Each one of us has had to deal with a narcissist at some point or another. Whether it was an ex, a boss, or a family member, dealing with a narcissist can be challenging and exhausting as all hell!
I get asked a lot, “How do I deal with someone that has to win at all costs?” Well, this is the million-dollar question in high conflict divorce cases.
Narcissists have this remarkable ability to make you feel like you are the crazy one like you are wrong for thinking the way you think, and for feeling the way you feel. It’s as if they have this superpower, a gift that plants doubt inside you that makes you second guess your choices.
How do they do it?!
Let me first paint a picture of who you are dealing with here. These are some common characteristics that define a narcissist.:
- Narcissists are ego-driven (meaning everything they do is to feed their ego)
- The need to win is a top priority
- They have to be right at all costs
- They need to be superior
- Their worth is tied to their achievements
- They need to control others in order to support the outcome they desire. They need to be seen as “the good guy/girl”
- They don’t think the rules apply to them
- They think they know more about the law than their own lawyer
Do any of these ring true? If so, you may be dealing with a narcissist.
Here are my tips on how to handle a narcissist:
Don’t fight back!
You already know that you will never win, and you will never get them to empathize with your point of view. So why do you keep fighting it? If they say the sky is red, then let it be red. Narcissists thrive on anyone that supplies them with the drugs they need, and that drug is “being right.” You will keep spinning in the hamster wheel of getting nowhere with someone that will never say to you, “You know what Amy, you are right, I didn’t see things your way.” And continuing to fight will only mirror more of what you don’t want, which is a narcissist in your face.
Let go of any expectations.
What do I mean by this? I realize some of you have no choice but to deal with a narcissist, so going radio silent on them may not be a viable option. If you have no choice other than to deal with this person, then having expectations will be the death of your sanity. Hopes that they will do the right thing, that they care about your best interest (or the interest of anyone other than themselves for that matter), or that they can carry a conversation that doesn’t have their own selfish needs at the top of their mind–IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!
Remember who you are and what you value.
It’s easy to get sucked into a vicious cycle of crazy when you are dealing with a narcissist. You feel like you are continually having to defend yourself and prove yourself to everyone. You may continuously be defending who you are as a mother, as a partner, and as a daughter and friend.
Why are you defending yourself? Because a part of you may be feeling that they are right, or that you need to prove your self-worth. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone. You are worthy just as you are, and anyone that doesn’t see it, well, they don’t belong in your life.
You need to remember what it is you value. Do you value peace and harmony? Do you value love and acceptance? Do you value REAL connection? If so, then put the gloves down, and understand that nobody can take your self-worth away.
If what you fight against you get more of, then getting in the rink with a narcissist will only get you more blows to the face. Narcissists need people to inflate their egos, so if you cut the supply, they will find another victim to feed on. Take the path of least resistance, and surround yourself with people that love and support you, with people that know your worth.
If you find yourself in what feels like an impossible situation with a narcissist, please take advantage of a complimentary session with me. I would love to see how I may help you navigate through this challenging situation.
Here is the link: https://mailchi.mp/efa3cb1f474d/complimentary-session
A “relationship coach that empowers women”. So you’re not a relationship coach, you’re just are an echo chamber to fuel the latest craze which is “every man is a narcissist”. So what makes you qualified to assess a personality disorder? Or do you just pander your one-sided view to further the narrative that women are victims? I’m curious, is posting on social media incessantly a narcissistic trait? The “look at me” narcissism fueled by your “friends” liking your lunch/new shoes/cute pet/new dress/kid crapping on the floor or coloring the walls/your vacation/your glass of wine. That type of narcissism? Or does that hit too close to home and it’s mislabeled as merely “keeping in touch with friends” because surely everyone cares about your lunch. In court, I BBQ these types of unqualified assessments. I get these women on the stand and by the time I’m done with them, I have them so confused (and of course crying) that their entire case has backfired. This article reads like a horoscope with vague prognosis followed by suggestive conclusions. I would suggest toning down the latest narrative and instead focus on achieving a solution that works, begrudgingly, for both parties not just further the divide that someone has to be the winner. Or stop labeling yourself as a relationship coach and change your title to “Victim Creator”. Or perhaps this type of When battle lines are drawn and the divide is this wide, then it creates the need for a winner in a scenario where there shouldn’t always be one unless there is statutory cause. It’s this type of dangerous diatribe that fuels unrealistic expectations of a system designed to make an equitable split.
Dawn Day says
So what would’ve been YOUR legal strategy for her? I’m truly curious. If she had been your client in that high conflict divorce, what would you have advised her then for “a system designed to make an equitable split”? I hope you can write an article about it here, with a view to achieving that goal of working within that system.
Marisa Lupo says
This article was written in reference to Narcissistic personality traits, and not (NPD) Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and more specifically divorcing someone in a high conflict divorce situation. I believe we all have narcissistic traits to some degree. Here is a great reference to my point. Professor of human behavior, Melody Wilding, writes, “Psychologically speaking, narcissism is a personality trait that every person possesses to some degree. Like any characteristic, it exists on a spectrum. We all fall somewhere along the narcissism continuum. In fact, a certain amount of self-centeredness is healthy.” If you would like to read the rest of the article here it is: https://www.businessinsider.com/narcissism-vs-narcissist-2018-11.
The article was not written with the intention of addressing a legal standpoint. That is a conversation between client and lawyer.
I am all for constructive criticism or debate, but nonsensical banter is uncalled for.