Three Ways to Maintain Your Self-Preservation When Dealing With a Narcissist

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The damage from narcissistic abuse is insipid and insidious and the emotional harm from it can be traumatizing. However, do not think for one second that you are defenseless or powerless to narcissists.

Narcissists are energy vampires. They cannot generate their own power or energy. In fact, they in themselves are powerless.

We fear them because we believe we are powerless and defenseless to them. However, what we fear in reality is not really dangerous. Our perception of danger has been skewed in large part from past harmful or traumatic experiences. We fear narcissists because of what abusers did to us as children when we were vulnerable to them and felt powerless to them. We learned to readily give up our personal power and energy to narcissists and other abusers who trigger our pain and the accompanying false belief of powerlessness.

WHY UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HARM, FEAR AND REAL DANGER ARE FUNDAMENTAL TO OUR HEALING AND WELL-BEING

Narcissists, in reality, however, while aggressive and revengeful, are weak and predictable. This works to your favor since this makes them vulnerable. In fact, they are very easy to manipulate.

CAN NARCISSISM BE CURED?

“Really,” you may be thinking, “how can that be?”

Because in reality, narcissists push the same pain buttons our abusers did when we were children when we were powerless to them. We bring these same fears and beliefs into adulthood. As adults, we overestimate the danger and underestimate our ability to deal with it when, if we were able to look at it rationally, we would see very clearly that we are no longer powerless to these annoying creeps. Read more here.

So our fear of them is really false? The answer is an unequivocal, “Yes!”

We can learn, with practice, to deal with narcissists easily and effectively and not be vulnerable to them or fear them. Once you are able to see them and understand them for who they really are and break through the dysfunctional illusion and heal, you will see they are really more like annoying buzzing insects or whining man and woman babies – bothersome, boring, and predictable.

Here are 3 tips to maintain your self-preservation when dealing with them:

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-4-07-22-pmBecome a “Gray Rock.” Do not give them any attention, positive or negative. Like this meme states, gray rocks do not attract attention and blend in with the scenery and you can do the same to make yourself less appealing to a narcissist.

If you do not give them your energy, they will go away. They need narcissistic supply to survive. Without it, they cannot live. Practice not reacting to anything they say or do or even thinking about them.

Read more on the “Gray Rock Method.”

Say to yourself over and over and practice:

  • I am authentic and powerful in my silence.
  • I am indestructable.
  • I show no emotion.
  • I cannot be triggered.
  • I offer no supply.
  • I am invincible.
  • I am not powerless to anything that triggers me.
  • I am not defenseless to anything that triggers me.
  • I am silent.
  • I am not angry.
  • I am boring.
  • I give no clue as to what is going on with me.

Read more on how to minimize their toxicity here.

Turn the fear triggers into annoyance triggers.

Small mosquitoWatch them and map out what you expect them to do and when. You may find it useful to write down each action and how they make you feel. Plan what you will do when the narcissist responds as you predicted. This will help to remove the severity and seriousness from the situation by showing how weak and predictable, yet annoying, they really are, like mosquitoes. It will also make you more mindful and aware of your real power. Taking action (including saying “no”) will help you reset your internal fear threshold and provide you the self power (e.g. narc repellent) to regulate your emotions before they escalate and the confidence in your ability to protect your personal boundaries. Your confidence, self-esteem, and self-confidence will soar!

Read more on how to minimize their toxicity here.

For reasons of self-preservation (not revenge), learning to manipulate them may be your best option.

Now, I DO NOT recommend this at all to anyone who is in early stages of healing. In addition, it takes time and energy and practice, and frankly, good acting skills to learn how to do this.

th-16So when you are ready and have a legitimate need to benefit, you can learn pretty easily to manipulate them by giving the appearance you are giving up your energy. You can make them think they are manipulating you. Again, I am not promoting deceit for revenge. Rather, I am promoting self-preservation.

Read more on how to manipulate a narcissist here.

