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MENTOR I ADVISE I COACH

 MANAGING 
NARCISSIST

Welcome !

I'm glad you found me since you're probably here because you're dealing with a Narcissist in your life. If you wish to reclaim your power so you can lead a better quality of life and protect your mental health, you've come to the right place.

Managing a Narcissist was created from a mission to support individuals just like you, who are affected by partners, ex-partners, and co-parents with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

 

I coach, advise, and mentor victims of NPD individuals, creating a safe and supportive space for you to find compassionate guidance, and practical resources and tools, to regain your inner-strength. Furthermore, I aim to foster a greater understanding and awareness about the intricate nature of this personality type, equipping you with the necessary tools and strategies to effectively navigate the interractions with the Narcissist in their life. 

With this platform, I also endeavour to offer valuable information, insights and facts about NPD, combining research, knowledge, personal experiences and observations.

            About               

                                        narcissist

                          ManagING  

A

I wish to share my wisdom and personal journey with you and others impacted by NPD partners, ex-partners and co-parents, empowering them to reclaim their inner strength, rediscover their true selves, and forge a path towards a life that is truly their own.

Drawing from my personal journey, living in Asia, where this subject remains relatively unfamiliar and widely misunderstood, I found myself navigating a complex web with limited guidance, relying on books, research papers, podcasts, and articles to unravel its complexities. Prior to that point, the concept of Narcissism specifically as a recognised personality disorder known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), had never crossed my path. It was only when a friend identified and named it that everything finally fell into place, and I finally was able to connect the dots of my experiences.

 

Even the Family Justice Courts and Local Law Enforcement Agencies struggle to fully acknowledge the insidious nature of this prolonged psychological and emotional abuse, primarily due to its elusive nature, making detection and evidential proof very challenging. Throughout my own harrowing experiences, which were undeniably extreme, I couldn't fathom (and still struggle to understand) how the legal system inadvertently shielded these abusers. During my custody battle, I vividly recall my Family Lawyer at the time telling me "Regrettably, being a Narcissist is not a crime". In my honest opinion, considering all the knowledge I have acquired, it seems evident that it should undoubtedly be the case. At a bare minimum, it ought to be enshrined as Law within the Family Justice Courts systems to ensure that NPD parents are not granted custody (or care and control) of children. My conviction is rooted in the fact that their actions fail to prioritise the best interests of the child, leading to a pattern of unreasonable behaviour directed towards their co-parents, often times resorting to abusive, bullying and manipulative tactics, using the child as any means of leverage.

These individuals seamlessly blend into society, exuding charm, generosity, humour and charisma, concealing the pervasive nature that lies beneath their façade. Their mastery in manipulating narratives, people and circumstances, is second nature — a survival mechanism honed through years of deception. In fact, they have become so entangled in their own web of lies that they have unknowingly embraced their own falsehoods perpetuating them as a way of life.
 
Facing such a situation is overwhelmingly exhausting and fraught with conflict, often leaving you sapped of mental and physical energy due to the relentless pursuit of absolute dominance, power, and control by the Narcissist. Parents of children with Narcissistic partners will undoubtedly understand the distressing reality of their children being used as pawns and bargaining chips, an act carried out with no second thoughts. The relentless dread of what's next, can leave one perpetually on edge, with the seeming absence of an end point. Instances of women entrusting their children to their Narcissistic partners, a choice I nearly had to make myself, may seem irrational or selfish to some. However, in certain circumstances, it can feel like the only lifeline to preserve your mental wellbeing. It might sound hyperbolic, but remaining in such an environment, where Narcissists thrive, is no longer viable. It is in its bare essence, a battlefield.


My survival through this arduous journey can be credited to the invaluable support network of my family and friends, and the self-awareness I cultivated from the experience. Additionally, my long-standing passion and accumulated knowledge about psychology, self-awareness, and behavioural dynamics were instrumental in my recovery. My understanding of this personality disorder and the ability to emotionally detach from the chaos, have also been pivotal. Despite the ongoing challenge of co-parenting with whom I believe to be a 'Pathological Narcissist', these factors have empowered me to move forward and constructively rebuild my life.

 

I acknowledge that not everyone shares the same fortuity; maybe you or other individuals find themselves isolated in a foreign land, distant from their family and friends, while others lack a support network altogether, often leading to feelings of solitude and fear. 'Managing a Narcissist' is designed as a resource and support platform, as well as a mentor and coaching practice, for those seeking guidance.

        about me

a bit 

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As a Mentor, Coach, and Advocate for victims of NPD, I bring my experience and knowledge on the topic to offer dedicated support to women grappling with partners, ex-partners, and co-parents who have NPD or exhibit NPD traits. It's crucial to note that many individuals with NPD go undiagnosed, yet they typically exhibit behavioural patterns that can be identified over time, if you know what to look for.

 

I offer my guidance and expertise to individuals like yourself, navigating the complexities of being in a relationship or co-parenting with someone exhibiting NPD, empowering you with insights and strategies to comprehend and effectively navigate this intricate dynamic. Simultaneously, I aid you in fostering greater self-awareness, empowering you to unravel your emotional responses, identify triggers, and establish personal boundaries. This heightened self-understanding equips you with necessary coping mechanisms to effectively navigate the behaviour of the Narcissist in your life.

 

Whether you're amidst a tumultuous divorce, seeking guidance to minimise conflict and prioritise your mental well-being during the co-parenting journey, aiming to cultivate effective communication strategies, or simply desiring a deeper understanding of this complex personality type, I'm here to extend my support. Drawing from personal experience of marriage, divorce, and co-parenting with a Sociopathic Narcissist, I have acquired valuable insights and can equip you with essential strategies to safeguard your mental health and navigate these challenges with resilience.

