How To Deal With A Narcissist – Post #1

Do not argue with a narcissist. No no no. Just don’t bother, and don’t take the risk of arguing with a narcissist especially if you are still living with the narcissist or if he has some sort of control (financial or work related) over you.

See when you come to a point where you see the narcissist for who he is, you will start to question all his statements, claims and advice. So there are going to be many arguments. But the point is you are wasting your time. Worse still. If he is a malignant narcissist or if he is just in a bad mood, he will try to get back at you for making him lose. You see, you have just increased his insecurity and narcissists react to that by either pretending that the incident never occurred or getting revenge for what you did so that they feel again that they know better than you do.

My advice is: give the narcissist exactly what he loves to give everyone. Verbal fodder. What I mean is, if he is forcing you to do anything just agree with him verbally without really doing anything for as long as you can.

Let me explain this with an example, you told your narcissist husband (just for the records, I am not married, this is just an example) that you are learning a topic and you love the way it is explained in one book. The most obvious reaction of Mr. Narcissist would be, “I know a better book on that topic. That author is really good. You should read it; I’ll get it for you.” See? Total disregard for your good opinion about something. He doesn’t like you liking anything other than him or something that HE recommended to you.

Now what would you do in this situation? If you are anything like me, you would react by trying to defend your book. Useless verbal argument that he will quash or just ignore. Then he would actually bring this book to you the next day and you will probably obey him and read it. Well and good. But someone like me wants to finish what she has started, so I generally say, I’ll read that one when I am done with this.

Now that is where the trouble starts. You will see all sorts of obstacles when you try to read. He will try to make other plans when he knows you are planning to study or he will just come and disturb you and start talking about HIS recommended book again. Someone like my dad would even yell at you for reading such a despicable book on the topic and not respecting his experience and advice. A subtle narcissist would make fun of your book or probably hide it or destroy it when you are not watching.

So ok, those are the problems we face, but what is the solution? It’s easier than you think. Just agree to what he says. Nod your head in agreement. Show interest in the book he has recommended. Pretend to read it for a while when he is around. Then he will lose interest in the whole thing and you can continue to read and learn your way when he is not watching. Whenever he does ask you about it, throw in a few praises for the book he gave you, thank him for it, give him credit for his help and he will probably give you a few more books on the topic (which for all you know may turn out to be useful).

If you perform well in the topic and achieve something in an exam or competition, do not forget to give him credit. WHY SHOULD HE BE GIVEN CREDIT? Because for him you are just an extension of his person. So if you have an achievement where he does not have a role to play, he will not let you keep it. It makes him insecure to find that you could have an existence and success independent of him.

So in our example situation, if you get a prize and don’t give him the credit (in a convincing manner i.e. by pointing out how he helped you by giving you such wonderful books), he will let you keep the prize but he will not let you further improve and get better at that topic. He will not rest till you either lose interest in it or start to think you are not good at it. DO YOU GET ME? He cannot tolerate you having an achievement if it does not somehow translate into his achievement. So, for as long as you are under his control, agree verbally to everything he says and give him credit for any achievement or talent that you like and want to retain in your life.

I would like to quote here Law 1 of the book “48 Laws of Power” by Roberte Greene: “Never Outshine Your Master”. It says “Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity”.

So you get what I mean. Do you? I hope you do.

Of course all this advice is assuming that you plan to one day distance yourself from the narcissist and RUN for your life. Just subtly move out. Agreeing verbally to everything someone says means you are lying. It is not healthy. But it’s a necessity for surviving with the narcissist so that you can plan your escape when you are ready. See like many others, my advice will always be that you have to eventually let go of any relation with a narcissist. You have to bear in mind that you have just one good life and if you leave it in his (or her) hands, he will use it as his toy and then take you along with him to doom. Your purpose in life would basically be self-sacrifice for his amusement, satisfaction or betterment, with no independent identity for you.

