Sunday, November 27, 2011

Steer Clear of Narcissistic Family Dynamics During the Holidays

Narcissistic sabotage is operating at all times. It becomes particularly ugly during the Holidays--that time of special "family reunions." There are countless horror stories of non-narcissistic family members being subjected to the toxic projections of a narcissistic parent, sibling, in-law, cousin, child, ex-spouse,  etc. At a time of celebration and gratefulness one would think that narcissists would be able to let festivities go smoothly. Absolutely not. Remember, narcissists are operating twenty four hours a day. No time off for vacations. Be ready for oncoming fire before it begins. First, you know a lot about these impossible individuals---they are self absorbed, deceitful, manipulative, controlling, completely lack empathy, exploitive, sadistic.

Never be surprised at how outrageous they can become and GET AWAY WITH IT! So many family members give them a complete pass. Some of the reason for this is intimidation. Often it can be favoritism, especially if we are speaking of golden children. They are allowed to run roughshod over everyone  They make the cruelest remarks. Other family members either pretend that they don't smell these poison pellets or say to themselves: "There goes dad (mom, sister, brother) again." That seems to wipe out the egregious behavior for everyone, except you. You know exactly what is going on. It is despicable.

Here are some guidelines that will help you get through the narrow passageways of holidays with narcissistic relatives:
First: Renew your mental notes about the true nature of the narcissistic personality disorder and never forget that these people NEVER CHANGE.
Second: Don't expect that other family members will come to your assistance if they make an offensive remark to you. Use your own self assertion by calling them out civilly and not overreacting.
Third: Keep your physical distance from them and don't go one on one in conversation---that's the time when a nasty attack is bound to occur.  
Fourth: If the malevolent cruelties are increasing and you are the target of constant onslaughts, remember that you can leave the party. Some people will say: "Don't create a scene." That's what the narcissist is counting on---for you to stand there quietly, taking in the noxious fumes of their highly disturbed psyches. You have free will. Use it.

You deserve to have a wonderful holiday season and days of peace, creativity and freedom of thought and feeling every day. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life


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