There are two ways to protect yourself from a narcissist. One tactic is to cut them out of your life. The other tactic is to learn how to manage them.
Cutting a narcissist out of your life is effective as long as you make the narcissist respect the boundaries. The problem is that narcissists can be cunning, and they are likely to feel provoked by your quest for happiness and mental health.
Managing a narcissist neutralizes them. But a managed narcissist is still a toxic influence on your life.
To manage a narcissist, you always tell him what he wants to hear. You always shower him with praise. The problem with managing a narcissist is that you might start to believe the things you say about him.
My father is a narcissist, and over the years he learned how to weaponize the members of his extended family. He has two sisters who he turned into hostile extensions of his own will. If my dad tells them to do something they do it even if the action is harmful to their children.
When my grandmother passed away, one of the sisters was named an executor to the estate. My grandmother only owned a small house. She wanted to sell the house and distribute the proceeds to her children and grandchildren.
It was a small house and she had dozens of grandchildren. We expected that the amount would be less than one thousand dollars per person.
When my father heard about this arrangement, he came forward with tens of thousands of dollars of claims against my grandmother’s estate. His sister rubber-stamped these claims and then asked all the people named in the will to sign off on her decision.
Of everyone in the family, I was the only one to ask her to verify the claims against the estate by making my father produce receipts. I also requested that the claim be evaluated by a third party.
These are very reasonable requests and it should be the obligation of the executor to perform them.
Instead of extending me any courtesy, my father’s sister became very hostile. She sent out a series of emails where she paraphrased my requests in a way that made me look unreasonable. I received threatening messages and letters from dozens of people in the family.
In the end, my aunt recognized the claims my father made against the estate. She sent him a check that ate up the majority of the profits from the sale of the house. Many of the people named in the will were young children that had absolutely nothing to their name.
My father always claims that he is entitled to huge payments. He then says he'll take less because he's generous. The tactic contains an element of bullying because if you don’t take his deal he flies into a rage.
By learning to manage my father, his sisters became extensions of his will. The problem is that they have been subverted to the point where they’re willing to engage in possibly fraudulent action to appease him.
If you end up accused of a crime because a narcissist pressured you to do something, the narcissist will be the first person to deny his involvement.
Managing a narcissist is a tactic many families use to maintain a family unit. However, even a managed narcissist is a toxic influence capable of destroying your life.
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