No one knowingly encourages people to use or abuse them. However, some people, in particular those who have been abused before, unwittingly do so.
To prevent this from happening, you need to “…be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16, NKJV). You need to be observant & exercise wisdom.
Narcissists are particularly observant of their victims, & are very good at understanding body language. They can pick up on your mood, your strengths, your weaknesses & anything else by watching you. This enables them to know the most efficient ways to get what they want from you. If you must deal with a narcissist, you need to do the same- observe them. You will be able to pick up on their mood, etc. & this will enable you to figure out the best way to deal with them at that particular time. Unfortunately, dealing with narcissists is much like playing a chess game that you don’t want to play. You have to be two steps ahead of them if you are to deal with them successfully.
You also need to have & enforce good, healthy boundaries. Be very aware of what you are willing & not willing to tolerate. Be creative in enforcing those boundaries. Pray for God to help you if you need creative udeas. Simply saying, “It hurts me when you do…” won’t work with a narcissist. They will realize they can hurt you & continue to do the behavior. Change the subject if they’re being critical. If they are trying to control you or bully you into doing something, refuse to do it. If it’s something you want or need to do, tell them, “Of course I’ll do it since you asked so nicely!” I’ve done this with my mother, while wearing a smile, & she stopped bossing me around. Instead, she started asking me to do things.
Always maintain your calm demeanor in their presence, especially when setting boundaries. Any show of emotion will help narcissists understand what to do to hurt or use you in the most powerful, effective way. If you can avoid showing them that you’re angry or hurt, their task will be much harder. Once you’re away from them, though, you need to get your anger & hurt out of you. It’s never healthy to hold it in, but it’s necessary to do so temporarily when around narcissists.
Lastly, keep all conversations superficial. Don’t share anything important or personal with a narcissist, ever! If they ask how you’re doing, reply “fine.” What have you been up to lately? “Nothing much.” The less information they have, the less ammunition they have to hurt you with later. This is easier to do when the narcissist isn’t a parent. Keeping things from a parent feels like you’re going against nature at first. But, the more you do it, the easier it becomes, especially when you realize your narcissistic mother has less & less to criticize about you.
2 responses to “Encouraging Others To Abuse You”
Very helpful article–good strategies in dealing with these difficult people when necessary.
Thank you Marti. We need all the ideas we can get when we have to deal with these people.