5 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Dealing with Narcissists

5 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Dealing with Narcissists 5 critical mistakes to avoid when dealing with narcissists
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When you are in the company of a narcissist, it can be quite easy to unintentionally make mistakes that increase their power over you. Their manipulations have the power to undermine your self-worth, cause you to cross your boundaries, and unknowingly enable their destructive behaviour — all while giving the impression that you are “managing” the issue.

You can be aggravating the narcissist’s issue when you attempt to “handle” or deal with them. That’s why you’ve got to be aware of some of the critical mistakes or traps you may be falling into so as to free yourself from the narcissist’s hold. These mistakes are not designed to make you feel inadequate; rather, they are intended to highlight areas in which you might improve when it comes to dealing with someone who’s made your life difficult. These can be applied when dealing with difficult people in your life, whether it’s your partner, boss, friends, children, or anyone else you interact with frequently. So, what are some of the common mistakes we make when dealing with narcissist?

Begging for Responsibility

The first and common one is begging them to take ownership of their behaviours and actions. It’s a very primal instinct to want them to feel sorry for themselves or to realize the suffering they’ve caused in your life. You may also be hoping that they may have that lightbulb moment where they just accept responsibility. The unfortunate reality is that narcissists are unable to take meaningful responsibility for their acts and do so consistently. This is because doing so would mean admitting mistakes, which doesn’t fit their facade of ‘flawlessness.


Their entire modus operandi revolves around minimizing, lying, and flat-out rejecting your reality in order to escape taking accountability. You are thus simply providing them with more fire to keep you caught in the cycle of idealization and devaluation each time you seek for accountability or understanding. It’s just another ploy to manipulate you, even though they might pretend to be sorry or appear to understand for a short while.

The only solution is for you to take full ownership of what you need to do to keep yourself safe, no matter how difficult it may seem.

Reaching a Compromise or Engaging in Negotiation

Another common mistake is struggling to come to a peaceful arrangement with the narcissist by bargaining, compromising, or negotiating. This may occur when you’re seeking a fair trial or arrangement, such as in divorce proceedings or business deals. Narcs are incapable of honouring any commitment that does not benefit them personally or which makes them feel like you’re getting a better deal or winning. They will not really honour their end of the bargain and may even act as if they forgot about it when you corner them. Any deals they make may also be swiftly twisted to suit their needs and keep them in that position of power and superiority.

Also, every time you bargain from a place of fear, desperation, or scarcity in an attempt to “keep things calm,” you are showing the narcissist your willingness to give in and compromise. They lack the necessary empathy to respect your demands and boundaries in a humane manner. Negotiation is only a stopgap measure for them as they get ready to take advantage of you once again.

Overexplaining Everything

Another mistake is constantly explaining yourself to them. You might try to make them understand your boundaries, emotions, reasoning, perspectives, or even help them understand something that would benefit them.

For example, when you’re in a co-parenting arrangement with them and you suggest enrolling the kids in summer camp to give the other narcissistic parent some time for themselves over the summer, they may outrightly brush it off, even when it benefits them.

They don’t care enough to change their perspective, even when they already ‘understand’ everything and how it benefits. They don’t want to see you as the decision maker or as that person who comes up with solution as it will undermine their sense of superiority.

In order to maintain their power over you and put you on the defensive, narcissists force you to listen to their endless justifications and detailed backstories which don’t even make sense at all. However, no matter how much you clarify, they will not suddenly “get it” and follow along with your suggestions. Your explanations and justifications could even backfire on you, or the narcissist might choose to simply disregard them.

Getting In touch with them with Hopes for Reconciliation

Getting in touch with them with hopes for reconciliation is another critical blunder, especially after being in a relationship with them. You might reach out, hoping they’ve changed their behaviour. Perhaps you heard they got depressed after you left, joined a spiritual group, or started therapy. This may tempt your unhealed self to reach out, hoping for reconciliation and a return to the love-bombing phase. You might even brush off the past issues as merely communication problems (quite a common ‘excuse the minds as the main cause of relationship problems) and believe you can make things right now.

But here’s the thing, it’s all self-deception and your mind is simply playing tricks on you. Your mind is just craving the familiar environment, nothing more. No matter how much you insist, narcissists can’t change without doing the necessary work, which is something you can’t control.

Trying to Prove Yourself

The last mistake we may definitely make when dealing with a narcissist is trying to prove ourselves to them. This mostly even applies to your parents as well. As twisted as it seems, they are the ones who made you feel unworthy and undeserving in life. Instead of trying to find yourself, your mind weirdly wants you to prove to them that you’re worthy, that you’re not a failure, or that you can succeed in life.

They reinforced those negative beliefs about yourself, only for those beliefs to nudge you to prove a point, which simply means you’re living by the beliefs you picked up from them. They made you doubt your abilities, so as compensation, you may try to prove how honest and successful you are. You may overwork or jump into a relationship just to show them you still have what it takes or to prove them wrong. The crazy thing is by trying to prove yourself to them, you’re unconsciously ‘allowing’ the negative beliefs which need to be dissolved to run your present life.

The Ultimate Antidote: Radical Self-Responsibility

Dealing with a narcissist or even any difficult person in life is not easy. While understanding some of the mistakes or blunders we make may make things a little bit easy for us, it is not the ultimate antidote. The ultimate solution is to actually deal with yourself in a holistic way. You’ve got to address your negative beliefs, your weaknesses and all those aspects that make you reliant on them, and take full ownership of your journey, no matter how difficult it may be.

This means prioritizing your safety above all else and, whenever possible, keeping your distance from them as much as you can. You’ve got to remind yourself that your value transcends what their distorted perceptions can ever hope to deny. You have that power, and while you may think they’ve rendered you powerless, there is still that fire in you to take care of yourself. It’s just been clouded, but it’s still there.

Watch out for those mistakes and always strive to break free, even when your chances may seem or be close to 0%. You’ve got this. Here to cheer you on

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.


1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=402F9RXzoB0

2. https://survivingnarcissism.tv/7-mistakes-that-will-get-you-into-trouble-with-a-narcissist-every-single-time/

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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