World Travel
New Original Fiction
Books & Movies

Film Space
Movies in depth
Dreamscapes Two
More Fiction
Lifestyles Archive
Politics & Living
Sam Hawksmoor
New fiction


••• The International Writers Magazine - 23 Years on-line - Life & Surviving it

Communicating With Narcissists You Can't Avoid
• Indiana Lee

How to avoid exhaustion when dealing with a narcissist


  Image Source: Pexels

Communicating With Narcissists You Can't Avoid

Dealing with difficult people is one of the realities of adult life. Narcissists can be particularly challenging in this regard. Being around a person with such an inflated sense of self-importance and lack of empathy can be physically and mentally exhausting. In many cases, you may try to avoid these people to maintain your mental wellbeing. 

But what if you can’t just avoid a narcissist? A close member of your family may exhibit these traits. You might have fallen in love with someone with this personality and now the challenges feature as part of your relationship.

To coexist in a healthy way, you need to develop communication strategies to help you handle their traits while prioritizing your wellbeing. We’ve put together a few approaches you should consider.

Protect Yourself

Your priority when communicating with a narcissist is to protect your own well-being. Part of the difficulty of communicating with someone of this type of personality is their approach is often geared toward reinforcing their constructed self-image. Their lack of empathy coupled with a hierarchical viewpoint where they value the idea of being better than others will often mean they resort to damaging and belittling remarks.

This can be stressful and it’s vital you prioritize protecting your mental wellbeing in any communications. Firstly, don’t allow their perspectives to dictate the reality of the situation. The language they use is often intended to mask their underlying poor self-esteem. It can also be to manipulate the circumstances to achieve their goals.

Often, narcissists will weaponize statements about appearance or other traits they know to be a point of concern for you. This is certainly hurtful and frustrating when you’re trying to rationally communicate. Though your own self-esteem issues are formed early in your childhood, it’s worth putting some effort into cultivating a positive body image. This should include gaining an appreciation of everything your body does for you, setting realistic expectations, and exercising self-care. It can be crucial in protecting yourself from the barbed words of a narcissist and, instead, recognizing the reality of the situation.

Part of protecting your mental wellbeing is also about knowing when to separate yourself from the issue. This isn’t giving up or letting them win — it’s being kind to yourself. When you do retreat from the situation, it can also be wise to clearly and calmly explain exactly what aspects of the other party’s behavior are causing this result. 

Assert Your Position

One of the recurring issues in any communication scenario is the potential for a “larger” personality to overwhelm the other. If there’s one thing to be said of many narcissists, it’s that they often project a louder and more grandiose communication style. This helps to reinforce their need to dominate conversations and control the topic of conversation. As such, to communicate effectively, you will often need to be more assertive.

This isn’t about turning every conversation into an argument. But there are key parts of the life you share where you must push forward so you can be heard. Particularly if you’ve chosen to start a young family with someone exhibiting narcissistic tendencies, you’ll need to press your views as an equal parent. A prime example of this is that narcissists tend to have a need to arbitrarily make rules to reinforce their sense of false superiority. It also allows them to present the breaker of rules as a worse person than they are.

When you’re a parent, you know certain rules are positive tools. For Millennial parents, there is a specific focus on how to effectively adopt a combination of rules and behavioral awareness to keep kids safe in our digital landscape. This is a reasonable approach to take into account the challenges of the online environment and contemporary attitudes toward it. However, with a narcissistic co-parent, you may find the rules you set are changed and challenged on a whim. Further, you may find that a narcissistic partner either actively undermines the established rules or, in the case of digital and online safety, may even assert an inflated right to read or surveillance a child’s online behaviors in an effort to maintain control over them or remove their right to privacy. When raising a child in the digital world, it’s important to maintain boundaries for everyone involved.

Plan Ahead

Most often, narcissistic behavioral traits will have developed over the course of years. The associated personality disorder usually begins during the teenage years or early adulthood. As such, many of the arguments, responses, and tactics your loved one will use during interactions — whether consciously or otherwise — will be well-ingrained. It’s worth preparing ahead of any important communications.

This isn’t a case of trying to get one over on them or seeking authority. In many instances, you’ll be acting out of your love for the person and simply trying to communicate more effectively with them. Whether they’re a parent or your partner it is the aspects of their condition that make it more difficult to maintain connections. So you’re preparing to work alongside this challenge.

Use your knowledge of their behaviors to prepare both your approach to the conversation and for their arguments. There are often common forms of language narcissists will use which are intended to disguise underlying motivations or feelings. This can be describing you as over-sensitive to deflect your criticism of their behavior. They may also question your credibility.

This preparation can be particularly important in complex communications involving some negotiation. Whether it’s day-to-day activities or something more serious like a divorce or custody arrangements, negotiating with a narcissist benefits from preparation. This includes efforts to maintain an emotional equilibrium. You need to remain calm should you be faced with their delaying tactics or hidden intentions. Unfortunately, displays of emotion can bring out the worst in them and disrupt effective communications. It’s never easy, but strategizing your approach based on your knowledge of their behavior is key. 


Some of the most difficult interactions of your life may well involve someone with narcissistic traits. This isn’t always a reason to cease your relationship with them, but communicating effectively can be challenging. Your first priority is always to protect your well-being throughout your interactions. Work on clearly asserting your position on important matters and preparing for difficult discussions. Your tactics here don’t suggest a lack of care for this person — indeed, your efforts are a demonstration of your desire to keep communicating effectively.

 Indiana Lee © Indiana Lee 2.1.22

Encouraging Employee's to Pursue Degree Dreams
Indiana Lee
Investing in your employee's education can pay dividends

Remote Work Positions for Aspiring Freelancers
Indiana Lee
If you want to make the most money possible as a freelancer, you’ve got to open yourself up to new niches and experiences.

Communicating With Narcissists You Can't Avoid
Indiana Lee 2.1.22

How to avoid exhaustion when dealing with a narcissist

Strategies for Writers Facing the Challenges of the Digital Age
Indiana Lee
In a lot of ways, earning your living as a writer is a dream career. It’s not something that you stumble into by chance. If you’re a writer, odds are, it’s because you love it. After all, it’s a calling and a passion.

More life and living

Share |


© Hackwriters 1999-2022 all rights reserved - all comments are the individual writer's own responsibility -
no liability accepted by or affiliates.