The “Catch-22” of Dealing With a Narcissist

Obviously, regularly expressing your adulation or admiration won’t feel particularly genuine. Nonetheless, in this relationship, it can be a highly useful tactic to safeguard your emotional and mental welfare. (And if you have any reservations about doing so, just recall all the manipulative, exploitive ways they’ve treated you.)

So, unless you feel your integrity is just too much compromised, compliment them and make them look good—even giving them more credit for something than they deserve. Given their rageful and vindictive bent, it makes little sense to be candid with them, or try to put them in their place, regardless of how powerful that impulse may be. Much better to preempt their angrily acting out by repeatedly offering them the recognition they may have been so starved of in growing up. (Which is the one thought that might actually enable you to feel more  empathy for them.)

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