This weekend we are joined by special guest, Dr. Fred DiBlasio to discuss dealing with a narcissist. Dr. DiBlasio brings years of experience working with patients with this diagnosis. Listen to the show any time on ITUNES Podcast.
Have you ever walked into a room and thought, ‘that person is entitled? He thinks he deserves special treatment? How am I going to have a conversation and get my point across? Something is making this conversation difficult. He’s never wrong and it is always about him.’
It could be that you have encountered a narcissist.
In trying to deal with a narcissist, there are several points to consider that might help the interaction:
- Narcissists are incredibly insecure. Because of that underlying insecurity, they need lots of appeal to their ego. If you appeal to their ego, they listen better. And if you give positives, it helps build a better relationship.
- Narcissists do not trust people. Sometimes this lack of trust is hard to see because they appear overly confident. But trust me, they don’t trust you! As a result, they tend to overcompensate so you will not see their anxiety and fear.
- Narcissist love to argue. But you won’t win, Thus, it is better to acknowledge their feelings versus try to get your point across.
- Narcissists lack empathy. Their brains look different when scanned. There is a structural difference related to connectivity in the brain. Add to this, being told you are special, overvalued, and believing you deserve special treatment, all lead to a person feeling entitled as well.
- Narcissists like to engage in battle. Because of the tendency to argue their point, the less said, the better. Back down from challenges. The low frustration tolerance a narcissist has will result in a fight.
- Narcissists will hurt your feelings. Consequently, practice forgiveness on a regular basis to avoid feeling bitter.
- Pray for the person. Anyone can be transformed. When the narcissist sees relationships constantly failing, he or she may be more open to getting help. Therapy and prayer do work. However, changing behavior patterns is hard work and takes time. Thus, a commitment to change needs to be present.
Therapy can help in many areas. It can help the person understand brain differences, and work on the renewing of the mind. A person can learn to tolerate criticism and failures, understand and regulate feelings and develop behavior that brings success in relationships. But they have to see how their behavior affects others and want the help.
Most of all, the narcissist can learn that underneath the sense of superiority is really someone who is anxious and hyper-vigilant to not allow vulnerability to show. Weakness is not about allowing others to have power over you. And a person doesn’t have to overcompensate by acting stronger. The key to success in the therapy room is the same as in any relationship–letting down your guard, becoming vulnerable, and recognizing your weaknesses. The hope is that no matter how difficult, there is a willingness to change.Dealing with a narcissist