What is the best way to deal with someone who is egotistical to a dangerous level?
Someone who refuses to take constructive criticism, no matter how gently phrased or obvious to anyone else the criticism might be... How can you deal with such a person when walking away, ignoring them, and refusing to deal with them are not options?
If you are at a mall, bar, night club, etc., I would tell them "There is phone call for you at (such & such phone)" and walk away while they are distracted. If they know where you live then I would keep getting lost somehow when they are not looking until they get the message.
A good therapist may be able to give you some tools to help you in communicating more effectively with someone who is already a part of your life. I understand that some family members cannot be ignored or walked away from, such as a our offspring. Mostly, it is a thing of changing our perspective so that we do not get hurt and blame ourselves for everything. Just keep in mind that if you happen to be dealing with a true narcissist, then there is not anything you can do to change their behavior. That being said, if they are willing to see a psychiatrist, they might be able to modify their behavior slightly.
If they are not narcissistic, then there is a lot of hope. Such people just require more patience. They also need to receive a lot of positive reinforcement--more than criticism, no matter how gentle. Best of luck to you.
Perhaps this person is a narcissist, as you suggested. Especially love what you said about positive reinforcement—a solid plan of action that I'll start doing right away. And perhaps find ways of phrasing the corrections as compliments in disguise!
Before assuming the other person "refuses to take constructive criticism" I think the "critic" has to ask himself about himself whether he's the person supervisor at work and/or whether he's the person's teacher/instructor. He should also ask if it's one matter/project/issue on which he has some criticism or whether he's generally someone who thinks he has some right to criticize others on whatever he's inspired to criticize.
Most of us grow up hearing in school that we should (of course) be able to accept the criticism of teachers (and most often, whether that criticism is correct or not, the fact is it is intended to be constructive). A lot of people (most, maybe) don't realize that once we're not in school, or if we're not in a work setting where a superior's constructive criticism (or even another co-worker's suggestion about, say, how a task might be better accomplished), there is actually very isolated and limited use or place for criticism - or at least for the expectation that one's criticism will be appreciated, wanted, or otherwise not found objectionable.
If the "critic" is a customer or client of a business it's reasonable that he voice his complaints about goods/services, and it's reasonable that he offer a suggestion. In personal or other "non-structured" settings, unless a couple of people have agreed that one will teach the other something (and constructive criticism would be reasonable in that setting), criticizing others generally suggests that one person believes he knows better than the other about how to do something or what the other should be doing. A lot of people are more than willing to accept criticism when they've asked for another's ideas on something. Many aren't interested in unsolicited by people who may, in fact, not "know better" or know enough the other person's reasons for doing what he does.
People guilty of inappropriate, over-bearing, "constructive criticism" need to ask if there's the chance the other person is fine accepting appropriate criticism, but just isn't interested in hearing that one, over-bearing, person's "two cents" on some matter.
"Overbearing" can be sweetened up and/or well intended, but most people see through it. Ego is often about who thinks he's somehow superior to others, or who needs to be. Sometimes when two ways of thinking/doing things are involved it's the critic who can't accept that the other person may "know better" about a matter (or himself, his own life).
Oh, brilliant! You're totally correct--I'd react badly to unsolicited criticism, too, unless it was from a superior/person in authority. This person doesn't accept that I am SUPPOSED to be their critic! I have a plan now--thanks Lisa HW! Very helpful
Each of us chooses our own friends, lovers, and spouse. We get to (choose) whom we spend our time with, where we work, and live.
I cannot imagine being in a position where I could not (walk away, ignore, or refuse to deal with someone.) That would be a prison of my own creation.
Lastly I've learned that people change when (they) want to change. Generally speaking they will only do so when (they're unhappy) with the results they are getting in life. Constructive criticism is appreciated for the most part only when it asked for.
Life is a personal journey. Each of us has our own lessons to learn. If I truly could not avoid dealing with someone I would remain silent and allow them to run their own race and allow them to discover what works for them on their own. You can only help those who want it.
Consider learning more about a mental health disorder called 'personality disorders'. You can learn more about this quite easily by searching here on HP; I have written several articles about it, and so has my pseudonym, 'John of the Cross'.
Many words of wisdom, as always, Dashing Scorpio! Thanks! I'll try to apply what you've said to my situation, which is complex to say the least. Thanks for your help, and wish me luck! Cheers!
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