Sunday, April 10, 2011

Coping With The Narcissist In Your Life

It is painful to love somebody with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.You can't change it. You didn't cause it. You can't make it better. NPD is a pervasive way of looking at the world that is thought to develop in early childhood,and most often continues throughout one's lifetime.As with other kinds of personality disorders,people that have them rarely come into treatment. Most narcissists blame OTHER people.It is the people who love and work with narcissists who more often come for counseling,because it causes a great deal of pain for the people close to them. Aproximately 70% of narcissists are men, and 30% are women.

In romantic relationships, it is very difficult for partners of narcissists,because they are completely self-absorbed.It's all about them at all times.The relationship won't have the intimacy or safety to be vulnerable with each other that it should have.There is a lack or respect and sincere interest in the partner.Narcissists can sweep you off your feet with charm, gifts, and charisma when you are courting,and then promptly be disinterested in your life. It's as if they feel they are the sun and the moon both, and your little auxillary planet rotates around them.They like to tell stories and dominate conversations. Narcissists like to devalue others.They may have a need to criticize and pick at you.They will have trouble celebrating your accomplishments,or anyone else's besides their own.They don't like your family and friends.They wish to make decisions for you. Your partner tries to change you,and has trouble accepting you.Your partner feels they are more important and valuable than you are,and their wants and preferences are,too. You begun to feel beaten down,exhausted,and intimidated by their relentless self-absorbtion.And surprise, the sexual relationship can be expoitative and all about their satisfaction as well,with little concern for their partners' fulfillment.

It is also horrible to have a narcissist as your parent. They can't see you as a separate person,but instead as part of them. You don't get accurate amounts of deserved credit for what you accomplish.Narcissistic parents demean their children in sevice to their own bloated ego.For example," I had a better GPA/career/girlfriend/appearance than you do". Narcissistic parents won't validate any concerns that their child has about when the parent is out of bounds or over the top.Basically,you can't win with a narcissistic parent,so you have to figure it out for yourself. Children of narcisstic parents often don't have the confidence or belief in themselves that they should have, based on their skills and accomplishments.Nothing is ever good enough that they do, as their parent saw it.

At work, narcissists take all the credit and need to be the one shining star.They would sooner die than honor other peoples' contributions.They can easily exploit others or demand special privileges.They have tremendous lack of understanding for other peoples' feelings or experiences in the workplace.If you work with a narcissist,you will need to take precautions to independently document your contributions(quick,before they take credit!) Setting limits and boundaries will also be key with a narcissistic boss.

Watch out for the famed narcissistic injury.This happens when you poke the narcissist's fragile,puffed-up ego and you get a huge,out of proportion reaction.You will know when you hit it. It is unhealthy to not like yourself,just as it is to be a narcissist. Somewhere in between those two extremes there is a way to repect and care for yourself and also have empathy and genuine concern for other people.

In the meantime,with the narcissist in your life,you can learn to cope quite nicely.Take very good,extreme care of yourself. Spend some time alone. Cultivate your own interests, hobbies, career, friends, and faith. Keep a sense of humor about how absurd the narcissists' demands can get.Set firm boundaries about what you will and won't do. Don't take it personally---it's really about THEM. Use loving detachment when necessary.Evaluate how close you can really be to the narcissist and keep your emotional balance.Keep yourself safe. Loving or working with a narcissist can be challenging,and cause you to become a stronger person yourself.

Take back your power,and remember that you don't have to feed this monster,and may be able to be happy despite the narcissist in your life who wishes to suck the life out of you!Getting some counseling can make a huge difference in providing you with some fresh perspective and tools to deal with this beast.

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