made the mistakes, I’ve given too many chances, I’ve foolishly tried to “fix” disordered people….I’ve done it all. It takes time to learn that there really isn’t much hope in dealing with a narcissist. Yet, in the support groups of which I am a member, I see people who have just caught on to the reality that their parent or significant other is probably a narc. And I see them make the same “mistakes” over and over. I don’t say “mistakes” to shame people, because trust me, we have ALL done it. We have all tried to get along with the narcs. But, as time goes on, you start learning. I feel like I have come so far in the years since I realized I had a narcissist mother and looking back, I see things I should have done differently.
So, I offer some suggestions for those who are just starting the recovery journey:
The most obvious is–cut contact with the narc. If you can afford to do this, it’s the best way to get your life back. You do not need to feel guilty for cutting an abusive person out of your life. Ever. I don’t care if it’s your elderly mother. You don’t have to let people hurt you. If you were raised by a narc, you’ve been trained to accept the abuse, but that’s not normal and we were raised to accept dysfunctional behavior.
Don’t be friends with your narcissist or anyone who will report back to the narcissist on Facebook. In fact, block them. You don’t owe others the inside scoop on your life. Don’t hurt your own feelings by looking at their pages where, if they are like my mother, they are trashing you with a bunch of other relatives joining in. Don’t check up on them and imagine that your ex-lover is deliriously happy without you. Don’t. These are just ways that YOU hurt yourself. You don’t need to know what is going on in their fake lives. Plus, you don’t need them to stalk and check up on you either. You don’t need them tattle-taling to your narc about your actions.
Beware who you trust. There are a lot of people out there who simply cannot understand the reality of narcissistic abuse. (Lucky them!) These people often feel like they are being kind, and helping to fix a broken relationship when they spy on you for a narc. They might be innocent, but they do damage. Furthermore, there are people who are not innocent. I’ve had people I trusted turn around and tell my sociopath ex every word I said. I haven’t talked to him in two years and he knew what I was doing pretty much in real time. Now is not the time to be open with anyone who knows your narcissist. People have no idea what the reality is and often take sides–often on the side “against” you.
There is soooo much more I could say, but let’s start there. Guard your privacy and protect your thoughts!