Lacking empathy for a way their actions affect others, narcissists feel entitled to use people . This makes it especially important to line firm boundaries with them. Here are seven effective approaches:
1. Don’t justify, explain, or defend yourself.
Narcissists use scrutiny or intimidation to form others second-guess themselves. Doing so gives them a sense of power and control.
Part of boundary-setting is that the right to make a decision what you share with others. The less you share, particularly personal information, the less a narcissist has got to use against you.
2. Leave when it doesn’t feel healthy.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to exit a destructive interaction. You, not others, get to work out what’s healthy for you.
You can glance at your watch and say, “Look at the time: I’m late.” Then leave. Late for what? It doesn’t matter. Every moment you remain within the presence of controlling or abusive behavior causes you to late for healthier self-care.
3. Decide what you’ll tolerate and what you won’t.
A key component of setting healthy boundaries is knowing when to mention no, and doing so. Ask yourself what you’re willing to simply accept from others and what you’re not. for instance , you’ll be okay with good-natured banter but not sarcasm. you’ll be fine with passionate expressions of opinions but not name-calling or bullying.
4. Learn to artfully sidestep intrusive questions or negative comments.
Skilled political spin doctors sidestep difficult questions from journalists by simply answering a special question — generally an issue they want that they had been asked which will promote their agenda.
5. Take the bully by the horns.
Narcissists hunger for attention and approval to counteract deep, unconscious feelings of emptiness and unworthiness. As a result, they endlessly test to ascertain what they will escape with.
One way to satisfy this is often to call out what they’re doing. for instance , say, “Are you trying to place me down or make me feel bad?” or, “I notice that once I begin to speak , you interrupt me.”
6. Don’t underestimate the facility of narcissism.
Remember that narcissists have spent a lifetime learning the way to devalue and cash in of others. Narcissism may be a powerful psychological phenomenon supported distorted views of self, others, and therefore the world.
7. Remember: Good boundaries include consequences.
a part of setting boundaries is knowing what you’re prepared to try to to if your boundaries are ignored. Consequences are best once they are clear in your mind before time. Then, when a boundary is violated, act on your chosen consequence immediately, decisively, every single time. Otherwise, you’ll lose credibility.