Discussion Topic

Dealing with the narcissist

Posted on 12/31/08, 03:00 pm
Hi again everyone, I hate to beat a dead-horse but this info has really helped me. The following is an excerpt from Sam Vaknin's book, Malignant Self Love. It is the do's and don'ts of dealing with a narcissist:

" FIVE DON'T DO'S
How to Avoid the Wrath of the Narcissist

Never disagree with the narcissist or contradict him

Never offer him any intimacy

Look awed by whatever attribute matters to him (for instance: by his professional achievements or by his good looks, or by his success with women and so on)

Do not make any comment, which might directly or indirectly impinge on his self-image, omnipotence, judgment, omniscience, skills, capabilities, professional record, or even omnipresence. Bad sentences start with: "I think you overlooked ... made a mistake here ... you don't know ... do you know ... you were not here yesterday so ... you cannot ... you should ... (perceived as rude imposition, narcissists react very badly to restrictions placed on their freedom) ... I (never mention the fact that you are a separate, independent entity, narcissists regard others as extensions of their selves, their internalization processes were screwed up and they did not differentiate properly) ..." You get the gist of it.

The TEN DO'S
How to Make your Narcissist Dependent on You
If you INSIST on Staying with Him

Listen attentively to everything the narcissist says and agree with it all. Don't believe a word of it but let it slide as if everything is just fine, business as usual.

Personally offer something absolutely unique to the narcissist which they cannot obtain anywhere else. Also be prepared to line up future sources of primary NS for your narcissist because you will not be IT for very long, if at all. If you take over the procuring function for the narcissist, they become that much more dependent on you which makes it a bit tougher for them to pull their haughty stuff - an inevitability, in any case.

Be endlessly patient and go way out of your way to be accommodating, thus keeping the narcissistic supply flowing liberally, and keeping the peace (relatively speaking).

Be endlessly giving. This one may not be attractive to you, but it is a take it or leave it proposition.

Be absolutely emotionally and financially independent of the narcissist. Take what you need: the excitement and engulfment and refuse to get upset or hurt when the narcissist does or says something dumb, rude, or insensitive. Yelling back works really well but should be reserved for special occasions when you fear your narcissist may be on the verge of leaving you; the silent treatment is better as an ordinary response, but it must be carried out without any emotional content, more with the air of boredom and "I'll talk to you later, when I am good and ready, and when you are behaving in a more reasonable fashion".

If your narcissist is cerebral and NOT interested in having much sex - then give yourself ample permission to have "hidden" sex with other people. Your cerebral narcissist will not be indifferent to infidelity so discretion and secrecy is of paramount importance.

If your narcissist is somatic and you don't mind, join in on endlessly interesting group sex encounters but make sure that you choose properly for your narcissist. They are heedless and very undiscriminating in respect of sexual partners and that can get very problematic (STDs and blackmail come to mind).

If you are a "fixer", then focus on fixing situations, preferably before they become "situations". Don't for one moment delude yourself that you can FIX the narcissist - it simply will not happen. Not because they are being stubborn - they just simply can't be fixed.

If there is any fixing that can be done, it is to help your narcissist become aware of their condition, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, with no negative implications or accusations in the process at all. It is like living with a physically handicapped person and being able to discuss, calmly, unemotionally, what the limitations and benefits of the handicap are and how the two of you can work with these factors, rather than trying to change them.

FINALLY, and most important of all: KNOW YOURSELF.
What are you getting from the relationship? Are you actually a masochist? A codependent perhaps? Why is this relationship attractive and interesting?
Define for yourself what good and beneficial things you believe you are receiving in this relationship.
Define the things that you find harmful TO YOU. Develop strategies to minimize the harm to yourself. Don't expect that you will cognitively be able to reason with the narcissist to change who they are. You may have some limited success in getting your narcissist to tone down on the really harmful behaviours THAT AFFECT YOU which emanate from the unchangeable WHAT the narcissist is. This can only be accomplished in a very trusting, frank and open relationship."

The reality is they are ill and you cannot heal them. Their illness will pervade your life and make you sick with them. I may still be with him but this is only temporary. My life is waiting...

Angel
Showing 2 Replies
  • Reply #1 01/03/09  11:59am
    Wow, this should be posted on the cover of every womens magazine out there. You should submit this as an article and see if you can get it published. If it was in a magazine...I would read it!!!L
  • Reply #2 12/01/09  4:25pm
    I loved him dearly, but I had no choice when he became physically abusive, he had been verbally and emotionally abusive since we married, to leave him.
    It has been a month and I am healing. I am a little lonely but sleeping better and feeling safer and saner than I have in years. My advice: get out before you get hurt really badly....it doesn't change for the better with a narcissist.

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