Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode · 3 months ago

5 Ways to Survive Narcissistic In-Laws

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It was a second marriage for Clark and Claudia so they were both prepared for a difficult first couple of years as they blended their families together. But what they did not expect was the added difficulty of Clark’s parents. He knew that they were narcissistic and even prepared Claudia for their limited encounters. However, the holidays brought out an intensity that Clark did not expect. It also was Clark’s birthday and his mother invited them by saying, “Only I know how to properly celebrate our special day.” The passive-aggressive comment was just the beginning of the strange behavior.

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...some abuses dangerously obvious. Whileother types of abuse creep into our family DNA in covert ways, keepingfamily secrets, intimidation, the silent treatment and cyber bullying arejust a few examples of the many forms of abuse with troubling outcomes. Oftenvictims ask why did this happen to me or what can I do while abusers willexcuse their behavior, asking why do you make me do this, victims andabusers can rewrite their stories, improve their relationships and breakthe cycle for their future generations. In Christine Hammond's latest book,abuse exposed, you will learn the wide range of types of abuse, both overt andcovert the generational links to abuse, what to do before, during and afterabuse, how to confront your abuser, how to talk to a victim of rape, findingforgiveness despite the pain, how to rewrite your story and avoid futureproblems and much much more. Look for...

Christine Hammond's latest book abuseexposed now available on amazon. This is understanding today's Narcissistbrought to you in part by psych central dot com and now here's your host,Christine Hammond, welcome back. So today we're going to talk about how tohandle your narcissistic grandparent and I'm going to assume in this casethat it's not your parent that we're talking about. But instead that we'regonna be talking about your in laws that are the narcissistic ones. And soagain, I got an email from one of the listeners asking me for some advice onhow to handle um narcissistic in laws.

Um and she was struggling with us andhow to deal with some scenarios in the household such as showing up to thehouse when told not to, how to protect the Children from abuse and having somemajor triggering anxiety. So let me go over all three of those areas and seeif this can be helpful. So let's talk about the scenario a little bit. Now,unfortunately if you are in a situation where you're married to someone andtheir parents are narcissistic, your spouse may or may not realize that andthat becomes the problem. Right? So part of what you have to start off withis educating your spouse to make sure that they understand that the behaviorthat the parents are displaying is not appropriate. This may take some doing,it's not necessarily an easy thing to...

...accomplish mostly because your spouseis probably accustomed already to the behavior and doesn't think thatanything is out of line or out of the ordinary. So what you might have toincorporate in order to help them understand is other people into theequation meaning like friends, parents that perhaps don't do the same behavior.Your parents hopefully don't do the same behavior so that there's at leastsomething to look at it and say, oh wow. So not everybody has parents forinstance that show up without asking and just demand to be taken care of andserved. So the first step in all of this is to educate your spouse so thatthey understand that there's something off about this and not quite right.Once you have educated the spouse, the next step in the process then is let'swork through the scenario. How do you...

...handle situations when things come upand what I would suggest that you do is kind of go backwards in time and say,here's all the things that I have found that are hugely problematic and um andsit down with a spouse and then show and then to have a conversation withthem about like how for instance showing up to our house was withoutwithout without any kind of permission or heads up or showing up to the housewhen said no like that. Today is not a good day is not an okay thing to do. Sousing that as an example, then you can start the process of having adiscussion with your spouse. Again, this is not with your narcissistic inlaws yet of okay, how are we going to handle this scenario? Because ifthey've done it in the past they're going to do it again in the future. Andwhat does that look like? My biggest suggestion when you're handling this isthat everybody should deal with their own parents in other words, even thoughyour they're your in laws, it is not...

...best if the no is coming from you, itis best when the no is coming from your spouse and it's going directly to theirparents. So try to like help your spouse to be able to say no, and theneven if they are saying no and the parents are still doing it, then youhave to have a plan in place as to exactly how you're going to handle that.And it may mean things as drastic as not even letting them in the front door,not answering the door, you can call them on their cell phone and say, youknow, we have plans, we have other things that are going on, it's not okaythat you're here, like we're already busy doing something else um if theyinsist they have something to leave, ask them to leave it at the door. Um So,so there are ways of handling it, but do not let them in the house if youhave said no, and they come into the house, well then they're just going tokeep doing that over and over and over...

...again because they don't think that youactually have a boundary that you're going to stick to. So it's imperativethat you actually stand the line and hold on to that. Um So that when youset a boundary with them that you are actually going to follow through withit. So that is the first, that's the first little scenario um that we talkedabout, So go back over with your spouse and we live scenarios that wereproblematic and come up with a strategy for how to handle it going forward. Asa side little note, I want to say this to you, your spouse has not gottenaccustomed yet to standing up for themselves to their narcissisticparents and it's going to be a long journey for them. So I would encourageyou to get your spouse some help along the way, whether it's throughcounseling or whether it's a supportive friend, um, so that they can see that,that what their parents are doing is...

