Tips: Can't Live without My Narcissist

Uploaded 6/1/2011, approx. 5 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

If you are married to a narcissist, or are in an intimate relationship with one, my unequivocal advice is, count your losses, count your blessings, get away, maintain a no-contact policy.

But if you can't live without him, if you insist on staying with him, then I have a few bits of advice for you.

First of all, never disagree with the narcissist or contradict him. Never offer him any real intimacy.

Narcissists are scared of intimacy. They will withdraw. Look awed by whatever attribute matters to him. Admire him for his professional achievements, for his good looks, or even for his success with women.

Never remind him of life out there, and if you do, connect it somehow to his sense of grandiosity and uniqueness.

Do not make any comment, which might directly or indirectly impinge on his self-image, omnipotence, judgment, omniscience, skills, capabilities, professional record, or even omnipresence.

Listen attentively to everything the narcissist says, and agree with it all. Don't believe a word of it, but let it slide as if everything is just fine, business as usual.

Personally, offer something absolutely unique to the narcissist, which he cannot obtain anywhere else. Be prepared to line up future sources of narcissistic supply for your narcissist, because you will not be it for very long.

If you take over the procuring function for the narcissist, if you're in charge of obtaining narcissistic supply, the narcissist becomes that much more dependent on you, which makes it a bit easier for you and a bit tougher for him to pull his haughty stuff or to abandon you.

Be endlessly patient, and go way out of your way to be accommodating, thus keeping the narcissistic supply flowing liberally and keeping the piss, relatively speaking. Be endlessly giving.

This one may not be attractive to you, but it's a take it or leave it proposition. Narcissists take, they don't give, that's who and what they are.

Be absolutely, emotionally, and financially independent of your narcissist. Take what you need, the excitement, the engulfment, and refuse to get upset or hurt when the narcissist does or says something dumb, rude, or insensitive. Yelling back works relatively well, but should be reserved for special occasions when you fear that your narcissist may be on the verge of leaving you.

The silent treatment is a better option as an ordinary response, but it must be carried out without any emotional content. More with the air of boredom, offhandedly, like I'll talk to you later when I'm good and ready and when you are behaving in a more reasonable fashion.

Remember, your narcissist is a spoiled brat. Treat him as such. If your narcissist is cerebral and not interested in having sex, then give yourself permission to have sex with other people.

But remember, your cerebral narcissist will not be indifferent to your infidelity, so maintain discretion and secrecy.

But still, you cannot be expected to live an asexual life without sex. If your narcissist, on the other hand, is somatic and you don't comply with his wishes for you to join in threesomes or in group sex, there may be repercussions.

The narcissist demands that you accept his lovers and his varied and kinky sex life. Either you do or you don't. It's up to you.

But in any case, make sure that the narcissist chooses properly. Narcissists are heedless and very undiscriminating in respect to sexual partners, and that can be very problematic.

Sexually transmitted disorders and blackmail come to mind. If you are a fixer, then focus on fixing situations before they become situations. Don't, for one moment, delude yourself that you can fix the narcissist.

This simply will not happen. It's not because narcissists are stubborn and won't listen to you, but simply they cannot be fixed.

If there is any fixing that can be done, it is to help your narcissist become aware of his condition.

And this is very important.

Don't do it with negative implications or accusations.

Living with a narcissist is like living with a physically handicapped person and being able to discuss calmly and unemotionally and constructively what the limitations and the benefits of the handicap are and how the two of you can work with these factors rather than trying to change them or working against them.

Most importantly, I think, is know yourself.

What are you getting from the relationship? Are you a masochist? Are you a codependent? Why is this relationship attractive and interesting to you?

Define for yourself what good and beneficial things you believe you are receiving in this relationship. Define the things that you find powerful to you.

Develop strategies to minimize the harm to yourself. Don't expect that you will cognitively be able to reason with the narcissist to change who they are.

You may have some limited success in getting your narcissist to tone down or to modify his behavior, the more harmful one.

Anything that affects you, you can try to ask your narcissist to change, but it's a pretty fruitless and futile effort.

Even the minimum changes that can be introduced into the behavioral narcissist can be accomplished only in a very trusting, frank, open and holding relationship.

But as I said, don't be an optimist in this sense.

Look after yourself. Be your best friend, no face.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Love Your Narcissist? Make Him Stay, Depend on You (Tips, Resolutions)

In a relationship with a narcissist, it is important to know what not to do and what to do to maintain the relationship. Avoid disagreeing, contradicting, or criticizing the narcissist, and never offer intimacy or challenge their self-image. To make the narcissist dependent on you, listen attentively, agree with everything they say, offer something unique, be patient, and be emotionally and financially independent. It is also crucial to know yourself and set personal boundaries, treating yourself with dignity and demanding respect from others. If the relationship becomes abusive, consider going no-contact and ending the relationship for your own well-being.

