How to Live with a Narcissist (And Still Emerge Like a Boss)

The legendary rapper 50-cent once proclaimed, “there is no such thing as success without envy.”

We all want to live amazing lives of fulfillment and happiness. Unfortunately, we learn sooner or later that this is easier imagined than done. There are many obstacles and roadblocks to contend with. This is one of life’s hard truths.

With narcissism on the rise, you will be forced to encounter its insidious protagonists one way or another. If you want to live an awesome life, it’s of paramount importance to understand these petty tyrants and their motivations.

Narcissists Are Envious and Competitive Cowards (They Hide Their True Intentions)

The narcissist does not think as you do. His modus operandi revolves completely around his own advancement, glorification, and survival.

He does not view you as a friend or co-worker. He does not want to see you achieve your dreams.

His narcissistic traits make it virtually impossible for him to feel any level of empathy.

Narcissists play chess with human pieces, calculating the most advantageous maneuvers, whether fair or morally correct, regardless of whether innocent people are harmed in the process.

Narcissists Can Be Charismatic, But They Are Always Ugly on The Inside

Placing your trust in a narcissist is like employing a con artist as your personal accountant. It is a surefire way to guarantee getting fucked over.

If you take away only one thing from this entire article, let it be this:

Be hyper-aware of gossip and innuendo that can come back and bite you in the ass. Never under any circumstance should you take the back seat for a narcissist. Expect them to play dirty at every turn. Set clear boundaries and walk away at your earliest convenience.

A stand-up person may say, “I’m better than that. I just won’t pay attention.”

This course of action will end terribly for you.

Narcissists have perfected the art of scheming and covert manipulation.

No amount of honor, integrity, work ethic, honesty, or empathy will be enough.

It was never about you. It’s about them.

Narcissists act from a place of ego idealism. They have a strong vision of who they think they should be. And they live constantly with the shame of not living up to this persona.

When you peer into a narcissist’s soul, you will find a reservoir of intense negative emotions like fear, shame, and disgust. There is always something that’s freaking them out. They try to cover this up with arrogance, pride, condescension, etc.

Anytime you find yourself in the presence of a snarky and pompous individual who refuses to admit mistakes, you can rest assured that they are high on the narcissism spectrum.

The First Step in Learning How to Live with A Narcissist Is Identifying Them

“To protect the sheep, you gotta catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf.” – Alonzo, Training Day

Human beings are social creatures.

We are wired to trust in comrades, elders, superiors, and leaders, and we are often caught by surprise when authentic malevolence comes knocking at the door.

Becoming involved with a narcissist can be like walking into an ambush. Even after several red flags, it is easy to take overt or covert acts of narcissistic micro-aggression as innocent mistakes (. i.e., slips of tongue, oversights, ignorance, humor, etc.)

They will say things then pretend they didn’t mean it or suggest it was never said at all. They twist and contort narratives and issue half-hearted apologies.

And herein lies the problem…

Insignificant as their underhanded slights may seem, the intention behind them is always sinister.

They want to cut you down because it makes them feel better.

A Cheat Sheet for Narcissistic Behavior: How to Identify One of Them?

Here are a few key narcissistic traits:

  • Noticeable agitation when others receive praise or attention

  • Exorbitant amounts of gossip and innuendo

  • Excessive obsession with a persona (i.e., hard worker, extremely educated, high-performing executive, etc.)

  • Strategically manufactures emotional and psychological distress

  • Plays favorites with family and associates (pits people against each other)

  • Hyper-sensitive to any kind of criticism (even constructive criticism)

  • Withholds support and information with manipulative intent

Narcissism exists on a spectrum. On the lower end, people realize they have narcissistic tendencies and proactively take steps to correct their behavior.

The high end is where you find soul-sucking vampires who want to sink their long, sharp, putrid fangs into your neck and drain every last drop of vital energy.

Let’s get into how to live with a narcissist and how to win in a world that is full of them.

Narcopalypse Now: How to Beat a Narcissist with Their Own Game

Rule # 1 – Never Trust a Single Solitary Soul (Especially When at Work)

“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good.” – Niccolò Machiavelli

Lesson number one in learning how to live with a narcissist and come out on top is this.

It takes a wolf to catch a wolf.

This is not about being pessimistic, resentful, or bitter. The world is full of amazing people if you know where to look. Nevertheless, you should never expect anyone to be loyal or sincere.

That goes for loved ones, associates, acquaintances, and most definitely managers and co-workers.

Modern workplaces encourage high-octane narcissism by exploiting and underpaying employees then pitting them against one another.

This is almost guaranteed to be the case if you work in a competitive profession like finance or law.

In scenarios such as this, you should take the following precautions:

1) Identify narcissists right away.

2) Keep copies of all emails and stay on the offensive (i.e., bring up inconsistencies with a manager or higher, communicate concerns about workplace ethics, make the narc aware that you are keeping tabs on their actions). Do this with an emotionally neutral demeanor.

3) Interview for better places to work and get the fuck out of there.

You will find articles online that promote a passive approach on how to live with a narcissist. In other words, learn how to please the narcissist and make them feel good.

This is a bullshit strategy that you should avoid.

There are a thousand ways to be successful but kissing narcissist ass is not one. There is no such thing as a healthy relationship with a narcissist, let alone a fruitful and prosperous one.

Plus, you can find a badass job with higher pay in no time.

Rule # 2 – Withdraw from The Narc’s Personal Life ASAP

Every thought and feeling that registers in your heart and mind channels energy towards the life you are creating.

Dreaming, striving, wondering, and working with a peaceful mind will mold a brilliant future. On the other hand, worrying, agonizing, and fretting will slowly but surely drown your innate potential.

