Dealing with a Narcissist in your Life

Special occasions can be the most challenging times when dealing with a narcissist.

If you are living with an abuser, there is no other safe advice to give than to get help, get safe, and try to get away.

But if your toxic person is someone you only have to deal with some of the time, perhaps at work, or a family member, parent, sibling, or a friend you have to see occasionally, learning how to handle a narcissist as best you can is vital to keeping yourself as sane and balanced as possible.

It’s important to educate yourself on what narcissism is and how someone can feed off you as a supply for their toxicity. Narcissists feed off emotional supply and are looking for it whether the emotion they can get from you is positive or negative. They will provoke you to create emotions in you and then feed off the drama they have created. This pattern is vital to learn so you can see what’s called a ‘narcissistic attack’ a mile off and get out of the way as quickly and safely as you possibly can.

Special or big occasion are prime opportunities for a narcissist to get the supply they crave. It’s easy to create drama and chaos in others when we are gathered together, and they can quickly make themselves the center of attention and the center of their own toxic whirlwind. Watch out!

As you get to know and understand narcissism, you will start to recognize an attack from one quite quickly. But as it often comes as a complete shock, right out of the blue when everything is going along nicely for a while, any balanced person will take a while to realize that what’s happening has been created by the narcissist and is definitely no one else’s fault. Once a narcissist has been triggered into their fight response and has become activated, there really is not much anyone can do other than try to get out of the way and limit the harm that could be done.

Remember provoke – emotion – then feeding off the drama is the classic pattern.

  • Recognise you, or those around you, are being provoked.
  • You’ll know its provocation as it won’t make any sense to you, it’ll come out of nowhere, you’ll be utterly confused and when you try to reason, you will just create more activation in the toxic person.
  • A regular person without these traits, would be soothed and calmed by you trying to rationalise, a narcissist will take you trying to soothe and calm them or explain and rationalise with them, as supply and will start to feed off your interaction with them, actually making them a lot worse very quickly.
  • Try ‘grey rocking’. This is a technique that is helpful when dealing with a toxic person that you have to deal with occasionally, or someone who only contacts you via phone, text, email etc.
    • Make yourself as uninteresting as possible, be like a ‘grey rock’ that someone would just walk past without noticing.
    • Don’t react, respond or interact
    • Keep answers short and one word if possible
    • Don’t express any emotion or try to explain yourself
    • Try not to make eye contact
    • As soon as you can, safely leave the room or building to avoid any further drama
    • If you are being contacted by phone, make short, simple excuses as to why you are not available
    • Don’t respond at all if possible
    • Turn your phone off, archive their chat, block them if it gets too much etc
    • Grey rocking is not advised if you are living with a narcissist as its not sustainable over time and can cause you to shut down your emotions and disassociate from what is happening to you, its also not safe to use grey rocking if they are violent towards you, children or animals in your home.
  • Limit the time you spend with toxic people, if you have to visit, make sure its just an hour or two and not overnight or for long weekends. Stay locally and drop in to see relatives or friends rather than having to spend extended time with them.
  • Try to rise above other people around you, who can not see the narcissistic for who they are. They can be used by the narcissistic as ‘flying monkeys’ and ‘enablers’ which can provoke you further, so recognise them as such and limit interactions and avoid getting emotional around them too, as this will feed into the drama that the narcissistic person is trying to create.

For anyone on a spiritual path, an interaction with a narcissist, or their enablers, is rich in deep healing and full of opportunity for your spiritual growth.

It will take all the courage and surrender that you can muster to disengage and not get caught up in a narcissistic whirlwind of provocation and drama, if they start to kick off.

To release the ego enough to know the only and best thing you can do is as little as you possibly can is so challenging. It’s natural when we feel provoked to react; it’s natural when we feel wronged to want to defend ourselves and try to make it right.

Narcissists will go right for the spot that they know will hurt you the deepest. They have no integrity whatsoever and will go to any lengths to discredit you, try to ruin your reputation, and smear your name. They will even discredit themselves sometimes in order to make you look bad. If you can breathe your way through all of that, staying strong and empowered, having courage and holding your own integrity, you are doing some great work.

This is not about allowing yourself to be walked all over; we each have to judge each individual scenario in its own particular way to understand how best to limit the damage a narcissist will try to cause in your life, especially on special occasions.

To recognize that provocation is key to the pattern, you can make the decision to refuse to be provoked, and that takes a lot of strength and deep shadow work to be able to process and let go as quickly as you can, so the damage is limited.

Once again, if a narcissist is violent, aggressive, or causing you harm, if you have a trauma disorder like PTSD or Complex-PTSD, which is very common in survivors of domestic narcissistic abuse, get help, call emergency services, reach out to a friend or neighbour, and for long-term support and recovery, seek help from a trained psychotherapist who specialises in trauma recovery.

Read Sairas blog, Spiritual survival tips for trauma healing here.

Peace xx




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