In the first part of the article I wrote about the driving forces of the extreme narcissistic person’s behavior and also about what basic causes are present deep in their souls – as awareness and understanding is already half of the battle, as I have already written that before. I wrote about some examples of the possible situations that might occur during the holiday season, while you spend various continuous days together with such people.
In this second part of the article, I write about all those hints and tips that can help you, the “suffering” person, to save and protect yourself (at least up to a certain point) against these people.
As option number zero, I would definitely want to point out, that if someone has various extreme narcissistic people in their immediate environment, it is absolutely advisable to work with this topic on 1-to-1 therapy/coaching sessions. If you can dissolve those blockages, problematic topics in yourself, due to which you are attracting such people in your life, that will bring you the real, long-term and deep solution to your life. This, however, is a process, which requires real deep inner work and its result will be noticeable only in the longer run.
But until then, let’s see some solution options, which can still help you to survive the holiday period, if you spend it with one or more extreme narcissistic people.
1. Physical distancing
It is what it is. Stay away, if you can. If you can allow yourself to avoid this particular extreme narcissist during the holiday period and it is not a must to spend time with them, keep your distance. Do not go there. Avoid them. Leave them out of your to-be-visited list.
And that this person will be offended then? Most probably yes. And so what? Choose yourself, your own needs instead of choosing them.
You can’t really influence what they will think of you. Let it go. Allow them to be upset with you, if they want to. If people are upset about you because you stand up for yourself, for the health of your own soul and emotions, maybe you don’t even have to be on good terms with these people – true, isn’t it? I recommend you reading The trap of ‘…but what will others think’ and The pleaser syndrome articles I wrote, they may come in handy before this holiday period.
2. Limiting the encounter
If you cannot allow yourself not to meet the extreme narcissist at all, at least keep it short. Tell them in advance, how much time you are going to spend with them, as you have things to do afterwards. Try to feel it for yourself, how much time you can still spend with them without “giving yourself over” to these people completely. Try to estimate the time you can more or less handle in their company.
Tell it in advance and – very important!!! – stick to what you already said. The extreme narcissist will try to keep you there for a longer time (since it is only good for them if they can drain your energies), but be strong and do not let that happen. Be the most important in this situation for yourself.
3. Emotional distancing
As soon as the previously mentioned extreme narcissistic behaviors start to surface, separate yourself emotionally from what is happening. Everything that happens there is not about you, but about the inner wounds of the extreme narcissistic person and them pushing the effects of it on others. Do not let them pass the tension over to you.
Say to yourself even as a mantra, that this is not about you, but about them, you have nothing to do with it, it is their business, it avoids you.
Do not let yourself get into these situations – as the extreme narcissist will do anything to involve you in it somehow. If it is necessary stand up, go out from the room. Tell them that this is not your business, they need to sort this out themselves, without you. If they do not leave you alone, tell them that if they do not stop this behavior, you will leave. And if they do not stop, leave them for real. It is very important that you not only tell them what you will do, but you actually really do it.
As the extreme narcissistic people didn’t learn that their actions and behaviors have consequences, they will not believe that you will actually really leave. Surprise them. Leave them for real, if there is no other choice.
4. Setting and keeping boundaries
If they want to step into your own personal space when you don’t want it – let it be your physical space, for example hugging, or your emotional space, for example unsolicited advices – tell them that this was it and you don’t want them to go further. Will the extreme narcissist be frustrated about it? Most probably yes. But let this be their own problem.
Do not let them involve you in their emotional terror in such situations, when they might say that you are selfish or ungrateful or overly sensitive. You have all the rights for your boundaries, for keeping them and you also have all the rights to express what you like, what you don’t like, what you need and what you don’t need.
Know your boundaries, set them and keep them. Over time, the extreme narcissistic person will also need to adapt to it. And if not, you should still know that you have all the right to protect yourself, no matter what they think about it.
We can say that with extreme narcissists, life is not a fairy tale – and so, unfortunately, the holiday periods are not one either. However, with the above methods, you can protect yourself from them at least a little bit, you can protect your energies and your own emotions.
If you feel that these above hints and tips are not helping, then I definitely recommend you visiting a professional with whom you can work in depth on your development, on your resilience and also on the underlying root causes.
I wish you perseverance and good luck if such a situation awaits you during the coming holidays.
And of course, I wish you peaceful, happy holidays!