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Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Having grown up with narcissistic parents and been exposed to several other narcissists, I have had to learn a lot about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD, and ways to deal with these people.  Below are some things I have learned about those with NPD and some ways to cope with them.

  • The narcissist is always looking for someone too provide their “supply.”   That supply may be someone to make them feel good about themselves, someone to praise them, to listen to them prattle on endlessly, or someone to fix their problems.   That is the motivation behind most of their actions- that supply.

  • Narcissists are extremely self-entitled.  They think whatever they want, they should have, no matter the cost to anyone or the pain it may cause them.

  • The desire for their supply and entitlement attitude is why you feel so drained when dealing with a narcissist.   They are “emotional vampires.”   They will use you in any way they see fit, as often as they see fit.

  • Deep down, most narcissists are extremely insecure, which is why they come across so confident- they are trying to convince themselves & others they really are great people.   They are deathly afraid of their mistakes or inadequacies being revealed, & will do anything to avoid this, no matter who they hurt in the process.

  • Narcissists are experts at reading and manipulating people.   They will mirror your feelings and actions, and say they like the same things you do to get your favor.

  • Narcissists are abusers- never underestimate them.  
  • Narcissists can control their actions.  Never assume that this "disorder" means they cannot control their actions.  They absolutely can and they do. If you don't believe this, watch the narcissist in action.  Around someone she wants to impress, she will act differently than she will around someone she doesn't care about impressing.

  • They will earn your trust and find out your vulnerabilities.  Then, they will use them against you whenever it suits them.

  • Narcissists have no empathy.   If you are needing advice on your troubled marriage or are seeking comfort, don’t seek them from a narcissist- they have no concept of how you are hurting, nor do they care.  If it does not affect the narcissist, it does not matter to the narcissist.
  • There are two different types of narcissists- the Overt Narcissist and the Covert Narcissist.  For more information, click this link:   Overt vs Covert Narcissists

  • Once you have had enough, and decide to put some distance between you and the narcissist or you decide to end your relationship with the narcissist, whether she/he is a friend, family member, or romantic interest, the narcissist’s true colors will show through.   Glaringly!  They do NOT handle rejection well, and you will be to blame for things not working out.  Also, if a narcissist cannot have your love, she will want you to hate her.  Love and hate are strong emotions which give a person a degree of control over you.  If you feel nothing for or don’t react to a narcissist, she/he absolutely can’t stand that!

  • I created some information on the common ways narcissists abuse their victims, and ways to deal with them.  Check it out here:    The Narcissist's Arsenal

There are no really ways to deal with a narcissist that will wake them up, and show them that they need to act more appropriately.   Ending the relationship is often best, however sometimes you may be unable to do so for various reasons.   Or, you may feel God does not want you to do that, at least not yet.  Or, you may not wish to end that relationship.  I learned a few ways to cope the best I could….

  •  Ask God for creative ways to help you to deal with the narcissist in your life.
  • Know your limits.  Know what you will and will not tolerate.  Have firm boundaries that you are willing to enforce.  Do not back down, or the narcissist will run roughshod over your boundaries.  Give a narcissist an inch, and she will take a mile (or ten).
  • Refuse to provide narcissistic supply.  Change the subject of the conversation.  Interject something positive when she is discussing something negative.  
  • Limit your exposure to the narcissist.  Too much time spent with a narcissist never ends well for the supplier.  You end up tired, emotionally drained and irritable, even possibly mistreating those closest to you out of sheer frustration or exhaustion.
  • One thing I have been asked many times is "Can narcissists change?"  The answer is yes.  The fact is though, that it is very rare.  Most narcissists don't change.  Once in a blue moon though, one will change.  Sometimes it is a temporary change, other times it is permanent.  My mother changes sometimes, and during those times, we get along very well.  I have found the best way to deal with that is to accept that it may not be a permanent change (since it hasn't been yet).  Hope it will be, but don't necessarily expect that.  Also, I enjoy those times to the best of my ability for however long they last.  I am disappointed when they end, but since I expect them to end, I am not devastated or surprised when it happens.

If you end the relationship with the narcissist in your life, it isn't going to be easy.  You will feel conflicting emotions such as wondering if you made a mistake yet also glad to be away from this person.  You also will experience a profound grief, especially if the narcissist was your parent.  There is information on grief at this link:  Grieving

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