How to Deal with a Narcissist

Have you ever had to deal with a narcissist, and felt completely helpless and frustrated? If so, you’re not alone.

Narcissists come in many shapes and sizes: grandiose or invulnerable narcissists, vulnerable narcissists, exhibitionist narcissists and malignant narcissists. Each type requires a different approach when it comes to dealing with them effectively.

In this post, we will discuss the differences between each type of narcissist and provide some tips for how to handle them in various situations.

Different types of Narcissism

The first step when learning how to deal with a narcissist is to try to identify their particular brand of narcissism.

There are two main types of narcissism:

  1. Personality trait narcissism.
  2. Personality disorder narcissism.

Personality Trait Narcissism

It is important to understand the difference between personality trait narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder, as they are not the same thing.

Personality trait narcissism is a way of viewing the world in which people have high levels of self-esteem and confidence, and view themselves as superior to others. It is marked by arrogance and self-absorption, but it does not rise to the level of a mental disorder.

On the other hand, narcissistic personality disorder is a diagnosable medical condition that requires treatment. People with this disorder exhibit patterns of grandiosity, need for admiration, lack of empathy and feelings of entitlement. They often struggle with low self-esteem and may feel vulnerable or threatened when their sense of superiority is challenged.

It is important to recognize the distinction between these two conditions in order to effectively manage relationships with people who have them.

Although it may be difficult to interact with people who have this personality trait, there are some things you can do to manage your relationship with them:

Set clear boundaries – Make sure to set clear expectations for how you want the person to behave around you, or what type of behavior you will not tolerate. This can help keep the relationship in check and ensure that the person does not take advantage of you.

Practice empathy – Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and recognize their perspective, even if it differs from your own. Empathy helps create understanding between both parties and can be used as a tool for managing relationships.

Don’t take things personally – When dealing with someone who has these personality traits, remember that it is not about you. It is about them and their need for attention or control over others. Try not to take their words or actions too seriously or take offense when they don’t realize how something could be hurtful towards you.

Maintain open communication – Keeping an open dialogue between both parties can help ensure that issues are addressed before they become too large or out of control.

Personality Disorder Narcissism

People who have narcissistic personality disorder exhibit patterns of grandiosity, need for admiration, lack of empathy and feelings of entitlement. They also display arrogance and self-absorption, but this behaviour is typically more extreme than what is seen in personality trait narcissism.

If you’re in a situation where you have to interact with a narcissist on a regular basis, it can be difficult to manage. Here are some tips for dealing with a narcissistic person in your life:

Understand the person’s motivations. Try to understand why the person is behaving this way, as understanding their perspective can help you better cope with their behaviors.

Set boundaries, and stick to them. It may be helpful to set clear boundaries so that the narcissist knows what acceptable behavior looks like and what is not tolerated.

Don’t take things personally. Remember that it is not about you—it is about the other person and their need for attention or control over others.

Remain calm and assertive when communicating with them. Keep your emotions in check and your language clear and direct so that the narcissist doesn’t try to use emotional manipulation tactics on you.

Don’t engage in arguments or debates. It will only escalate the situation and give the narcissist more power over you. Instead, calmly explain how certain behaviors make you feel, using “I” statements such as “I feel uncomfortable when you do X” instead of attacking them directly (e.g., “You always do X”).

Disengage from conflict if needed. If there is no resolution in sight and tensions are high, it may be best for both parties involved to disengage from each other until cooler heads prevail.

Different manifestations of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

There are four different types of narcissists: grandiose or invulnerable narcissists, vulnerable narcissists, exhibitionist narcissists, and malignant narcissists.

Each type displays unique characteristics and behaviours that can have a profound impact on the people they interact with, with implications for how best to deal with them.

How to deal with a Grandiose / Invulnerable Narcissist

Grandiose or invulnerable narcissists are characterized by feelings of superiority and entitlement, a need for admiration and attention, and a disdain for others.

They often act arrogant and display grandiose behaviour to boost their own ego.  

If you have to deal with a grandiose narcissist, it is important to set boundaries. Narcissists often push boundaries in order to get what they want. In such cases, it is important to be assertive and stand up for yourself. You should also avoid giving them too much attention, as this will only fuel their megalomania.

How to deal with a Vulnerable Narcissist

Vulnerable narcissists display feelings of inadequacy, an excessive need for validation and approval from others, and shallow emotions.

They tend to be hypersensitive to criticism and may lash out when challenged or criticized.  

This type of narcissist gets outraged easily and is very difficult to deal with. They will cloak their jealousy and anger in self-righteousness, while trying to frame you as being selfish or uncaring.

Show understanding and empathy, but do not give them excessive attention or validation. You can challenge the narcissist when appropriate in a supportive way. Focus on building healthy relationships rather than enabling their narcissistic behaviour.

Keep a watchful eye for any signs that the situation is escalating, in which case you should withdraw.

How to deal with an Exhibitionist Narcissist

Exhibitionist narcissists seek to be admired for their achievements and engage in overtly exhibitionistic behaviour. This includes bragging about their accomplishments or displaying symbols of success.

They may also fish for compliments and attempt to manipulate people into praising them.  

If you are dealing with an exhibitionist narcissist, it is important to be aware of their tactics. They often use manipulation and guilt-trips in order to get what they want.

It is important to stay strong and not give in to their demands. As in the case of grandiose narcissists, try to avoid giving them too much attention, as this will only fuel their ego.

How to deal with a Malignant Narcissist

Malignant narcissists are dangerous and toxic. They lack empathy and tend to emotionally manipulate others. They have a profound disregard for other people’s feelings and can be extremely controlling and manipulative in relationships.