Since it is a bit related, I would add one more thing here. As far as possible, never let a narcissist know of your weaknesses, your innermost desires or anything that is very important to you. Why? Because a narcissist is conditioned to pull strings and he will certainly manipulate you by giving you the hope of helping you fulfil your dreams and desires.

And why not let him know if an object or person is very important to you? Because if he knows, he will destroy it. Nothing should be more important for you than HE HIMSELF (or herself as the case may be). If you are already in this situation, try to solve it by giving him some credit in it, if it is possible. If somehow you can convince him that it is his gift and reminds you of him somehow then you may have a chance. But if you are not convincing enough he may still retain the insecurity, so it’s not easy.

For months I was trying to find a good article on how to deal with a narcissistic parent when you are forced to live with him and need to manage for some time, but couldn’t find one. Then in the last few days as I was dealing with my own issues I suddenly had the answer . So here is my first post on how to deal with a narcissist. Many more will come in time.

To all those who are suffering terribly under the control of a Malignant Narcissist, you may find insightful observations and useful tips from the experience of this awesome blogger:
http://walkingnarcissists.wordpress.com/

Update: When I say “agree with him verbally without really doing anything for as long as you can” I also must ask you to be careful. If they find out that you are deceiving them this way they will be enraged. So you must be careful about what you do secretly and how well you hide your deliberate avoidance from them. If caught I would recommend you pretend that you tried but could not succeed in following their directions instead of rebelling as you would be tempted to do.

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Good Mood Days :)

I am in a very good mood since the last two days. I am being able to acknowledge that there is something beautiful, something wonderful about every living person. Yes, I mean EVERY living person.

I know this sounds strange coming from a paranoid person like me. But I am starting to think that every person has a role to play in the world and in your story. The evil abuser, narcissist, sociopath, controlling mother, abusive husband, all of them were there in your life to change you in a certain way, to take you ahead in your story.

I feel today the need to nurture the best I can see in every person I speak to. I have a feeling that it will lead to something good. Not for the person, but for me. The feeling that I don’t have to live in suspicion but can love everyone and give everyone reason to smile is very liberating.  

So does this mean I want to take the risk again? I think it is more on the lines of what one friend with narcissistic personality disorder under treatment had told me. Don’t change yourself, but define your boundaries. So you will know when someone tries too hard to get past your boundary. All you would really have to do is ensure that no one gets past it. Don’t avoid, just know where to draw the line. Protect yourself but don’t avoid living because you fear getting hurt. Don’t tolerate when things turn bad, but don’t avoid the situation altogether. Just learn to raise your voice once in a while and fight for yourself.

I think these happy thoughts are a result of my good mood today 🙂 I don’t really know how long this will last, but I hope it lasts longer and brings real change in me 🙂

The bottom line is ………….. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ……… The ruthless truth. Crib and complain all you want, but if you don’t like something, you have to change it. There is no other way. If you don’t change it then you are just weak and nature will eliminate you. So better just decide to fight because surviving is YOUR RIGHT!

Fighting our own way..

I want to help people in despair. I don’t want people to feel helpless. When I have the means I want to make a place where people can go to solve their problems. Where they will get whatever help they require and they pay by helping one other person in the place.

I have been getting one recurring dream since the past one year. A dream where there is a little 3 or 4 year old girl in my house (whom I’ve never seen in reality). For some reason no one else in the house notices her or gives her any attention. My mom and sister come and go, say something, but don’t bother much. And the girl just sits around somewhere unsmiling, unspeaking and I try to get her to talk, get her to laugh. I hold her, comfort her and try to ask her what she wants. She somehow means a lot to me. In one dream I was trying different pretty ear rings on her ears and asking her to look in the mirror. I was trying hard to make her happy, but she just looked on with a blank expression in her eyes. I don’t know what this dream means.