Wasted talent is truly a tragedy. This is why you should say “toodle-oo” to the narcissist. 

If the narcissist is a family member, close friend, or even a lover, you may find yourself doubting your ability to say goodbye.

You must realize that a relationship with a narcissist is, by definition, an abusive relationship.

The truth is that you will survive and even thrive without them.

Rule # 3 – Never Subscribe to A Narcissist’s Program (Live Your Life How You Want)

Narcissists often have flair and charisma, but it is always short-lived.

Studies have shown that it takes just 2.5 hours for their insecurities to come through in the form of defensive arrogance and deluded self-admiration. In other words, their shell cracks easily.

Narcissists appear to know much more than they actually do. They tend to accumulate followers and enablers, which bolsters that appearance.

But what you see in a narcissist is nothing more than a mirage. You don’t have to do what they do, and you don’t have to be like they are.

You don’t have to match their energy, and you don’t have to agree with what they say.

The narcissist isn’t right about much, and that goes for everything they opine about you and your life.

Remember, they feed off of emotional turmoil, so always stay neutral when engaging with them.

Rule # 4 – Don’t Let Them Make You Bitter (They Win When You Become Like Them)

If you have stumbled upon this article, you have likely come into close contact with a narcissist and their shady tactics.

It can feel like they have taken the best from you. You might be wondering if you can ever recover. The fallout can be rage-inducing and devastating.

You can choose to be filled with resentment, animosity, and aversion. But you can also choose to learn and get stronger.

There is a place for rage and aggression. It’s okay to feel grief and sadness. Just keep moving forward.

Even in despair, do not wait for tomorrow to act.

When you feel pain but keep going, you prepare yourself for greatness.

Dr. Eger, a holocaust survivor, suggests doing what it takes to stay in motion. If you have things to do but don’t want people to see you in distress, wear shades. If you lack motivation, read inspiring books and take advantage of herbs and supplements that provide energy and enthusiasm. Mitigate negative thinking and implant empowering beliefs into your subconscious.

Anyone can be motivated during good times. It is easy to be driven when everything is perfect. How you respond when life sucks will determine the ultimate outcome.

The tried-and-true play through pain and search their heart for a plan. They overcome fraud, abuse, infidelity, sickness, depression, and a lot of other dark and disturbing experiences.

Rule # 5 – Your Dreams Will Only Get Better (Be Patient and Keep Grinding)

It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop – Confucious

There will be times when your dreams seem to have become a nightmare.

Your road to success may include unforeseen pitfalls. It may take longer to arrive than previously expected. But nobody can ever stop you, so long as you don’t give up.

Do not wish for an easier life. Cultivate the strength to win even when life is hard.

These initiatives must go deeper than mere idealism. Anyone can say, “Yeah, I want to overcome and succeed!” As with all other life objectives, you must be proactive.

There are proven, science -backed methods for elevating levels of peace and conscientiousness. Participate in activities that increase optimism and enthusiasm and make lifestyle changes that have life-changing impacts.

Do not hide but rather continue opening up even if you are freaked out by your current circumstances.

It can be done.

Rule # –6 Do Not Fall for Dishonest and Cringey Narcissist Hoovering

Even if you take the initial steps to disengage with a narcissist, there is still a good possibility they will attempt to reel you back in with manipulation strategies. There are various ways they can go about this, such as flooding you with flattery (. i.e., “I love you more than you could ever imagine!” or “you are so strong”). They could also bombard you with crisis (. i.e., “my health is declining, and I might not live much longer”).

They will attempt to disarm you by pretending to be friendly, sincere, innocent, etc.

It is all smoke and mirrors. Like a parasite that needs to feed on its host, they need you around as a mere means to end.

Don’t comply with the narcissist’s requests and don’t adopt their mindset. Resist their repeated advances, and they will eventually leave.

6 Top Strategies for How to Live (Or not) with A Narcissist

Dealing with a narcissist is notoriously complex because they shape-shift into whichever role they believe will give them the upper hand.

They use micro-aggressions and plausible deniability to gaslight and confuse victims. Then they change narratives a thousand times over with complete disregard for the truth. They are tricksters with a hidden agenda.

Narcissus was a mythical Greek character who fell in love with his own image after seeing his reflection in still water. The original narcissist was infatuated with himself, but modern narcissism has taken on a distinct form.

Recent research shows that narcissists aren’t just full of themselves, they are also highly aggressive people that use verbal aggression, gossip- spreading, and bullying to get their way at all costs.

While this mental health designation was previously reserved for unique individuals like psychopaths and sociopaths, it has now reached epidemic proportions in modern society.

Life Is Much Better When Lived Narcissist-Free, And Yet…

You can take some strategies from the narcissist playbook.

(1) Get crystal-clear about what you want out of life.

(2) Speak up for yourself and hold your ground. Be proactive about your aspirations and never be afraid to ask for what you want.

(3) Never expect sincerity from others (until they earn your trust).

(4) Learn how to never take anything personally.

Warning: The Narcissist Doesn’t Love You (Leave Now or Regret It Later)

Not only does the narcissist not love you. They probably fucking hate you.

This is the case because they are needy individuals who have more wants and desires than you or anyone else will never be able to satisfy.

Let’s briefly revisit the key points on how to live with a narcissist(s).

Identify narcissists and set boundaries immediately.

Remove yourself from the situation at the earliest opportunity.

Don’t internalize anything they do or say (i.e., never let them lower your self-esteem or make you feel guilty).

Keep on striving for the life you want and don’t let them make you angry or bitter.

Don’t fall for hoovering and use your strength to create the life of your dreams.

 

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