Narcissistic Abuse: From Victim to Survivor in 6 Steps

To move on from being a victim of narcissistic abuse, one must abandon the narcissist and move on. Moving on is a process that involves acknowledging and accepting painful reality, learning from the experience, and deciding to act. It is important to grieve and mourn the loss of trust and love, but perpetual grieving is counterproductive. Forgiveness is important, but it should not be a universal behavior. Human relationships are dynamic and require constant assessment. It is not advisable to remain friends with narcissists, as they are only nice and friendly when they want something. Inverted narcissists who remain in relationships with narcissists are victims who deny their own torment and fail to make the transition to survivors.

Destroy the Narcissist in Court: Divorce, Custody, and Aftermath

In summary, to effectively handle a narcissist in court during divorce and custody proceedings, it is crucial to remain calm, composed, and fact-based. Focus on exposing the narcissist's grandiosity and vulnerabilities by challenging their self-perception and accomplishments, while avoiding appearing vengeful or malicious. Provoke the narcissist indirectly by hinting at their shortcomings and mediocrity, ultimately leading them to lose control and expose their true nature. Maintain a holistic strategy that takes into account both the legal aspects and the narcissist's off-court life.

DO THIS When Narcissist Talks to You!

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the importance of focusing on the motivation behind a person's communication rather than the explicit content. He emphasizes the hidden text method and explains that narcissists communicate with specific goals in mind, such as impressing, confabulating, supporting grandiosity, and manipulating others. He highlights that the actual words spoken by narcissists are less important than understanding why they are communicating in a particular way. Additionally, he touches on the use of language to manipulate and brainwash others, particularly in the case of narcissists and psychopaths.

Expose Narcissist’s Secret Speech

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses how narcissists use code and a cipher to manipulate others, including various techniques such as counterfactuality, victim language, projection, gaslighting, and passive aggression. He advises ignoring the hidden message and not responding to the occult message when communicating with a narcissist. He also discusses the evasiveness of narcissists and psychopaths, their competitive nature, and their use of alloplastic defenses to shift blame and deny responsibility for their actions. Finally, he explains that mentally ill people cannot be reasoned with, and their speech acts and decisions need to be deconstructed.

Victim of Narcissist: Move On!

The narcissist lives in a world of ideal beauty, achievements, wealth, and success, denying his reality. The partner is perceived as a source of narcissistic supply, and the narcissist pathologizes and devalues them to rid themselves of guilt and shame. Moving on from a narcissistic relationship involves acknowledging and accepting painful reality, educating oneself, and gaining emotional sustenance, knowledge, support, and confidence. Forgiving is important, but it should not be a universal behavior, and no one should stay with a narcissist.

Giving Narcissist Second Chance

Narcissists do not provide closure in relationships and will stalk, cajole, beg, promise, persuade, and ultimately succeed in doing the impossible to get you back. The narcissist will cast all interactions with you in terms of conflicts or competitions to be won. If you have resumed contact because you are manifestly dependent on the narcissist financially or emotionally, the narcissist will pounce on your frailty and exploit your fragility to the maximum. Ultimately, the narcissist will write the inevitable cycle of idealization and devaluation.

Adapting to the Narcissist

Professor Sam Vaknin explains that it is impossible to change a narcissist, but you can adapt to them by modifying their more abrasive behaviors. He suggests determining your limits and boundaries, accepting what you can and rejecting the rest, and concluding an unwritten or written contract of coexistence. Vaknin warns that sacrificing yourself for someone else is not love, and that it is crucial to understand the complex dynamic of a relationship with a narcissist for your own survival as a psychologically functioning person.

Cope with Narcissists: Abandon or Mirror

The best way to cope with a narcissist is to abandon them or threaten to abandon them. The narcissist is a binary person, and the carrot is also the stick in their case. If they get too close to someone emotionally, they fear abandonment and immediately distance themselves, acting cruelly and bringing about the very abandonment they feared. If one chooses to accept the narcissist, to live with them, to remain in an intimate relationship with them, it is a package deal. All their needs, demands, and requirements are included.

Narcissist's Insignificant Other: Typical Spouse or Intimate Partner

Living with a narcissist can be exhilarating, but it is always onerous and often harrowing. Surviving a relationship with a narcissist, maintaining a relationship, preserving it, insisting on remaining with a narcissist, indicates therefore the parameters of the personality of the victim, of the partner, of the spouse. The partner, the spouse, and the mate of a narcissist who insists on remaining in the relationship and preserving it is molded by it into the typical narcissistic mate, spouse, or partner. The two, the narcissist and his spouse, collaborate in this dance macabre.

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