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  • Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, Ph.D., N.C.C., D.C.M.H.S., L.M.H.C.,

How Narcissists Impact Your Daily Life

Understanding and coping with toxic behavior.

How Narcissists Impact Your Daily Life

  • Dealing with a narcissist can be emotionally draining and frustrating and can negatively impact your health.

  • Limit interactions with a narcissist whenever possible and prioritize self-care.

  • Remind yourself that you are not responsible for the narcissist's behavior or emotions.

Recognizing Narcissistic Behavior

Narcissists have an overwhelming need for admiration and validation, constantly seeking attention and recognition for their achievements, real or perceived. They often lack empathy, disregarding the feelings and needs of others in pursuit of their goals and desires. Additionally, narcissists tend to have a grandiose sense of self-importance, believing they are superior to others and deserving of special treatment. They demand “loyalty” from others but don’t give it in return. The narcissist’s version of loyalty means you give in to their demands, focus all your attention on them, and don’t set boundaries with them. Even if you give a narcissist your undivided attention, it still won’t be enough attention for them. For this reason, narcissists tend to engage in infidelity, sometimes with multiple partners.

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The Toll on Relationships

Whether it's a personal or professional relationship, dealing with a narcissist can be emotionally draining and frustrating. In personal relationships, narcissists tend to manipulate and exploit their partners, using them as a means to boost their ego and fulfill their endless ego needs. They may also gaslight, making their partners doubt their perceptions and reality. If you are told that you are crazy and shouldn’t trust your perceptions, it is more likely that you will become more dependent on the narcissist for their version of reality.

In the workplace, narcissists can create a toxic environment filled with pathological competition, manipulation, and favoritism. They may take credit for others' work, undermine their colleagues, and develop a culture of fear and insecurity. This behavior affects the morale and productivity of the team and can lead to high turnover and employee burnout.

Impact on Your Emotional and Mental Health

The narcissist’s constant need for validation and admiration can take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being. You may experience feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression as you struggle to meet the unrealistic expectations of a narcissist. The lack of empathy and emotional support from a narcissist can make you feel isolated and emotionally drained. You may notice an increase in health issues, such as migraines, insomnia, and irritable bowel syndrome, as a result of increased stress.

Having a narcissist in your life can lead to a cycle of emotional abuse, where you are manipulated, gaslit, and made to feel responsible for the narcissist's emotions and actions. You can experience low self-esteem, self-doubt, and difficulty trusting others in future relationships.

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Coping Strategies

While dealing with narcissists can be challenging, some strategies can help decrease the impact of narcissism on your daily life:

  • Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries and communicate your needs assertively. Be aware that narcissists will usually respond to boundaries with anger or stonewalling (ignoring you). Limit interactions with the narcissist when possible and prioritize self-care. Going no-contact is the most effective strategy for reducing the impact of narcissism on your life. If you can’t go for no-contact—for example, because you have children together—consider going for low-contact. When you go low-contact, if you do have to see the narcissist, it is for a brief period.

  • Seek support: Contact trusted friends, family members, or a mental health professional for support and validation. Talking to others can help validate your experiences and provide perspective. You may feel that no one will believe what you have been through with the narcissist, especially since some of the narcissist’s behavior is so outlandish. Thinking that you won’t be believed is common when you are the victim of a narcissist. The narcissist may have even told you no one will believe you. Many others have experienced what you have and can help you process the trauma you have experienced.

  • Practice self-compassion: Remind yourself that you are not responsible for the narcissist's behavior or emotions. The narcissist may have told you everything was your fault. This claim is false and was used by the narcissist to isolate you and guilt and shame you. Practice self-compassion by treating yourself as if you were your own best friend. Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Determining what brings you joy and fulfillment is up to you and only you.

  • Focus on empowerment: Shift your focus from trying to change the narcissist to empowering yourself. You can’t change a narcissist. First, people have to want to get help to change, whether they are narcissists or not. Keep your focus on you and your well-being. Set goals, pursue your interests, and build a support network of positive relationships. Try to keep as much distance from you and the narcissist as possible.

  • Consider professional help: If the impact of dealing with a narcissist becomes overwhelming, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. They can provide guidance and support in navigating complicated relationships and developing coping strategies.

Houston How Narcissists Impact Your Daily Life Appointment

Understanding the impact of narcissists on daily life is crucial for maintaining mental and emotional well-being. By recognizing narcissistic behavior, setting boundaries, seeking support, limiting contact with toxic people, and prioritizing self-care, you can decrease the adverse effects of toxic people around you and regain a sense of empowerment in your relationships and daily interactions.

Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, Ph.D., N.C.C., D.C.M.H.S., L.M.H.C., - Website -


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