...not appropriate and not okay, but it'sstill gonna take a while for your spouse to really believe that andabsorb it, okay. Once they have done that, then it will be a lot easier to,to push the boundaries and say, here's where we're gonna be, this is how farwe're going to go. So the next question that is asked um by the listener washow do we protect the Children from abuse? And so I'm assuming that this isabuse from the narcissistic um, grandparents. Again, you're gonna haveto set some really clear boundaries. So, um one of the boundaries might be thatthe Children aren't left alone with the narcissistic parent, like, orgrandparents. So for instance, like as long as that grandparent is around thatthe kids aren't going to be left alone until, you know, and have a sense ofcomfort that your kids aren't going to get abused or aren't going to hearnegative things about you, um aren't...

...going to be told things that aren'ttrue, um aren't going to be like put in situations that are uncomfortable forthem, so so you're the boundary that you're gonna have to set will have tobe with your spouse of course, and you don't necessarily have to communicatethis up front. So what you can do is um is that you can just decide that thisis how you're going to handle this situation between the two of you notcommunicated and just never leave the kids alone with the grandparents. UmAnd and instead have babysitters or other people for when you need to havea date night or go out or some sort of thing, if you do want the kids to bearound the narcissistic grandparents, well then again you're gonna have tohave some very clear boundaries and some very clear rules and I wouldhighly recommend that if you're going to do that and you're you're concernedabout what happens with the kids um...

...that you we all have cameras in thehouse now to like help out with Children and so that you have thecamera that's going so that you can see if there ever is a problem. Um And thenyou use that as a way of confronting, it's not my favorite thing to do, andyou should certainly tell the grandparents that the cameras will beturned on while you're not in the house um because you shouldn't do that insecret, but it is one of the ways that you can actually like see for yourselfwhether there's something that's problematic and there might not beanything, they might be quite lovely to the grandchildren. I do want to saythis as a side note that just because somebody is a narcissistic parentdoesn't mean that they're going to be a bad grandparents. In fact, I have oftenfound that their great grandparents because grandparenting doesn't reallyrequire too much. Just requires like bringing gifts and toys and being happyand playing with the kids and what is...

...not required as the discipline the dayto day, The hard aspects of being a parent. And so this is like parentinglight as far as I'm concerned. And so sometimes narcissistic grandparents areactually quite fun, loving and quite good with the kids. So there isn't anyabuse that winds up happening with the Children, so you're gonna have toassess the situation for yourself to see whether or not there is some abusethat's going on. And then the last thing that was brought up was havinganxiety issues. So again, I'm assuming that the listener was getting triggeredquite badly when they are around the narcissistic in laws. So again, thatthis is like knowing yourself right and having a sense ahead of time of how youwould handle anybody in a narcissistic situation. Sometimes that means doingthe compliment method, which we've talked about before, the sandwichmethod. So complement confront...

...compliment. Sometimes it means justgiving them the attention that they need and deserve so that they don'tfeel like they need to get attention from the Children, sometimes it meanswalking away and not even being there or not being present and allowing yourspouse to handle them so that you don't have to necessarily handle them. Sothere are several little things that you can do to help minimize some of theanxiety. But knowing somebody is narcissistic actually should help youand calm you down, not create more anxiety because once you know what theyare and what they're dealing with, the formula for handling them is quitesimple and just remember that you have to give them attention, admiration,adoration and affection. And if they get those things, then they're going tobe eating out of your hands and it won't be a problem at all. So when youare dealing with your narcissistic in laws, what I would say is remember whatwe just discussed about that you need...

...to have your spouse on board so thatthey understand what they're dealing with. That you and your spouse need totalk about past scenarios that were difficult and come up with strategiesfor how to handle them going forward. That when the Children are involved,that you have to really assess whether the kids are getting or could be abusedor could not be abused and it might be that you have to have just supervisedvisits with the grandparents or maybe they're quite lovely as grandparentsand there's no problem with them whatsoever, but you're gonna have toassess that. And then if you're having anxiety issues over dealing with this,that the best thing to do is to remember that you just have to give anarcissist they're feeding and then it will be quite simple for you goingforward. So I hope that helps in discussing dealing with narcissistic inlaws. Again, if you have any questions, I am more than happy to answer them.You can reach me at grow with Christine dot com. It's G R O W W I T H C H R I ST I N E dot com is my website and at...

...gmail dot com is my email. Thanks forlistening to understanding today's narcissist with Christine Hammond,brought to you in part by psych central dot com. For more information, visit,grow with Christine dot com. Yeah.

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