Tips for Dealing with a Narcissist

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Tips for Dealing with a Narcissist

You’re going about your day when the sight of a particular coworker, friend, or loved one fills you with dread. Are they going to go on and on about themselves? Try to manipulate you into action on their behalf. Have yet another rageful outburst? If you’re dealing with a narcissist, such experiences are common. 

While ‘narcissist’ is used frequently in modern conversations about relationships, true narcissism goes beyond routine selfishness. As a mental illness known as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), narcissism is treatable. Thankfully, support abounds for anyone experiencing adverse effects of another’s narcissism, too – whether that narcissistic person embraces appropriate care or not. 

At her private practice in Chicago at One Magnificent Mile, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Amanda S. Kleinman provides psychotherapy for both NPD and relationship issues

If you’re caught in the grasp of narcissism-related difficulties, consider the following expert tips.

1. Avoid self-diagnosing

It’s easy to assume someone has narcissistic personality disorder when they’ve demonstrated controlling or self-centered behaviors. Unless you’re a clinical expert who specializes in the condition, however, you probably aren’t qualified to make an accurate diagnosis. In addition, true narcissism is a complex disorder whose symptoms can be mistaken for other issues.

If you can’t avoid a seemingly narcissistic person or wish to keep them in your life without experiencing related harm, professional guidance is key. Your take on narcissism signs you’ve noticed can be helpful as long as they’re appropriately addressed in a therapeutic setting. 

2. Set healthy boundaries

Boundaries are conceptual limits that can help protect your needs when you’re dealing with someone with NPD. A narcissistic person may not be able to see your points of view or feel much empathy regarding your needs. While those factors may keep them from understanding or relating to your boundary requests – and they may push back – setting them is very important. 

If your colleague is narcissistic, for example, determine which tasks are theirs versus yours. You may also want to let them know you won’t socialize with them after hours if you’re concerned about spending excessive time together.

3. Seek professional support

When you’re dealing with relationship issues, whether that relationship is romantic, platonic, or professional, Dr. Kleinman can help you sort through the challenges and thrive better. Numerous studies show that psychotherapy can bolster relationship satisfaction and help individuals and couples navigate serious challenges, such as narcissistic abuse

Dr. Kleinman specializes in NPD, an important attribute when seeking a provider. She also provides transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP), which can be especially helpful for relationship challenges and narcissism-related difficulties. 

You don’t need to continue struggling alone. To learn more about dealing with narcissistic personality disorder or to get effective support, call our office or request an appointment with Dr. Kleinman through our website today.