There is no doubt that each of us has a narcissist in our life; that person that just can’t seem to see past the end of their nose. While many of us are able to experience the world around us and find a way to deal with the ups and downs handed out, narcissists tend to keep their surroundings very well controlled. Whatever they can’t control they blame others for.
This is what makes narcissists so difficult to work with. Even if you have a good argument and viable solution the narcissist will use his repertoire of ammo to put you down and make you the person at fault. It might be easy to think that we can just dropkick that person and move on with life but sometimes it is far easier said than done.
Narcissists aren’t people we choose to be in our lives they are just there. Quite frankly, sometimes we are stuck with a narcissist and therefore we must learn how to deal with him.
Tips on How to Disarm a Narcissist
You need to know how to disarm a narcissist to make them a bit more tolerable. Here are a few ideas to help you do just that.
1. Don’t fall for the temptation to sink to their level. Narcissists love a good fight and not because they are any good at arguing but they know how to push your buttons. By pushing your buttons you are tempted to verbally protect yourself. The narcissist needs for you to fight back because then you are the one who lost control. You are the bad guy. When he throws the first verbal judo chop it is on you, right? How do you get around that? Be cool. Don’t react to the emotions in the room. If you are not familiar with emotional intelligence get familiar with it. That will be your first defense in disarming your narcissist. It is important that you remain in control of your emotions, as the narcissist will not!
2. Don’t feed the ego. Surely, you have been to the zoo and see the signs to not feel the “wild” animals? Well, narcissists are much like those encaged wild animals. They seem fine behind a fence and that fence gives you a false sense of security. Don’t be fooled. You don’t feed the zoo animals because they can be quite unpredictable just as much as the narcissist except his “wild” side in his ego. Remember, narcissists have an impressive sense of self and when you throw numerous verbal praises at that ego you empower that unstable weak mind. As you feed his ego, he doesn’t hear praise; he hears how much better he is over you. If you don’t feed the bear, he won’t have the energy to attack your confidence later.
3. Don’t take responsibility for his emotions. If he is pissed let him be pissed. He will try to make you the martyr for his negative emotions. After a while, it might be a hell of a lot easier to accept that blame because it encourages him to stop but it tears at you from the inside out. Before you know it, you are offering to take the blame for him his emotions by doing everything he wants. Let him get happy in the same pants he got mad in – he will always get over it.
4. Don’t use ultimatums. No relationship should ever include an ultimatum – it is a form of control, which is why he will use them over and over again. If you don’t like something he is doing or you feel the need to use this to gain control you might have become just as toxic as he is. Remember, your actions and words provide him immediate permission to do the same to you –even if that coin doesn’t flip both ways.
5. Don’t give him negative attention. Like emotional teenagers, narcissists enjoy attention. Positive attention is great for the narcissist but negative attention is crucial to their ability to hold you accountable. It is the unhealthy part of their thinking. Once you give them that negative attention they will hold it over your head. They need you to give them negative attention as a means of lashing out and targeting you. If you are the closest person to the narcissist you are the consistent, most reliable target for receiving negative attention. It is this reason the narcissist will work to make sure you stick around. After all, who else would put up with such…nonsense?
Narcissists rarely take responsibility for their emotions and yet they expect you to be accountable for yours. Your narcissist has worked hard to know what makes you tick, how to push your buttons and then how to convince you to stay. The best way to deal with a narcissist is to be in complete control of your emotions – far easier said than done but it can be done. Give your emotional intelligence a quick look over and figure out how to use that to control yourself. The most important trick to disarming the narcissist is to control your emotions.
The best way to deal with a narcissist is to be in complete control of your emotions – far easier said than done but it can be done. Give your emotional intelligence a quick look over and figure out how to use that to control yourself. The most important trick to disarming the narcissist is to control your emotions. Once you do that, you remove much of his armor and he is left to his own devices – which he knows the least about.
You can do it!
This article originally appeared on DivorcedMoms.com
Tara Parker is the single mother of three. She is a professional coach and change management agent specializing in academic, life, relationship, divorce, and personal development. Tara provokes thought in others by speaking from experience, empathy, and compassion. Her education is in organizational development and change management. www.twitter.com/tara__parker