7 Ways to Improve a Narcissistic Relationship

Hey Optimist Minds!

Have you ever been in close contact with a narcissist? Did you have no choice but to stay in touch with them?

Narcissism is a construct that describes behaviour patterns characterised by arrogance, self-centredness, entitlement, antagonism, manipulation, and a lack of empathy. 

A relationship is narcissistic when one person has these traits, and they repeatedly mistreat the other. 

This individual could be your partner, friend, parent, child, sibling, relative, coworker, boss, teacher, etc. It doesn’t matter what role the narcissist plays in your life; the effect is always unpleasant.

Some of these relationships are easier to get out of because there are no blood relations, kids involved, or legal consequences. However, sometimes, leaving isn’t an option.

If you can’t cut the narcissist off from your life, there are things you can do to make the relationship less painful. This video will describe seven ways to improve a narcissistic relationship.

Please note that you can never share a happy or meaningful bond with a narcissist unless they put in the hard work in therapy. Nevertheless, these steps can make it less traumatising.

Now, let’s begin.

One

Accept the nature of the narcissist.

A foundational step you must take before you can deal with the narcissist effectively is to come to terms with their behaviour. If you do not learn to accept it, you’ll keep hoping to see some change.

Moreover, you’ll keep getting triggered and frustrated with every unfavourable situation. So it’s in your best interest to face the facts and swallow the bitter pill if you have to continue this relationship.

Two

Don’t engage.

It’s tough not to initiate conversations with people who you have to see often. It’s even more challenging to hold back your reaction when they do something to provoke you. But when it comes to narcissism, the ideal thing to do is not to engage.

Try to keep your statements short and dull to not give them any material to weaponise. If they make a passive-aggressive attack, deflect and distract rather than giving them the reaction they seek.

Three

Keep realistic expectations.

It’s exhausting to be associated with a narcissist as it is, don’t add disappointment to your misery. Narcissists aren’t as complicated as they would like you to believe. Educating yourself about narcissistic tendencies will show you how predictable these patterns can be.

Once you’re familiar with the narcissist’s psyche, you’ll never give them an opportunity to surprise you. In fact, as you keep observing instead of reacting, you may even start feeling sorry for how insecure and empty these individuals are.

Four

Avoid defending yourself.

Many times in this relationship, you’ll find yourself tempted to justify your choices, values, or actions. That’s because narcissistic abuse is centred around making the victim doubt themselves.

But every time you give long and detailed explanations to the narcissist, you sign up for a battle you’ll never win. The narcissist is only listening for the sake of arguing further. Nothing you say will satisfy them and will, instead, give them more fuel for the fire. Therefore, simply avoid trying to win them over.

Five

Try light humour.

When you’re in it for the long run, it always helps to have a sense of humour. You can use jokes to diffuse the tension and keep yourself detached from the negativity. 

When used appropriately, the narcissist might even receive it well. But, at the same time, it’s important not to overdo it because you might end up offending the narcissist.

Six

Maintain your boundaries.

Narcissists are known to disregard people’s personal boundaries, so it’s imperative to keep reminding them of yours. You have the right to limit how much time you want to spend with the narcissist and what behaviour you’re willing to tolerate.

Assert both the boundary and the consequence multiple times if you have to. Then, if they still don’t respect your limits, follow through with the repercussions.

Seven

Find emotional support.

You can’t go on this journey alone; you need backup. That’s because, in order for this relationship to run smoothly, you’ll be the one putting in most of the effort. So, you must take care of yourself, especially your emotional needs, which will get trampled on by the narcissist.

It’s best to have a circle of people you trust to confide in, but consulting a therapist also helps immensely in most cases.

Do these tips seem like things you can pull off? Do you think they will help you improve your relationship with the narcissist? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.

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