 

I mentor, advise and coach across multiple time zones in both English and French.

    WhaT

is

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         narcissist?

There are narcissists and there are Narcissists. It's important to recognise when you're interacting with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder or displays NPD traits.

Firstly, it's important to understand that narcissism is a spectrum, and not all narcissistic traits are inherently detrimental since a certain degree of self-esteem and confidence is both healthy and essential. However, when these traits amplify to an extent that they cause disruptions in one's life and relationships, they could signal Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). This is the type of narcissism I refer to throughout this website, where I interchangeably use terms like "Narcissists" and "NPD or NPD individuals," both pointing to the same definition: people who either have Narcissistic Personality Disorder or exhibit more than five NPD traits, as I elaborate in further detail below.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) published by the American Psychiatric Association, defines NPD as "an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation, and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts, such as personal, social, professional, or other important areas of functioning. Five or more of the DSM's diagnostic criteria must be met for a diagnostic of NPD to be rendered, which are:

  • Grandiose logic of self-importance

This refers to an individual's exaggerated sense of self-importance or superiority, which may be manifested in various ways such as an unrealistic expectation of admiration or recognition, a belief in their own special talents or abilities, or a sense of entitlement to special treatment or privileges. They may exaggerate their achievements, overestimate their abilities or talents, or demand recognition or admiration from others.

  • Fixation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love

This refers to an individual's tendency to daydream or fantasise about their own greatness or exceptional qualities often at the expense of reality. Such fantasies may involve wealth, power, beauty, fame or idealised love relationships. Individuals with NPD may spend significant time and energy fantasising about these scenarios and may even come to believe that they are entitled to or deserving of such success or admiration. 

  • Believes that they are special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people 

People with NPD may believe that they are inherently better or more deserving than others and that they are entitled to special treatment or privileges. They may also believe that they are different from and superior to others and that only certain people or institutions can understand or appreciate their unique qualities. Individuals with NPD may seek out relationships or associations with people or institutions that they perceive as high-status or prestigious in order to boost their own sense of importance and self-worth.

  • No form of empathy

An individual's inability or unwillingness to recognise or identify with the feelings, needs and perspectives of others. Individuals with NPD may appear to be indifferent to the emotions of those around them and may struggle to understand or respond appropriately to the needs of others. People with NPD may also exhibit a lack of remorse or guilt when they have harmed others and may justify their actions or blame others for their problems. This can lead to a disregard for social norms and rules as well as exploitative and manipulative behaviour toward others.

  • A need for excessive admiration 

People with NPD have an insatiable need for attention and admiration often seeking out situations in which they can be the centre of attention or receive accolades. Individuals with NPD may go to great lengths to maintain their image or reputation including manipulating others to get what they want, boasting about their accomplishments or abilities, or using their charm and charisma to win people over. Based on my experience and observations, their self-image is what they care most about and will go to great lengths to protect and defend it.

  • A sense of entitlement 

An individual's belief that they are inherently deserving of special treatment or privileges without necessarily having to earn them. People with NPD may feel entitled to receive attention, admiration or resources from others, and may expect others to cater to their needs or wants. They may also feel entitled to break rules or laws or to disregard the feelings or needs of others. 

  • Interpersonal exploitative behaviour

Takes advantage of others for personal gain without any regard for their feelings, needs or welfare. Individuals with NPD may exploit others in a variety of ways such as using flattery or charm, to gain favour or attention, manipulating others to get what they want, taking advantage of others' resources, or engaging in behaviour that is harmful or abusive to others.

  • Envious of others and believes that others are envious of them

An individual's tendency to be preoccupied with envy and the belief that others are envious of them. People with NPD may feel resentful of others who they believe have achieved greater success or recognition than themselves, and may become jealous of those who they see as a threat to their own sense of superiority. They may also believe that others envy them and their perceived qualities such as their intelligence, attractiveness, or success.

  • Arrogant, conceited behaviours and attitudes

An individual's tendency to exhibit behaviours or attitudes that suggest they feel superior or entitled to special treatment. This can take the form of belittling others, refusing to follow rules or guidelines that apply to others, and insisting on having their own way in all situations.

Other specific characteristics of attitudes and behaviours outside of the DSM-V which NPD individuals are known to typically display are: a compulsive need for control, a general deluded sense of reality, vindictive, and generally obsessive. I go into further details  in "detecting a narcissist" section.

 Origins

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         of a narcissist

A guide to help you understand how unhealthy Narcissism is said to develop and what experts believe to be the main drivers. 

The prevalence of NPD is estimated to be between 1% and 6% of the global population, with a higher frequency in men, with an estimated male-to-female ratio of 3:1. However, these estimates are based on studies conducted in specific populations and the actual prevalence may vary. For instance, in the United States and according to the American Psychiatric Association, NPD is estimated to affect about 6.2% of the adult population. That said, some experts believe this number to be higher as many Narcissists remain undiagnosed. 

There is no single cause of NPD, as it is said to be likely influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and social factors. However, research so far suggests that some possible explanations for the development of Narcissistic Personality Disorder include:

Parenting Styles:

Overindulgent or neglectful parenting, particularly in childhood, may lead to a child developing a sense of entitlement or a need for attention and validation. Wendy T. Herary, a clinical expert on NPD, describes a few possible scenarios well, which are as follows:

  • The Spoiled Child:

Behary characterises the 'spoiled child' as an individual who has matured with a presumption of privilege often finding it challenging to understand or empathise with others' viewpoints and emotions. Their self-centered nature often leads them to prioritise their own desires and needs over those of others, causing potential rifts in their relationships and impeding the formation of significant bonds. They may resort to tantrums or manipulative tactics when their wishes are not met. As adults, these 'spoiled child' narcissists may find it difficult to accept criticism or feedback, operating under the belief that they are beyond reproach.