I, very far along in my healing, deal with narcissists and other boundary violators like manipulators and covert aggressors and passive aggressive people all the time. I do not fear them because I know how they tick and I no longer believe I am defenseless to them. I no longer fear them because I took my power back and healed and I know how to manage them. For example, I choose to voluntarily interact with them only if I benefit. I always make sure I benefit in some way because I know that they always are using me for something. It is just who they are and it is just what they do. I view it neutrally and not with any fear or emotional investment. If I do not benefit, I do not interact with them or I give up no energy. I just shut down and say nothing. I bank on the fact that they will come back again to “win” just like they bank on others’ vulnerabilities. If and when they come back, I just follow the same rule. If I do not benefit, I do not interact and give up no energy to the interaction.

Narcissists are aggressive and potentially dangerous and can only harm you if you fear them and allow them to do harm to you. In reality, they cannot generate their own power and need yours to survive. This is why they aggressively pursue you. This is behavior they learned in their dysfunctional families. They bank on our weaknesses and only target the emotionally vulnerable, kind, empathetic, generous, conscientious, and trusting people. You can use this information to your benefit and work the interaction with them to your favor.

Read more on how to manipulate a narcissist here.

But make no mistake and do not let your guard down. A narcissist always uses another person for something they need. They are aggressive parasites. Every interaction with them is parasitic. Accept that. It is not because they like you or love you or even hate you. They need you for narcissistic supply and actively go after it. They are predictable and weak and can be managed. They, however, cannot be cured.

Am I The Narcissist?

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

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I hear frequently from readers who fear they are the narcissist and the one with the personality disorder.

My answer?

“Absolutely not!”

This distorted thinking is a consequence of prolonged abuse that started in childhood and its traumatic impacts on your beliefs, self-worth, self-assurance, gauges of reasoning, and your abilities to trust and regulate your emotions.

The fact that you would even be concerned about this, demonstrates that your emotional capabilities although skewed, are intact.

Prolonged narcissistic abuse is slick invalidation from emotional vampires – carefully planned and premeditated efforts to stealthily through covert aggressive combat maneuvers, take everything valuable that you have to offer (your love, trust, compassion, beauty, generosity, child-bearing abilities, finances, or whatever) that they can manipulate from you to provide an illusion of grandeur and greatness to the world without any of the work.

When we do, we give up our power and energy that per our divine design at conception, were intended to be used by and for us to nurture our souls and become the best versions of ourselves as we search for internal truth – truth that we choose to share with others in relationships of mutual respect.

So, “no” you are not a narcissist. You, however, are a wounded victim of one or more who steal energy from you they cannot generate on their own. And perhaps you picked up some of their bad behaviors that will pass once you are away from them.

The good news is that you can fix your skewed thinking and heal and as you do, so will your children and you will thrive. You will make memories and people will love you just for being you. You will release the pain that made you vulnerable to them in the first place and become a stronger more self-assured version of yourself.

th-14You will take your power back and thrive. I explore these topics in much more depth in my book, Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors.

Narcissists will be forever evil and when they are done and gone, the only person anyone will miss is the one they will never be.

Read more below on the topic from one of my favorite Facebook Pages of “Truth,” “Sanctuary for Awareness and Recovery:”

Sanctuary For Awareness And Recovery

Paradox with several Personality Disorders and mental illnesses: since the ego and perception are both affected, it is common for those with some PD’s and mental illnesses with Narcissistic traits to actually perceive those they are treating poorly as the ones who are Narcissistic, because of their reactions to their behavior, or because they have healthy confidence and boundaries.

The root cause is usually a lack of boundaries, and a lack of respect or awareness for other people’s boundaries.

So the person who insults your teeth might call you “narcissistic” if you don’t just LET them insult your teeth. Apparently you were supposed to agree with them or hang your head in shame, not stand up for yourself against a blatant insult. So therefore in their mind the insult was perfectly fine, it was your reaction to the insult that was “narcissistic.”

