Co-Parenting with a Narcissist
Those impossible, self-absorbed individuals that hurt us, and yet, in the moment, can make us feel like the most loved and desirable person on the planet. Was this just panic for a supply leaving? The blogger who wrote the guest posts One Angry Daughter was really kind to share all of this, her perspective and story.
This is all just before the Xmas Holidays to find another job? Now, they are perfect angels except for normal brattiness: You are so right that they are our spirit guides. Nothing you say has any truth or credibility to it because I know what you really are. A person with narcissistic personality disorder will likely recognize your ability, be less self-absorbed and may see you as more of an equal.
How to Overpower a Narcissist - He says I deserve nothing.
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You realize that all that charisma and swagger served a purpose: To blind you. Getting you to lower your guard so they can use their arsenal of manipulation to move you around like pieces on a chess board. And the worst part? Some part of you still looks forward to seeing the best of them even if it means ignoring the worst. Hey, I'm not judging you, and I don't blame you for feeling that way. When I was in the clutches of a narcissist, I craved the attention they gave. They made me feel like they loved me above all which gave my ego and self-esteem a well-needed boost. As I got older, I began to notice a pattern, and that sinking, all-consuming feeling of disillusionment took over. I realized I wasn't the only one. The more observant I became, I saw this person using the same manipulation tactics on everyone else in my life! So, I wasn't special after all. This person didn't care as much as I thought, and their interest in me was nothing more than a psychological form of target practice. After a few years of soul searching and assertiveness training, I finally decided to sever ties with them after a heated phone conversation. At that moment, the monster they kept at bay with charm and seduction reared its ugly head and I was forced to see who they really were. I had done the one thing no one in my family had done or had stopped doing due to complacency: I stood my ground and called them out for what they were. Because of that, they officially declared war. I chose to release myself from their grip and influence which then made me the face of a smear campaign that continues to this day. Wanna know how to persevere and overcome the tactics of a narcissist? You should be interested because you deserve to take back every ounce of power you lost. Below is a list of things that will most likely happen once you nail these psychic vampires in their coffins for good! I'll also provide techniques for how you can counter each attack and shine some well-needed and long-overdue light on these charismatic parasites. Whenever I confronted the narcissist, they usually reacted in 1 of 4 ways: During this phase of the manipulation, expect the narcissist to cater to your ego. Why would I ever do something like that? I was showered with compliments like before, which temporarily reignited that part of me that wanted her attention. In those moments, I desperately wanted to believe it was all genuine. I even wished things could go back to how they were before the universe saw fit to disillusion me. I accepted the gifts and showed appreciation for the favors to maintain a semblance of peace. But I had already seen the truth, and I couldn't go back without jeopardizing any of the self-esteem or dignity I had left. Counterattack: I remained objective and detached. I refused to do any favors for them, stopped confiding in them about personal matters, and remained civil during moments when I absolutely had to talk to them. I stopped laughing at their jokes and initiating conversation with them. The less interaction there was, the less control they had. Let the narcissist know through your actions that you are onto them and that the rules have been changed. You can be polite to a narcissist when necessary, but don't feel obligated to let them back in to regain your trust. They lost it, didn't deserve it to begin with, and you are not required to offer it again. There's no need to explain your actions to them. They'll know why you're doing it. Narcissists are also bullies to an extent, so some will use intimidation to keep you silent and afraid. Chances are, they don't feel remorse for what they do and don't want to hear anything that challenges the carefully crafted image and opinion they have of themselves. Expect this type to shout, invade your personal space to provoke fear, and interrupt you every chance they get. Counterattack: Now, this can go two different ways depending on your personality type, resolve, and how assertive you are. Initially, I would just sit there defeated whenever I was met with hostility or aggression from the narcissist. Later, I would kick myself for having the moment to stand my ground and not taking advantage of it. But I guess I wasn't ready to do that, and nothing changes until you're tired of how things are. So, one day I did the complete opposite. She and I had gotten into a heated argument, and she did what she normally does when challenged: She went for the jugular. She was verbally and emotionally abusive and even resorted to gaslighting at one point. But something inside urged me to speak up, and before I knew it, I was across the room, inches from her face, and telling her exactly what I thought of her. When she spoke up, so did I. When she raised her voice, so did I. When she tried to interrupt, I continued to talk. When she became louder, I matched her in volume and then some, Now, I know that aggression can lead to more aggression, but it was so exhilarating to not be beaten down by fear any more. I felt like I was finally being as brave as the person