How To Deal With A Narcissist (NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder) - Malignant Self-Love/Narcissism
Dealing With Narcissists
Being victimized by a narcissist can be a long, daunting and damaging experience. Finding out that someone you love has NPD can be even more daunting and damaging and learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder from the internet can sometimes be so shocking that just the information alone can be enough for some victims of narcissistic abuse to be left in a state of post-traumatic shock.
However, it's important to understand that the information which is now available on the internet does not apply to each and every single narcissist in the world and that there are varying degrees and various subtypes of the disorder and it's very possible for someone to be narcissistic without even having the disorder. All of us have different personalities and it's possible for personalities to clash.
Getting to grips with the fact that someone you know has Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be extremely difficult to cope with and it takes time for victims to learn about what they've been through, or what they're going through, and some of the literature now available on the topic of NPD can be quite extreme.
The most common piece of advice offered to those dealing with narcissistic personalities is usually to cut off all contact. However, for some of us this simply isn't a choice. For those of us unable to cut all ties with the narcissist(s) in our lives, it's important to maintain a healthy distance and keep communication to an absolute minimum. Victims need space and time to rebuild their self-esteem and self-worth, re-establish their identity, build up a network of friends and get themselves into a better financial position. Most victims of narcissistic abuse will inevitably have had all these things stolen from them during their unfortunate experience.
Unfortunately, victims will need to escape the clutches of their narcissist first and this is much more profoundly difficult than the average person could ever believe - the chains are on tight. People dealing with narcissistic personalities will most likely have been gradually manipulated into co-dependence and the only person they may be able to turn to for help could be the very narcissist who manipulated them into the situation in the first place. Additionally, victims will inevitably have a mountain of problems and insecurities which have built up over the course of their experience and may have even been convinced that they are the source of the many of the problems when, in reality, they are of sound mind.
Learning about malignant narcissism/NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is something which should be done discreetly and gradually, some of the information can be a lot to take in and it can be overwhelmingly difficult to understand, therefore it's also important to acknowledge the fact that there are many common myths about NPD.
Talking about NPD with the narcissist in your life or trying to get them to consider that they may be inflicted with it is a bad idea which, in some cases, has proven to have had devastating results. That's not to say that it hasn't been done successfully in the past... but you should choose your steps very carefully; some narcissists can be so crafty, devious, callous, manipulative and shallow that it defies all logical explanation. It really literally is beyond all normality, beyond comprehension and beyond belief what they are truly capable of, whilst they expertly mask away their evil inner side.
Attempting to communicate with a narcissist about the real issues and concerns you have in your relationship with them is pointless. They will say whatever they need to say in order to get their own way, after all, what they are saying are just words to them, nothing more. Showing any sign of emotional insecurity is seen by the narcissist as a vulnerability and the victim will usually be kicked while they are down.
If a victim or relative of a narcissist does successfully manage to get them to acknowledge that they have a problem and perhaps agree to go to counseling or therapy, this is usually either for one of two reasons; they have either successfully penetrated the narcissist's solid exterior during one of their temporary periods of self-reflection and communicated with them on an emotional level whereby they will probably end up promising that they can change... or, on the other hand, it could all be a ploy and as soon as they go for a counseling session the narcissist will make out it's the victim or relative who is the problem and will act as though it was them who wanted counseling or therapy. Narcissists inevitably end up manipulating the therapist into helping them tag-team the victim.
If the acknowledgement was during a temporary period of self-reflection, the narcissist will probably act as though they are making a genuine effort to change but usually this is all just a facade to suck the victim back in before returning to their normal self. Of course, the narcissist may not have really had a temporary period of self-reflection and may have been acting all along.
People who have been victimized by narcissists may be feeling emotionally and mentally devastated, they may be feeling anxious, depressed, tense and perhaps even suicidal if they have been victimized for long enough. Given the extreme circumstances, this is completely normal and is understandable. Victims often feel so alone, cut off from the world and isolated during their experience that they feel like an empty void yet there are, in fact, many other people in the world going through the exact same thing. Thankfully, awareness of the devastating amount of damage that people inflicted with the personality disorder can cause is growing.
The one thing in particular that makes dealing with a narcissist difficult is empathy. Not the narcissist's lack of it, but the empathy that the victim does have which is inevitably being exploited by the narcissist and this often leaves the victim repeatedly questioning themselves whilst the narcissist successfully plays the victim, fooling those around them.
Victims of narcissists often have an overwhelming desire to prove the truth to the people around them. However, this could prove to be an unnecessary evil. Instead, it's better for victims to care less about what other people believe and focus on themselves. Trying to get others to open their eyes to the truth can seem like an attempt at ostracizing the narcissist, even though it's the victim who has been truly ostracized.
