If you think you are dealing with a narcissist, there are some things to keep in mind at all times.
They do not care about you, no matter what you have been led to believe up to now.
They will not change. Give up thinking they will.
Be careful of getting into a power battle with them because they can be much more devious and vicious than you can ever be.
They have manipulated and controlled you. This has to be undone.
So what do you do when dealing with a narcissist?
As soon as you can, move away from them.
This is not always easy! But the longer you are in contact with them, the more damage you will suffer. So the sooner you get away, and stay away, the better.
Dealing with a narcissist in a work situation can be tricky in that it may be difficult to remove yourself from the situation. But if you stay, there will be consequences. Those caught in the web of deceit of a malignant narcissist often end up taking the blame for the mess, are shocked and stunned after realizing they have been victims, or they may even lose their jobs.
Having a narcissistic mother has it's own considerations and if you have children with a narcissist, the situation is definitely more complicated. Unless of course, the narcissist wants nothing to do with the kids, in which case, count your blessings!!
Moving away from the narcissist may require some planning and preparation. If possible do not let them know what you are planning or they may increase the mind control, manipulation and abuse to stop you from going.
Enlist the help of family or friends who are on your side. This is important, because often your friends or family do not realize they are dealing with a narcissist and they may be manipulated by the narcissist, too.
This may mean that they think the narcissist is a wonderful person and that you are the crazy one! Make sure the person going to help you sees the narcissist from your point of view.
And you need to be determined to stay away. Narcissists can be very convincing when they promise that things will be different, they will change, you can both start again, etc.
Do not allow them to continue to manipulate you. This is never easy until you have actually undone the mind control.
Those under the influence of narcissists typically believe that they are responsible for everything that happens to them and that they should be able to sort everything out themselves.
These 2 things often prevent them from asking for outside help from experts, the very thing that will enable them to leave the awful situation they are in...!!
Again, this can be very difficult for various reasons.
Narcissists create dependency in their victims, after all this is how they get their narcissistic supply!
The dependency can mean that the victim believes that they need the narcissist to feel good, to know that they are ok and even to know who they are! Therefore, when they leave the narcissist, they may feel grief, loss and disappointment. They may even feel that they have betrayed the narcissist!
The temptation to return, if the victim does not understand the manipulation and mind control, can be enormous. There are many stories about men dealing with a narcissist who have gone through very messy divorces with a narcissistic wife, and a few days after the divorce, the man feels sorry for the woman because she has no place to live (or so she claims!) and he invites her to move back in!!
No contact means no contact. There is often a strong desire to tell the narcissist exactly what you think of them. This is a mistake. It only gives the narcissist another chance to talk to you, to manipulate you and to wheedle their way back into your good books.
It also gives them more information about you. Remember, in dealing with a narcissist, any information that you give them can and will be used against you.
If you starve them of information about you it really frustrates them because they don't know how to handle you anymore. Then you can expect them to go through the whole gamut of possibilities, accepting blame, telling you that you have made a mistake, blaming you, eliciting your pity, getting angry at you, and other ploys to manipulate your emotions.
Find someone who is qualified to deal with victims of mind control. They will help you to understand what happened to you, how the narcissist deceived you from the start for their own personal gain, that it's not your fault and how to undo the beliefs and ideas that the narcissist has imposed on you.
They will help you to recover your self esteem and self confidence so that you can take back your life and carry on without the suffering imposed by the narcissist.
Dealing with a narcissist alone can be very daunting and may seem impossible. Yet many people end up doing this for the reasons mentioned earlier. They have been isolated by the narcissist and the narcissist has made them believe they need to sort things out by themselves. Obviously this is a control mechanism used by narcissists.
A word of warning. Psychologists and psychologists who do not understand mind control will often start with your part, your responsibility, in the whole thing and how your childhood and early relationships have contributed to the situation. This can be counterproductive and may keep the victim in a state where they blame themselves and this may even keep them vulnerable to other manipulators!
If you are dealing with a narcissist, getting out is going to cost you somehow. You may lose money, you will have lost months or years of your life, you may lose your family, you will lose more time sorting everything out.
And it's worth it!
Narcissists are takers, leeches, parasites, emotional vampires, whatever you like. They are out for what they can get. So if you are dealing with a narcissist you are already on the losing end. Often the cheapest way out is to cut your losses and leave.
Many societies are not organized in dealing with a narcissist and the laws don't protect the victims. Even if you have the resources to sue the narcissist, they often disappear without paying.
If a narcissist has stolen years of your life, there is no way to get them back. If the narcissist has conned you out of money, assets or anything else, it is often impossible to recover these things.
Sometimes families are broken up because of narcissists. This is often the most difficult aspect to deal with. But if you are a victim, it is vital that you look after yourself first, and the children next. If you are a nervous wreck with no self esteem, no job and no friends or support, you are not much use to your children.
Look after yourself first and make sure you are as good as you can be in order to support your children.
Later, you will need to understand mind control and manipulation sufficiently well to teach your children about it.
There are various ideas around for dealing with a narcissist and other difficult people. Praise them first, then ask for what you want. Make out that what you want is somehow for their benefit. Let them think it's their idea.
Anyone who has been a victim of a narcissist and who has gotten out and undone the damage, is VERY unlikely to suggest that you try these various techniques.
They understand that these simply encourage the narcissist and keeps the victims stuck in the relationship. The victim is unable to take control and continues to organize their lives around the abuser. That really is no way to live.
The advice is to stop looking for ways to appease the narcissist so that you can stay in the relationship. For the sake of your own physical and mental health, leave. Get out. Don't come back. You will be glad that you did.
The only way narcissists change is by getting worse! If they don't get what they want, they increase the manipulation, abuse and bad behavior.
Any attempts to get them to treat you better are futile, because the change is temporary at best and may lead to retaliation at worst.
When they find out that you are leaving, prepare for them to try to increase the manipulation to get you to stay or to punish you.
When you are planning to leave, you need to take steps to protect yourself. If you are worried about physical abuse you need to organize a safe place to stay. You may need to inform the police or hire a solicitor.
Watch out for your possessions! If you are dealing with a narcissist, they have no trouble stealing or destroying your things. The attitude is that if they can't have them, you can't either! You may need to remove your stuff from their house before they know you are leaving or you may need to change the locks in your home so that they don't let themselves in when you are not there.
Never underestimate a narcissist!
The best personal protection is to learn as much as you can about narcissism and mind control so that the narcissist loses their control over you. Find a professional to help you with this.
Some ideas if you have to have contact (if there are children involved, for example)
- Communicate in some written form only. Do not talk to them if at all possible. Emails, sms or written letters as much as possible.
- When you write, keep in mind that your emails etc. may be read out in court! Remember, expect that any information that you give can and will be used against you. So write with as little emotion as possible.
- Stick to the facts. No opinions.
- Communicate only about those things you have to, for example, organizing the instructions of a court order, necessary information about the children such as school timetables, what the doctor said etc.
There is no best way in dealing with a narcissist. Sometimes a person has to learn about narcissism and how the narcissist tricked them from the start before they are ready to leave. Other times, the person needs to leave first to protect themselves from further physical harm.
And still others may have already left the relationship but are still suffering the consequences of the narcissistic abuse. They need an expert to help them to understand just what the heck happened to them and what they need to do to undo the mind control...
Would you prefer to talk to someone about your situation?
If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.
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