How Not to Cope with a Narcissist
- Intellectualizing. Some choose to overthink and explain away the irrational behavior or the distorted perception of the narcissist. Usually this comes in the form of excuse making from the narcissist’s past experiences as justification for the overreaction or falsehood.
- Projection. Even after the narcissism has been identified, many continue to wrongly assume that the narcissist will be just as empathic or remorseful as them. Part of the definition of the disorder is a lack of empathy or remorse. This doesn’t change just because those around the narcissist understand the narcissist better. The narcissist still won’t take the time to see things from other’s point of view.
- Reaction Formation. Another interesting way of coping with the narcissist is to continue to cater to the narcissist even when angry with them. The honest emotion of frustration is not expressed at all and instead is replaced with feeding the narcissistic ego.
- Splitting. Once the narcissism is revealed, a typical response is to divide all narcissists into an evil category while simultaneously placing all non-narcissists into a good category. This black-and-white thinking is not productive as many narcissists are not evil and many non-narcissists are evil.
- Undoing. When aggressively confronted by a narcissist, a person is likely to take back an assertive statement regardless of the accuracy. In an effort to keep the peace, a person assumes that by undoing what was said, things will return to normal. They won’t. The narcissist continues to remember the incident and will bring it up whenever it can be utilized for their benefit.