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How to deal with narcissists: Ways to tackle narcissism and narcissistic behavior

Updated on November 18, 2013

How to deal with a narcissist? Whether it is your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, boss, colleague or friend – narcissism is a tough nut to crack. Narcissistic behavior can leave deep emotional scars because narcissists are self-absorbed, arrogant, dominating, controlling and sometimes even exploitive. The best way to deal with narcissists is to push them out of your life. But if that isn't possible or you want to give your relationship a chance, here's what you should know.

Have a conversation with your partner about his or her narcissistic behavior. In a perfect world, that may be all it takes to deal with narcissism in a relationship.
Have a conversation with your partner about his or her narcissistic behavior. In a perfect world, that may be all it takes to deal with narcissism in a relationship. | Source

1) Narcissism in relationships: Tell your partner about his or her behavior

Narcissists are so self-obsessed that they will never realize how badly they are scaring someone on a deep emotional level. They only way to really get narcissists to mend their ways is by telling them. This is worth only if that narcissist is your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or colleague who you simply can't ignore.

Sit your narcissistic partner down for a heart to heart chat and open up your emotional scars to him or her to see. Be vocal about how are bearing the hurtful brunt of arrogant and selfish behavior every single day.

Give them weeks and months to start treating you the way you deserve to be treated. If they fail to recognize your pain even after a few of these heartfelt pleas, maybe it is time that you considered walking away from the relationship.

2) Avoid narcissist people in your life

The best way to deal with narcissists is to not deal with them at all. It is not worth tolerating the arrogance a narcissist can bring in your life. If possible, avoid such people and keep them at an arm's length.

This may be hard to do if you are dealing with a narcissist partner or a boss at work. But if it has to do with narcissist friends, push them outside your close circle so that you can remove the horrid negativity from your daily life.

3) Getting narcissists on your side: Make them dependent on you

A nice way of getting narcissistic people to tone their attitude down while they are around you, is to make them dependent on you for something that they cannot function without.

For example, if you are dealing with a narcissistic boss, teach yourself a skill or be proficient at a task that none of your other colleagues can do. This will compel your boss to be nice to you simply because he needs you to get that task done.

Narcissists may walk around like lions with egos the size of mountains. But the can very well cower down and become meek kitties when they are dependent on you for something they need desperately.

4) Don't take a narcissist's rants personally

Narcissists love ranting and most of their rants often take an insulting turn for the people at the receiving end. But being the ugly narcissists that they are, hurting some emotionally will never be a concern which holds them back from saying something offensive.

Remember this while having a conversation with a narcissist. Detach yourself emotionally from the conversation and remain calm. Don't ever let a narcissist's cruel words reach your heart. Never take a narcissist's words personally.

Trying to beat a narcissist by being one yourself is not a great idea. Your actions will possibly make a narcissist more arrogant and rude than usual.
Trying to beat a narcissist by being one yourself is not a great idea. Your actions will possibly make a narcissist more arrogant and rude than usual.

5) Never try to beat a narcissist by being one yourself

A shark can't beat a lion in the jungle, and a lion can never beat a shark in the sea. This metaphor is to help you understand that trying to beat narcissists at something that is a core part of their personalities is a nearly impossible and a mammoth task.

Even if you try to ape narcissistic personality traits to give someone a taste of their own medicine, it is unlikely to work in your favor.

6) Never have expectations from a narcissist

Expecting a narcissist to behave in a certain way is a one way street to disappointment. Narcissists will never care about your feelings. They will do and say everything their over-inflated egos tell them to do.

Narcissists will never be considerate enough to look out for your interests. Expecting them to step in your shoes in any situation is a wasteful thought.

7) Don't try to justify your relationship with a narcissist

Never try to justify your relationship with a narcissist, whether it is a romantic one, marriage or a professional relationship. You will hit yourself on the foot the very moment you try to convince yourself that tolerating narcissistic behavior is not bad as it seems.

Your feelings and emotions are too special to be at the mercy of an arrogant narcissist. Be around people who value you for the special person that you are. Don't ever try to justify the barrage of insulting rants and emotionally abusive behavior that you face from a narcissist.

Narcissists may blame you for their mistakes. Their arrogant and dominating charm may even make you believe them.
Narcissists may blame you for their mistakes. Their arrogant and dominating charm may even make you believe them.

