How To Live With A Narcissist?
How to live with a Narcissist? What would you do when you have no other option but to live with a narcissist? Living with a narcissist, be it a partner, a parent, a child, a roommate, a colleague or a friend leaves a negative impact on your well-being.
You may not choose the option of leaving the narcissists that you have been cohabiting with because it may be difficult as you love them or you hold some responsibility. Thus out of accountability, you may not choose to abandon them, especially in the case of a narcissistic family member or a partner.
So would it mean you may have to suffer as long as you live? Do you have no choice but to tolerate the narcissist’s abusive, manipulative, and hindering behavior?
No! It would be unfair to you to live with the narcissist (being the victim of narcissistic abuse) just to tolerate their abuse, so what can you do? Let us know further. We will be discussing what is living with a narcissist like.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition that is medically and clinically diagnosable to tag someone as a narcissist. Narcissists have unreasonably higher sense of self so much so that they might not care about anything else but themselves.
So if you are living with a narcissist you must understand how their psychology works. They have a stronger sense of self due to which they have traits like feeling entitled, having grandiose self-esteem, need for validation and praise, and an urge to manipulate people around them for their benefit.
They may never accept their behavior to be abusive, and they may always play the victim when you point out the obvious. they may also hurt you emotionally for confronting them, as they lack empathy. Due to their personality traits, they may be unable to understand other people’s perspectives and thus end up hurting them frequently. They may never understand other people’s feelings, emotions, and viewpoints.
Here are some different ways in which you can avoid trouble and live hassle-free with narcissists in different settings and relations.
How to identify a Narcissist?
This question may arise as to how would you identify a narcissist to make the living arrangements easy or at least identify them to cope with them in a better way. Here is a reasonable solution to identify them,
According to DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) is a reference book broadly used by psychology experts and mental health professionals worldwide. The DSM provides clear references describing mental disorders, their symptoms, and everything related to them.
DSM describes everything so clearly that it makes the diagnosis process transparent. Thus to determine whether someone is narcissistic, there is a list of symptoms mentioned in the DSM-V, out of which if the individual has any five or at least five or all symptoms then they can be termed under the category of narcisists.
Having one or two traits of narcissism is usual, but when a person’s social functioning is hindered due to certain behavioral traits, then it may qualify them for a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
Let us know the symptoms list according to the DSM,
- Having a self-perception of being perfect, intelligent, superior, attractive, powerful, etc.
- Need to constantly get attention from other people.
- Obsession with fantasies like having unlimited success, the power that may daunting, fame, unsurpassed intelligence (the cerebral narcissist), unavoidable charm, and beauty (the somatic narcissist), incomparable sexual performance (sexual narcissist), or everlasting attractiveness.
- To achieve personal gains and growth, exploit others.
- Being jealous and having a perception that others might be equally jealous of them.
- Having a sense of entitlement and expectations of being treated as someone superior or greater than others.
- Self-perception of being grandiose, unique, high-status, and superior to others.
- Unwillingness to have empathy and sympathy for others, their wishes, feelings, and emotions.
- Requires excessive adoration, attention, and validation in the affirmations.
- Lacks Empathy.
How To Live With A Narcissist?
Living with narcissists and adjusting can depend on your relationship with them. Let us know how you can make your cohabitation comfortable around narcissists in the context of different relationships with them,
With a Family Member
Living with a narcissistic family member can take a toll on your mental health and you may always feel that you are unable to satisfy them with whatever you do or whatever you achieve. They may always devalue you and make you feel pressured by making comparisons.
A narcissistic family member has unrealistic expectations and may use you to gain what they want. Here are some tips to have your own life with a narcissistic family around,
- Set healthy boundaries and limits
- Let go of the false hopes that you might be holding about changing them
- Do not take any responsibility which is not yours from the beginning
- Take responsibility for your life and your life choices
- Learn to build self-confidence
- Practice self-care
- Seek help from other family members
In a Relationship
Living with a narcissist especially becomes difficult when you have a romantic relationship with them. This experience can be tough for you as you may love them but may not be able to express how challenging it is for you to cohabit with them. Yet you may be adjusting and comprising just out of love.
