Sharing my personal strategies for maintaining clarity right now (I am witnessing a lot of others succumbing to panic, and I am hoping to help you pull out of it). If you have never dealt with a narcissist before, it can be really disorienting. I’m sure many of you could chime in here, but these are ways that I have been able to climb out of the fog of being manipulated and emotionally wrecked by my father. It’s not that I am happy; it’s just that I am able to compartmentalize and focus on my own well-being. I realized I have been using these strategies with Trump, and the key is you have to internalize all of these as absolute, unequivocal truths.
Worth noting I’m not going to diagnose Trump as anything, but just that he acts like a narcissist and these are my ways of handling someone who acts like a narcissist.
- Do not ever expect him to do the right thing. Do not wait for it. Do not ask for it, do not fight for it. Do not waste your time demanding it from him. Pursue outside sources to get what you need. Tell yourself now, that you will never, EVER get the right thing out of him.
- If he ever does appear to do the right thing, it is ALWAYS going to be for his own self-interest. Never, ever question his motives. No “a broken clock is right twice”-isms, nothing.
- Assume he’s lying, until you verify from your own eyes or a trusted source that it’s true. Always. No benefit of the doubt about anything.
- When he does one good thing, tells one truth, does anything that gives you optimism, be grateful for it, consider it an isolated incident, and move on with the same vigilance you had before. It’s not part of a pattern. Get what you can. Use him when he lets you. He will not change and he didn’t do it for you.
- Furthermore, he does not get to invoke that one good thing later when defending himself. The one thing he did does not negate the bad.
- Believe your instincts. Listen to your senses. Do not believe him and others when they tell you the things you know are true - the things you’ve seen with your eyes that you feel in your heart - are wrong.
- He is a manipulator and others have been manipulated. Pity them, hate them, whatever helps, but don’t wait for them to come around. Don’t waste your energy on them. They’re going to have to wake up on their own, and you’ll just need to be there to welcome them into your movement, setting your example. These people are like your sibling, sympathetic to your abusive parent.
- You cannot shame a narcissist, and you cannot appeal to their human sense of empathy. They have neither of these characteristics. You can humiliate, emasculate, and anger them, but you’ll never make them feel an emotion that causes inward reflection.
- They will hang onto their “side” of the story until they die. They will always believe that you would approve of them if you understood where they were coming from. The problem is that their FEELINGS are ultimate truths to them, not just feelings. So when you don’t agree with your feelings, you are disputing something they view as a universal fact.
- The narcissist should not exert authority over your life in any capacity. Operate outside the bounds of the power structure he sets up. Become as independent as you can, and do not bring him along - not his advice, not his wishes, not his rules. Obviously, with a president, this is really, really hard. States’ rights, anyone?? Ha ha ha. :( :( :(
I have used all these in a zero tolerance capacity, and I do feel this has helped me to maintain some clarity (even though I’m devastated).