Narcissism is a term that is often used in a casual way to refer to someone who is self-centered and challenging. Psychological experts tell you to minimize contact with someone who is narcissistic, but what do you do when that is not possible? What do you do when it is your sibling? What do you do when you are tasked with the care of a parent, and the person that you have to interact with is a narcissist? The easier yet harder thing to do is to have no contact, but what about your parent? What do you do?
8 Way to Deal With a Narcissistic Sibling
- Set clear and definite boundaries. Expect that the narcissistic sibling will not like this, and will create problems for which you will be blamed. Remember that it is never the fault of the narcissist. It will always be your fault. This is tough to handle.
- Minimize contact, which does not mean no contact unfortunately. Create opportunities for you to support and interact with your parent which minimizes contact with the sibling.
- Communicate in writing. Not by text, as details are difficult to convey. Utilize email to outline your concerns and how you are going to address them. A phone call may be easier, but remember that this is an opportunity for the individual to lash out and ‘peel a strip off you’ when you least expect it.
- Attempt to leave your parent out of the conflict. If you are at a point when you need to provide care, the last thing the parent needs to hear is about the conflict which by the way is unsolvable between you and the narcissist. Remember you will always be wrong and the narcissist will never accept responsibility.
- Encourage your parent to outline in writing what their wishes are and how they would like to be taken care of in their remaining days. Expect that the narcissist will ignore these instructions and do whatever they want. Do not trust a narcissist.
- Be prepared to be hurt by your sibling and for them to manipulate the parent into doing the unimaginable.
- Remember that you love your parent. Try to not let the narcissist impact the relationship you have with your parent. They will try. It will be hard.
- Take the high road when dealing with a narcissistic sibling. This is easier said than done. At the end of the day you want to be able to look in the mirror and know that you did your best.
When your parent is gone, cut your losses. A relationship with a narcissist is not possible. It will always be about them. You will always be wrong. Seek out relationships with people in your life that love and respect you.
Listening. Guiding. Caring.