How to Avoid Troubling Narcissists

How do I avoid a troubling narcissist?  First, you must understand who a narcissist is.  A narcissist is a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.  They are also described as an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance.


You may have heard the term narcissistic personality since the term seems to be used frequently to describe people.  Narcissistic personality disorder is a real and serious mental health disorder that affects around 5% of the population (those that have been diagnosed).  Narcissism is a personality disorder. Someone with a narcissistic personality disorder may think, feel, and behave in ways that hurt themselves or others.


Although narcissistic personality disorder is rare, some people tend to have mild narcissistic personality characteristics.  A true narcissistic person will usually not willingly seek treatment and when they do seek treatment they present with many symptoms of the personality disorder.  Since, those with this personality disorder tend to not seek treatment it may be overwhelming to have someone with narcissistic personality disorder in your life. 


Having a narcissist in your life can be frustrating and emotionally challenging. Your relationship may revolve around them. However, if you find yourself involved with a narcissist there are things you can do to cope.


How To Spot a Narcissist

Personality disorders are characterized by specific traits.  A person who has a narcissistic personality disorder has the following symptoms of narcissism:


  • Have a strong sense of grandiosity (they have high levels of self-esteem, self-importance, self-confidence, and often feel like they’re superior to others)
  • Are arrogant
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Believe they’re unique or special
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Need constant admiration
  • Feel envy toward others
  • Believe others envy them
  • Lack empathy
  • Are obsessed with fantasies of brilliance, power, or success
  • Have a sense of entitlement

Narcissistic people tend to focus solely on themselves with no regard for anyone else.  They believe they are perfect and everyone else is to blame for everything that doesn’t go their way.  A narcissist will do whatever they want to get what they want without regard for the welfare or safety of others.  They most often do not feel compassion and cannot connect intimately with others, even their mate.


A narcissist may seek admiration at work and will do anything to gain approval from upper management.  They may appear friendly and hardworking, but they are distant, dismissive, and highly critical.


How To End a Narcissistic Relationship

Educate yourself about narcissistic personality disorder.  Find out more about the mental health disorder. Knowing the symptoms of narcissism can help you understand the narcissist’s strengths and weaknesses and learn how to handle them better. Knowing who they are, a person with a real mental health disorder, may also allow you to accept the situation for what it is and have realistic expectations.


You must create solid boundaries. Be clear about your boundaries. You will likely upset or disappoint the narcissist.  Be prepared for the narcissist to push back on the boundaries you placed.

  • Speak up for yourself and when you need something, be clear and concise. Narcissists do not tolerate criticism so, make comments and requests in a manner that sounds positive.


  • Always remain calm around a narcissist.  Narcissists tend to make the people they are around feel less than and will intimidate you to get their way.  They may gaslight you, which is having you feel as if everything you are seeing, and feeling doesn’t exist.
  • You will need a strong support system.  People with narcissistic personality disorders make the people they are near feel insecure, confused, and doubt themselves.  Be sure to have a strong core group of supportive friends and family members who understand the situation you are in.
  • Get mental health counseling.  Mental health therapy is vital when leaving a narcissistic relationship.  This is because a mental health counselor, who specializes in personality disorders, can teach you skills needed to approach problem-solving with the narcissist.
Things Not to Do Around a Narcissist
  • Do not criticize or demean a narcissist.  Narcissists do not take constructive criticism well and see it solely as criticism.  When talking with a narcissist choose your words carefully.
  • Don’t argue with a narcissist or suddenly confront them.  Narcissists need to feel that they oversee the situation and may become erratic if they fear they are losing control.
  • Narcissists will not see your point-of-view so, don’t expect them too.  Narcissists don’t like to admit when they’re wrong or that they’re unlovable.  Tread lightly when pointing things out to someone with narcissistic personality disorder because they will react from a fear perspective.
  • Do not rehash the past with a narcissist.  Stay present focused when talking to a narcissist.  They will most likely not admit wrongdoing and will have a different perspective of the past situations.

Remember, you are not alone, and help is available for you.  Talk with a mental health professional and start talking about what is going on in your life.  Living with a narcissist is different than living with someone who does not have a personality disorder.  Learn the signs and get help. with your life.  Contact a professional mental health counselor at  There is help.

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