Living with a family member who acts in ways we might call ‘narcissistic’ can be challenging. That means they often think much about themselves and not as much about others. It can feel tricky, but there are ways families can learn to cope or deal with this.

One way families cope is by using something called ‘therapy for mental health.’ It is a special kind of help from experts who know much about feelings and behaviour. Therapy can teach us why people act as they do and give us tools to handle these situations better. There are also other common ways families handle living with a narcissistic member; we will look at 7 of them.


Understanding the Behaviour of Narcissistic Family Members

First, it’s vital to know what narcissism means. Imagine if someone only liked to talk about themselves and didn’t care much about others’ feelings or ideas. That’s a bit like narcissism. When you understand this, you can realize it’s not your fault if they’re not listening well or seem selfish. It’s just how they are, like how some people are good at drawing, and others aren’t.

Setting Boundaries with Narcissistic Family Members

Just like you need personal space around you, you also need personal space in your feelings. That’s called setting boundaries. If a family member is always talking about themselves and not letting you share, you can politely tell them you’d like to share too. It’s like saying, “Your turn is over; now it’s my turn.”

Keeping Your Cool Around Narcissistic Family Members

Sometimes, dealing with narcissistic family members might make you upset or frustrated. It’s like when someone takes the biggest piece of cake every time. The trick here is to keep your cool. Take deep breaths and try to stay calm, just like you would if you’re trying to finish a difficult puzzle.

Finding Support Outside the Family

It’s okay to look for support outside your family. If a family member’s selfish behaviour upsets you, talking to a trusted friend, teacher, or counsellor can help. It’s like when you’re stuck on a tough homework problem. Sometimes asking someone else can give you a fresh perspective.

Practising Self-Care and Self-Love

It’s essential to love and care for yourself, even if a family member isn’t always kind to you. Doing things you love, like reading your favourite book or playing your favourite game, can make you feel better. It’s like putting on a warm sweater when you’re feeling cold.

Not Taking Narcissistic Behaviour Personally

Remember, a selfish person’s behaviour is about them, not you. It doesn’t mean they aren’t essential if they don’t pay attention to your feelings. The sun doesn’t stop shining because someone refuses to open their curtains.

Seeking Professional Help When Needed

Sometimes, dealing with narcissistic family members can be tough, just like a difficult math problem. In those times, it’s okay to ask for help from a therapist or counsellor. They’re like tutors but for feelings. They can give you more tips and tools for cope.

Conclusion: Every Family Deserves Peace

Dealing with a self-centred family member is rigid. The strategies mentioned can help but remember that each situation is different. What works for one family may not work for another.

If someone in your family is self-centred and causing problems, don’t be afraid to seek assistance. The Mississauga Counselling Centre can help you. Make sure to take care of your feelings. Begin today, plan, use these methods, and aim for a healthier and happier family life.