Thus here are some ways you can ensure your mental, physical, and emotional well-being with a narcissistic partner,
- Communicate your needs and wants clearly
- Using the term “We” instead of “You” in conversations
- Keep a realistic viewpoint for the future aspect of the relationship
- Try seeking help from a counselor or a therapist
- Be patient
With a friend
Living with a narcissist can be challenging in its ways, as a friend is someone with whom you may share your joys, sorrows, and everything in between. But not with narcissistic friends as they may be jealous of your achievements, happy by your sorrows, and sad with your growth. Not all narcissistic friends may be so toxic, but most of them are, and thus living with them can be one of the ways you may lose trust and never be able to fully trust another friend.
Narcissistic friendships do not involve trust and support. They constantly manipulate others using many tactics. Having a narcissistic friend can hinder your growth as they may be jealous of your accomplishments and may also try to pull you down.
They may also try to turn others against you, but here are some ways you can make your accommodation easy with a narcissistic friend in the picture,
- Be aware of your friend’s narcissistic tendencies
- Realize and acknowledge that you are dealing with someone who is suffering from a mental health disorder
- Set boundaries to save emotional energy
- Do not devalue yourself based on their opinion
- Try to cultivate other friendships
With a Spouse
A marriage is considered a pious bond between two souls that ties two partners who love each other and are ready to commit to each other. But what if your partner is a narcissist who is unwilling to commit, adjust and love? How do you live with such a narcissistic partner?
If you are dating a narcissist and living together, you may have realized how difficult it is, but you still have a chance to escape the toxic environment. But if you are married to a narcissist it may be difficult for you to think of parting ways due to some rational reasons.
A narcissistic spouse can test your patience. Thus here are some ways to live peacefully with them,
- Remember your self-worth in the relationship
- Do not let them take you for granted
- Foster different interests and hobbies to keep yourself busy and learn new things
- Set clear boundaries to safeguard your personal space and identity
- Try seeking help from a marriage counselor or a therapist
- Build a strong support system out of your marriage, that may include your family members, friends, or people who genuinely care for you
With a Parent
Growing up in a toxic atmosphere with narcissistic parents around may leave negative and lifelong experiences of childhood trauma. It can hinder your mental and emotional health too. So when you realize the truth about your parents as an adult here are some ways to make the living conditions better,
- Educate yourself about narcissism
- Accepting and Letting Go
- Being Compassionate
- Asserting your Boundaries
- Being Transparent with what you want
- Develop your self-worth and self-confidence
- Do not be harsh on yourself
With a Roommate
A narcissistic roommate can be anywhere, in your hostel, your flatmate, your work buddy, or just an acquaintance with whom you may be sharing a common space. So here are ways to deal with a narcissistic roommate,
- Recognize the signs
- Make yourself a small target
- Avoid Confrontation
- Be ready to leave if you have to
- Secure your personal Belongings
- Practice assertive communication
Tips for living with a Narcissist when leaving is not an option
Living with a Narcissist can be strenuous and arduous, but you have to bear the narcissist when there is no option left for you, besides living with them. When you do not have any possibility of leaving the narcissist, you live with them. But how do you make that process smoother?
- Learn about Narcissism
- Learn their Common Behaviors
- Being Mindful of Grandiose Promises
- Identify Gaslighting Behaviors
- Implementing consistent Boundaries
- Disengaging from Emotional Tantrums
- Learn How to Ignore Their Criticisms
- Avoid Blaming Yourself
- Learn how to Negotiate
- Accept what you cannot change
- Practice self-care
- Try seeking support from others
Living with a toxic person can be difficult, but boundaries, awareness of their character, and being connected with others can help you cope with their behavior and live together with them.
Living with a narcissist can be made easy and comforting if you try to apply the above-mentioned tips without stressing and worrying. Enjoy life to the fullest as you too deserve happiness.
Emotional, Mental, and physical Healing becomes very important when you live with a narcissist. A narcissistic relationship tends to deteriorate your mental, physical, and emotional health along with decreasing your confidence, willpower to live, and the simple joys of life.
So do not let that happen and try to live to the fullest as possible.