The “Catch-22” of Dealing With a Narcissist
. . . allowed them to convince you that you couldn’t enforce any boundaries with them—couldn’t protect your “buffer zone”?
. . . lost so much self-esteem that you’ve come to believe you may actually deserve the awful treatment you’ve received from them?
Can you now grasp that the narcissist’s harmful ways of treating you are all driven by their deep-seated insecurities, even self-loathing? that even when they’re appallingly offensive, it’s only one of their more desperate defenses. If you can discern the weaknesses that till now they’d effectively camouflaged from you (as well as themselves!), you should be able to start the process of emotionally detaching from them.
And that’s pivotal. Even as you may be planning your eventual escape, you can begin to shield yourself from their relational insensitivities or sadism. By no longer reacting to them, but letting their words pass over you like a harmless cloud, you’ll begin to protect yourself from their toxicity.
Moreover, if you want to keep things as peaceful as possible and stay clear of the (“can’t win”) battles that are their forte, you can simply “mmm-hmm” them and keep them flattered enough so they’ll be less inclined to get on your case. For narcissists are highly susceptible to flattery; they really can’t get enough of it. That gives you a strategic advantage over them.