How Not to Cope with a Narcissist
Dysfunctional behavior applies to everyone. It’s not just the narcissist who is flawed in their perception and responses. The people around them frequently utilize maladjusted coping mechanisms (or defense mechanisms) in an attempt to handle the toxic situation or manage the narcissism.
Here are some real life examples: An employee realizes their boss is a narcissist but idealizes their success and strives to be just like them. A child knows their parent is different, controlling, reactionary and demanding but says they are perfect. A spouse sees the narcissism but minimizes the behavior and makes excuses for it.
A quick look at types of defense mechanisms, originally coined by Sigmund Freud and further developed by Anna Freud and George Eman Vaillant, reveals several which are commonly found in people who deal with narcissists.