Some of us need monetary help, most of us need a listening ear, a word of advice or guidance or just answers to our questions. Others need encouragement and the assurance that they have a place to go to if their plan goes wrong somehow. The world is full of tormented souls, and manipulative people some of whom were themselves tormented in the past. Some people are lucky to find a way, some people are very brave, they fight tooth and nail.

And there are others bound by shackles, shackles that tighten their bonds around your ankle when the captor senses that you are trying to escape. But if you stand still, the shackles stay loose and seem to not bind you. What does one learn in this situation? Don’t we all learn to do what is good for us? Would you blame the captive for not trying to escape? Most do. It is sad but true. The captive lives in a world of rejection. Rejection from her captor who despises her for wanting to escape. Rejection from the world because she is such a coward she won’t fight for her rights.

Yet no one realizes that the decisions she takes are what she hopes will help her survive. She hopes, for only hope keeps us alive, but she cannot take a rash decision that will tighten the shackles around her for life.

But the judgmental people out there don’t understand that they are making things worse for her. I want to change this. I want to help her get out of this situation. I want to give her whatever it takes for her to come out victorious.

Life is not easy; I don’t say it should be. But why should it be terrible for some? Why a person should be mocked at for being meek when he or she has been taught that being meek is the right way to be. In my own home, my sister learnt from my narcissistic parent to be selfish and do things as she pleased. She learnt that worrying about hurting people’s feelings means she would have to sacrifice what she wants. I learnt from the codependent parent to try and guess the feelings of people and not dare to hurt them. Sacrificing your own wishes to avoid hurting the elders was looked at in high regard and I wanted to be the noble girl who took care of the happiness of the people around her. However thankfully I retained my self loving side that made me question this concept of sacrifice.

I try hard today to make myself more demanding and more straightforward. I try not to be afraid of the negative reaction from people. I try to take my own decisions and work on my own instead of giving in to the desire that someone should hold my hand and tell me how to do my work. But it is really hard because co-dependency creeps in silently without me realizing. But I keep trying and I will continue to try.

I just get angry that people judge based on what they themselves could do, or someone they know or read about could do. What they don’t realize is that every human being is different and unique. You cannot expect people to walk on the same path that worked for you. For some, it would be harder than others to walk on that path. But they are somehow judged if they refuse to take the path that others took to win their battle.

I wish people knew how to respect individuality.

I am rambling today; I am not in a good mood. I am going against my own advice and publishing more than one post today. But I cannot help it. I need this today. Not a good day. But I hope I will survive this and win my fight..

Just Something

Days when you want to go back to your abuser. You want to go back to being abused. Because you don’t have to take the responsibility and more importantly you will not be alone. It does not make any sense. I understand. But I am tired and I need help. I don’t know how long I can stand being like this. When will relief come my way, I feel like repeating what happened to me, I feel like I want to hurt others the same way. But it does not leave me feeling good. Is there a devil in me? I don’t know. I wish I got some help. Something somehow. Before I lose it. But I would like it if I go insane, it will get me help. But I am not insane, I live, I survive, I work perfectly fine. No one can see, nobody knows. But no, I don’t lose it, I am still the same. Why do I feel that I am breaking but I don’t break?

Baby Steps Towards Improvement..

I did it! Dad yelled at me, and I didn’t break down. I was chanting in my head this newly developed list of words I’ve made for myself.

Strong
Undeterred
Determined
Focused
Energetic
Sincere
Hardworking
Never Give Up!

It kept me sane to some extent. I am not angry OR feeling like hurting myself OR feeling helpless as would generally happen in this situation. I am quite composed in comparison. I am typing a blog post instead. 😀 I am getting better I think. Yes yes!

Though I still have that my life is not in my control thing. There is this interview coming up on 4th April, which I am not interested in giving. But he wants me to go. I tried to avoid once before by telling him that my boss didn’t want me to take leave from work on that day because we have an external audit. Not the right way of going about things I know. I should just tell him directly that I don’t want to go. But this brilliant idea of mine didn’t work anyway.

