Leading Authority in Treatment of Narcissism and Emotional Abuse

How to Control a Narcissist

How to Control a Narcissist

In the realm of relationships and emotional dynamics, the desire to control a narcissist is a common but ultimately futile endeavor. Many individuals feel a natural inclination to manage or change the narcissistic behaviors they encounter, particularly when these behaviors cause harm or distress. However, a shift in perspective is essential for effectively navigating such relationships.

The Illusion of Control

The notion of controlling a narcissist is appealing yet impractical. Attempts to exert control over a narcissist often result in the individual becoming controlled by the narcissist instead. This paradox underscores a fundamental truth: focusing on controlling the narcissist leads to a loss of personal autonomy and a deeper entanglement in their manipulative dynamics.

Obsessing over controlling a narcissist can dominate one’s thoughts and actions, leading to a detrimental impact on personal well-being. It is crucial to recognize that whatever consumes one’s attention effectively controls one’s life. This dynamic becomes particularly evident when dealing with a narcissist, as their manipulative behaviors can easily trap individuals in a cycle of preoccupation and frustration.

A Case Study on Obsession

Consider a scenario involving a prolonged dispute with a cellular phone company. The individual feels wronged by the company’s policies and becomes determined to achieve fairness. This obsession with obtaining justice leads to a preoccupation with the company, affecting daily life and conversations. Friends and family begin to notice the intense focus on the issue, prompting concerns about the individual’s well-being.

This example illustrates the dangers of becoming consumed by the desire to control external situations. While feelings of being wronged are valid, losing perspective and allowing these feelings to dominate can lead to negative consequences.

Maintaining Perspective

Acknowledging feelings of harm, hurt, and injustice is important. However, maintaining perspective is essential to avoid becoming ensnared in the narcissist’s web. Believing that controlling a narcissistic and emotionally abusive individual is possible often results in a loss of balance and a deeper entanglement in unhealthy dynamics.

Instead of attempting to control the narcissist, individuals should focus on controlling their own responses and actions. This shift in focus empowers individuals to reclaim their autonomy and protect their emotional well-being.

The Importance of Self-Management

Managing one’s own life and staying true to one’s core self is paramount. This involves cultivating qualities such as calmness, clarity, compassion, and curiosity. These attributes should be directed primarily towards oneself to ensure clear thinking and purposeful living.

Questions to consider include: Is life being lived in a fulfilling manner? Are time and energy being spent on activities that bring joy and fulfillment? Are decisions being made with a clear mind and healthy boundaries? Reflecting on these questions helps individuals prioritize their own well-being rather than becoming preoccupied with the narcissist.

Creating a Healthy Self

To become the healthiest version of oneself, it is essential to manage time, life, activities, work, friendships, and other aspects of daily existence. Obsessing over the narcissist or seeking revenge can only lead to self-harm. While seeking revenge may seem satisfying, it rarely yields the desired results and often exacerbates the situation.

Instead, energy is better spent on self-care. Focusing on controlling personal responses and actions, rather than the narcissist, allows for a healthier and more balanced life.

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is crucial when dealing with a narcissist. Clear, firm boundaries protect emotional well-being and prevent the narcissist from taking advantage. Boundaries are not about controlling the other person but about maintaining one’s own integrity and sense of self.

Effective boundaries involve:

  1. Identifying Limits: Understanding what behaviors are unacceptable and what is necessary to protect emotional health.
  2. Communicating Clearly: Being direct and assertive when expressing boundaries. Using “I” statements can effectively convey the impact of certain behaviors.
  3. Consistency: Consistently enforcing boundaries without making exceptions, which can undermine efforts.
  4. Practicing Self-Care: Prioritizing activities that nourish the mind, body, and spirit. Self-care strengthens resilience and helps maintain emotional balance.
  5. Seeking Support: Engaging with supportive friends, family, or professionals who understand the situation and can offer guidance and encouragement.

Cultivating Inner Strength

Dealing with a narcissist requires inner strength and resilience. Cultivating these qualities involves self-reflection, self-care, and personal growth. Engaging in activities that build confidence and reinforce self-worth is essential.

Practices such as mindfulness, meditation, and therapy can help individuals stay centered and maintain emotional balance, even in challenging interactions with a narcissist.

How to Control a Narcissist?

Controlling a narcissist is not only impossible but also counterproductive. The key to navigating a relationship with a narcissist lies in controlling personal actions, responses, and emotional well-being. By focusing on personal growth, setting clear boundaries, and prioritizing self-care, individuals can protect themselves from the damaging effects of a narcissistic relationship.

The most powerful control lies in managing one’s own life. Embracing this power allows for the creation of a healthy, fulfilling existence, free from the negative influence of the narcissist. This approach not only safeguards emotional health but also empowers individuals to live authentically and joyfully.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: Is It Possible To Trust Again After Emotional Abuse?

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


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