Another example of this may be when someone enters your home or room without knocking or without waiting for an answer when this has not been established as the “norm” for them in your home or room, in other words you have NOT told them to “don’t knock, just come in.” They’re already showing a lack of boundaries with this behavior, so one shouldn’t be surprised that they react very defensively and emotionally when asked not to do that.

Saying and doing things that display hostility, arrogance, coldness, aggression, superiority or hatred are blatant displays of poor or absent boundaries, so when such a person’s behavior is confronted, disagreed with, or disapproved of, (speaking in a respectful manner that is), they are most likely going to react defensively and perceive it as arrogance, control, or an attack, and if they have some level of narcissism they may rage.

Narcissistic Harm by Proxy

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“People who sincerely care about you will actively listen and follow. Those who don’t will not. Healing is a time of self-evaluation that provides a great opportunity to clean your closet of legacy unhealthy relationships that are supporting the narcissist’s dirty dealings and preventing your healing and hindering your happiness.” 

I read frequently from viewers here and at many other sites who maintained no
contact but watching their children and friends be targeted continued to cause th-1them great fear and pain.

They also experience great pain from those they believe care about them who do not believe them or “do not want to get involved.”

Narcissistic harm by proxy perhaps?

No contact with abusers and especially narcissists is critical to healing. Narcissists, however, frequently target their own children and others you love and use them as pawns to get to you, their primary narcissistic supply. After all, if they cannot have our love and attention, why not settle for our angst, contempt and negative attention by using those we love and care about the most and turning them against us? Negative attention is attention after all, right?

What can we do to support the no contact rule for ourselves and protect ourselves AND our children and others we care about under these circumstances? Personally, this was my greatest fear for my child and my greatest challenge.

But no longer.

Here are some tips and recommendations that I use that I hope you find useful to keep you, your children, and loved ones on a path of emotional health and safety and your relationships intact.

  1. We have options and choices ALWAYS. You are no longer a victim or a target of what the narcissist COULD do in your personal relationships. You can only remain a victim or target if you continue to live in fear. There is a huge difference between REAL danger and fear of what COULD harm you. Remember always to call the police immediately if you are in any real physical danger or threat of physical harm. Use the legal system to acquire restraining orders if needed.
  1. You can also only remain a victim or target if your self-worth is not strong and is dependent on validation from others. This is no longer the case. We learn to use our compassion and empathy, what attracts narcissists to us, to benefit and protect us. Your innate emotional intelligence and new knowledge on emotional health and boundary management provide you with renewed personal power founded on new truth.
  1. The new family dynamic provides you opportunities to use your renewed personal power in your children’s and your favor. You most likely were raised in families where there were no boundaries and healthy rules of engagement or regard for your personal rights or authorities. I call this the “family amoeba,” the family glob. The glob no longer exists and has been replaced with new relationships and dynamics. Your spouse is no longer your spouse, rather the Ex. Your children are still your children. You are still the parent. Those, now, remember, are three or more DISTINCT relationships you are engaged in and that you have the right and authority to manage as you choose with newly established boundaries and the rules of engagement that support emotional health.
  1. Remember your personal power includes the ability to parent and educate your children and influence and educate your loved ones. Teach your children, friends, relatives EVERYTHING you can about narcissism and how to protect themselves from harm. This is an insipid and insidious disorder that needs to be brought into everyone’s levels of consciousness. Share with your children, no matter what their age, EVERYTHING you have learned, signs of narcissists, and especially how to manage and protect personal boundaries with everyone including you and the other parent. TELL THEM THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARM OF ABUSE AND YOUR CHILDHOOD AND UPBRINGING. Teach them self-respect by demanding it in all your personal interactions and paying honor to your own personal rights and authorities. People who sincerely care about you will actively listen and follow. Those who don’t will not.

Healing is a time of self-evaluation that provides a great opportunity to clean your closet of legacy unhealthy relationships that are supporting the narcissist’s dirty dealings and preventing your healing and hindering your happiness.