Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode · 7 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.

Read more... 

...some abuses dangerously obvious. While other types of abuse creep into our family DNA in covert ways, keeping family secrets, intimidation, the silent treatment and cyber bullying are just a few examples of the many forms of abuse with troubling outcomes. Often victims ask why did this happen to me or what can I do while abusers will excuse their behavior, asking why do you make me do this, victims and abusers can rewrite their stories, improve their relationships and break the 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 and covert the generational links to abuse, what to do before, during and after abuse, how to confront your abuser, how to talk to a victim of rape, finding forgiveness despite the pain, how to rewrite your story and avoid future problems and much much more. Look for...

Christine Hammond's latest book abuse exposed now available on amazon. This is understanding today's Narcissist brought 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 to handle your narcissistic grandparent and I'm going to assume in this case that it's not your parent that we're talking about. But instead that we're gonna be talking about your in laws that are the narcissistic ones. And so again, I got an email from one of the listeners asking me for some advice on how to handle um narcissistic in laws.

Um and she was struggling with us and how to deal with some scenarios in the household such as showing up to the house when told not to, how to protect the Children from abuse and having some major triggering anxiety. So let me go over all three of those areas and see if 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 and their parents are narcissistic, your spouse may or may not realize that and that becomes the problem. Right? So part of what you have to start off with is educating your spouse to make sure that they understand that the behavior that the parents are displaying is not appropriate. This may take some doing, it's not necessarily an easy thing to...

...accomplish mostly because your spouse is probably accustomed already to the behavior and doesn't think that anything is out of line or out of the ordinary. So what you might have to incorporate in order to help them understand is other people into the equation 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 least something to look at it and say, oh wow. So not everybody has parents for instance that show up without asking and just demand to be taken care of and served. So the first step in all of this is to educate your spouse so that they 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's work through the scenario. How do you...

...handle situations when things come up and 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 and sit down with a spouse and then show and then to have a conversation with them about like how for instance showing up to our house was without without without any kind of permission or heads up or showing up to the house when said no like that. Today is not a good day is not an okay thing to do. So using that as an example, then you can start the process of having a discussion with your spouse. Again, this is not with your narcissistic in laws yet of okay, how are we going to handle this scenario? Because if they've done it in the past they're going to do it again in the future. And what does that look like? My biggest suggestion when you're handling this is that everybody should deal with their own parents in other words, even though your they're your in laws, it is not...

...best if the no is coming from you, it is best when the no is coming from your spouse and it's going directly to their parents. So try to like help your spouse to be able to say no, and then even if they are saying no and the parents are still doing it, then you have 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, you know, we have plans, we have other things that are going on, it's not okay that you're here, like we're already busy doing something else um if they insist 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 you have said no, and they come into the house, well then they're just going to keep doing that over and over and over...

...again because they don't think that you actually have a boundary that you're going to stick to. So it's imperative that you actually stand the line and hold on to that. Um So that when you set a boundary with them that you are actually going to follow through with it. So that is the first, that's the first little scenario um that we talked about, So go back over with your spouse and we live scenarios that were problematic and come up with a strategy for how to handle it going forward. As a side little note, I want to say this to you, your spouse has not gotten accustomed yet to standing up for themselves to their narcissistic parents and it's going to be a long journey for them. So I would encourage you to get your spouse some help along the way, whether it's through counseling 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's still gonna take a while for your spouse to really believe that and absorb 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 far we're going to go. So the next question that is asked um by the listener was how do we protect the Children from abuse? And so I'm assuming that this is abuse from the narcissistic um, grandparents. Again, you're gonna have to set some really clear boundaries. So, um one of the boundaries might be that the Children aren't left alone with the narcissistic parent, like, or grandparents. So for instance, like as long as that grandparent is around that the kids aren't going to be left alone until, you know, and have a sense of comfort that your kids aren't going to get abused or aren't going to hear negative things about you, um aren't...

...going to be told things that aren't true, um aren't going to be like put in situations that are uncomfortable for them, so so you're the boundary that you're gonna have to set will have to be with your spouse of course, and you don't necessarily have to communicate this up front. So what you can do is um is that you can just decide that this is how you're going to handle this situation between the two of you not communicated and just never leave the kids alone with the grandparents. Um And and instead have babysitters or other people for when you need to have a date night or go out or some sort of thing, if you do want the kids to be around the narcissistic grandparents, well then again you're gonna have to have some very clear boundaries and some very clear rules and I would highly recommend that if you're going to do that and you're you're concerned about what happens with the kids um...

...that you we all have cameras in the house now to like help out with Children and so that you have the camera that's going so that you can see if there ever is a problem. Um And then you use that as a way of confronting, it's not my favorite thing to do, and you should certainly tell the grandparents that the cameras will be turned on while you're not in the house um because you shouldn't do that in secret, but it is one of the ways that you can actually like see for yourself whether there's something that's problematic and there might not be anything, they might be quite lovely to the grandchildren. I do want to say this as a side note that just because somebody is a narcissistic parent doesn't mean that they're going to be a bad grandparents. In fact, I have often found that their great grandparents because grandparenting doesn't really require too much. Just requires like bringing gifts and toys and being happy and playing with the kids and what is...

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

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

...to have your spouse on board so that they understand what they're dealing with. That you and your spouse need to talk about past scenarios that were difficult and come up with strategies for 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 abused or could not be abused and it might be that you have to have just supervised visits with the grandparents or maybe they're quite lovely as grandparents and there's no problem with them whatsoever, but you're gonna have to assess 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 a narcissist they're feeding and then it will be quite simple for you going forward. So I hope that helps in discussing dealing with narcissistic in laws. 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 S T I N E dot com is my website and at...

...gmail dot com is my email. Thanks for listening 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.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (91)