8) Beaware of a narcissist's attempts at blaming you for things you haven't done

Narcissists are only concerned about their interests. If they make a mistake, they will try to run as far away from it as they can. They will even starting pointing fingers at anyone and everyone they can, just so that they can be on safe ground. Here are typical situations you should watch out for.

  • Narcissists will typically say 'You said it' to make you believe that you said something even when you didn't
  • Narcissists will blame you for their faults without batting an eyelid

Blaming others is a trait that comes naturally to narcissists. It is not something that they have to consciously do. So keep your guard up and never take a narcissist's rants on face value.

9) Getting narcissists to work for you: Show them their benefit

Never expect self-absorbed narcissists to go out of their way to help you with something. This can be a big pain if you are dealing with narcissist colleagues who are a part of your team at work.

The trick to get narcissists to work for you is to show them their benefit. For example, if you want a narcissist colleague to help you with a presentation at work, convince him by saying that you will mention his name in the credits when you make a presentation to the bosses. The sound of gain and benefit will get generally get a narcissist's attention.

10) Don't be a pushover: Narcissists will take you for granted

Dominating and potentially exploiting behavior fueled by unlimited amounts of self-confidence is a classic narcissistic trait. This typically results in narcissists taking advantage of everyone around them, whether other people are their colleagues, friends or even partners in a marriage.

Always remember this before you agree to do something for a narcissist. 'Just this one time' is a phrase that you must remove from your vocabulary when you are dealing with a narcissist. Being extra nice to narcissists once will set you up for repeatedly being taken for granted at their will, and against yours.

Never let a narcissist in on your secrets.
Never let a narcissist in on your secrets.

11) Never expect a narcissist to keep a secret

Since narcissists rarely care about other people's feelings, their cold hearts won't skip a single beat while blurting out secrets which can leave someone heartbroken. Always remember this and never trust a narcissist with a secret.

Narcissists will also try to persuade you in telling them the things you don't want to reveal. They will use their arrogance and dominating personalities to their advantage. Don't succumb to this, because you can be rest assured that it won't remain a secret if it reaches their ears.

12) Pity the narcissist's personality and psychological disorder

Obsessive narcissism is a personality disorder. Pitying narcissists for this disorder will help you overcome the fear of dealing with them. Instead of being anxious, you will have an 'I don't care' attitude towards narcissists once you start pitying them.

Don't confuse this pity with heartfelt sympathy. Casual pity will give you an emotional upper hand but feeling truly sympathetic will suck you deeper into a narcissist's web of arrogance and lies.

13) Don't have sympathy for a narcissist during a moment of weakness

Even narcissists have moments of weakness. This is typically when they face failure or when some of their stupid actions put them in trouble. Whenever such a situation arises, narcissists will typically be at their best behavior to gain sympathy from people around them.

This sudden swing in behavior can easily make someone have a momentary sense of plight. Don't be drawn into this manipulative behavior because once you help narcissists get out of trouble, they will go back to their arrogant selves. They will not have a sense of gratitude and will continue treating you the way they did earlier.


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    • TimFilmoore profile image


      2 years ago from Los Angeles CA

      my recent gf might have been like a narcissist, but we're over for a few weeks and i'm glad i got out of there early

    • Escobana profile image


      6 years ago from Valencia

      "Don't be drawn into this manipulative behavior because once you help narcissists get out of trouble, they will go back to their arrogant selves. They will not have a sense of gratitude and will continue treating you the way they did earlier."

      Right at the end of your well written Hub, I remember myself from a year ago. I've had to deal with a narcissistic boyfriend/future husband and for the most part of my relationship, I had no clue I was dealing with this type of personality.

      I am freed now. Thank God! I broke up with him a year ago and wrote a Hub on that experience. A Fairy Tale Ending....

      I would always fall for his good side, then feel slapped in the face a moment or days later. I felt confused many times for being in a very intense and passionate relationship on the one hand, yet lost for the times I felt emotionally cornered.

      I am still not over him in a way and it's been a year since I decided to walk away. By that I mean, I feel it's all the more difficult to commit myself again to someone else.

      I gave my all.....he broke my all. But....he gave me a good peek into the life of a narcissist. "I can smell shit from a mile away" a friend once told me. It sound bitter to me. case of meeting new men, dating and chatting....I now CAN smell narcissistic shit from a mile away. For that I'm grateful to my ex. And I feel so much stronger for having survived another break up. any Hubber out there dealing with a narcissist....Take this Hub seriously....and leave asap from the poison you deal with on a daily base...

      Thanks for a great Hub! Up, shared and liked!


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