Even when we know a relationship isn’t a good fit, we sometimes aren’t able to get out. When you notice that your partner is narcissistic, some counseling or online telehealth therapy may be in order for you as a couple or individually to help create new and healthy behaviors. If you’re not sure if you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, they are typically self-absorbed, domineering and lack empathy. Here are a couple of tips you can try to help you manage being stuck in a narcissistic relationship.
1. Set Firm Boundaries
Boundaries are a much needed part of life, and even more so when dealing with a narcissist. Narcissists tend to do whatever they can to get whatever it is that they want. Setting strong boundaries and sticking to them will keep your stress level down. You will have to reiterate these boundaries often, so be prepared for the repetition and don’t hesitate to remind them when they’ve overstepped. As time goes on, they will learn that when their behavior goes sour that’s when you disengage.
Detachment isn’t always an easy thing to practice, but one of the easier ways to go about this in your relationship is to keep conversations short. Don’t go into too much detail, because you may find that what you say and do will be used against you sooner than later. The goal is to skip the egotistical ramblings, steer clear of their manipulations and stay on topic. Don’t believe everything your narcissist tells you and never let them know that their behavior is affecting you. They enjoy knowing that they have influence on the emotions of others.
3. Pursue Your Own Happiness
Do what makes you happy. It is important not to ignore your own needs in order to nurture a narcissist’s needs. Don’t depend on their often-empty promises to fulfil your needs. It is very unlikely that you will stumble upon a fairy tale ending with a narcissist, so focus on handling the person more than creating the relationship you envisioned. Tigers can’t change their stripes.
4. Don’t Engage Their Drama
Always remember that much of what a narcissist says and does is attention seeking behavior. They’re looking to get a response from you. They want to pull you into their fantasy or their drama. There’s no need for you to try to reason with them or to nurture them. They’ll always try to convince you of their innocence and your guilt. This is why you can’t go down that road with them when they are desperate for attention. Let them talk and offer very little in response. Feeding into their drama lets them know that their behavior is okay with you.
You may feel stuck in your relationship but implementing some of these tips just may be the beginning of the end. A narcissist isn’t fulfilled if their behavior doesn’t get the response they’re looking for. This type of person is usually more in love with the image they’ve created of themselves more than anyone else, and your needs will always be a lower priority for a narcissist.