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Survival strategies for a narcissistic world

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

This is my last post on narcissism.  Today I am taking material from Sandy Hotchkiss’ book, Why is it always about you? She provides four chapters on what we can do to keep from getting run over by narcissists.

1. Know yourself 61-67

  • Be aware of your feelings when someone evokes shame, discomfort, anger and idealization in you.
  • When you have uncomfortable or intense feelings, ask yourself what buttons are being pushed
  • Find a way to detach from feelings of diminishment
  • When deflecting the shame of a narcissist, resist the urge to retaliate

2. Embrace reality 69-73

  • You may be vulnerable to a narcissist if you have a need for inflation, if low self-esteem.  They may make you feel better initially but in the end they make you feel worse.
  • Don’t insist on someone’s goodness or good intentions when they are exploiting or hurting you
  • Learn to accept that sooner or later you will be on the receiving end of a narcissists behavior (lies, cheating, disrespect, hurt, betrayal of confidences, lack of compassion)
  • Very unlikely to change a narcissist because it “requires something that the narcissist lacks, the capacity to respond to compassion with compassion”
  • Understand your own narcissistic vulnerabilities

3. Set boundaries 75-80

  • There will be issues of control as you try to set boundaries and you plan for opposition.
  • If confrontation is necessary, do it in a gentle way and not using empathy
  • Work through your anger issues
  • Be prepared for other relationships to be affected
  • Once you have set the boundary, keep it.

4. Cultivate reciprocal relationships 81-85

Following these chapters, Hotchkiss has different chapters to help us implement these with certain groups of people: adolescents, with a love relationship, at work, with elderly.  It is a book that I think I will be buying.

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