Narcissistic abuse can occur anywhere and within any type of relationship. While it might be most common within romantic relationships, it can occur between friends, your co-workers or even your boss.
If the abuse is on the extreme side, it can have rather devastating results for the person on the receiving end, often leaving them feeling lost, alone and like everything that’s happened was their own fault.
We’ll now take a look at what defines a narcissist and some ways to cope when you’re dealing with one; either in a personal relationship or in the workplace.
A Narcissist Defined
Although narcissism is a personality trait, it’s considered to be a personality disorder. A true narcissist has an inflated sense of their own importance and exudes confidence. A narcissistic personality also seeks loads of attention and will often exhibit a distinct lack of empathy for other people. It’s basically an “all about me” personality disorder. Often, this is to hide an underbelly of low self-esteem and self-doubt. Narcissists don’t respond well to any form of criticism and rarely, if ever, accept the blame for anything.
Let’s take a look at some ways you can deal with narcissistic abuse.
Recognise the Narcissistic Personality and Accept It
The first step in dealing with a narcissist in any situation is to recognise that they are one. Once you know you’re dealing with a narcissistic personality, you’ll soon be more accepting of it and can start to cope with (and understand) their behaviour.
It’s also important to understand that a narcissist is not likely to change their behaviour anytime soon, if ever. You cannot change or control another person, and especially not a narcissist, so recognition of their personality disorder and acceptance of the way they are is a vital first step.
Take Care of Your Own Self-Esteem
One common trait of a narcissist is to either belittle those around them or place the blame for everything on someone else. You need to own your own truth and focus on maintaining a healthy self-esteem. Once you know that someone’s a narcissist and what their common behaviours are, the less you’ll allow yourself to take the blame for something that you know was not your fault.
If a narcissist gets on top of another person, it can destroy their self-esteem and even have that person believing they are truly to blame for everything the narcissist throws their way.
Focus on what’s true in every situation and also focus on self-belief. Be positive about yourself and constantly remind yourself of your good qualities. Don’t accept the abuse from a narcissistic person and certainly don’t blame yourself for every conceivable problem they may have in life. Narcissists love passing on the blame to others and thrive on the person or people around them doubting themselves.
Set Your Own Boundaries
Just because you happen to be around a narcissist, that doesn’t mean they are free to do whatever they want and treat you however they please. You’re free to set your own boundaries in the relationship. Even though it’s in a narcissist’s behavioural pattern to always try and step over those boundaries, that doesn’t mean you have to let them.
Some people allow it just to keep the peace, as dealing with narcissistic behaviour and repelling it can be hard work, but for your own peace of mind and self-esteem, you need to set your own boundaries and defend them. Always follow through.
Without boundaries, a narcissist will simply do as they please, when they please.
Many people tend to self-isolate and feel all alone when they’ve been subjected to narcissistic abuse over an extended period of time. However, there is help out there and you should never feel afraid to reach out and receive the support you need.
You could join a support group or seek professional counselling to regain your self-esteem.
Never let a narcissist isolate you from your loved ones and make you fear stepping out and seeking help.
Narcissism is a personality disorder. It’s important to recognise it for what it is. If you are involved with a narcissist in any way, you’ll either need to distance yourself from them, learn how to deal with them or seek some counselling for your own peace of mind.