Communicating with a narcissist can be very difficult. At some point you get because you are dealing with a narcissist.
As difficult as that is, sometimes you have to stay in touch with that person. This could be because it’s a family member, co-worker, or someone else you can’t get away from.
However, there are a number of ways to make this communication easier.
Read below 11 indispensable tips to make communication with a narcissist a lot easier.
Why is communicating with a narcissist difficult?
Sometimes you can’t get out of a narcissist. Contact with a family member, colleague or maybe even the father of your children is very difficult. The reason this is so difficult may be due to one or more of the following reasons. The narcissist has:
Unfortunately, this is not the case with a narcissist. Narcissists are convinced of their insane selves and cannot see that there is anything wrong with them. They use your emotions against you and gaslighting makes you doubt yourself and reality. How do you deal with this then?
How to communicate with a narcissist?
Communication with a mentally healthy person is very different than with a narcissist. To give you a helping hand, here are 8 tips on how to best communicate with a narcissist.
These are for situations where it really isn’t possible to turn your back on a narcissist. These tips will make the necessary communication between you a little easier. So let’s get started quickly!
8 Essential Tips To Communicate With A Narcissist:
1. Use the Gray Rock method
The Gray Rock method is a communication technique to make dealing with a narcissist as easy as possible. You use their own power against them without using too much of your own power.
The narcissist lives on the emotional responses they provoke in others through their master manipulation techniques.
The idea of the Gray Rock method is precisely that you appear as uninteresting as possible. As it were, you ensure that the narcissist loses interest in you.
Showing emotional responses only encourages them. If you don’t give them what they want, they will look for it from someone else. You make yourself boring, you become like a gray rock.
Try to share as little as possible about what you do and what you are experiencing. Distance yourself from your emotions and feelings, but only while interacting with the narcissist. This is of great importance.
The narcissist is addicted to power, and he gains that power by accessing your emotions. By not showing those emotions, he has no control over you.
2. Keep calm and businesslike
Try to keep the necessary conversations between you as short and businesslike as possible. Where possible, you can have these conversations over the phone, so you give someone as little as possible the chance to influence you.
By not responding to conflict in this way, it is less interesting for the narcissist to get out of hand.
By reacting emotionally, as difficult as it may be not to do so, you are feeding the narcissist. The narcissist lives on drama and on your emotions.
Emotional reactions connect you to the narcissist, winding you deeper into his web. So try to respond calmly or start talking about something else if a discussion or argument starts. Give him the impression that it doesn’t bother you.
3. Don’t get distracted by emotions (stick to the facts)
The narcissist’s goal is to arouse great emotions in you. He tries to provoke this by making mean comments, getting angry and manipulating. Try to look at this in a sober way and see his behavior as what it is: narcissistic.
It’s not a personal attack on you, even if it feels that way. He is testing the power he has over you. Once you react emotionally, his plan is successful.
Try to keep the focus on the real problem and the purpose of the conversation. He will try to distract you from the problem by confusing and upset you.
By keeping that focus on the goal of the conversation, he will not succeed. Be aware of what is really happening and don’t let your emotions control you.
4. Set Your Limits
If you have determined exactly what your limits are in advance, it will be easier for you to stick to them.
Narcissists have a hand in testing and pushing those boundaries. If you haven’t captured these in advance, it’s harder to make it clear at the moment.
Indicate your needs and your limits, this will give you a powerful feeling during and after the conversations. You decide what’s right for you, no one else.
If this concerns certain rules about the children or agreements about work, it is wise to put these things in writing.
Narcissists can find or want something different every day and will blatantly lie about it.
5. Ask clarifying questions
Because narcissists change their mind so often and mislead you, you can ask clarifying questions to push the conversation back in the right direction.
Clarifying questions can also be asked when the narcissist uses a manipulation technique on you or when an unreasonable demand is made. Asking questions makes it harder for the narcissist to manipulate you.
These could be questions like, “Do I have anything to say about that?” , “Is this a question or an order?” or “Do you really expect me to do this?”.
By asking these questions you hold up a mirror to him. If he makes an unreasonable demand, he can make it sound like you have to do something, but you don’t have to.
Clarifying questions can therefore help to clarify a conversation and its purpose.
Alternatively, check out the following video where Emily Bebenek talks about questions surrounding narcissism:
6. Don’t argue
Try to remain calm at all times. His intention is to make you angry and sad. That it looks like you’re crazy. But you are not.
Those emotions you get during your fights are exactly what he lives on and what he can use against you. Arguing allows him to regain power over you and rage against you.
If the narcissist has a tantrum, you have the right to leave the room. You don’t have to accept yelling and swearing.
Hurting and swearing can also happen in a quiet way, you don’t have to hear this either. You are not responsible for his tantrums.
You are the one who determines your life and how people treat you, no one else.
7. Compliment, Confrontation, Compliment
This tactic can be used to confront or criticize a narcissist about his behavior. Sometimes there is something that needs to be discussed and this way can keep the conversation from getting out of hand.
Narcissists enjoy admiration and praise. Using positive comments about things like their appearance, how great they are or how grateful you are can help you in these moments.
Because they are so insecure at the same time, they are very sensitive to criticism. That makes confrontation very difficult and exciting.
Remember that it is precisely this fear and insecurity that makes them so hot-tempered, by paying attention to this you can react less defensively when they attack you. By giving him a compliment before and after a confrontation, you can avoid a strong reaction from him.
During this confrontation it is important that instead of demanding something, you ask.
8. BIFF method
This method stands for Brief (short), Informative (informative), Friendly (kind), and Firm (determined).
This method can be used to prevent an escalation. It takes the emotion out of the conversation that puts you in control of the conversation, not him.
You don’t let him provoke you and clearly state what you want without leaving room to read between the lines. BIFF means step by step:
What does a narcissist do when you realize him?
Every narcissist is different and every narcissist will react differently when you get it. The narcissist will try to control you in several ways.
If the narcissist thinks there’s still a chance to get you back, there are several strategies to coax you into their web. They will use everything they know about you for the best strategy. He can use various manipulation techniques for this, for example:
How do you deal with a narcissist?
Once it has become clear that you are dealing with a narcissist, the most important thing is to ensure that you are no longer useful to the narcissist. Make it clear that there is nothing more you can do.
You don’t have to go along with his behavior because you are in charge of your own life. It can feel like you can no longer think clearly, have no self-confidence and no autonomy over your life. But you do.
The bottom line: It’s clear that narcissists can do a lot of emotional damage. Years of gaslighting and manipulation can do a lot to your mind and your confidence.
Removing a narcissist from your life is vital to repairing this emotional damage.
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