Navigating The Holidays With A Narcissist
The holidays are filled with love and merriment, but for people dealing with a narcissistic family member, they can also be filled with tension and stress.
“Narcissism is not just something attributed to people who post selfies and list all their favorite meals on Facebook. It’s a diagnosable personality disorder that causes people to have a delusional sense of self-worth and lack of empathy.” – Ramani Durvaula, Ph.D.
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are often charismatic and very successful individuals. They are also extremely manipulative, entitled, vain, controlling and have no empathy, leaving the people close to them feeling disappointed, hurt, afraid and doubting themselves. You can read more about NPD here.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to protect yourself when you are dealing with the Narcissist in your life. Keep reading to find out.
5 Ways to Navigating The Holidays With A Narcissist
- Adjust your expectations. This is perhaps one of the most helpful mindset shift you will ever make. Don’t fool yourself into thinking this time will be different. It won’t. It will be like every other time that they have ruined for you. A narcissist does not have the ability to empathize or understand other people, so do not expect them suddenly too. In fact, the prospect of being emotionally intimate often activates the narcissists’ unconscious fear of not being good enough, fears in which they cover by becoming manipulative, competitive or provocative. Expecting anything different only sets you up for disappointment. So prepare for this instead of hoping, yet again, that it will be different. And this time, because you are expecting it, you will be able to get through it with less pain.
- Take care of yourself first. Make sure to look after you, plan your favorite self-care routine, check in with yourself, walk away if it all becomes too much to handle. Listen to your body. You can take care of yourself with clear and defined boundaries. Decide ahead of time what is acceptable to you and where you will draw the line. Practice doing so outloud to really be ready for when it happens and stick to your plan.
“Whatever the particular dynamics of your relationship, the bottom line is that you are constantly working to meet the narcissist’s insatiable need for validation while never feeling genuinely seen or acknowledged in return. You can’t control the narcissist, but you can protect and empower yourself with safer boundaries in the relationship.” – Julie Hall
- Be mindful of what you share. Narcissists will often use your personal information to hurt and humiliate you. So be careful what you share with them.
- Know what matters. When they become manipulative or demeaning, ask yourself: “How can this help me learn? What do I want to be in this situation? What do you think of the narcissists behaviors? Is this the right environment for me?” Doing so allows you to make use of anything that happens for your healing journey and future growth.
- DO NOT ENGAGE. Seriously. Don’t. Do you best to not respond to the baiting, the gaslighting, the guilt tripping or any other form of manipulation. Have a list of responses ready that will help you to avoid confrontations. For example:
- I’d like to change the topic, have you heard about…
- Excuse me while I go try some of the yummy foods that Auntie brought over.
- Did you see the latest episode of…
- Oh look, so and so just arrived, I’m going to say hi
- I prefer not to talk about this right now.
- Have you caught up on – particular current event
Make a mental list and keep it handy. Do everything in your power to rise above and not get sucked in. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself, understanding with yourself and plan some activities that make you feel good.
I hope these tips help. It’s natural to get defensive and hurt when being targeted by a narcissist. It may help for you to talk to someone about. You do not have to go it alone.
Take my FREE Unhealed Trauma quiz here and let me know how you did. Let’s get your healing journey stated today.
Malibu Mama Loves XX