To Stay In Relationship With A Narcissist Or Not

I’ve liked quite a few pages regarding narcissism on facebook.  This morning when I got online, several of those pages were singing the praises of having no contact with the narcissist in your life.  “It’s the only choice you have!” they say.  While that sounds logical, & often is the best choice, sometimes for various reasons, there isn’t an option to have zero contact.  Sometimes, people had children with a narcissistic partner, & while they can separate or divorce this person, they still have to have some contact due to having children with this person.  Others may live with an elderly narcissistic parent & they can’t afford to move out.  Still others may be in a situation like mine where I have chosen to limit contact drastically because I don’t feel severing all ties is the right choice for me at this time.

People who are unable or unwilling to go no contact are the people I want to talk to today.

Please, please, please- don’t let anyone pressure you into going to contact with the narcissist in your life.  No one knows your situation like you do, nor do they know what you are able to handle.  You alone need to decide when & if booting the narcissist out of your life is the right choice for you.  And, when making that choice, you need to think & pray about this situation carefully.  Never make this decision in the heat of the moment, because you may regret it later.

If you decide not to cut ties with the narcissist, there are some ways to deal with them.  Granted, there will always be frustration, hurt & anger when dealing with any narcissist, but you can cut back on these things.

  • Remember, the narcissist’s hurtful behavior isn’t about you- it’s about her.  Her lack of empathy, judgemental ways & verbal abuse are all on her.  They don’t mean there is anything wrong with you!  Don’t believe her when she tries to make you feel bad, ugly, stupid, wrong, crazy, etc.  Know your worth, & don’t let her determine how you feel about yourself.  No one so dysfunctional should determine your self-worth!
  • Set & enforce strong boundaries, & be prepared for them to be met with hostility.  Narcissists don’t like anyone trying to have boundaries, since they like to overrun them.  She will  be angry with you for daring to have boundaries, & will try to make you feel crazy or selfish.  She may even give you the silent treatment to punish you for doing so.
  • Prepare for what you know she will do.  For example, I know my mother hates my car.  It once belonged to my granddad (her father in-law), & later my father.  She will criticize it at any given opportunity, often by saying “I’d never own a car that YOUR grandfather owned!”  At the moment she said it, I was too angry to think of it, but later I came up with the perfect comeback- “Really?  You owned this car for 3 years.  Could’ve fooled me.”  What nasty thing does your narcissist do often?  Think of a good way to counter it!  Ask God for some creativity- He’ll give it to you!
  • Keep calm in the presense of the narcissist.  Don’t let her see your anger or hurt- she will feed on such things & become crueler.  Stay calm until after you are no longer in her presence, then pray, vent to a safe friend or relative, journal or whatever helps you get out the anger & hurt.
  • Get good at self care.  Dealing with a narcissist is exhuasting, physically & mostly mentally.  Take care of yourself.  Get plenty of rest, do things that restore yourself, nurture your relationship with God, participate in relaxing hobbies you enjoy, spend time with people who genuinely love & care about you.

I hope these tips help you if you are unable or unwilling to sever ties with the narcissist in your life.  ❤

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Caregiving, Mental Health, Narcissism

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