When you think of the word "boundary," what do you think of? Do you think of a fence bordering your yard? Do you think of the border between states or countries? What about personal boundaries?
While the word can be used in the above instances, for the sake of this post, I will solely speak of personal boundaries.
Setting boundaries with a Narcissist is difficult at best. Personal boundaries are invisible, so that's why they're easier to cross. A Narc has a complete lack of respect for the boundaries that others have. Narcs feel that everyone is supposed to please and serve them. When someone tells them differently, they simply ignore the request. The Narc is only thinking of himself and his unquenchable thirst for attention.
If you don't have children with your NX, it is highly suggested to go completely no contact. That means, no phone calls, emails, texts, social media messaging. Nothing.
However, if you are like me and have children with the Narc, going no contact is not possible. In that case, I suggest the following:
1. Keep phone discussions to just the children. If he strays, calmly bring the conversation back to the children.
2. If you feel phone conversations won't work, you can keep correspondence to just emails. That way, if he strays from the topic of the children, you can elect to respond to the parts of the email that does refer to the children.
3. When you deal with the Narc during a visitation, again, just keep conversations to just regarding the children. Keep your answers short and to the point. And don't freely give any additional information. The Narc is NOT your friend.
No matter what, always keep in mind that the Narc will go to great lengths to get you to engage with him on topics not having to deal with the children.
Case in point: A few months ago, my NX called me at nearly 10pm one night. (This is in and of itself another broken boundary! I've told him time and time again to not call late.) I had just booked my flights to see my children this year. He called under the guise of discussing the kids' likes and dislikes. Ok, fine.
However.......he weaseled in other topics, ranging from how his brother was diagnosed with cancer (I believe it was thyroid), to him wanting to know about my father's health!! The latter was particularly odd because he's always made it clear of the intense hatred he has for my dad.
Do NOT engage with him on any other topic besides the children. I learned the hard way.
So how do you respond to the Narc? I filter his emails into a separate folder (so I don't have to see them right away). Scan through the email and only reply to relevant parts. For a while, I would forward my NX's emails to my dad to have him help me calmly respond. It took a while, but I learned my dad's style of responding and I began to channel my dad when replying to my NX.
No matter what, it is imperative that you respond in a calm manner. If your NX attempts to draw you in with negative topics, respond as emotion-less as possible. With my NX, I've learned to say things like, "Your attempt to paint me in a bad light is noted." The Narc will HATE that he will not get the reaction out of you that he wants.
It is also vital that you stick to your boundaries. Have you ever heard of the saying "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile"? That's exactly what a Narc will do. So, stick to your set boundaries and you'll be on your way to healing and recovery.
What boundaries have you held with the Narc in your life? Have you had difficulty in maintaining the boundaries? And as always, I appreciate you sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.