How To Deal With A Narcissist – A Step By Step Guide

What Is Narcissism? What are the types of narcissism? What effective tips can one use on how to deal with a narcissist? Can narcissists change? How can you handle a narcissist? If you are looking for the answers to these and more related questions, this article is for you.

My name is Sean Galla, and I have been an online support group facilitator for over 10 years. In my years of work, I have overseen numerous support groups, including facilitating narcissist support groups specifically designed for men looking for advice and guidance on how to deal with a narcissist, be it a narcissistic partner, narcissistic parents, family member, co-worker, or narcissistic bosses.

In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about how to deal with narcissists.

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Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

Understanding Narcissism

If you have ever spent significant time with a person exhibiting narcissistic traits, it is easy to feel as though you are chipping away at your sense of self-worth, belief in individual thought patterns and beliefs, and even your well-being and self-esteem. This is because narcissists strip you of these things to be able to gain a sense of control. They love it when the people around them depend on them, which feels good for their egos.

Surviving a narcissistic relationship is intense. This is why it is essential to work to understand how narcissism works and who they are the types to look out for. Having this information can go a long way in helping you remove yourself from a narcissistic relationship or avoid one.

Who is a narcissist?

According to mental health organizations and manuals like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) or the American Psychiatric Association, a narcissist is an individual with an exaggerated sense of self-worth and a sense of personal importance. These people crave attention and approval and will go the extra mile to ensure they get it. This need for approval usually stems from unaddressed feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem.

According to mental health reports, diagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder mental health condition cases make up between 0.5% and 5% of the American population.

To be medically diagnosed with NPD, one must exhibit at least 5 of the following personality traits:

Lack of empathy – this is the inability to share, understand, or appropriately respond to other people’s experiences and feelings.

Grandiosity – this is a self-centered sense of superiority and self-importance, characterized by pretense and boastfulness.

Arrogance – belief in an inflated sense of self and showing dismissive or condescending behavior towards others.

Sense of entitlement – unreasonable expectation for preferential treatment because they think they deserve more than others.

Egocentric behavior – overly focused on oneself, usually at the expense of other’s feelings and needs.

Craving for validation and admiration – narcissists are always in pursuit of affirmation and positive feedback as a way of boosting their self-esteem.

Manipulating and exploitation – narcs use different manipulation techniques like gaslighting, love bombing, and control to take advantage of other people for personal gain.

Inability to maintain healthy relationships – because of their lack of empathy, narcs are unable to connect emotionally with people, making it hard to foster strong relationships.

Narcissistic rage – narcissists struggle with the ability to control their anger outbursts since they do not know how to regulate emotions. This makes them destructive and aggressive.

Abusive in private – they are often very charming in public and highly abusive in private settings.



How to Deal with A Narcissist – The Need to Protect Yourself

If you have a close relationship with a person exhibiting narcissistic tendencies, you may be going through cycles of abuse, sometimes without even knowing.

This is because narcissists often need what is termed a narcissistic supply. This is simply a place or person from where they validate their high sense of self. To make up for their low self-confidence, narcissists often use manipulation as a power move in all their relationships.

Some of the effects of being in a relationship with a narcissist include:

  • Isolation
  • Loss of identity
  • Self-doubt
  • Loss of self-love
  • Fear and hypervigilance
  • Lowered confidence and self-esteem
  • Prioritizing their needs over your own needs
  • Diminished ambition, goals, and aspirations
  • Overstepped personal boundaries
  • Blaming yourself for every wrong thing
  • Depression, anxiety, and mental health challenges
  • Dependence on the narcissist—financially and socially

It is common for people on the receiving end of narcissistic abuse to develop PTSD. The best way to avoid experiencing these issues is to stay away from a narcissist, if possible, or learn how to deal with a narcissist.

Can one learn how to stop being a narcissist? find out in this article.

How to Deal with A Narcissist

Educate yourself about the condition

The first step to dealing with a narcissist is understanding why they are the way they are. This makes it easier for you to recognize a narc when you see one and to know if the person in your life is a narcissist.

Taking time to learn and understand NPD also helps you understand the person’s strengths and weaknesses, preparing you to handle issues when they arise.

Reading books on NPD and speaking to NPD psychiatry doctors and experts are some of the best ways to understand the condition.

Establish healthy boundaries

Setting clear boundaries is critical when you have a narcissist in your life. Whether they are overt or covert narcissists, they will try to overstep set boundaries. Whether you are dealing with a vulnerable narcissist or an overt narcissist, it is important to establish boundaries around communication, especially if the individual often resorts to name-calling and verbal abuse.

You need to let the narc know what behavior is appropriate and what behavior you will not tolerate. This will help make the relationship more balanced and comfortable.

Stay away if you can

If you realize that the person you are interested in may be a narc, the best thing you can do for yourself is often to stay away from them. More often than not, you will get lost in their web of grandiose sense of self-importance, and what starts as an ideal relationship usually ends up being highly

See them for who they are

You need to see the narc for who they are and not who you hope they will be, even when they are beloved family members. Do not excuse their bad behavior; don’t be afraid to call them out.

Do not lose yourself in their delusions

When in a relationship with a narcissist, never lose focus on the things you want for yourself. A narc will often lure you into abandoning your dreams and ideas to support theirs.

How to Deal with A Narcissist – Seeking Professional Help

If you realize that you may be on the receiving end of a narcissist, it is best to seek help from a mental health professional. A therapist with knowledge of how to handle narcs can help you make the best decision for your life and better understand the person you are dealing with.

When you do not know how to deal with a narcissist, their behavior eventually turns into abuse. The most common abusive behavior includes emotional abuse, verbal abuse, gaslighting, and even physical harm. If the person living with NPD shows any signs of abuse, you should consider taking the necessary steps to exit the relationship and seek help.

Speaking with a mental health professional or therapist can help you find the courage and strength to move past the trauma of surviving a narcissist.

Join A Support Group

Joining a support group for survivors of narcissistic behavior can go a long way in getting you back on the right path.

If you are a male individual with a narcissist in your life, joining a men-only support group like MensGroup can go a long way in ensuring you get the support and advice you need from fellow men who have walked in your shoes.

Can A Narcissist Change?

It is possible to recover from NPD. However, it requires the effort and willingness of the narc to seek cognitive behavioral therapy for change to take place. People living with NPD generally do not seek help since most of them do not believe that they have the condition.

About MensGroup

As a man who has been a victim of narcissistic behavior, one of the most challenging parts of recovery is finding someone to talk to about your feelings, emotions, and trauma. Most people do not believe that men, too, can be victims of toxic relationships. Whether you have narcissistic parents, a narcissistic loved one, or children with narcissism, MensGroup is an all-men online platform where you can get the support you need.

Mensgroup believes anyone can heal, grow, and change with the proper support. You will be placed in a group with other men who have been through narcissistic abuse and understand your situation. This gives you a free space to share and learn from others who have previously walked in your shoes. With a support system of fellow men, you can overcome your trauma and lead a healthy, successful, and happy life.


When someone in your life is a narcissist, taking time to learn and understand NPD and how to deal with a narcissist can go a long way in making it easier for you to determine how best to protect yourself and deal with the narc.

Joining a narcissist survivor support group is the first step you can take towards healing. offers you a platform where you can share your story to inspire others and get support to overcome the trauma of being a survivor of narcissistic behavior.