Holidays with relatives can be challenging to say the least, especially if they are narcissists. Narcissists don't change because there is a special occasion. They may put on their elaborate mask for a while but don't be surprised if they attempt to jab your psychological ribs before the event is over. One of the most important tactics is to never be alone with a narcissistic in-law for a moment. Make sure that a friend or relative whom you trust is with you.Narcissists release their most onerous psychological projections when you are alone with them face to face.
At many events it is possible to greet the narcissist politely and then move on to visit the other guests. Do not let them engage you in conversation. Keeping an ample physical distance from the narcissist is one of the keys to avoiding any interchanges with your narcissistic in-laws. Before you leave for the party remind yourself that you are in charge of your actions, that you deserve to be treated with respect and consideration by everyone.
There are family constellations in which narcissistic in-laws are so toxic to other family members, including you. that you might seriously consider not attending the event. I have heard many stories of very ugly scenes that have occurred as a result of vituperative interchanges by narcissistic in-laws and other family members. Narcissists think nothing of disrupting and spoiling a special family event. They are absolutely shameless about their behavior. Some narcissists are concerned enough about their image that they will pull their punches and decide to behave. However, still avoid close contact with them. They have a way of getting spitting out barbs, put downs and sarcastic remarks very quickly that are very wounding. Remember you don't deserve this kind of abusive treatment by anyone. Remind yourself that this in-law has a severe personality disorder, that he or she is constantly projecting the noxious contents of his or her unconscious on to others. These putrid volleys have nothing to do with you. They are psychological toxins that have nothing to do with you.
Researching the narcissistic personality disorder gives you the power to know exactly who they are. This knowledge gives you power. Healthy self entitlement and self respect should be your continuous companions.
To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website: thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life