If you have ever had interactions with a narcissist, you know just how exhausting they can be to deal with. Narcissists are extremely self-centered, they refuse to see reason, and they can be very toxic and exhausting.
Did you know that some things you are doing may be encouraging them to continue their behaviors? This isn’t to say that it’s your fault. Instead, this suggests that you can take steps to avoid being caught in a bad situation with a narcissist.
Being around a narcissist can be an extremely poisonous and troubling experience. Luckily, you can make sure it doesn’t happen to you again.
Here Are 12 Things To Never Do Around A Narcissist
1. Do Not Believe They Are Like-Minded
Many times, a narcissist will pretend that their values align with yours. They will act as though they genuinely like you, lulling you into a false sense of security. Most narcissists seek favor from others, and the best way to do that is to make themselves look good to the people around them. They may do this by:
- Pretending to agree with you
- Agreeing to your opinions
- Acting like they enjoy your company
- Displaying falsely compassionate or honest behavior
Remember, they do not view you as an equal individual – they see you as a person they can potentially take advantage of. Untreated narcissists also usually live within their own heads, in a special world where all their values center around themselves. This is why it is unlikely that they truly share your opinions and ideals.
2. Do Not Stoop To Their Level
You may be tempted to give a narcissist a taste of their own medicine – but don’t. A narcissist does not want to lose, and they have a unique way of perceiving the world that makes them master manipulators and extremely sharp at pinpointing when others are trying to manipulate them.
This is because they focus so much on keeping their reputation sparkling and clean. They’re experts at making others look bad by playing the victim. It would be wise, therefore, to avoid stooping to their level. It’s unlikely that you can play them at their own game.
3. Do Not Assume They Will Take Responsibility
Many narcissists live under the delusion that there are special rules for their behavior. They can believe that they have more rights and fewer restrictions, allowing them to do whatever they want with no repercussions.
Of course, this sense of entitlement is simply not rooted in any form of reality. So from your perspective, it will just look like they’ve done something wrong or taken on a particular task, and you might naturally expect them to make up for it, do it well, or fix it. Unfortunately, they won’t. They may say things like:
- “He made me do it!”
- “You should have said something.”
- “It’s not my fault.”
- “I was only doing what I thought was best.”
- “You acted like you were okay with it!”
- “I was just following what I thought you wanted.”
In the eyes of a narcissist, they can do no wrong. They are perpetually the victims, always innocent, and in the middle of (their) universe. That’s why they refuse to take any blame, always deflecting to someone else, but also are quick to take credit for anything good. They care a lot about maintaining a positive persona to the world.
4. Do Not Take Them At Face Value
Narcissists are very, very careful about their image. As such, everything they say is carefully calculated to present the best image of themselves, or simply to further a hidden agenda. This is why it’s dangerous to believe what they say.
Many narcissists can be convincing as they try to appeal to you. They are not transparent people, typically seeking to make themselves look as favorable and superior as possible. However, at the root of all of this is a lot of insecurity – and that’s why they work so hard to make themselves look good.
5. Do Not Take It Personally
It’s easy to hold a grudge against someone who behaves in a toxic manner as a narcissist does. Don’t let them get to you, and don’t ever take it personally. This narcissist isn’t taking advantage of you because of who you are, or because of a vendetta – they’re doing so because they do that to everyone.
Taking something a narcissist does personally is only going to cause you more trouble. They aren’t worth the level of confusion, pain, and difficulty that this type of situation might cause you.
6. Do Not Share Personal Information
Though they are mainly focused on themselves, narcissists are typically equally interested in collecting information on others that they can use for personal gain. When you talk about your personal life and give them information about you, you are essentially arming them with the ammunition they seek. This includes details about:
- Family life
- Problems at work
- Relationship issues
Pick and choose what you share with someone who you know is a narcissist. They are not above using this information to manipulate you, trick you, get the better of you, or hurt you. Sure, it’s a bit extreme – but it’s better to be paranoid than to be harmed later on.
7. Do Not Expect Empathy
Narcissists don’t have any sense of empathy – at least, not one that they allow to influence them into doing anything positive. Many narcissists do not truly understand their own feelings and motivations, which is what drives them to behave in such a toxic way. As such, it’s ridiculous to expect them to understand the emotions of others.
