I'm a Tennessee-based freelance writer with a passion for true crime, a thirst for knowledge, and an obsession with lists.
One internet meme says, "Narcissism is the only disease who everyone else suffers and the sick one gets left alone."
Sounds about right.
Most experts agree narcissism is created from a traumatic event or series of events during the early years of life (whether it's the first two or three years or more, is highly debated) and actual narcissism - not to be mistaken for borderline personality which presents with narcissistic traits, is considered incurable. As a matter of fact, many therapists refuse to treat someone they believe to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder as they find it results in nothing much more than a challenge for the narcissist's manipulation skills.
Unfortunately, we all have a narcissist in our life whom we love and cutting contact simply isn't a choice for some. So what is one to do?
Understand. If you understand the narcissistic mind, suddenly their games are less frustrating, their insults are not hurtful, and their behavior becomes comical rather than terrifying.
You have the power to stop the narcissist, you just need to the tools to do so. The following six memes offer excellent clues on how to best deal with these annoying people.
1. Arguing with a Narcissist is Like Getting Arrested. Everything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You.
While a narcissist can never remember the hurtful things they have said to you, they can remember every single thing you've ever said to them.
Any time it suits their agenda - usually during a disagreement where they are seen in an unfavorable position, the narcissist will recount their skewed version of what you have said or done in the past and how said action hurt them.
What you need to understand is the narcissist is deflecting from their behavior by mentioning yours. It won't matter if those hurtful words you said were in response to something the narcissist said or done, s/he will only focus on themselves; their thoughts, their feelings. Before you know it, you're apologizing and the narcissist skips away once again not having to accept responsibility for the hurt they've caused.
2. Narcissist do what they want, when they want, and how they want...
...any minor adjustments they may make on behalf of others will feel to them like very selfless acts that deserve praise. A survivor is wise to remember that the narcissist's highest agenda is their own comfort and happiness..."
It's all about their ego. Every action, every word is calculated; not necessarily consciously but never without thought to how they may benefit.
Everything they do and perceive as having done for you, they will remember and they will remind you of it any time you do not agree with them or do as they ask. It will not matter if it happened years ago or yesterday or whether said deed was beneficial to them as well or not.
What you should understand is if you are in contact with a narcissist, never accept nor ask for favors or assistance of any sort from him/her because it will be used to guilt or shame you in the future.
3. Philosophy of Narcissism 101
The narcissist loves to make a covert confession by gossiping or telling someone about their flaws. At closer inspect, one would realize these noted flaws are ones the narcissists shares - thus, the confession.
When your narcissist tells you that you are bitter, angry, stupid, clumsy, a liar, a cheat, troublemaker, manipulative, or any sort any insult, you must understand and remember the narcissist is projecting all of their flaws on to you so they can maintain the perfect imagine they have of themselves.
4. Stop! You cannot effectively communicate with a person who uses emotional reasoning, projection, and blame to disengage...
...When you engage in this level of distress, you will lose control and react emotionally thereby giving the high conflict person the weapon he or she needs to hurt you. By disengaging you will stay in control of your emotions and the high conflict person will lose control."
Narcissism feeds on frustration, confusion, and anger. I once heard someone describe arguing with a narcissists is like running on a treadmill; you can run for hours but when you stop, you're exhausted and still at Point A.
Truer words have never been spoken.
What you must understand is it is pointless to argue with a narcissist. No issues will be resolved, nothing will change. Arguments are nothing more than a war of wits off which they feed their egos. When you stop pointlessly bickering with them, you starve the narcissist.
5. Narcissists remain levelheaded until you speak logic, reason, and truth...
"...That's when they loudly claim that you're unbalanced."
Narcissists are never wrong and to try to tell them otherwise equates to your being mentally ill. Some of the favorite lines of those with narcissistic traits include, "You need to get help!"; "Did you take your meds?"; and/or "There is something wrong with you not me."
What you should understand is the only thing wrong with you at the moment is you're allowing the narcissist to project their issues onto you. Don't bother telling them you know what they are doing, they're incapable of believing so; just walk away. It's the only choice. If you remain in contact with your narcissist, at least condition them such utterances will result in your departure.
6. A narcissist will use the phrase "get over it" because...
"...to them, your concerns are trivial and if it's not about them. then they're not interested."
Your feelings and opinions matter not to the narcissist and you shouldn't waste your time trying to express such. The narcissist does not feel empathy and therefore cannot understand someone may not be feeling exactly like them at a particular moment or about a certain situation.
What you should understand is the narcissist does not care because they cannot care. They do not know how. The narcissist has zero empathy for others. Do not be fooled by those times they express emotion, it is merely an act.
© 2016 Kim Bryan
Share Your Narcissism Experience.
TheNeoNarzist on September 22, 2020:
It seems to me you all are oblivious to the cold hard truth - in case of the family it is always EVERYONE, we know it is infectious. There is no such thing as victims, we are all criminals, we allowed it by giving up control - and we abused them back in revenge, dont deny it. It is all an illusion, we never had a family and we are free to walk away sooner than people think and talk about it as soon as we can from our opinion. It is our choice and our ultimate fault not to speak the truth we always saw. It is our fault we need tragedies to realize and accept reality. Dont stay in the victim state or you become victim again for those who are beyond repair...Focus on your own narcissism and you will never be worried about other narcs...
April Seldon from New Orleans on February 08, 2020:
Really great post, you hit the hammer on the nail.
Sondra Cook on January 23, 2020:
My narcissist choked me sadistically 4 times he used his leg, knee or shin, he applied pressure let me catch my breath and did it again the fourth time I remember thinking let him kill me and I let go and he stopped. It was a big thing he got away with because of me. He said that I’m the abusive one and acts like he didn’t do it and it was my fault.
Stephanie on July 08, 2019:
I spent my entire life looking for that one person in my family to lean on. My father did whatever my mother dictated and my brother was my mother’s favorite. I had no one. It was a sad way to grow but what was the worst part was not knowing why I felt so bad about myself and so worthless. My mother has not changed, she has actually gotten much worse. I don’t really want my children around she and my father as they are both over the top, know it alls. I have a really great life so why do I even bother with them?
Lorna Lamon on November 08, 2018:
Excellent article covering the most important aspects of this condition. Thank you for sharing.
Patience Lelo Klaas from Cape Town on March 26, 2018:
Dealing with a narcissist is so damaging to one's self that it can leave scars, truly exhausting
Victoria on March 11, 2018:
Dealing w/ a narc is exhausting .. I never thought that it was a personality disorder . I thought this guy was just an asshole w/ great mind fuckery , so sad that ppl actually live a soul sucking life it’s like dancing w/ the devil .
My narc must’ve read that hand book , Soul sucking narc 101
he did everything in the exact order love bombing , triangulation Hoover gaslighting w/ twisted tales .. definitely a place in hell for these creatures
Tamara Moore on March 13, 2017: