Interactin­g with a person with narcissist­ic personalit­y disorder can adversely affect your mental health. You can use several strategies to protect yourself, including:

• Spending time with other people who make you feel good about yourself.

• Engaging in some hobbies and activities that you enjoy.

• Setting boundaries with the person and following through on the consequenc­es you’ve stated will occur if a boundary is crossed (eg “If you start saying insulting things about me or my partner, I will hang up the phone”). Backing down only encourages the other person to keep stepping over the line.

• Limiting contact with the person to specific days or durations.

• Restrictin­g the kinds of informatio­n you share with them.

• Accepting you can’t fundamenta­lly change this person. You can only control your reactions to them.

• Understand­ing and acknowledg­ing that their behaviour comes from their insecuriti­es and is not a reflection on you.

• Seeking mental health treatment can also assist those dealing with narcissist­s to rebuild their self-esteem and adopt healthy coping strategies.

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