Often “Less Wrong” Is Your Best Solution With Narcissists

When dealing with narcissists, often there is no right answer.  They are masters at creating no win situations, & even when they aren’t actively creating one, they seem to come up anyway.  For example, think about no contact.  In a sense, it’s the right solution.  It’ll protect you from further abuse & give you the space you need in order to heal from all you have endured.  While those are certainly great things, no contact also means a close relationship ended & on a bad note.  Clearly this isn’t a really good thing, even though the good outweighs the bad.  The only other alternative is to continue in an abusive relationship, so a person is limited to two choices, neither of which is particularly great.

Many things with narcissists are like that.  Setting boundaries is another example.  Yes, setting boundaries is a good thing & it is necessary, but at the same time, it starts a lot of problems with narcissists.  Since they don’t respect anyone’s boundaries, when someone tries to set them, they get angry & even more abusive.  The only choices are begin to set boundaries & deal with more abuse at least temporarily, or do nothing & suffer anyway.  Neither answer is really a right one.

Often, the best you can do with a narcissist is choose the least wrong answer.

While I know this sounds depressing & hopeless, I don’t mean it to.  Once you accept this, you can feel less stress & anxiety in your dealings with the narcissist.

Accepting that there really isn’t any right answer helps you to understand that no matter what you do, there won’t be a good, healthy or functional solution.  There is nothing you can do to make that happen.  It’s beyond your control.  This can be very freeing!  It helps you not to beat yourself up because things haven’t worked out perfectly.  You accept that sometimes a person’s best just isn’t good enough, & that’s ok.

It also helps you because you learn to keep your expectations realistic with the narcissist.  You know that the narcissist is going to be angry or upset no matter what you do.  You will have a good idea what to expect rather than thinking that this time will be better.  You also can prepare yourself for whatever is going to happen.

Accepting this truth that there are only less wrong answers with narcissist also helps you not to drive yourself crazy trying to figure out exactly what you need to do & how to do it.  You feel much less pressure to make everything right when you know that no matter what you do, you’ll be wrong anyway.

When you know that the narcissist will say you’re wrong in whatever you do, it’s also much easier to think of yourself instead of only him or her.  You develop a mindset something like, “Well, if I’m going to be wrong anyway I might as well get something out of this too.”

In all honesty, sometimes the fact there often isn’t any right answer also will make you sad.  That is totally normal.  It isn’t exactly the most cheerful fact of life, after all.  But, if you can look at it in ways that benefit you, it really can help you.

I also found that a quote from Captain Picard from the old tv show “Star Trek The Next Generation” to be comforting.  “It is possible to commit no mistakes & still lose.  That is not a weakness.  That is life.”  I know, I’m a nerd quoting this show, but the words are very wise & very comforting.  Definitely worth remembering, in particular when dealing with a narcissist.

23 Comments

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

23 responses to “Often “Less Wrong” Is Your Best Solution With Narcissists

  1. Lesley

    There is so much truth and sense in this post. Instead of working ourselves ragged with a narcissist, trying forever to get things ‘right’ when, in their eyes, we never will, it’s best just to accept how it is and let go. You’re right, it’s very freeing indeed.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh, this is beautiful. And, it reminds me of my recent comment exchange with the ranting “Christian” person. When I realized that he had labelled me as an evil satanic monster, simply for not being madly in love with a certain politician, I posted a comment telling him exactly what I thought, and I told him I was done, that I would not read any more of his replies. And I haven’t read them.

    I felt guilty for awhile, thinking that I should have been “nicer” in my final comment. But, why? He wasn’t making any attempt to be nice to me. And it was very obvious by that point that nothing, other than total capitulation, would appease him.

    I like that Star Trek quote. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good.. you shouldn’t have read more of his replies considering the nastiness in them! You’re right too that nothing other than total capitulation would have appeased him. Sad but true. There are so many people I find that are the same way. Either they’re very liberal or very conservative, but their mindset is the same. “I’m right, & because you disagree with me, you’re wrong/stupid/uneducated/etc.” UGH.

      Isn’t that quote good? I just love Capt. Picard! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • Capt. Picard is great. I used to watch Star Trek all the time, with my nerd friends.