  • The Dependent Child:

Behary portrays the 'dependent child' as an individual who has developed amidst feelings of insecurity and anxiety, leading them to depend heavily on others for emotional and practical support. This dependency can manifest as struggles with self-esteem, decision-making, and setting personal boundaries, thereby complicating the establishment of healthy balanced relationships. They may also display heightened sensitivity to criticism and emotional regulation difficulties. This type of individual often leans on others to fulfil their needs and substantiate their self-worth, potentially exhibiting clinginess or possessiveness in relationships. They may grapple with guilt or anxiety when attempting to assert themselves due to fears of rejection or abandonment.

  • The Lonely, Deprived Child:

Behary describes the 'lonely deprived child' as an individual who has endured substantial emotional neglect or abandonment in their early years, giving rise to feelings of emptiness and a deep-seated desire for connection and affirmation from others. This history can complicate the formation and sustainability of intimate relationships, leading to feelings of shame, self-doubt, loneliness and insecurity. Individuals who suffered emotional deprivation during childhood may exhibit a constant need for validation and attention, extreme sensitivity to rejection and criticism, and potentially excessive neediness or clinginess in relationships. They may resort to attention-seeking behaviours to secure others' approval and admiration, yet still struggle to forge close, meaningful relationships. Trusting others may be challenging for them, and they may harbour feelings of envy or resentment towards those who enjoy the supportive, close connections they long for.

  • The Spoiled-Dependent:

Behary depicts the 'spoiled-dependent child' as an individual who was raised in an environment of overindulgence, but lacking in emotional nurturing or boundary-setting. Consequently, they develop a sense of entitlement, believing they deserve to have their every need met without effort. This child also learns to manipulate others for their wants and becomes excessively reliant on others for emotional support and validation. A person who was overly pampered as a child can struggle with self-esteem, decision-making, and boundary setting. This often leads to intrusive or demanding behaviour in relationships, making it challenging for them to establish healthy, balanced connections with others. They may also lack empathy, failing to acknowledge or respect the needs and emotions of others. As adults, these individuals may find it difficult to accept responsibility for their actions, and may exhibit resentment or anger when their perceived entitlements are not met.

  • The Deprived-Dependent:

Behary characterises the 'deprived dependent child' as an individual who grew up in an environment where their emotional needs were inconsistently met, cultivating feelings of insecurity and anxiety. These children often had parents who were emotionally distant, neglectful or abusive, leading them to learn self-sufficiency at an early age. However, they might also develop a sense of entitlement, believing others should cater to their needs, leading to dependence in relationships. As adults, they may find it challenging to trust others, and may exhibit anxiety or depression when they feel unsupported or unloved. They may become overly compliant or submissive in relationships, seeking validation and approval from others to fill the emotional void left from childhood. Highly sensitive to rejection and criticism, they may display excessive neediness or clinginess in relationships. They might also resort to attention-seeking behaviours to secure others' approval and admiration, yet still struggle to forge close, meaningful relationships.

Genetics:

Some studies suggest that genetic factors may contribute to the development of NPDHowever, genetics alone are not sufficient to cause NPD and environmental factors also play a significant role. Research has shown that there may be a genetic component to personality traits such as extroversion and neuroticism which are both thought to be associated with NPD. Some research has also suggested that there may be a genetic predisposition to traits such as impulsivity, aggression and difficulty regulating emotions, which may also be associated with NPD. However, even if an individual has a genetic predisposition to these traits, environmental factors such as childhood experiences, family dynamics and socialisation play a significant role in the development of NPD. For example a child who grows up in an environment where their emotional needs are not met or where they are constantly praised and told they are "special," may be more likely to develop NPD regardless of any genetic predisposition they may have.

Childhood trauma:

Experiences of neglect, abuse, or other types of trauma may lead to the development of narcissistic traits as a way to cope with the trauma. Childhood trauma can cause deep-seated emotional wounds that can lead to feelings of insecurity, shame and low self-esteem. These feelings can then fuel the development of narcissistic defences which may include grandiosity, entitlement and a lack of empathy for others. There are many types of childhood trauma that can contribute to the development of NPD including physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect, and other forms of early relational trauma. These experiences can leave children feeling overwhelmed, helpless and unable to trust others which can lead to the development of narcissistic defences as a means of coping with these feelings.  While childhood trauma can be a significant contributing factor in the development of NPD, not all individuals who experience trauma will go on to develop NPD. 

Cultural and social influences:

Certain cultural and societal values that prioritise individualism, competition, and the pursuit of success and status, can create an environment that encourages the development of narcissistic traits and behaviours.​ Cultures and societies that place a high value on individualism and achievement, cultivates individuals to feel pressured to present themselves as confident, successful, and powerful in order to be seen as "successful." This pressure can lead to the development of grandiose self-perceptions and a lack of empathy for others, which are key features of NPD. Additionally, social media and other forms of technology can also contribute to the development of NPD. Social media platforms in particular can create an environment that encourages the development of narcissistic traits, as individuals may feel pressure to present themselves in a certain way and seek validation through likes, comments and followers. 

It's worth noting that not everyone who experiences these factors will develop NPD, and that there is no one definitive cause of NPD. ​

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 Categories

     narcissists

of 

Detecting a narcissist is challenging but they typically display certain patterns of behaviour that if you're aware, can be identified and called out.

