Maintaining a relationship with someone who has a narcissistic personality can be hard. Narcissists are extremely difficult to form mutually beneficial relationships with. This is because the hallmark trait of a narcissistic personality is that they are concerned only with themselves and their feelings.
Some other traits of a narcissist include manipulating and lying to others to make themselves look better. They may also frequently play the victim and have a hard time accepting blame for their wrongdoings. If someone displays enough narcissistic traits, they may be diagnosed with a personality disorder. However, someone can have narcissistic personality traits and not meet the criteria for a personality disorder.
Regardless of a diagnosis, living with someone who displays narcissistic personality traits can be extremely difficult. If you’re living with a narcissist, keep reading to learn some coping mechanisms.
Improve Your Self-Esteem
Narcissists get a rush out of making others look bad, so they can look better by contrast. Narcissists find it harder to impact those with great self-esteem. Plus, when you build more self-confidence, you can cope in healthier ways, such as using positive self-talk and setting boundaries with the narcissist.
Stand Up for Yourself
It can be hard to argue with a narcissist because they will always find a way to turn it back on you. However, this doesn’t mean you should simply let their behaviors slip, either. You may never be able to reason with a narcissist, but you can speak up for yourself when they treat you unkindly and set firm boundaries around how they are allowed to speak and interact with you.
Learn Skills to Stay Calm
Again, it can be really hard to reason with someone who’s a narcissist. Their lack of empathy and logic is frustrating to almost anyone. However, getting frustrated with a narcissist just feeds their desire to see you explode. By learning healthy coping mechanisms to stay calm, such as breathing exercises, you can maintain composure and not give in to their desire to see you frustrated and upset.
Build a Support Network
Assuming you can’t remove yourself entirely from the narcissist’s presence, your next best option is to build a strong network of family and friends. Narcissists feed off isolating someone, so they feel they have no one else to lean on. By creating a strong network of loving friends and family, you will be better able to cope with narcissistic behavior and show the narcissist that you will not be isolated by them.
Many people with narcissistic personality traits may qualify to be diagnosed and treated for a personality disorder. Though it can be hard to motivate yourself to help a narcissist (who has likely caused you emotional fury, and shown no remorse), it may be necessary. Oftentimes, those with narcissistic personality disorder will go without professional help because no one wants to help people like them. Professional psychiatric help can aid in fixing some problematic behaviors.
Living with a narcissist can be frustrating. There may be situations where someone has no other choice. If you are living with someone who has narcissistic traits, you can find healthy ways to cope, so you can keep your cool.