• Jo Rust

Surviving a narcissist

Narcissists, or people who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, can be difficult to identify at first. These people usually exhibit traits of megalomania and sociopathy, but you'll only catch on to realizing who they truly are once you're well and truly caught in their very well designed and devious trap.

They have a warped sense of entitlement, can't handle criticism whatsoever, don't care about others' feelings, are highly manipulative, pathological liars and have an insatiable need to be seen as someone of importance and/or possessing great wealth.

They basically believe they're the 'bee's knees', or the 'cat's meow', if you will.

Their weapons in a romantic relationship? Carefully constructed lies dipped in honey. An individually crafted persona created just for you. They'll pretend to like the things you like to be more believable to you. They'll make you believe you are the center of their Universe. They know you're smart and wouldn't want them if they portrayed their true nature. They'll try and convince you that you are nothing without them. The world should revolve around them in their eyes.

But as soon as they have you caught in their trap, they stop playing. They know you'd kill yourself to get back the person you fell in love with. They don't care. They never cared. It was never about you. This is what they do - and unfortunately you're not their first, nor will you be their last victim.

In the workplace: If it's someone senior to you, they'll be sure to make you understand that they have the upper hand. They'll go out of their way to make your life hell on a daily basis. The pleasure they get out of trying to 'get you to crack' is pretty sickening. They can be extremely conniving, abusive, dismissive and manipulative.

In friendships: They'll always try to make you feel bad about not tending to their every need. If you don't act exactly the way they want you to, they'll find a way to make you feel insignificant or small in front of others. Because they feel so insecure around you, they can become quite abusive in trying to tear you down in any way possible. Passive aggressive behavior is very common. They can't handle it when someone points out any of their flaws, and might even become very aggressive and physically abusive.

Depending on what subtype they are, narcissists can be extremely delicate and will blow up at something minute that seems completely insignificant to you. Once fired up, they can become incredibly cruel.

How to beat a narcissist at their own game: Just don't play. It's as easy as that. A narcissist's worst fear is an educated empath. They hate being ignored or when you don't take the bait. So the best thing to do is to either remove yourself from the situation completely, if possible. If not possible then the best thing you can do is to not engage in their game. The less you fight back, the less power you give them.

You need to understand that a narcissist can be very cold, calculated and apathetic. They have no empathy for others and are the most judgemental individuals you'll ever come across. (Ironic since they can't handle judgement themselves at all)

For most people the best thing you can do is to completely cut a narcissist out of your life. This isn't always possible, especially in the workplace.

How to deal with a narcissist:

  • Show empathy by saying something like: "You must've have been hurt by what I did/ said. I can understand why you feel the way you do". (They're looking for a fight. Showing empathy is sometimes the best way to diffuse the situation)

  • Don't expect an apology. You have a better chance at winning the lottery, twice, than getting an apology out of a narcissist. They're never wrong or to blame for anything.

  • Let them know you have taken notice of their feelings. Ex. "Thank you for bringing this to my attention." (then walk away)

  • Being in a romantic relationship with a narcissist is tedious and tiring. Constant ego stroking is required and you need to decide whether you think the relationship is worth it. You need to put your needs first.

  • Just don't take the bait. They'll dangle it in front of you ad nauseum. If you take the bait, it's game over.

  • As mentioned before, if possible, the best solution is to cut the person out of your life completely. It's not easy and you might question yourself as to whether you're doing the right thing. But trust me, a few months down the line you'll be thanking yourself.

Narcissists are drawn to empaths because we have a lot of compassion and understanding to give. They need to feel worshipped and will suck all your energy out of you. You'll pour everything you have into the relationship and then be left with an empty cup, whilst they simply move on to their next victim.

At the end of the day it's just simply not worth the effort and/or the heartache.

Always take care of yourself first, for you can't give to others what you do not have and you can't pour from an empty cup.

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