Wendy T. Behary, a clinical psychologist specialised in NPD and a published author, has put forth a useful categorisation of Narcissists into four primary subtypes :

The Classic Narcissist:
AKA Grandiose Narcissist or Overt Narcissist 
Characterised by an inflated self-perception, craving for admiration and attention, and an absence of empathy, this subtype of narcissist often exhibits an air of entitlement, expecting special and preferential treatment.

Behary suggests that beneath the bravado and grandiosity of 'the classic narcissist' lies a profound sense of insecurity and vulnerability. They demonstrate a heightened sensitivity to criticism or rejection, often reacting with anger or defensiveness when their self-importance is challenged. Despite the façade of confidence and assurance, they are typically riddled with deep-seated insecurities and emotional fragility.

 
The Vulnerable Narcissist:
AKA Covert Narcissist or Hypersensitive Narcissist 
This subtype of Narcissist is marked by a fragile self-esteem and self-concept, often manifesting as introversion, social awkwardness, or withdrawal. They are hypersensitive to criticism or rejection, tending to resort to passive-aggressive tactics in response to perceived offences. While their behaviours may be more covert or subtle, their deep-seated sense of entitlement and lack of empathy can profoundly affect those around them.

Though they exhibit many traits common to the grandiose narcissist, they are typically more self-critical, filled with self-doubt, and susceptible to feelings of shame and inadequacy. Behary suggests that this type of narcissist often feels unnoticed or invisible, and harbours a deep fear of rejection or abandonment. They grapple with feelings of inferiority or insecurity, which they mask through grandiose fantasies or a sense of entitlement. They display passive-aggressive tendencies such as sulking, silent treatment, or guilt-tripping as a manipulative strategy. Unlike the grandiose narcissist who may adopt an aggressive or confrontational approach, this type is more likely to retreat or withdraw when confronted or criticised. They often suffer from anxiety or depression, and can face challenges in forming deep relationships or maintaining intimacy.


The Amourist Narcissist:
This variety of Narcissist is marked by an emphasis on romantic and sexual pursuits, often employing charm and flattery to secure attention and admiration. They may also exhibit manipulative tendencies and a propensity for unfaithfulness.

Behary describes 'the amourist narcissist' as one consumed by the search for the "ideal" partner who can fulfil their romantic fantasies and provide a constant source of admiration and validation. Typically, they exude charm and seduction, leveraging their sexual magnetism and charisma to draw in others. However, when partners inevitably fall short of their idealised expectations, they often succumb to feelings of disappointment and disillusionment. This type of narcissist struggles with genuine intimacy and vulnerability, often emotionally distancing themselves from their partners. They may exhibit a pattern of infidelity or perpetually seek new partners, continually chasing the thrill and validation of a new romantic conquest.

 
The Toxic Narcissist:
AKA Malignant Narcissist or Pathological Narcissist

This type of Narcissist is typified by their desire for control and dominance, often resorting to hostile or abusive conduct to maintain their authority. They may have endured trauma or abuse in their past, which has fueled their harmful behaviours.

Behary notes that 'toxic narcissists' are typically hyper-reactive, responding forcefully to perceived attacks on their ego or identity. They resort to aggressive or passive-aggressive tactics to manipulate and exert control over others. Highly critical and judgmental, they are simultaneously hypersensitive to any form of criticism aimed at them. They thrive on competition, driven to succeed at any cost, even if it means causing harm to others or disregarding rules. Having no empathy, the toxic narcissist dismisses the feelings or viewpoints of others. They view the world through a binary lens of winners and losers, and feel compelled to dominate or belittle those they deem weaker, less deserving, or simply an obstacle to their goals.

It's important to note that these categories are not mutually exclusive and individuals with NPD may exhibit traits from more than one category. 

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 detecting

narcissist

Identifying a Narcissist can be complex. However, they often exhibit specific behavioural patterns that, when recognised, can be acknowledged and addressed.

Detecting a Narcissist can be an intricate task as they often possess a charismatic and self-assured demeanour that is both alluring and persuasive. They are adept at concealing their true selves, presenting a favourable impression that can deceive even their closest friends or family members.

In the following sections, I delve deeper into the characteristic behavioural patterns and personality traits typically exhibited by an NPD individual that can help you identify and understand this personality type better. It's important to note however, that not every individual with NPD will manifest all these behaviours, and likewise not all individuals who exhibit some of these behaviours necessarily have NPD.


Grandiosity:
A narcissist often manifests an exaggerated sense of self-importance, perceives themselves as extraordinary, or unique and harbours a deep-seated need for admiration and attention. This grandiosity serves as a mechanism to bolster their self-esteem and establish a sense of superiority over others. Grandiose tendencies can manifest in various ways: bragging about their achievements or skills—even if these are overstated or fabricated; seeking admiration and attention from others, often through extravagant gestures or theatrical displays; belittling or disregarding others, particularly those seen as inferior or as a threat to their self-perception; insisting on controlling situations or having the final word; and maintaining a belief that they are exempt from the rules or laws that govern others. For individuals with NPD, their self-image and the perception others have of them is paramount.

No form of empathy:
Narcissists are fundamentally self-focused, with little to no ability to empathise with or tend to the feelings or needs of others. Often, they perceive others as mere objects or tools for their own benefit. Narcissists lack the emotional depth or introspection necessary to genuinely connect with others at an emotional level. They struggle with regulating their emotions, making it challenging for them to understand or respond appropriately to others' feelings. They may either have a narrow range of emotions or experience intense emotions that overshadow their capacity to empathise. Narcissists may consider their needs and desires to be superior to those of others, oblivious to the harm their actions or behaviors might inflict.

