Abuse, Narcissism

“Setting boundaries with a narcissist”: article from Huffington Post

I am working on two posts concurrently but I came across an article in the Huffington Post that was so apropos for my current circumstances. I just have to share.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tina-swithin/setting-boundaries-with-a-narcissist_b_5826322.html

It is a short but great read and it hits on a really important topic, that of communication with a narcissist:

The next step to empowerment is to learn how to communicate with the narcissist. This is the ultimate test in boundaries because it is very difficult to ignore blatant lies and manipulations.

In other words, you want to stand up for yourself, fight back, argue, tell them why they are wrong, make them understand. I tried that for 15 years and it was a hard lesson to learn to stop doing that. In fact, I had a friend that told me over and over again, “Stop arguing! You are accomplishing nothing,” but I could not stand being misrepresented and having the truth about me distorted. I argued with him about not arguing and finally he said something that made me stop and take stock. He said, “How has that worked out for you so far?”

Gulp. Okay, that was a splash of cold water in the face. It hadn’t, and I had to realize it never would. No matter what I said, I would never make any headway or change his mind. I would acquire no justice for myself. This was one of the hardest lessons to learn.

It goes on to give a helpful hint. Basically, keep it business and keep it brief:

Scan the email and only respond to relevant information such as medical updates, scheduling communication and items relating to the children. The goal is to respond in a business-like manner sans all emotion and over time, you will begin to take your power back.

This I have caught on to and have come a long way on. Oh if you could see the emails. Full of fire and smoke. Fearsome to behold. And then you fan away the smoke and pick through the coals and find anything that absolutely must be addressed and in a calm, unemotional, businesslike and courteous way, respond. Forget everything else. It’s not worth it. You won’t convince them anyway.

 

Becky

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