How To Minimise Distress Around A Narcissist

 

This is for people who are still dealing with narcissists for one reason or the other. You might be planning to leave a narcissist or have left and is in recovery. No contact is the best way to recover, sometimes it's impossible to go no contact because you're co-parenting, the narcissist is a parent and you're a dependent or the narcissist is a sibling, you might not be financially independent or the narcissist is a boss and you cannot leave until you find a new job. 

These are some common scenarios, there are other scenarios as well. 

It's a chicken and egg thing, if your mental health and other needs like finances, etc. aren't met, you find difficulty leaving immediately or drawing boundaries. You might be in a worse off state than before leaving, having a well-planned exit is the best option for you and will go much towards your recovered future. 

1. Completely accept they don't give a toss about you. It's all about them them them. You can wax lyric and question why all day to Sunday, this fact remains. When you accept this harsh and hurtful truth, it will both aid your recovery and interaction with them. So win win. They are only able to prey on your empathy or sway you because you haven't accept this yet and hold out hope it will be different. 

It will not be. 

It has nothing to do with how lovable and how worthy you're. It has to do with who they are. 

2. Grey rock is a technique that allows one to take a step back and simply observe instead of fending off or goading into the unwanted attention.

To continue grey rock in a conversation is keep your sentences short and direct, dull and mundane. This is to prevent word salad, gaslighting, etc. Less information, means less to twist around, less distressing feedback from them. "Got it", "OK", "I see". The confusion of being gaslighted means we feel the urge to justify and explain ourselves, to regain our reality, not just to them but in general. Sometimes they will instigate this in you, push your buttons, stoke the fire. Do not fall for it. Give yourself time to answer, when in doubt, let the reply sit, then go back and reconsider. 

Our urge to purge is because we have been constantly invalidated and dismissed, naturally we feel the want to be seen and heard, to have a place in this world. Divert this need to other healthy activities instead, like meditation, creative expression, hobbies, anything relaxing and fun instead. You end up discovering talents you didn't know you have, I know I sure did. 

3. Narcissists are right before they know you and are right after they know you.  They are right all the time. They live in a delusion that is their reality, any new information is seen as a personal attack, any disagreement is seen as breaking their shell of delusion. To keep in their delusion, they have to reject all new information. So don't bother telling them what you know or how they're disordered or wrong. Stop trying to help them, focus on you instead. Your aim is to minimise their attacks, as part of your overall wellbeing, in line with your future plans. You're doing this for you and not them. You're in recovery and that is top priority. 

No matter how distorted or nonsensical, no matter how you know it's false, a lie or an excuse, acknowledge them enough so that they are calm enough for you to deal with them. 

Stay neutral where there's enough room for them to feel comfortable, you're not affirming anything, you're also not rejecting it outright, "I can see how it's possible", "there seems to be some signs of it", then proceed with doing what's best for you. 

You're doing this for your peace when you're stuck between a rock and a hard place, where the choices are limited, sometimes the best isn't optimum, it is still the best.

 

 

4. Dealing with flying monkeys (enablers to narcissists) is part of recovery, they could have been just as hookwinked as you and using the above methods work for them as well. Not many people are educated about them and some are in denial that it's possible someone can wear a mask so well. They grapple with being fooled, need time to adjust to the real person as well. Don't waste your energy explaining to them if they are determined to misunderstand you.

You're going to see enablers have similar manipulative traits, or are equally self-serving, that's why they feel it's OK. It's of course jarring, you do not need this additional distress. You have full rights to quit interacting with them, you are deserving of your psychological, emotional and physical safety. 

Do not let them guilt trip you into going back or doing what is against your principles and values. 

5. When you hate on or demonise a narcissist in front of people, you look like the abuser instead, narcissists turn the script and play the victim. By looking pitiful and vulnerable versus your incited anger and resentment, it sure looks like he/she was right. You know yourself how they are chameleons without a sense of self, they mimic others, wear different masks on different occasions. You often find you cannot sink to their level, be so pretentious, end up feeling helpless and frustrated instead, just what can you do? Be the genuine you, the calm centred authentic you, healthy people will get it. The authentic people will also support you as well. 

Learning how to be calm and collected also benefits your recovery, your overall wellbeing, is a practice you can use for life. 

No contact is still the best way to recover, so that is your objective. In the meantime if you have difficulties leaving or having no contact besides the necessary interactions. Come to yourself with no judgement, honour how you're feeling and reconnect back to your emotional teachers, learn to trust yourself again. 

Love Light & Peace 

Min

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