Entitlement:
A Narcissist may harbour a sense of entitlement to special treatment or privileges, stemming from their inflated self-perception of importance, uniqueness, or superiority. They may react with anger or resentment when their expectations are not fulfilled. Their sense of entitlement is often underpinned by a lack of empathy, leading to difficulties in understanding or caring about others' feelings or needs. They frequently view others as mere instruments for their own gain, rather than as individuals with their own thoughts, feelings, and aspirations. Additionally, their entitlement may serve as a defence mechanism to shield their fragile self-esteem and evade confronting their own flaws or inadequacies.

Interpersonally exploitative: 
NPD individuals frequently exhibit exploitative behaviour in their interpersonal relationships, rooted in their lack of, or no empathy, and disregard for others' feelings or needs. They often perceive others as mere tools or resources to be exploited for personal advantage. They may seize upon others' vulnerabilities to gain power, control, or personal benefit. This can manifest in various ways, such as financially, emotionally, or sexually exploiting others. Additionally, NPD individuals may manipulate others for personal gain, engaging in dishonest or unethical conduct without considering its impact on others. Their sense of superiority and entitlement may lead them to feel justified in exploiting others. Their unempathetic behaviour and struggle to comprehend or respond to others' emotional needs can hinder the formation of healthy relationships and often results in a pattern of exploitative behaviour.

Gaslight:
This is a psychological manipulation strategy prevalent among Narcissists, aiming to gain control over you by instilling doubt in your memory, perception, or sanity. This tactic, known as gaslighting, can take multiple forms. They might deny events or conversations occurred, even if you have clear evidence suggesting otherwise. They could belittle your feelings, concerns, or experiences, rendering them trivial. They frequently accuse you of the very actions they are guilty of, known as 'projecting', serving to deflect blame and evade accountability. By withholding or selectively presenting information, they manipulate your perception of reality. Additionally, they might attempt to disorient you by changing the subject or diverting the conversation, further enhancing their control.

Interpersonal manipulation:
Narcissists employ a range of manipulation strategies to assert power, control, and seize attention. They're adept at projecting a captivating, charismatic persona to gain your trust and favour. Narcissists are notorious for blame-shifting, adeptly dodging responsibility for their actions and redirecting blame onto you in a manipulative and compelling manner. They resort to emotional manipulation, including guilt-tripping or pity ploys, to bend your actions to their will or to garner sympathy and attention. They might also deploy triangulation, inciting conflict between you and others to stir drama and manipulate outcomes. Narcissists may use affection or attention as bargaining chips, withdrawing them as a form of punishment when you fail to cater to their demands. Lastly, they are known to project their own insecurities and flaws onto you, attempting to convince you that you are the one with the problem.

Fragile self-esteem:
Despite their inflated or grandiose self-perception, individuals with NPD often harbour a fragile sense of self, susceptible to the slightest criticism or rejection due to their deeply-rooted insecurities and hunger for validation and admiration. Consequently, even minor slights or perceived insults can trigger disproportionate reactions of defensiveness, anger, vengeance or injured pride in these individuals. To reinforce their brittle self-esteem, they may resort to boasting, embellishing their achievements, and relentlessly seeking validation and attention. Their fragile ego also renders them ill-equipped to cope with failure or disappointment, viewing any setback as a personal affront to their self-worth. In extreme cases, significant loss of status or adulation may plunge those with NPD into depression or even lead to suicidal tendencies.

Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love:
In essence, Narcissists operate under a constant quest for supremacy and distinction in their endeavours for success, influence, brilliance, and affection. They generally prioritise external validation and acknowledgement, and often resort to rivalry to assert their superiority over others. Narcissists are known to magnify their accomplishments and skills, irrespective of the absence or presence of supporting evidence. They frequently brag about their achievements, educational background or societal status to capture attention and win admiration. They often project themselves as specialists leaders or trailblazers in their respective fields, even claiming unique talents or skills.

Narcissists are innately competitive, willing to go the extra mile to demonstrate their supremacy over others. This could involve belittling others, engaging in a game of topping others' achievements, or striving to excel in diverse facets of life. They have a profound craving for recognition and validation, constantly seeking accolades, praise, and admiration to bolster their self-esteem and solidify their feeling of superiority.

Narcissists frequently harbour unrealistic expectations of grandeur power and love. They might anticipate achieving remarkable success without the requisite effort or feel deserving of preferential treatment and privileges. In romantic relationships, they may demand their partners fulfil their every whim and fantasy without expecting to reciprocate.


Need for excessive Admiration:
A Narcissist often holds a deep-seated desire for recognition and affirmation from others, and may employ elaborate measures to secure it. Those afflicted with NPD commonly exhibit heightened admiration for themselves or others, arising from their perpetual need for validation and endorsement. This overblown admiration can manifest in various ways, such as soliciting attention, appreciation, and laudation from others, or ostentatiously parading their accomplishments and possessions. This conduct is generally a mechanism to sustain their self-esteem and reaffirm their conviction in their own exceptionalism.

Moreover, individuals with NPD may extend excessive admiration towards others whom they view as successful, influential or appealing. This admiration often springs from a wish to align themselves with the success and authority of the person they admire, or to secure their approval and validation.


Boasting about their own accomplishments or possessions, and making comparisons to others in order to highlight their own superiority:
Narcissists often derive a sense of gratification or delight from the failures or misfortunes of others, as it fortifies their own sense of supremacy. They uphold the belief that their uniqueness and exceptionalism can only be appreciated by, or entitle them to affiliate with, other extraordinary individuals or high-status entities. This stems from their inflated self-worth and incessant need for admiration.

