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.