This is why it’s pointless to expect any form of true empathy from a narcissist. They are mainly concerned with themselves and see the world through their own lens, refusing to consider other people’s emotions, feelings, and perspectives. This is due to an inflated ego and sense of entitlement that causes them to view everyone else as inferior.
8. Do Not Minimize Their Actions
If you have to spend a lot of time around a narcissist, it can become easy to just dismiss or ignore their actions. It’s good to not be bothered by them, but sometimes this can cause you to fall into the trap of excusing them or considering it unimportant. You may fall complacent by:
- Avoiding them and, therefore, forgetting how bad it is
- Dodging traps and, therefore, believing it is easy for everyone to see through them
- Rolling your eyes at their bait and, therefore, thinking that they’re just being childish
The toxic behavior exhibited by many narcissists is far from fine. You may get used to it and you may learn to dodge their traps, but everyone else is still severely affected by them. Their attitudes and actions are inexcusable, no matter how easy it is for you to avoid them now.
It is important to remember just how negative and bad their actions are. Recognize the unhealthy and deceptive behavior of a narcissist and make sure you aren’t making excuses for them.
9. Do Not Underestimate Them
When you look at a narcissist, they might look normal, act nice, and behave innocently. On the surface, they look just like any other human being. This can make it difficult to believe that they can truly cause anyone serious harm.
That’s exactly what a narcissist tries to make you believe: that they are innocent, can do no wrong, and only have positive intentions. This, of course, is far from the truth. Do not fall into the trap of underestimating a narcissist – that’s how they’ll be able to manipulate you.
10. Do Not Justify Yourself
A key feature of narcissism is a significant lack of empathy. This doesn’t mean they don’t understand human emotion, though – just that they are indifferent to it. Whether you’re a positive thinking person or a more pessimistic one, they take note of your emotions and use them against you.
This is why a narcissist might call you out and attempted to make you second-guess yourself. They might try to have you question your actions, thoughts, and emotions, causing detriment to your confidence. Don’t let that happen – they’re doing this to manipulate you. Avoid and deflect their questions, or just walk away.
11. Do Not Try To Get Back At Them
Narcissists often enjoy drawing reactions out of the people around them. To you, it may look like you’re getting “revenge” on them for their actions. To them, it looks like their actions have all paid off.
Many narcissists try to trigger feelings of anger and rage. They try to elicit reactions. They try to push the right buttons. Because they enjoy watching others suffer, oftentimes they do these things just to manipulate you. Don’t allow them to do so – always be the better person and walk away.
12. Do Not Believe Promises Of Change
Many narcissists provide false promises when they are called out. They may tell you that they know they are in the wrong and apologize. They may promise and swear that they’ll change for the better, using phrases like:
- “I completely understand where you’re coming from.”
- “I don’t want to hurt you again.”
- “It won’t be like this next time.”
- “This is the last time, I swear.”
- “You need to be patient with me, I’m really trying.”
These definitely sound like good reasons to believe them, but you can’t trust a narcissist who does things like this again and again. A majority of these people consistently believe that they are in the right. When they provide these types of promises, they’re trying to lull you into a sense of security so you can walk right into their trap.
Does this mean a narcissist can never change for the better? Of course not. Like everyone else, they are capable of change – but, sadly, many of them never do, especially since most require professional help to get better. As such, keep your guard up, and take everything a narcissist says with a grain of salt.
Final Thoughts On Some Things To Never Do Around A Narcissist
Narcissistic personality disorder is a serious condition that is part of the group of cluster B personality disorders. It affects approximately 1% of the population in diagnosed cases alone – and, chances are, you’ve met many more undiagnosed narcissists in your lifetime.
While it’s important to note that those with narcissistic personality disorder are not inherently bad or cruel, you still need to be aware of the risks. Many who are unaware that they have the condition or are on its spectrum do not seek out therapy and, as such, do not realize the extent of their behaviors. Thus, they cannot correct them.
This is why it is so important to guard yourself and protect yourself against narcissists who cannot manage their disorder. No mental illness excuses negative behavior, and you are not responsible for their actions just because they have a disorder.
It’s hard to come out from under the clutches of a narcissist, but practice positive thinking! By being aware of these 12 things to never do around a narcissist, you’re protecting yourself against their potential toxicity and saving yourself a lot of pain and trouble.
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