NPD individuals typically perceive themselves as superior, attributing to themselves unique qualities or capabilities that set them apart from the rest. They might also harbour the notion that they are entitled to preferential treatment and acknowledgement owing to their perceived superiority.

Moreover they often believe that others are incapable of fully comprehending or appreciating their unique attributes and capabilities. This perception is usually driven by their need to sustain a sense of exceptionalism and to differentiate themselves from those they consider inferior. In certain instances, individuals with NPD might employ this belief as a tool to rationalise their actions or evade critique from others. By casting themselves as extraordinary, they might feel less accountable for their behaviour and less susceptible to feedback or criticism from others.

All these behaviours are rooted in the deep-seated insecurity and perpetual need for validation and admiration that typify NPD. Essentially, this is a mechanism for these individuals to uphold their sense of superiority and distance themselves from those they perceive as inferior or incapable of understanding them.


Envious of others and believes that others are envious of them:
Such a belief can be traced back to their own insecurities and the need to bolster their self-esteem by imagining others to be envious of them. They might also project their own feelings of envy onto others, assuming others must feel the same way they do about their own achievements and status.

When it comes to exhibiting envy towards others, individuals with NPD may engage in behaviors such as dismissing or undermining the successes or accomplishments of others, particularly if they feel that these achievements jeopardise their own sense of self-importance. They might belittle or criticise those who they perceive as less successful or accomplished than they are, using this as a strategy to reinforce their own sense of superiority.

These individuals frequently engage in competition with others to assert their superiority or success, even when such competition is unwarranted or irrelevant. They may brag about their own achievements or possessions, drawing comparisons to others to accentuate their own supremacy. They often experience a sense of satisfaction or pleasure at the failure or setbacks of others as it strengthens their own sense of superiority. 


Shows arrogant, conceited behaviours and attitudes: 
Individuals with NPD often exhibit an arrogance and conceit as a mechanism to fortify their own sense of self-importance and to guard themselves against feelings of vulnerability or inferiority. They frequently belittle or disregard the feelings, opinions, or needs of others, placing their own needs and views on a pedestal. They can also display dismissive attitudes towards feedback or criticism from others.

These individuals harbour an inflated sense of self-importance and tend to magnify their own achievements and capabilities to validate their own sense of supremacy. They may even appropriate the accomplishments of others as their own.

They possess a sense of entitlement to special treatment and privileges, such as immunity from rules or receipt of favoured treatment. They are prone to exhibit anger or displeasure if they do not receive the treatment they believe they deserve. They often demean or criticise others to elevate themselves or to validate their own sense of superiority. They might also engage in a game of topping others' achievements to demonstrate that they are superior or more successful.

They may react defensively or with anger when confronted with criticism, regardless of whether the criticism is constructive or valid, viewing it as a threat to their self-esteem and sense of self-importance.


Need to control and dominate: 
NPD Individuals often manifest a desire for control and dominance, stemming from an amalgamation of personality traits and psychological factors such as an inflated ego, a fear of desertion, and a longing for validation and admiration. Their grandiose self-perception often leads them to regard themselves as superior to others, feeling entitled to dictate the terms in all facets of interpersonal, social, or professional relationships. This tends to morph into controlling, manipulative, and exacting behaviour.

Another contributing factor is the intense fear of abandonment or rejection harboured by those with NPD. In an attempt to shield themselves from vulnerability, they may seek to control the behaviour of others ensuring they remain pivotal in the relationship. This can be expressed through jealousy, possessiveness, emotional and psychological abuse, even physical maltreatment.

Furthermore, those with NPD may instrumentalise others to prop up their own self-esteem. They crave validation and admiration from their surroundings and wield control over relationships to uphold their perceived prestige and power. They often strive to exert an all-powerful role over their partners and children, manipulating and dominating them to cater to their own needs and desires, often at the cost of their partner's or child's welfare and contentment.


Vindictive: 
Narcissists may resort to retribution as a means of safeguarding their self-esteem, asserting their superiority, and penalising those who fail to live up to their expectations. Their self-esteem is often delicate, and they are likely to interpret any critique, rejection, or perceived slights as assaults on their self-worth, sparking intense emotional reactions. As such, they may pursue vengeance as a method to restore their perceived stature and influence.

Moreover, NPD individuals often view others as tools or possessions designed to fulfil their needs. When others fall short of meeting these expectations, they feel justified in administering punishment. They may also regard retaliation as a strategy to regain control and assert their dominance over a situation.

Lastly, Narcissists often grapple with empathy, hindering their ability to comprehend the ramifications of their actions on others. Their tendency to act impulsively and disregard potential outcomes can lead them to seek revenge without consideration for the harm it may inflict.


It's important to recognise that the presence of some of these traits or behaviours doesn't automatically indicate a diagnosis of NPD, as many individuals might display these characteristics to a degree. However, if these behaviors are persistently exhibited and result in substantial distress or dysfunction in relationships or daily activities, it's a strong indication of NPD.

As a personal insight and advice when identifying male individuals with NPD, examining their relationships especially with their mothers and any childhood traumas they might have faced, such as neglect, abuse, or a specific traumatic event, can be revealing. Either one or a combination of both can serve as a
red flag.

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   Managing

                                    a narcissist

You will never be able to change a Narcissist. What you can and will need to change, is how you deal with them. How you react and communicate is key.