Most victims of narcissistic abuse will have had their self-esteem, self-worth and their emotions worn down to their very core of their soul and so it's important for them to learn how to regain control of themselves. This means learning to break to free of the co-dependence, stripping control away from the narcissist and taking responsibility into their own hands once again but this requires resources; resources such as identification and money which the narcissist has intentionally deprived their victim of. Victims need to be hyper-vigilent in planning their escape.
Just as many narcissists carry out their abuse covertly, victims must escape covertly and stealthily. The narcissist must not find out about the escape plan or it will effectively be sabotaged. If someone lives with a narcissist under the narcissist's roof and gives them an indication that they are trying to leave then they will most likely be leaving the narcissist's house a lot sooner than they were anticipating.
It may seem harsh to just suddenly disappear unexpectedly for an unspecified period of time without any warning but desperate times call for desperate measures - whatever it takes must be done and this requires strength. Additionally, some victims feel like they need to get revenge on the narcissist in their lives and this is also a bad idea right from the start. Simply put, revenge is for fools and usually causes more trouble than it's worth.
Although emotions are natural and are there for a reason, it is possible to learn how to deal with our emotions much more efficiently and effectively and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is a form of applied psychology which teaches us how to do this. NLP may not necessarily be for you but it helped me greatly in my struggle for escape and along my road to recovery. Emotional strength is a necessity for any victim of narcissistic abuse to be able to escape.
- NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Malignant Self-Love
- The Covert / Stealth Narcissist
- The Aftermath Of The Narcissist
- Various Types Of Narcissist & The Mechanics Of NPD
- Narcissistic & Sociopathic Ideology Within Bloodlines
- How To Recognize A Narcissist
- Escaping The Narcissist In Your Life
- Inside The Mind Of A Narcissist
- The Narcissist In All Of Us
- Does Modern Technology Breed Narcissism?
- Psychological Murder: Inflicted Suicde - A Result Of Abuse
- The Narcissist That Slayed His Parents
- The Adverse Effects Of Narcissistic Abuse
- Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) - The Drama Queen
- Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) - The Self-Harmer
- The Sociopath Next Door
- The Female Abuser: Protected By Society
- Paternity Fraud: The Perfect Crime
- Relieve Depression Without Medication
- Anger Management: Focus Your Anger On A Positive Intention
- Build Self-Confidence To Attain Success
- The Four Pillars Of NLP
Road To Recovery
Although there is no official diagnosis for it, there is such a phenomena as Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, a term which was coined by Medical News Today, due to the conditions that victims of narcissistic abuse find themselves suffering with during and after their experience.
The longer they are subject to narcissistic abuse, the more adversely their health is affected and the more extreme their conditions become. Such victims often suffer with depression, anxiety, mental anguish, stress-related illnesses, weight loss, insomnia, irrational fears, post-traumatic stress (nightmares and flashbacks) and more. In extreme cases the symptoms can be much worse and people who are being, or have been, abused severely may be at high risk of committing suicide or having a heart attack or stroke. Unfortunately, unless the victim can escape the clutches of the narcissist, the abuse will continue unabated - the narcissist has no empathy and cannot understand the damage they are inflicting.
Any victim of narcissistic abuse, once they eventually realize what is happening, would be wise to speak to their doctor as soon as possible about their situation, without their narcissist knowing. Not all doctors understand NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) too much but simply just having someone to talk to about the situation can be a great weight off the shoulders. The doctor may be able to refer the victim, relative or spouse of the narcissist to a therapist or counselor who may be able to provide further help.
Speaking to a doctor about the situation can be tricky for victims and it's important not to try to explain experiences to the doctor, but rather to inform them of the health conditions which the victim now suffers with, so that they can be provided with the necessary medical help. In some cases this may be a wide range of symptoms, all of which must be addressed - this is important because in some extreme cases (such as my own personal experience) there has been permanent physical damage caused to health, which may need to be treated.
The road to recovery can be a long and drawn out path and in cases that involve post-traumatic stress it can often take victims up to five years to fully recover. Of course, in cases where damage to physical health has been caused, it's possible that the victim may never fully recover completely and so they need to ensure that no narcissist is ever going to compromise their health in the future.
Once a victim of narcissistic abuse has successfully traveled the path to recovery, they are often left feeling liberated and highly appreciative of the beautiful things in life and the things around them, they do not take things for granted so much and it can feel both enlightening and refreshing for them to be able to be themselves once again - they are no longer a puppet.
- eBook by this author - Know Your Enemy: Reflections Of NPD - now available at Lulu.com.
More by this Author
Find out the answers to the most commonly asked questions about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Malignant Narcissism/Self-Love) here. Can narcissists ever love? Do they have a conscience? etc.
How to recognize a narcissist - recognizing if someone has Narcissistic Personality Disorder/Malignant Self-Love (Narcissism) can be extremely tricky and can only be done in the long-term.
How covert narcissists, also known as stealth or closet narcissists, get away with being a mental and emotional abuser and a criminal master-mind manipulator - covert (malignant) narcissism.