If you’re like me, you find it impossible to deal with narcissists.

They won’t listen, they only care about themselves and they won’t hesitate to manipulate you to get what they want.

It can be tiring to deal with, yet many of us are forced to on a regular basis.

It doesn’t help that research has shown that we are currently experiencing a narcissism epidemic.

So, if you’re looking to defend yourself from these soul sucking vampires, keep reading.

First, what is narcissism?

People often view narcissists as a person that’s in love with themselves. But according to psychology, this isn’t exactly the case.

Instead, a pathological narcissist is someone who’s in love with an idealized self-image, which they project to avoid their real wounded, self.

They don’t particularly care for anyone else but themselves. They’ll manipulate, lie and do whatever they can to protect their “self-image”.

So, how do you know if you’re dealing with a narcissist? According to Psychology Today, these are the 10 tell-tale signs.

1) Conversation Hoarder

It’s not an even conversation when you’re talking with a narcissist. You won’t be listened to, and you’ll find it hard to get your opinions across.

If you do manage to get your opinions across, they’ll criticize or dismiss them.

2) Conversation interrupter

They’ll get bored when talking about you, and will try to switch the conversation back on themselves.

3) Rule beaker

They enjoy breaking common, courtesy rules. A simple example is cutting in line at the supermarket.

Getting themselves ahead at the expensive of others gets their juices flowing.

4) Boundary Violator

They don’t consider other people’s thoughts and feelings. This causes them to break promises repeatedly and show little respect for others.

5) False Image Projection

They’ll do anything to make themselves look better to others, even if it really isn’t them. They’ll use objects, status and accomplishments to define themselves.

These symbols replace the injured, real self.

6) Entitlement

They expect more than what they deserve. The world revolves around them.

7) Charmer

They can be charismatic when they can use you to boost their own self-esteem. They’ll make you feel special if they’re thriving off your gratification.

But once they lose interest, they’ll be gone without a second thought of you how you feel. 

8) Grandiose Personality

They think they’re better than they are. They have an extremely exaggerated sense of self-importance.

9) Negative emotions

They thrive off arousing negative emotions, in themselves and others. They’ll throw a hissy fit when things don’t get their way, which actually gets them energized. They also enjoy making others feel inferior.

10) Manipulation

They’ll do whatever they can to get what they want. They don’t have a regard for other’s feelings and will use you to help themselves.

How to actually deal with a narcissist

So now you know when you’re dealing with a narcissist, let’s get into the nitty gritty: 5 tips to dealing with them. 

1) Short answer: Avoid them

I know, this wasn’t what you were expecting for the first solution.

But the truth is, real narcissists are terrible to deal with and they won’t care about you.

If you think you’re good enough to “change them”, you’ll be in for a tough road ahead. Narcissism is a personality trait that can extremely difficult to change.

Sometimes the only way to win a game is not to play.

But I also realize that many of us are forced to deal with narcissists on a regular basis, so if that’s you, move on to the following tips….

2) Kiss up or shut up

Yep, this isn’t going to popular either. But if you’re dealing with a narcissist who is in a more powerful position than you are (you’re boss), it might be best to keep your mouth shut until you can get out of there.

Unfortunately, if you want to get along with a narcissist because they’re your boss, then the most effective way to communicate with them is to admire them and their achievements.

This won’t require much effort. They’ll be more than happy to make it easy for you.

Pointing out that they aren’t as good as they think they are would be like unleashing a bomb. They’ll degrade you and make your life miserable.

So, if you’re in the lower position of power, you’ll have to respect them. Don’t act weak, because they’ll walk all over you. Instead, respect them, but hold your ground.  

3) Know what you want

If you’re in a negotiation with a narcissist, you need to know what you want (they will, trust me).

And never trust their promises. You need to witness them taking action, because otherwise they won’t live up to it.

It’s kind of like having a pet tiger. You always have to be careful that one day he will see you as dinner. So you need to negotiate hard.

Only reward action and never words.

Narcissists can be worked with. They always want something. If you can work out what that is, you’ll put yourself in a powerful position.

You just need to make sure that what you want is covered, too.

4) Ask them, ‘what would people think?’

Narcissists care how other people view them. It’s all about their reputation and appearance.

If you want them to take action, ask probing questions that will reveal how it will make them look to others.

If not doing something will make their reputation look bad, make sure they understand that.

Everything for a narcissist is about their appearance and you use that to get what you want. 

5) What if you’re the narcissists?

We all have narcissistic traits. But as we can see from this article, it won’t lead to long-term happiness or success.

So if you want to make sure you don’t become one, there’s one thing you need to remember: Always have empathy for others.

Stop feeding the ego with focusing on yourself too much. Try not to be too concerned with your reputation and self-serving agendas.

Instead, focus on how you can do good for others. It’ll make you feel happiness and you’ll probably look better to everyone else, anyway.