There is no doubt that living or working a narcissist can be simultaneously appealing and inviting, while also frustrating and belittling. The puffery of confidence and entitlement of a narcissist can often be enticing, yet the wrath unbearable. If you are not ready to kick the narcissist out of your life, here are 12 ways that you can peacefully coexist:

  1. Learn what is and what isn’t negotiable. In other words, it’s very important to set healthy boundaries for yourself on what behaviors you will and will not accept.
  2. See the person for who they really are. You no longer have to go around pretending and looking through rose colored glasses. Remember the folk tale of the emperor’s new clothes: you no longer have to pretend that they are perfect, just accept them who they are without expectation.
  3. Find your voice and speak up for yourself. You are important. You deserve to be able to speak your truth without having to squirm. If it’s someone you want in your life then you owe it to yourself to speak up. Do so in a calm, gentle manner using “I” terms. You must tell them how their words and deeds impact your life and be specific. For example, last night when you said xyz, I felt belittled unheard and uncared for. You can be the negotiator!
  4. Develop your Tree of Boundaries – Folks with anarchistic personality do understand after a while what a boundary is whether it be physical or mental. Your room, your diary may be off limits to them. You do not have to share intimate details of your life with them. You have to be abundantly clear what your boundaries are because a narcissist will not see.
  5. Imagine the narcissist not as the big person they are; rather visualize them as a child between the ages of 6-12, I bet you are not afraid of a 6 year old. Well according to Seth Meyers, PhD, narcissists are stuck in a juvenile mindset so realizing you are dealing with a small boy helps empower you. Instead of seeing the narcissist as a Fire Breathing Dragon, picture him as a small boy throwing a temper tantrum, or try visualizing the Narcissist as living in a snow globe or as two feet shorter than you. No matter how unempathetic or exploitive they may be, cutting them down to size by picturing them two feet shorter can instantly decrease anxiety.
  6. The second visual strategy you might use is to imagine you are talking to someone who is living inside a snow globe. Narcisstic folks construct their own reality and their own worlds which are oh so separate from all of us. “When a narcissist is humiliating you, getting defensive or making up ridiculous lies, pretend you have to strain to hear what they are saying behind the walls of their miniature snow globe.” Even if this trick does not totally work to distract you, you will find in those heated moments you can step away from emotionally engaging.
  7. Mourn the loss: If you are going to live with a narcissist then you have to mourn the loss that you are going to live with a so called “normal person”. They have a mental health issue which needs to be addressed. My perspective is that severely narcissistic men and women are so angry about the ways they were treated that they spend their loves making everyone pay for it. To keep peace get the bulk of your emotional needs met elsewhere. Understand that a narcissist needs a professional help
  8. Bolster your own self-esteem: Start taking care of yourself any experience anxiety or depression seek professional help. Take time out to exercise and eat well, recognizing when you need help.
  9. Stop Keeping Secrets: Secrets can kill you. Stop covering up for the narcissist in your life. Stop pretending everything is alright when your personal or professional life is crumbling.
  10. Remember Its Not Your Fault: You may be tempted to blame yourself for their actions as a way of coverup.
  11. Create Your Own Support System: Reach out to family and friends as they are the ones who can support you.
  12. Recognize When You Need Help: Counseling/coaching is always a gift you can give yourself. It takes courage to seek help and you are a courageous person worthy of love, respect and dignity. Do not stand by if you have been physically abused or threatened, you feel totally isolated, everyday is full of verbal and emotional abuse and your mental health and physical health is gravely affected. There is always hope and there is a solution for you.