        By the way, several people, who read that comment exchange, reached out to me through my blog to tell me they were very concerned for me, and praying for me. One said that after reading my comments there, she can’t wait to read my memoir! And another one said that what he hated the most about Ryan’s hateful comments, was the message it sends to people who may not be Christians. How many people will be turned off to Christianity, he said, after seeing how Ryan was treating me?

        It’s true, for many years I was staunchly agnostic, almost an atheist, because of the horrific abuse I grew up with, abuse by my dad, who was a church pastor, and abuse by my mother, who was, and still is, a holier-than-thou Bible thumper. But now, my eyes are on Christ, and not on His self proclaimed followers!

        I have found that the more intelligent a person is, the less they are in love with their own opinions. It takes profound insight to realize how very little we know, how incredibly complex everything and everyone is, and how likely we are to be wrong, even when we are absolutely certain that we are right.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Lesley

          It was a horrible rant on his behalf, Linda. I thought exactly the same – what would non-christians think and no wonder they’re put off Christianity. It’s a horrible thing to go through, as well as the aftermath when they post further posts about it.

          Liked by 3 people

          • So, he wrote follow-up posts? Sadly, I’m not surprised.

            I’ve gained a whole bunch of new followers since that mess happened. I don’t know why, unless they are people that read those comments. So, silver lining, maybe?

            It’s still sad, though. And very painful. This is how I grew up, you know? Everything about me was wrong. I have grown grandchildren now, and I still can’t seem to get away from it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I think many people who have survived abuse spot the toxic people easily & are quick to leave them. Online, it can be harder to spot the toxic people quickly but at some point, it’ll show. I had a well known blogger following me for some time until she disagreed with a post of mine in 2014. Didn’t know this until the next morning when I saw she got into an argument with one of my followers. I checked & not only did she unfollow & unfriend me but also removed my book from her list of recommended books on her website. I expected to lose followers over this, but I never did. No idea if she did or not, but would bet she did. I’d suspected she was a narcissist & that proved it. She was right, I was wrong & anyone who believed me was stupid, toxic, wrong, etc. according to her. People who read blogs like ours are hungry for the truth & real people. They’ll spot the toxic ones & flock to the real ones when the toxic ones act a fool.

              Liked by 2 people

              • She sounds like a blogger I had issues with many years ago. The one I had problems with is all about emerging… that’s all I’m gonna say, I don’t like talking behind people’s backs. Basically, she seemed to think that I was making up the severity of my childhood trauma and abuse history. Like it’s some kind of contest, who was the most abused, or whatever.

                That was something like ten years ago, though. Hopefully the blogger I am talking about has done some growing since then. I believe I have.

                Like

            • ibikenyc

              I’m so sorry this is still painful for you. {{{HUGS}}}

              I hope you’ll forgive me if this makes anything worse.

              I read (part of) his post the day this all went down, and my skin was crawling. I felt like I’d been blasted in the face with acid. I got through maybe a third of his vitriol, glanced at your reply, and had to close the post down because it felt like an assault.

              I do agree with the various points made about the egregious misrepresentation of Christianity. I also think that even the staunchest Atheist would take exception to what he said and how he said it.

              All this is to say IT ISN’T YOU! You are an INCREDIBLY kind, loving, soul with much beauty and good to offer the world ❤

              Liked by 3 people

            • Lesley

              Sorry Linda, I thought you would have seen it. I know it’s painful because a similar thing happened to me with someone else. Don’t blame yourself – with someone as volatile as him, it could happen to anyone. I’ve seen him arguing with others before.

              Liked by 2 people

              • No need to apologize, it’s good that I know. But I am staying away from his blog from now on.

                I don’t understand why he is behaving this way. It’s so messed up. Well, he lost one of his Amazon reviews for his book. I had given him a 5 star review a year ago, but I sure don’t want to promote this fellow now.

                Liked by 2 people

        • Nerd friends are great! lol

          I’m so glad you have so much support. That is wonderful! It’s true, too, what message does a proclaimed Christian give when they act so hatefully? It’s not a good message for sure! To be so angry about injustices is one thing, but simply over a difference of opinion is something else entirely.

          I hear ya! I actually was an atheist because of what I endured at the hands of narcissists. Thank God for showing us the truth & enabling us to keep focused on Him rather than people!

          That is very true, too! It does seem like the more intelligent a person is, the less they’re infatuated with their own views. What is that saying? The less a person knows, the more determined they are that they know it (or something like this).