This type of narcissist is dangerous and you need to be very careful when you deal with them. If you come across this type of personality it would be advisable not to engage in direct competition with them because it will not be a fair fight. They are ruthless and will stop at nothing in order to win.

Avoid engaging with them if possible. Disengage from conversations quickly if necessary.

Focus on remaining calm regardless of how they might act or react to a situation. And most importantly, trust your instincts and be aware of signs that they could become dangerous or violent.

Is the narcissist a co-worker?

Do you have a co-worker who is a narcissist? If so, then you are probably already well aware of how difficult it can be to deal with them.

Narcissists are often very demanding and can be quite disruptive in the workplace. The narcissistic colleague will steal your ideas, take credit for your work, and try to manipulate you to break your confidence and establish their superiority.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to protect yourself.

Tips on how to deal with a narcissist colleague:

Don’t take their behaviour personally. Narcissists are often very volatile and can be quite unpredictable. Don’t let their behaviour get under your skin and don’t try to argue with them or defend yourself.

Keep a record of what they do. Make note of the times they take credit for your work, make disparaging comments about you to others, or try to manipulate you in any way. This will help you when it comes time to report their behaviour to your boss or HR.

Don’t confront them alone. Narcissists can be very aggressive and may try to intimidate or bully you. If you need to confront them, do it in a public place with witnesses.

Don’t let them get the upper hand. Narcissists love to win and will often try to control the conversation or debate. Don’t let them control you and make sure to stand up for yourself.

By following these tips, you can protect yourself from the negative effects of dealing with a narcissist at work. Dealing with narcissistic abuse is draining. However keep in mind that you are not alone and there is support available to you. Join an online support group or reach out to HR.

Is one of your friends a narcissist?

Are you worried that one of your friends might be a narcissist? Is he or she charming when they get what they want, but a nightmare when they do not? Here are some signs to watch out for, and ways that you can protect yourself from their destructive behaviour.

The first step is to be aware of the warning signs. Some common red flags include a constant need for validation and praise, excessive boasting or talking about themselves, taking advantage of others, and having a lack of empathy or compassion.

Tips on how to deal with a narcissist friend:

If you do suspect that one of your friends is a narcissist, it can be tough to know what to do about it. It is important to remember that narcissists are not likely to change their behaviour, no matter how much you might want them to.

The best way to protect yourself from their harmful influence is to distance yourself from them. This might mean spending less time with the group, or even ending the friendship altogether.

It can be difficult to cut ties with a friend, but it is worth it if that friend is causing you harm. Remember that you deserve to have healthy and supportive relationships in your life, and that narcissists are not likely to provide that.

Protect yourself by removing them from your life, and focus on building relationships with people who will make you feel good about yourself.

Is the narcissist a family member?

If you’re concerned that a family member may be a narcissist, it’s important to know how to protect yourself. Narcissists can be very manipulative and often use guilt and coercion to get what they want.

Tips on how to deal with a narcissist family member:

Don’t let them control you. Narcissists need to feel powerful and in control, so don’t give them that power.

Set boundaries. Let the narcissist know what you will and will not tolerate.

Don’t give them money or gifts. Narcissists often use financial coercion to control their victims.

Get support. Talk to someone who can help you deal with the narcissist in your life.

Document everything. Keep a journal of all interactions with the narcissist, as well as any abuse or manipulation. This can be helpful if you need to seek legal help.

If you’re experiencing abuse from a family member, it’s important to seek help. There are many resources available to you, including counseling and support groups. Don’t suffer in silence. You deserve to be safe and happy.

Narcissists can be dangerous – do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it!

If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, there is help available. There are many support groups and therapy programmes specifically designed to help people recover from narcissistic abuse. It is not an easy road, but it is possible to heal the wounds inflicted by a narcissist. You are not alone.

For Further Reading

8 Ways Narcissists Get Worse with Age

How to Deal with a Narcissist

Narcissistic Supply – Feeding the Narcissistic Ego

How to Define a Narcissist: The 5 Traits You Need to Look Out For

Narcissistic Injury – The Agony of the Fragile Narcissistic Ego

Can a Narcissist feel Empathy? The Answer May Surprise You

The Devious Traits of the Female Narcissist – What to Look Out For

Narcissist Meme Gallery

How to Tell If You’re a Narcissist

Can Narcissists Change? The Truth About Personality Disorders and How to Treat Them

Does a narcissist ever truly regret hurting people?

Can a Narcissist Ever Be Happy? Appearances May Be Deceptive

What is the Root Cause of Narcissism?

Can a Narcissist Be Nice? The Myth of the Generous Narcissist

Can the agony of the narcissistic injury ever be healed?

What’s a Narcissist? Characteristics of a Narcissist and How to Spot Them

The Five Types of Narcissist – Which One Are You Dealing With?

Narcissist – Covert – How to Recognize and Deal with a Covert Narcissist

The Traits of a Covert Narcissist: What You Need to Know

Grandiose Narcissism: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself From It

What are the Treatment Options for Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

How To Identify the Traits of Narcissism

What is an Enabler? A Critical Asset for the Narcissist

Unmasking Narcissism – What are the 5 main habits of a narcissist?

What are the signs that someone is narcissistic?

What are the red flags of a narcissist?

Coping with a Narcissistic Person in Your Life

Dealing With Difficult People – How to Spot a Narcissistic Personality

Narcissistic Traits in Females – Is She a Narcissist?

Understanding the Different Types of Narcissism

What is a Narc? Identifying the Signs of Narcissism

The Impact of Growing Up With A Narcissistic Mother on Her Daughter

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me. At no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission, which helps me run this blog and keep my in-depth content free of charge for all my readers.

Leave a comment