The descent into Narcissistic abuse is often a gradual process. The psychological and emotional manipulation, intricately strategised, tends to initially be subtle and stealthy, making it challenging to identify. Over time, however, its severity intensifies progressing from a subtle unease to an unbearable burden. By this stage, you find yourself isolated, entrapped in a cycle of (unconscious) codependency, and plagued by fear as the abuse amplifies. Those closest to the Narcissist - friends and family - may dismiss your experiences. They too have been ensnared by the Narcissist's convincing narrative and public facade, just as you once were. In my experience, it's often the Narcissist's parents who might truly grasp their child's reality. Yet even they may not stand by your side. In some instances, one of them might also display narcissistic tendencies or be a Narcissist themselves.
 
Extricating oneself from a Narcissist's grasp is a daunting task and often comes with significant repercussions. To their distorted perspective, such a move is interpreted as an act of war (loss of their control), provoking them to vow to dismantle you by whatever means necessary. This destructive mission only ceases if you capitulate to their demands — typically your return or continued presence. For those who have managed to break free, the struggle is familiar. The conflict persists, and for many, it feels as though there's no prospect of resolution.
 
Nevertheless, there is a way to minimise the acrimony but the onus lies with you. It's crucial to acknowledge that you'll never be capable of changing them, not even in the slightest, given their typically scant to non-existent self-awareness and empathy, along with their general resistance to change or feedback. What you can modify, is your approach to dealing with them to curtail their impact on you. If you find yourself forced to interact with such a personality type, understanding their mode of operation is fundamental, equipping you to devise strategies to safeguard your mental health and overall well-being. 

Comprehending their behaviour, setting rigid boundaries, refraining from getting entangled in disputes, and maintaining composure are crucial. It's equally vital to foster self-awareness, as this can help you discern and escape unhealthy behavioural and relational patterns. Above all, it's essential not to take anything Narcissists say or do to heart. Remember, this isn't your battle, it's theirs, and it won't cease until they find their next target and the cycle resumes.

Should you find yourself impacted by Narcissistic abuse, whether as a direct victim, as part of an organisation assisting such victims, or even as a Family Lawyer or Law Firm representing clients embroiled in contentious legal family disputes, let's initiate a dialogue!

     I can help

How 

I mentor, advise and coach individuals who are dealing with an NPD partner, ex-partner and co-parent to support them in understanding and managing this complex personality type.

Image by Priscilla Du Preez

Communication 

Engaging in dialogue with a Narcissist proves arduous for their self-centred tendencies, often eclipse any regard for your viewpoint; nonetheless you possess the power to employ strategic methods that pave the way for effective communication in their presence.

Image by Kelly Sikkema

Divorcing

When embarking on the journey of divorcing a Narcissist, equip yourself with knowledge about their behaviours, fortify your defences, and bravely forge ahead, shielded from the storm of acrimony, by steadfastly keeping your gaze fixed on your own needs and aspirations.

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Co-Parenting

Co-parenting with a Narcissist can feel like a marathon, but by employing smart strategies, you can pave the way for a healthier relationship with your child, and transform those hurdles into stepping stones of resilience.

Self-

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Awareness

is key

Cultivating self-awareness is a vital skill for those impacted by NPD individuals, enabling you to understand and navigate the behaviours of the Narcissists in your life.

Self-awareness is a crucial skill for you to cultivate if you're dealing with an NPD individual in your life. It is through your own behavioural understanding and management that you can truly start to comprehend the dynamics of your relationship with the Narcissist. It allows you to identify behavioural patterns during interactions with NPD individuals and observe your emotional responses, triggers, and boundaries, thus facilitating the development of coping strategies.

Victims of NPD frequently grapple with self-doubt and uncertainty, largely due to the Narcissist's manipulative and gaslighting behaviours. However, a heightened sense of self-awareness equips you to counter these tactics more effectively, thus reducing their susceptibility to gaslighting or manipulation. It also empowers you to recognise when the narcissist attempts to deflect blame or responsibility onto you.

Moreover, self-awareness empowers you to take charge of your own healing and recovery process. It enables you to acknowledge the impact of the Narcissist's actions on your life and seek necessary support, therapy and self-care, to mitigate the emotional impact of the relationship.

Understanding the behaviour of someone with NPD can be a challenge, and you may often feel you bear responsibility for relationship issues or even question your sanity. As a coach, I foster self-awareness with a compassionate and empathetic approach, providing a secure environment for you to explore your emotions and feelings.

Encouraging reflection on your emotional responses and reactions to the Narcissist's behaviour forms an integral part of this process. This includes identifying your own behavioural patterns and triggers that could lead to unfavourable interactions with the NPD individual. By becoming more cognisant of your emotional responses and reactions, you can learn to better manage your responses and navigate your relationship with the Narcissist more effectively. 

I assist you in recognising your own strengths and values. As Narcissists frequently attempt to diminish their victims, it's crucial for you to recognise your own worth and build confidence in your abilities. I guide you in establishing healthy boundaries, enabling you to regain control of the relationship, and prevent the Narcissist from exerting manipulation or control. 

Ultimately, self-awareness is a tool that enables you to regain control over your life and make informed decisions. By understanding your own emotions and behaviours, you can interact with the NPD individual in a manner that prioritises your well-being and safety.

                       effective

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communication

build             

Communicating with a Narcissist can be an arduous and often exasperating process. Narcissists hold a profound sense of entitlement, coupled with a conviction of their own superiority, which obstructs their capacity to empathise and heed your needs. They frequently skew discussions to favour their own agendas and can become defensive or irate when met with opposition.

A significant hurdle with engaging in dialogue with a Narcissist lies in their craving for control. They may attempt to monopolise discussions and guide them along their preferred path thus hindering a balanced exchange of thoughts. Their tendency to interrupt, overshadow, or disregard you can be disheartening and obstruct constructive communication.

