Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Skills For Dealing With Narcissism

Most people feel victimized by narcissistic forces and narcissists. This is because they have felt consistently oppressed, suppressed, or frustrated by narcissistic forces This becomes problematic in terms of achieving sustainability. When one is in a "victim state," one sees the oppressor as the enemy, as the one with the power, and as a result, the victim is easily manipulated into frustration and anger. The narcissist will utilize this dynamic to incite people into emotional states which can be exploited into distractions from the core issues.

Skills for dealing with attempts to intimidate can be divided into two areas, intrapersonal and interpersonal. Intrapersonally, it is essential not to react. This means that reactions of fear, impatience, or anger are not practical. In their place should be patience and curiosity. On an interpersonal level, responses and questions like, "that's interesting; could you explain
that?; or, "I am not clear about that; would you please clarify (or elaborate)?; or, "it seems like there is a contradiction in your logic." All of these can generate positive results in terms of reducing the control of the narcissistic forces. This is done through the non-reaction, which communicates, "you are not so powerful that you can manipulate me, or us, and distract
us from the issue. It is also done through the questions which communicate, "I/we are not afraid of you; we are not leaving the space/situation to your control alone; we will challenge you if necessary; you cannot win through intimidation or disinformation."

Excellent individual emotional boundaries are so critical for dealing with narcissism.These emotional boundaries prevent the force of the narcissism emotions from throwing an individual off balance. The emotional boundaries are also helpful in not taking the narcissism's actions or positions personally.

The narcissist, consumed and driven by the grandiosity, feels responsible for everything; therefore, all failures, frustrations, and disappointments are its fault, and are directed personally at it. In interacting with narcissism, one does not want to fall into the narcissist's world and take what is going on personally. Narcissism's actions are indiscriminate. They are directed toward any object, person or group that threatens its control, domination and grandiosity. An excellent emotional boundary system does not allow the force of another person's emotions to penetrate one's own personal space.

Bruce Gregory, Ph.D