Most people who know anything about Narcissistic Personality Disorder say the only way to deal with a narcissist is not to deal with a narcissist. Cut ties with them & never look back.
Sometimes, though, that isn’t a possible solution, & other times, it isn’t a desired one for various reasons. I understand this- I have opted to go limited contact with my narcissistic mother. This comes with challenges, but even so, in my heart I believe it is the right solution for me.
Limited contact has forced me to get creative with ways to deal with her. Today I thought I would share some of them for those of you who are also still in a relationship with your narcissistic mothers.
- Distance. It’s really our friend. Limit your contact with your narcissistic mother as much as possible. When you visit her or are on the phone with her, limit your time with her to what you’re comfortable with.
- Keep focused. Narcissists love to gaslight & confuse their victims. Don’t let her distract you. Keep the conversation on the topic at hand, not how much more successful your sister is, what a good daughter her friend has or how badly you’ve disappointed your mother by not doing what she thinks you should do with your life.
- Always respond, never react. Reacting happens out of emotion where responding happens after a moment of contemplation. When your narcissistic mother angers you, stop for a second. Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, then speak.
- Keep your sense of humor. It’ll help you keep your sanity when you realize just how over the top ridiculous some of her antics really are. It also helps her nastiness hurt you less when you can laugh.
- Be emotionless. While stuffing your emotions is not a good thing in general, in the presence of narcissists, it is a necessary survival tactic. If you show your hurt or anger to a narcissist, they see they have power over you & get even more abusive. Showing no emotions while in their presence minimizes the verbal abuse. Then, once you leave them, find a safe outlet for your anger & frustration. Journalling, talking to a safe & supportive friend, etc.
- Use logic. Want to frazzle your narcissistic mother? Use logic. For example, if you lose your job & your narcissistic mother responds by reminding you that you have rent & a car payment, you can respond by asking (in a very matter of fact tone of voice) how is this supposed to help you? Did she really think this hadn’t crossed your mind? She won’t know how to respond to you.
- Live your life on your terms. Nothing will drive a narcissistic mother crazier than you living your life, your way. It will bother her that she can’t make you do whatever it is she thinks you need to do with your life. And the best part is you will enjoy your life!