There is a good chance that you will sooner or later run into a narcissist in your life. Whether it is your family member, partner, friend, or co-worker, dealing with a narcissist can drain you in every sense. One of the significant consequences of narcissism is the suffering of those around a narcissist. A relationship with the narcissist may impair your mental health, mess up your sense of sanity, and prevent you from leading a happy, fulfilled life.
Learning how to beat a narcissist can help you break free from their abuse and regain control over your life. But first, here are some red flags to help you recognize a narcissist in your life.
What is a Narcissist?
A narcissist is someone who doesn’t care about your needs and well-being, someone who makes you feel bad about yourself. As adults, narcissists are never happy. Neither will you when around them.
Although narcissists are commonly described as individuals with self-centered behavior and an inflated sense of superiority, narcissism occurs along the spectrum ranging from a few narcissistic traits to full-scale narcissistic personality disorder.
Whether a person has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or narcissistic personality traits, they display some common characteristics and behaviors that can help you recognize what you are dealing with.
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A narcissist always seeks acknowledgment and admiration, believing that the world owes them something. At the same time, they lack empathy and sensitivity for other people’s needs.
Narcissists typically have an exaggerated sense of being unique and often take advantage of others to get what they want. You may recognize a narcissist by their arrogant and overconfident attitudes or behaviors – they tend to exaggerate their own talents, skills, and accomplishments.
Narcissistic behavior stems from great fear of abandonment and insecure attachment styles in childhood. Typically, this personality disorder developed during childhood as a strategy to protect oneself against unreasonable criticism, blame, neglect, and abuse.
Studies show that such experiences during childhood increase the possibility that someone develops NPD – fear of depending on others caused constant attempts to control the relationships or avoid intimacy entirely. As adults, most narcissists have serious issues with emotional regulation and impulse control.
Common Behaviors of a Narcissist
Narcissists usually use intellectualization as a defense mechanism to discourage emotions such as remorse and empathy. They are generally analytical and calculating but without the personal awareness of how their behavior affects others.
A narcissistic personality is characterized by self-centered and manipulative behavior patterns. Narcissists are arrogant and demanding, with a deep need for excessive attention.
A narcissistic personality disorder affects all areas of a person’s life, from relationships to school and work. People with narcissistic personality disorder are often unhappy and disappointed, finding their relationships unfulfilling.
Understanding their common behaviors can help you beat a narcissist at their own game. So, here are some of them, they will:
- Use gaslighting to create confusion and insecurity
- Use people as narcissistic supply
- Put you down and discredit you
- Use triangulation to control and manipulate others
- Be controlling and emotionally abusive
- Experience sudden mood swings and impulsive behavior
- Carefully choose who they uncover around, delicately manipulating others and remain unrecognized for a long time
- Tend to blame others for their mistakes and failures
- Be unreasonably jealous of your friends or success
- Make you constantly feel guilty
- Always play the victim
- Isolate you from other people
Situations where You May Need to Deal with a Narcissist in Your Life
Toxic relationships with narcissists can happen to anyone. There is no reciprocity in a relationship with a toxic person as narcissists never have your best interest in mind.
A narcissist can be your parent, romantic partner, sibling, friend, or co-worker, which walking out from the relationship can make extremely hard. Understanding their everyday behaviors and thinking patterns is the first step in figuring out how to beat a narcissist at their own game.
For example, if you are divorcing a narcissist, your separation will likely be a high-conflict one, especially if children are involved. Knowing how to deal with your narcissistic ex can help minimize stress and remain present in your children’s lives without interacting with each other. Understanding narcissistic personality disorder allows you to opt for parallel parenting where the important events and decisions are divided between the two of you with no interaction and communication.
If your parent is a narcissist, understanding their behaviors and thinking patterns can help you set boundaries, keep back from their drama style, and protect your mental health.
How to Beat a Narcissist at Their Own Game
A relationship with a narcissist is usually emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting. However, you can learn some strategies to help you manage your relationship with a narcissist and protect yourself.
Recognize and Acknowledge the Abuse
A relationship with a narcissist often has a façade of normality. They carefully choose who they uncover around, delicately manipulating others, and remain unrecognized for a long time. Too often, the victims of the narcissistic cycle of abuse don’t recognize the abuse themselves for years, sometimes even decades. Recognizing a narcissist’s behavior as abuse is the first step in beating a narcissist at their level.
Don’t Stoop to Their Level
Narcissists thrive on drama. They will gaslight you into a belief that everything is your fault, denying blatant lies, and play a victim. Don’t allow the narcissist to pull you in their pattern. Try to always stick to the facts. Keep records of documents, conversations (if you are divorcing a narcissist, for example), etc. This will help prevent their manipulation.
Don’t React to Their Abusive Tactics
Your reaction is exactly what they want. So, don’t accept the narcissist’s gaslighting phrases as your truth. They will try everything to demean and discredit you. Practice positive affirmations to undue blame and maintain healthy self-esteem.
Also, stay connected with positive people and those who validate you for who you are.
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Remain Mindful of Your Needs and Emotions
There is no equality in a relationship with the narcissist. Everything is always about them. However, let the toxic relationship impact your life and well-being. Practice self-care strategies such as mindfulness, positive affirmations, gratitude, and relaxation to stay mentally healthy. Engage in positive social interactions and remain mindful of your emotions and needs.
Keep in mind that taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to beat a narcissist at their own game. When you are ready to move forward, book a time to see how coaching can help you move forward. www.chatwithkamini.com