A family member that exhibits narcissistic behavior can make other family members feel like they’re crazy. Family members may question reality and feel like they are in a confusing and chaotic home environment that doesn’t feel safe or secure.
Narcissistic behavior is a significantly self-involved person who can be a master at manipulation. Nothing else exists outside of what they think and want. They will always make you wrong and themselves right. It makes it hard to communicate effectively in a family, and it is also hard to have your own opinion. Part of their strategy is to have other people feel less than or weak. Family members often feel like they’re walking on eggshells. Dealing with someone who exhibits this behavior can discolor and inform you how you show up in the world, relate to others, affect your confidence level, cause mood disorders addiction, and create codependence.
Often, the behavior of someone with substance use disorder looks like narcissism, but it’s more their addiction speaking.
Here are some strategies we work with for family members dealing with narcissistic behavior:
- Learn to trust yourself
- Set clear agreements and boundaries
- Learn to say no
- Don’t blame yourself
- Stop making excuses for bad behavior
- Talk to them when they’re calm and without emotion
- Stop allowing abuse
- Don’t try to navigate it alone
Getting counseling and therapy from a professional is vital in dealing with this behavior. It’s almost impossible to handle this alone.
It’s tough to be in a relationship with somebody like this, but please recognize that there is the ability to be supported and get help as the doorway to recovery.