Sometimes you can't leave the sociopath or abusive narcissist in your life. Perhaps your husband, boss, or co-worker is the disturbed character and you are stuck with having to tolerate his or her behavior. Please remember you cannot change the abusive narcissist, and he will never learn (such is a personality disorder, as he has).
Here's how you can stay sane:
Calm, cool, collected, distant - Make this your mantra. Keep this in mind above all else.
Stop reacting - The sociopath feeds off of your reactions, and he confirms his power and control over you by manipulating your emotions. Don't let him do it. Remain steadfast, unchanged in your reaction; respond calmly, cooly, no longer his emotional puppet. Be proactive by not being reactive. Think offense rather than defense.
Set boundaries - Learn how to say "no." Envision a bubble around you, and you can make its permeable or impermeable as you want. With the narcissist, keep it impermeable until you choose otherwise. Imagine his words and behaviors hitting the glass of the bubble and dripping down the outside, keeping you safe and clean inside. Just like when a bird shits on your windshield.
Observe - Pay attention to what she says versus what she does and watch out for boundary violations. Evaluate the narcissist based on actual behavior and facts, not on what she says.
Stay away - Keep a healthy distance, avoid engaging with the sociopath unless absolutely necessary.
Avoid being suckered - If you want to ask a narcissist to do something, expect little to nothing. Don't try to work things out with the narcissist, or try to make them understand their behavior. They will always keep the relationship on their terms and charm you to think otherwise. Excuses will flood the conversation,, anger will be their typical reaction, ending with blame and a quick exit. Instead, keep your expectations low and have an alternate plan. Do not depend on them at all.
Don't try to change them - Stop the time-consuming conversation about what they did wrong. They don't care about they did wrong because, in their world, they did nothing wrong. In fact, your dialogue feeds their vanity and bolsters their vanity from your emotional fuel pump.
Avoid feedback - While they seek positive validation and admiration, negative feedback also fills their need for attention. It is better for them to be disliked (making them feel superior) than it is to be a nobody. Let them feel like they are a nobody because, in fact, without empathy, feelings, or the capacity to love, they are.
Know what a healthy relationship looks like - Healthy relationships include two people treating each other with repect, allowing each to express their feelings, opinions, needs and desires. Each individual sets their own priorities, and is able ot say "no" without negativity or guilt. Each person is allowed differing opinions, and these opinions may be discussed openly. The individuals mutually take care of and protect themselves, each other, and the relationship from physical and emotional harm. They each work together toward a happy and healthy life.
Know that you can't have a healthy relationship with a False Self - Don't waste your time. Employ the above strategies so you can preserve your sanity, boundaries, and self-esteem.
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