          Liked by 4 people

        • ibikenyc

          “I have found that the more intelligent a person is, the less they are in love with their own opinions. It takes profound insight to realize how very little we know, how incredibly complex everything and everyone is, and how likely we are to be wrong, even when we are absolutely certain that we are right.”

          Oh, indeed!

          I’m finally at a point where I’m abashed if I find myself thinking, “Oh, I already know all about that,” and I make a point of at least paying attention to what’s being said.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. ibikenyc

    “It’ll protect you from further abuse & give you the space you need in order to heal from all you have endured.”

    MAKE IT SO! 😉

    A while back it (ha-ha) hit me that living with a Narcissist is like playing a full-time, real-life game of Whac-A-Mole.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Make it so! LOL! 🙂

      Omgosh yes.. a real life Whac-A-Mole is the truth!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • annealcroft

      “It’ll protect you from further abuse & give you the space you need in order to heal from all you have endured.”

      Oh, Lordie, help us!

      I’m reminded of one of my favorites from Alice In Wonderland:

      “… Then you should say what you mean,” The March Hare said.

      “I do,” Alice hastily replied, “at least – at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know.”

      The cunning, slimy, slick machinations of the narcissist are absolutely astonishing. They are ruthlessly cruel, vindictive, arrogant, and in the final analysis, disgusting swamp creatures.

      Today my father admitted to embezzling my inheritance, misappropriating funds, spending all the money, while trying to make it look like it was all my fault. My narcissist older sister wipes his a$$ for him, so he uses her as his crutch and when I’ve tried to talk with her about this, she refuses to communicate with me because she covers for his lies.

      Yes, there are times I feel as though I could go mad with rage. But then I remember something that Saint Paul instructs the Christians at Corinth and Ephesus to “deliver” hardened sinners “to Satan” so that they will be chastised: 1 Corinthians 5:4-5, 1 Timothy 1: 19-20

      It is very liberating and cathartic to have this kind of Divine permission to do what we are inclined to do, to deliver the narcissist to Satan so he will be rightfully chastised.

      This is warfare, what we go through with these demons and demons they are. We can not fool ourselves into thinking they will some day change. They will not. The wicked will always be wicked, and this too Saint Paul warns of.

      We must remember that our task is to cling to the Sacred Heart of Christ and let Him do the rest!

      *sigh*

      Cynthia, what you say about no contact seems to be the only truly healthy recourse. Jesus teaches to walk away from our families and all attachments in order to follow Him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That line from “Alice In Wonderland”… wow. That is so something a narcissist would say isn’t it?! Your description of narcissists is so accurate too!

        Your father admitted it?! That is astonishing! What made that happen?!

        I understand.. there are times it seems like the rage can overtake us. The things they do are so cruel & despicable.

        I truly believe narcissists are at the very least influenced, if not outright possessed by demons. Probably that’s why it’s a “spectrum disorder”- some are merely influenced, others possessed. It’s the only thing that makes sense. When so many people of different ages, religions, cultures, financial backgrounds & more act so much alike, what else can one think?!

        It is so hard leaving them to Satan though. Going no contact with my parents was heartbreaking to me but I knew it was the right thing to do & God even told me to do it. But still.. ugghhhh!!!

        Thank you! I believe no contact is often the only healthy choice we can make with narcissists.

        Like

  4. This article is such an important reminder & I really love the quote from Captain Picard. It’s quite comforting & depicts reality as it is. Sometimes I don’t like spiritual teachings or articles that are full of positive thinking or sugarcoat the ugly reality by saying seemingly motivational words, like “if you try hard enough, you’ll reach your goal” or “there must be some way to reach reparation with your abusive parents, you just have to try harder”. There are so many things you can’t control & very often I feel I’m living like Sisyphus, making so much efforts in vain. Maybe life is just a tragedy & that’s OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t his quote wonderful? I love how real it is.

      YES! I hate that too. Positive thinking & trying hard enough sometimes isn’t enough. And it’s really cruel to put that sort of responsibility on a victim. Victims should be supported, NOT told to fix the abuser or the abusive relationship. That is utter crap!

      Life certainly isn’t perfect & it’s ok. Good can come from bad but that won’t make the bad good or a blessing. It’s still bad. Nothing wrong with accepting that or admitting it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Often “Less Wrong” Is Your Best Solution With Narcissists – An adult daughter's struggle to recover from narcissistic parents

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