Dealing with a Narcissistic stakeholder: A continuation

 As I continue with the topic of dealing with narcissistic stakeholders, it is important to note that narcissists are not evil people. In fact, they are usually insecure, broken and suffer from other mental personality disorders, which exacerbate their narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) condition.

Thus, it important to see them as human beings, who either through genetics, childhood abuse, trauma and upbringing, became predisposed to narcissistic behavioural disorders.  It is also worth noting that not everyone who displays narcissistic behavioural traits has NPD. For someone to be NPD, they need to be diagnosed by a professional.

Knowing what a narcissist is and how they operate is one for the first steps in dealing with one. This article will outline some suggestions of how to deal with a narcissist. The advice highlighted in this article has helped me. However, it is imperative that you seek a professional that will understand your circumstances, as narcissist occupy various roles, and how you deal with them, depends on the type of role they play in your life.

The advice below has also been affirmed by various psychologist and will provide a general idea of how to deal with narcissists, irrespective of the role they play in your life.

  • Avoid Confrontation and labelling.

Now that you are empowered with information about a narcissist, avoid confronting or labelling them. This action will make them defensive and will aggravate the situation. Enlightenment provides insight on how to navigate your way around a narcissist. As it is difficult to change them, especially those with NPD. Many with that type of disorder are not aware that they have a problem. Those who are aware, rarely seek professional help, because being narcissist is a copying mechanism for them. 

  • Strengthen your internal controls.

The only person you can control is yourself. That is why you consistently need to “beef up” your self-esteem. You do this by setting clear boundaries on how you want people to treat you regardless of whether they are narcissists or not. You need to learn to be friendly, but firm. You can do so by alerting people who talk to you rudely, for example, to refrain from using words that you deem unacceptable. You should also adapt internal positive self-talks and learn to forgive yourself. Once you set boundaries, you need to maintain them, because narcissists by nature are bullies.

  • Build a strong supportive network

Consider building a strong support system of friends, family, colleagues, and professionals that can guide you as you deal with a narcissist, especially one that is your leader, parent or spouse.  You should also consider continually assessing your friendships, to see whether they are healthy and are assisting you to build a healthy self-image. As some friendships can give you wrong advice.

  • Emotionally withdraw and detach.

You need to understand that narcissists thrive on getting you to emotionally respond to their antics. They find satisfaction in seeing you either angry and dejected.  They enjoy evoking a response from you, as it gives them relief in hurting you, as they themselves are hurting. So, you need to break the cycle of action vs reaction.

Narcissists are very intelligent. They know your weakness and the words to use if they want to trigger a reaction in you. So, you need to learn to detach from them.  It is uncomfortable and difficult at first, hence you need to seek professional help, or engage in meditation and prayer. But you must make the decision to no longer permit this type of person to influence your emotions.

  • Define your communication.

Determine what you want from a conversation with a narcissist. Keep your words limited. Abandon all sincere communication. Do not tell them what you are thinking or feeling, because they don’t care. Don’t tell them the truth about your life, because they will later find ways to use it against you. Never let your guard down, when speaking to a narcissist, hence it is important to set your agenda, before you talk to them, and stick to those points. Ensure that your objective is fulfilled, because they are very good at turning the conversation in their favour. In essence, narcissists hate being ignored. If you are silent or maintain minimal contact, it drives them crazy.

Lastly, narcissists also tend to gaslight. Gaslighting is a situation where a person denies reality in a way that makes you to doubt what you saw or experienced. They make you feel like you are going crazy.

An example of gaslighting is, them denying saying something or suggesting that they were just joking and you are overreacting. One of the ways to deal with gaslighting, is to document all your correspondence with them. If possible, ensure there is a witness in your conversations. Next week I will conclude on this topic.

*Morna Ikosa is a Senior Corporate Communications and Brand Reputation Strategist, CPRP, MA, AKA Fixer. To connect, send her a shout-out at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or find her on LinkedIn.

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Last modified on Monday, 22 May 2023 12:58

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