An ongoing survival guide.
If you already suspect one of your parents to be a narcissist, you may have tried to talk to them about your concerns.
And it probably didn’t go very well.
Narcissists are extremely thin-skinned when it comes to criticism. They literally disavow any wrongdoing on their part. It is always someone else with the problem. If the narcissist in your life is a parent, this someone is often you, or a sibling, or the other parent. If your narcissist is really grandiose, the bad guy who gets all the blame might be: the government, the world at large, feminism, Bob at the office, etc.
The bad news: you will rarely, if ever, get a narcissistic parent to admit they did something wrong in relation to you. From the perspective of the narcissist, they are the victims who have to put up with so much crap, including whatever you are trying to pin on them.
So don’t even try.
At least not out of blue, cold turkey style.
If you really want to talk to your local narcissist about your hurt feelings and experiences, you are better off getting some quality care from a therapist.
In talking with a counselor, you can circle around the cause of so much of your own discomfort that has been caused by the narcissist. With the counselor, you have someone who actually cares and wants you to start feeling better.
You will not get such an invitation from the narcissist near you.
So don’t even try.
What can you do?
Lots, actually. But if you think the equivalent of a full frontal attack is going to accomplish anything, you are thinking of the wrong personality disorder, my friend.
To catch a narcissist requires that you understand something about their way of thinking and feeling. Feel free to check back to chapter 1 here. The distinction to make here is focusing on the message rather than the messenger (the narcissist).
A narcissist’s worldview is hardly logical. It can appear so at first glance, but it is one convoluted, emotional rollercoaster of denial and entitlement. You can use that. You can point out the inconsistencies that the narcissist uses to prop up their own deluded world view. You can point out an inconsistency but still do it in a supportive, nonjudgmental way.
Why? Why am I suggesting this? Because the one thing a narcissist lacks is appropriate self-awareness. If you can get them to actually think about their own process, to think about what they say is “the truth,” you might be able to knock down some of their defenses.
It’s not going to be easy. And be aware of what you want out of this, as opposed to what the narcissist needs in order to stop being so much of a narcissist.
Chapter 3. Pyrrhic Victories.