Whether it’s a co-worker, friend and family member, almost everyone knows someone with a narcissistic personality. Those with a narcissistic personality have an elevated sense of self-importance. They have a sense that they are in charge (at work and home), believe their ‘uniqueness’ can only be understood by a select few, and can require excessive admiration.
For those who work or live with the narcissist, life can become so complicated; you wish the narcissist would just “quit it”. Unfortunately, that’s not an option. As hard as it is to hear, narcissism is something to be dealt with – not necessarily something that can be overcome.
The good news is armed with the right strategies; you can learn to co-exist with the narcissist(s) in your life.
Lower Your Expectations – As you’ll never receive total emotional nurturing in a narcissistic relationship, ensure you keep your expectations realistic. When you’re with them, try to magnify their good qualities, while understanding they are somewhat emotionally limited. Accepting this truth will help you stop asking for something your family member, spouse or co-worker is unable to give (e.g. unconditional love, emotional support, etc.).
Strategise Your Needs – Due to a lack of empathy, narcissists have a lot of troubles focusing on the needs of others – even loved ones. So, ensure you don’t bother them with every little issue that crops up. When you need them to do something for you, ask for their help. To achieve a good result, ask for assistance in areas they are interested or gifted in.
Never Make Your Self-Worth Dependent on Them – Whatever you do, don’t get caught in the trap of trying to please a narcissist. No matter what you do, you’ll never meet their expectations, as these are constantly changing, and you are expected to keep up with them. Also, refrain from confiding your deepest feelings, as the narcissist will not treat these with sensitivity and understanding.
Show Them How Tasks or Favours Will Benefit Them – When communicating with a narcissist, stating your needs clearly, getting angry or demanding will not work. To communicate successfully, frame questions and requests in a way they will understand – how it will impact them.
For instance, instead of saying to your spouse: “I’d really like to go out for a family dinner,” say, “Everyone really likes you. They’d love to see you again.” Or, instead of telling your employer, “I’d prefer not to work nights,” say, “I can bring more revenue to the company during these hours.”
As many narcissistic relationships are unavoidable, handling them carefully (by using some of the strategies suggested above) will help you achieve your desired outcome. If you are concerned about your own situation then please call and book an appointment with us – 07 5596 9090.