The two main goals are to establish your humanity and to rebuild that relationship in a healthier way.
Narcissists constantly try to set you up for failure. It’s all about establishing dominance and control.
You see this by the way they interrupt you and who they choose to take things up with.
If they are particularly abusive they will purposely seek out those who disagree with them and insult them.
They will twist your words to make you seem like an idiot so that when you push back, they will crush you and do it in front of others.
They make it a game for them.
They will invite a stranger into a conversation to win a high score. If you ask why they are trying so hard to make sure you don’t win, they will become enraged and verbally abuse you.
Just remember that the goal for a narcissist is to make you feel small and inadequate, so if you ask for clarification it is important to be proactive.
Let them speak and then respond with your facts as clearly as you can. And if you can, video record the exchange.
Know that their lies don’t matter
They lie constantly. Whether they are feeding you misinformation or spreading lies about you, they have lied about everything and everyone.
“Narcissists thrive on the attention of others and will fabricate elaborate lies to have you accept them as who they want to be,” says Stephen LaBerge, a San Diego therapist, and author.
The second you believe the lies you are legitimizing them.
Be a negative creation that is better than their “Usurper”
You are better than they are, and that is the only reality that matters. You do have an opinion that is different and valid.
You have value, and what you do with your life is what defines you.
Being criticized and mocked by someone who lacks value and power is humiliating.
It’s a heavy load to bear, so remember to channel those feelings into something positive.
It’s time to bury the hatchet, forget the past, and take on a positive future.
Learn to disappear
A narcissist will take you on an adventure. You might not even know where it will take you, but you will be caught up in their play-acting.
And then it will devolve into a fight.
You may not be able to go to the bathroom or even go to bed without them knowing where you are.
They will call your phone and email all night. They are relentless and are addicted to drama.
You don’t have to see their games. Remember that they are actors and don’t get involved.
When you show up, they usually fade away and find some other victim.
If they apologize, it’s usually to salvage their reputation. This is very serious.
If you take their apology at face value and take them back, then the behaviors will start up again.
Don’t play their game and if you don’t get involved, they will fade away.
Instead, take matters into your own hands. There is always a way out. You don’t have to suffer through it.
“You may be able to remove yourself from the situation, but it is important that you not become bitter and take revenge on the narcissist,” adds Lauren Thompson.
“Instead, learn from the experience and become a better, more loving person. If you get involved with a narcissist, there will be casualties in your life. But you will be stronger after the loss. Your life will change and you will realize that you are worth it.”
Negotiate but in your own name
If you are involved in an abusive relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you need to figure out the details of the rules that they set up and what happens if they cross those lines.
If there is a deal you can agree on, you might be able to work with your partner and bring him or her into the best side of you. That would be a win.
If you can’t agree, it’s time to find a safe friend who can be your confidante and protector, and build a support system around you. That way, you are not going it alone.
It’s also important to have your own allies, people who are invested in your happiness and success.
The more allies you have around you, the more protected and empowered you will feel.
To maintain control and be prepared, LaBerge recommends asking the following questions:
- “If I have to drive him to therapy, do I have to pay for it?”
- “If he drives me to therapy, can I get my money back?”
- “When does he need to give me an allowance, if at all?”
- “If I need to get an Uber, can he order me an Uber?”
- “If I am thinking about taking a trip, can I take it or buy a plane ticket?”