In this video by Surviving Narcissism, Dr. Les Carter gives us 7 options for when you can’t avoid a narcissist. You may be in a situation where you can’t completely leave an abusive relationship, whether you’re family, or if you work together, or you share the same social circle and leaving the narcissist means leaving other people you love.

  1. Stop wishing for a better relationship: You don’t really have a relationship with a narcissist, and they’re not going to improve.
  2. Learn to stay functional: Learn what your bare minimum responsibilities are to the narcissist, and don’t spend more energy than that.
  3. Unhook emotionally: Realize the narcissist’s cruelty is not a reflection on you, but on them. Don’t take it personally.
  4. Monitor your anger reactions: Narcissists take pleasure in your anger. Take your emotions out of the “relationship,” and they will lose interest in abusing you.
  5. Drop your instinct to defend: This doesn’t mean you don’t stand up for yourself, but you should deny them the pleasure of arguing and emotional strife.
  6. Refrain from personal sharing: Personal information is leverage to a narcissist. Minimize sharing it.
  7. Stop trying to interpret the narcissist’s behavior: This just feeds their ego more, and the attention is not reciprocated in a healthy way.

These practices are part of the “Gray Rock” method of dealing with narcissists. Your goal should be to disengage emotionally. It helps to learn and manage your emotional triggers, something that a therapist or life coach can help with.