And today he yelled at me and said if I don’t want to go I should just say so. I was like, what the heck. I was thinking all along that I was being forced, hence I was going. I should have told him the truth immediately. I should have answered, “Yes! I don’t want to go!”

But I didn’t.

In my defence, it is not as easy as it seems.

He would have yelled at me and lectured me on all the reasons why he thinks I should go and wouldn’t stop till I gave in and said “Ok! I will go!”

And if I still didn’t give in then there would have been the taunts every day.

But you would say I never really tried it, how can I just assume and foretell? Valid point. But I just know this from countless previous experiences. And I managed to tolerate the yelling for a short time this time. But I am still not ready for the prolonged yelling that my “no” would have triggered. It scares me. Yes it does. I’ll admit it here. And all the emotional blackmail, taunts and extrapolating to unrelated situations that would have followed.

I know, I know. These are just excuses. I should just turn back, put my foot down and say, “I won’t go because I don’t want to. I am a 23 years old adult so I can take my own decisions!”

Yes sounds good. But no I still can’t do it. Call me a coward. I deserve it. But I can’t see how to do this. And that does leave a depressing feeling behind. But I don’t want to give up. I will keep trying may be…

Yet Again?

I felt stiff and cold. I walked upto his cabin once with the intention of entering but at the last minute I changed my mind and walked past the door. My face was flushed red even with the thought of facing him. Then I saw one of his subordinates walk in and I got the courage to go in. At least he wouldn’t be mean to me when other people were around. I went inside with the documents. He looked up from his phone and mouthed, “What?” very casually.

I found myself at ease suddenly. But I did not respond just nodded my head. He finished his call and asked me again, “Yes?” I was prepared for curtness. He was going to be curt and rude. Who likes to be treated like a stranger after such a close friendship, who likes to be ditched? His ego must be hurt. He must be trying to find ways to get back at me. “I just needed these issues closed, the Principal was not happy with the explanations you have provided”, I said, showing him the documents in my hand.

He looked at the documents for a while and asked for a few clarifications. I explained what the Principal had said. He did not react defensively. He didn’t stretch the matter. Only said, “Ok, it will be done. I may not be able to go the college today, but you will get it by the end of the day.”

I managed to smile and say, “Thank you!” and he replied with a polite nod.

I came out of his office lost and confused. This was not what I was prepared for. In fact this was so……invalidating. Almost like I would have preferred if he had been rude to me instead. Why was he so nice and polite and cooperative when he had every reason not to be? All these months I kept away from him, I had made this mental evil image for him and reminded myself everyday of what he had done to me. All the betrayal, all the hurt, all the horror and helplessness. The anger I had felt at him for putting me through so much trouble and fear. The numerous times I thought about hurting him. And yet today he seemed like a nice humane person. Was I then wrong all this time? Was he indeed a nice person?

I couldn’t hold myself back anymore. After having broken contact from him for so many months, I finally messaged him on my own, “How can you be so nice to me?” I texted.

I wanted to tell him that it confused me. If he was evil he should act evil, not be so sweet and cooperative. But I couldn’t tell him that. After a while he replied, “Because I love you. I did something which was not right. You showed me the right path and an opportunity to correct myself. I respect you for that. One rarely comes across such people and I am happy that I met one.”

I felt warmth and relief. But on another level I felt unsettled. Because he couldn’t be a good person. I had good reason to believe that before. The reason still holds. But I felt the hatred for him vanishing. I actually felt respect for him. But couldn’t this also be pretense? As always, maybe he just knows the right words to show that he is a good man.

I don’t know. I wish I understood. This is just another of those times when I fail. When I fumble in judging people because my heart believes and trusts easily. Each time I fall prey to it but this time I decided to write about it. Let’s hope now that I will hold on this time till my mind is more rational and I am sure about what I am doing…