If you deal with a Narcissist regularly you’re going to want to read this one! I hear you and I feel your frustration, trust me! I’ve lived the horror story of Narcissism and I know boundaries are the ONLY thing that will keep you mentally strong and able to cope with these individuals.
I’m not going to waste time defining Narcissism or the root cause of this disordered behaviour because I figure if you are reading this article you already know that. Yes? What I will do, however, is add a bit of a refresher for those who may not have experienced this behaviour for some time.
- Sneaking around?
- Overt and covert manipulation?
- Blame shifting?
- World Salad?
- Silent treatment?
- Passive-aggressive guilt tripping?
- Negative “It was just a JOKE!!!!” humour?
Ok, I’ll stop there. Otherwise I WON’T stop there! There are literally so many things I could include.
But what are healthy boundaries when it comes to dealing with a Narcissist?
Well, this can vary depending on who they are and what relationship they have with you. Are they a partner? A colleague? Or your next door neighbour? You might be able to avoid conversation with your neighbour but possibly not with your partner. See what I mean? Boundaries have to be relevant to the relationship that exists between you.
As a general rule healthy boundaries might include;
- Only communicating with them via email
- Walking away when they start the crazy making
- Restricting time spent with them
- Avoiding places you know they frequent
- Limiting conversations with them
- Grey rocking them (that is, not giving them an emotional response or ‘amo’)
Obviously there other ways to stay emotionally safe but these were the first few that jumped into my mind, and honestly, they are some of THE most effective boundaries I know, first hand, to work.
But how do they work?
These boundaries will help you maintain a clear mind and a great deal of self-control when interacting with a Narcissist, therefore reducing the likelihood of pathological eruption and rage on the part of the Narc. Not only this but they also allow you to take back some of the power and not be so vulnerable to attack from the bully you are dealing with.
But how will they save me?
They’ll stop you saying or doing something you’ll regret later
(aka: Something that will be used against you later!)
They’ll save you from losing control and ‘becoming’ what the narc already labels you as
(aka: Crazy, Psychotic etc)
They’ll allow you to see the value of self-preservation
(aka: UH HUH!!!!)
Remember, these people are morally empty. Their attitudes, perceptions, feelings and behaviours are all warped by their disordered personality. Any healthy boundary that you can enforce will help reduce the amount of chaos you deal with now, and in the future.
‘You cannot apply sense to nonsense’…keep that in your back pocket the next time you feel yourself being sucked into the vortex of Narcissism. I guarantee you it will save you!
if you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy Manipulation Tactics Narcissists Use To Destabilise You
Want some support around coping with a Narcissist? It would be my pleasure to support you on your journey. You can book an appointment here.
Until next week…
Yours in better mental health,
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Erica has a passion for Women’s Health. She works with women who want to be heard, supported and empowered! Erica is a survivor of many life experiences. A Mum. A travel lover. A green thumb in training and an eternal optimist!