An additional difficulty arises from their deficiency in empathy, which hampers their ability to actively listen, validate your feelings, or react appropriately. Any expression of disagreement or concern on your part will be met with defensiveness, dismissiveness, or even aggression, leading to further breakdowns in communication.

Narcissists often resort to gaslighting, a tactic that fosters confusion and self-doubt, complicating effective communication. They also grapple with handling criticism or feedback, even when conveyed constructively, and are likely to react defensively or aggressively, obstructing open and candid dialogue.

I'll guide you through some methods to optimise your communication with them. Be concise, factual, and explicit about your needs and anticipations, and utilise simple, clear language, avoiding emotional or irrelevant diversions. When discussing issues with a Narcissist, centre the conversation on tangible facts and evidence, steering clear of emotional arguments or personal interpretations.

Accept that, unfortunately, they will never change their behaviour or validate your viewpoint, as this contradicts their inherent nature. However, by understanding their communication style and tendencies, you can mitigate the influence they exert on you.

Divorcing               

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                                    narcissist

                                  a

Divorce invariably poses a formidable challenge, but the ordeal is exponentially intensified for spouses and children entangled with individuals who have NPD; so be prepared. A central complication in divorcing a person with NPD stems from their propensity to rank their personal needs and desires supremely, even at the expense of their spouse and children. Individuals with NPD have a competitive nature and are disposed to any lengths to emerge "victorious" from a divorce, be it securing sole custody of the children or accruing maximum financial gains. They see it as a game through a binary lens of "winning" or "losing".

It's important to be aware of some common patterns of behaviour that Narcissists tend to exhibit during the divorce process and to take steps to protect yourself. Above all, stay focused on your own needs and priorities, and don't let their behaviour distract you from your goals - you will get through this.

Expect them to deploy their most potent weapon, manipulation, employing various tactics to achieve their objectives. They might resort to guilt-tripping, emotional coercion, or spurious promises to gain an edge in the divorce proceedings. There might be attempts to gaslight you, causing you to question your own recollections or perceptions, or persuade you that you're overreacting or being irrational. This form of manipulation can be especially detrimental, leaving you feeling bewildered and disoriented.

They often struggle with acknowledging their own faults, usually shifting blame onto you or others. You might find yourself accused of being the sole instigator of the divorce or made to feel guilty for desiring to part ways. They'll position themselves as the victims of the divorce, likely soliciting pity and empathy from others.

There will be attempts to assert control over the divorce process by imposing conditions and rejecting compromise, even when it's counterproductive to their interests. They'll likely try to twist the divorce proceedings to their advantage through false claims or emotional manipulation. Often, they will resort to legal tactics, threats, or even outright refusal to comply with the process.

Bear in mind that Narcissists characteristically lack empathy, and they will neither comprehend nor care about your emotions during the divorce. Their primary focus is on 'victory', and they will resort to any means to achieve that. They might exploit your emotions, dismiss your needs, or neglect your concerns. If children are involved, they will unfortunately become a bargaining chip, even if it means acting against the children's best interests.

Dissolving a marriage with a Narcissist can be an overwhelming process, consuming your time and energy as if it were a full-time job. That's why it's crucial to understand their modus operandi and anticipate what's to come, preparing yourself practically, psychologically, and emotionally. Accept that it will be a challenging journey, but with the right support (and legal representation) you can navigate through it successfully.

co-parenting 

with a              

                             narcissist

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Co-parenting with a Narcissist may feel akin to an unachievable task. As someone who has personally navigated this terrain, I've witnessed a spectrum of tactics, from child manipulation and deception to co-dependent parenting, over-idealisation, leveraging, and scheming. Balance is a foreign concept to them and does not exist in their world; their affection can be overwhelmingly excessive or noticeably scarce. Yet, by prioritising your child's well-being and establishing firm boundaries, it's possible to cultivate a healthier, albeit far from perfect, co-parenting dynamic. Implementing the right strategies can help mitigate conflict and maintain a positive relationship with your child, despite the challenging circumstances.

Creating a comprehensive and meticulous parenting plan is crucial, ensuring every decision made is well-documented from scheduled handovers, phone calls, holiday arrangements, to financial responsibilities.

I will guide you in setting firm boundaries, which might require confining communication to written forms such as emails or texts, and deliberately avoiding personal or emotional topics. Remember, Narcissists feed off drama and conflict, which you tend avoid (and they know it), so it's key to stay composed during interactions with them. Together, we will explore techniques to prevent getting pulled into disputes or emotional eruptions, enabling you to concentrate on the immediate goal.

I recommend maintaining a detailed record of all communication and interactions, like emails, texts, and phone calls. This can assist in highlighting behavioural patterns and may provide necessary evidence if required in the future.

Keeping your child's needs and interests at the forefront is paramount. Try to set aside personal emotions and disputes. Refrain from making disparaging comments about the NPD parent or manipulating your child against them, something they will attempt to do. When your child inquires about the situation or the Narcissist parent, it's essential to be truthful without delving into specific details.

Understanding the Narcissist's mindset and tactics will enable you to comprehend their modus operandi and help prevent their personal attacks from affecting you. It will become evident that their words reflect more about them than you, a clear sign of their constant projection. They rely on others' perceptions for their self-esteem and self-worth, habitually denying their own flaws and attributing their shortcomings, mistakes, and unfortunate situations to others.

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Virginie E., FRance

Due to her experience and her remarkable human qualities Kelly understood very well the situation I am experiencing and her support is very precious to me. She is very attentive and knows how to find the words while helping and guiding me to find the keys that allow me to react better and ask myself the right questions. Very human and incredibly strong and positive she is one of those inspiring people able to communicate their strength and courage.
I am very lucky to be coached by her thank you Kelly for your support!
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