I wished I was during those moments when I was intimidated by her. All those times she withdrew affection when I didn't allow myself to be taken advantage of. Afterwards I watched her erratic and chaotic behavior, and realized that she was now intimidated by me. A whole new me had been born, and she never crossed me like that again. But that's not to say she didn't have still have a few tricks up her sleeve... This approach isn't for everyone, though. It would be exhausting to resort to it every time, so here's another counterattack for these self-absorbed vamps. No matter how distraught Madame Tourvel is, Valmont remains cool, calm, calculating, and selective in what he says and how he says it. That's the attitude one must adopt when confronting narcissists that are surely demanding more of you than they actually give. From that day forward, I became better at remaining calm when dealing with this manipulative relative of mine. Narcissists are masters at avoiding blame, but I calmly held her accountable for every boundary she crossed. I stood my ground when she was argumentative, but this time I confronted her with the cool, detached confidence of Valmont himself. When she misrepresented me and told others things about me that weren't true, I called her out. I revealed every lie she told and she realized I wasn't as easily persuaded as before. When she tried to win my trust with compliments and promises of all the things she had planned for me, I listened with a calm detachment that I'm sure Valmont would have given me a standing ovation for. He would have been proud. This is what this approach now allows me to be, and I hope it can help you as well because you deserve inner peace, too. Here's where things get ever uglier. I mentioned earlier that I eventually stopped confiding in the the narcissist about my personal life, right? Well, that doesn't mean they won't use the information they already have to embarrass you in the future. When aggression and charm failed, she gathered up all the personal information she had about me and dumped it on my head when everyone was looking. She would usually wait until there were several people at the house and casually mention something that I told her in complete confidence. It's hard not to feel defeated when a room full of people who are supposed to protect you are laughing almost as hard as she is. It's as if they were under some spell and couldn't fathom standing up for me. The same spell I had been under for so long. She wanted me to feel alone, isolated, and helpless. Revenge for standing up to her before. It was hard to resist because in that moment I had never felt so naked, exposed, raw, and betrayed in my life. And no one had my back. But life has a way of righting wrongs and resetting the balance on its own. Counterattack: I think moments like this should reaffirm your belief in why you don't trust narcissists with personal information. Remember, a narcissist is NOT your friend. You are merely an energy source that they will completely exhaust without an ounce of remorse. They will move on to the next victim while you sit there as some dried husk, wondering why you didn't do something sooner. My advice to you? Stop confiding in them immediately and wait. This is what I did and karma took over from there. Gradually, several family members began to see how deceitful and selfish a person she was and confronted her about her behavior. Like a domino effect, one affected the other until everyone saw her as she truly was. A manipulative, broken human being who used others to perpetuate the inflated sense of self-value and importance she had of herself. Needless to say, several bridges were burned that have yet to be rebuilt. Knowing that others finally saw what I was seeing was the best defense against her. It's a defense that is growing stronger every day as more people in my family are becoming more vocal about her abuse and manipulation. Last, but not least. The narcissist will avoid self-accountability by... Sometimes my aunt would avoid responsibility by claiming she hadn't done anything wrong. When confronted, she would either deny doing it and walk away, or give some elaborate explanation as to why I only think she was treating me that way. I mentioned the gaslighting earlier, didn't I? When this specific narcissist ran out of options and knew I was no longer intimidated by her, she tried to make me doubt what I knew I had experienced. Narcissists don't view their behavior as wrong and will exhaust every option to avoid admitting their mistakes. And the part that was almost I'm getting better infuriating was how calm she was about it. So your best counterattack? Counterattack: Respond in kind. In retrospect, she was probably expecting me to become irritated by her blatant dishonestly and avoid questioning her. But I think the Valmont Approach will work wonders in this scenario as well. When the narcissist is evasive, be straightforward. When they become combative, remain calm. Present facts and evidence if possible, and keep talking. They won't want to hear the truth out loud and will probably make several attempts to discourage you. My aunt would mumble to herself and continue what she doing. Usually while making as much noise as she could to make me lose my train of thought. It didn't work and once she realized I wouldn't be easily persuaded, she eventually walked away in defeat. Me — 1, Crazy Aunt — ZERO!! Since this experience, I feel like I've gained a sense of self-worth and identity that she can no longer threaten. At least not with any success, anyway. But don't just take my word for it. Try whichever technique suits you best and see for yourself! Hopefully, you'll realize how liberating it can be to finally regain the power that belongs to you, you don't have to give away, and no narcissist has a right to take. Be blessed and never give up on yourself!!