Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode · 1 year ago

Don’t Argue: Use These 9 Rules of Engagement

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It was clear that after 7 years of marriage, Jack and Jill still loved each other. But they way they solved problems, or rather, the way they didn’t solve problems, was destroying their marriage. The last argument ended in a physical altercation and a wrestling match that left them ashamed and humiliated. Neither had ever engaged in this manner before so the shock of how quickly they escalated took them by surprise.

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Whether you're thinking of divorcing your narcissistic spouse right in the middle of it or have finalized your divorce, the tactics are the same. If this sounds like you, you need to know about Christine Hammond's new Master Class series. How to Survive a Divorce with a narcissist. In this four hour video series, Christine Hammond introduces the toxic tactics that narcissists used to abuse, humiliate and manipulate you and teaches you exactly how to recognize these tactics and navigate through them with mastery and confidence. How to survive a divorce with a narcissist is a deep dive, a master class that will show you how narcissists use tactics like bait and switch, scare tactics, roller coaster ride and child's play. It's how to survive a divorce with a narcissist, a four hour recorded video master class with Christine Hammond. For more information or to purchase today, just go to grow with Christine dot com. Forward slash narcissism That's grow with Christine dot com. Forward slash narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with Christine dot com. Forward slash narcissism. This is understanding today's narcissist brought to you in part by psych central dot com and Now, here's your host, Christine Hammond. Hi and welcome back. So today we're gonna be talking about not arguing with your narcissist. Rather, let's follow these nine rules of engagement. I can't count the number of...

...times I've had someone come to me and ask, How do I confront my narcissistic spouse, boss, child friend in a way that allows me to feel like I am being heard and can reduce conflict instead of escalating it. So we're going to talk about what I call the nine Rules of Engagement. And I'm intentionally using the word engagement instead of argument because I want you to think of this from a positive standpoint. Most of the time when we're talking about having a disagreement with someone, we're looking at it as if it's an argument, and instead I want you to look at it as if we can have a positive outcome by engaging with someone, even if it is a very difficult conversation. What it takes and what it requires is some level of strategy. So we're going to talk about those nine different areas, and I want to give you an example of just a married couple and what this looks like so that we can kind of talk about the difference in how to approach one another. So if you have a married couple, you're gonna say your spouse's narcissistic and and you're trying to figure out how best to confront them. Let's just say that we're talking about something regarding the house. Something needs to be done in the house. And in the past, every time you have brought up getting something done in the house, you're narcissistic. Spouse goes off, blames you, uh, it deteriorates really rapidly. And then that task never gets done or never gets completed for a variety of reasons, that could be hugely problematic. So So we're going to talk. How do you actually confront them in a manner in which gets a much more positive result? So nine steps, starting with step number one time the engagement, the idea behind timing the...

...engagement is that there is a time and place for everything, including when and where to actually discuss a problem. My experience. Narcissists have this down to a science where they often picked the worst times in order to engage with you. Maybe they wake you up in the middle of the night, um, interrupting your sleep or they call you at work. And so they pick very difficult times for engagement because they know that they're going to have the upper hand during that time period. Rather, I want you to think of this not as a tit for tat thing. In other words, you're not gonna wake them up in the middle of the night or interrupt them at work. You're going to find what I call a neutral environment to do your discussion so that neutral environment should not be a bedroom. I don't like bedrooms for this type of discussion. I'm talking about, like an outdoor patio, a study or a restaurant. Even, um, a park could be another option so that you have a neutral place where it's not your zone or your spouse's zone that you actually decide. This is the time that we are going to pick to have this engagement. So pick when and where to discuss the problem. That's number one. Number two set reasonable boundaries. The most important boundary is an agreement to walk away instead of escalating. I'm gonna say that again. The most important boundary you can start with is to walk away instead of escalating. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a time out in the middle of a discussion to keep it from getting heated. The second boundary you need to set is to agree to discuss only one topic at a time, so we're not going to add multiple topics in. We're going...

...to focus on one topic. You can do that by putting the one topic on your phone, for instance, Um, in a note section and just say, Okay, this is the topic that we're going to talk about, and we're going to talk about it until either we agree, we disagree, or we agree to disagree. So start off by setting reasonable boundaries, and I just gave you two examples of those. Number three Listen with your ears and eyes. Listening to another person is actually an art form. The words a person uses are not nearly as important as the body language or the tone of voice. So any attitude of superiority, resentment or passivity are all equally damaging and will definitely come across in the manner of speech. To really listen to another person, you have to pay more attention to them than to yourself. So when you're really listening, you are listening to everything about them. You're listening to what you see in them. You're listening to what they say and you're listening to how they say it. And it's important that you do that because that's valuable information that you gain. During your conversation, I was number three. Listen with ears and eyes number four, Understand? First, by seeking to understand the other person first, then you are showing like love and concern for them, even if they're narcissistic. Now, instead of trying to get your point across first, make sure you understand their point. First, that is gonna be so easy because you're narcissistic. Spouse is gonna love to be able to tell you what they think first right, But that gives you an understanding of where they're...

...coming from now. Ideally, we want this to be mirrored, meaning that they would then reciprocate and listen to your point of view afterwards. Sometimes that doesn't always happen. But the way that you can help that to happen is say, Here's what I heard you say. Can I tell you what I think now? So there's like this very distinct and clear line that you're drawing. So Number four is understand. First Number five is share honestly and openly. So when the previous four steps that we just talked about are done well, the flow of the conversation is very relaxed, and there's no initial disagreement, and at that point, so that allows the conversation to naturally come to what I call the turning point. So when you start to get to the turning point, here's where it's so important that you assume the best intention. So if you assume the best intention that the narcissists eager, narcissistic spouse has the best intention and that you therefore also have the best intention, then that will help the conversation go forward. Understand that it's not always a given that you're narcissistic spouse is going to believe you to have the best intentions. So you probably will have to say my intention is that we get along that we come up with this agreement on the house that we're able to like do this without having a disagreement, that we're able to really hear each other and respect each other, like you're probably gonna have to say that several times in order to alleviate some of the tension Because number five is where it turns, Number...

...five was sharing honestly and openly. Number six brainstorm options. So the best of your solutions often come from discussion, lots of discussion. And sometimes that discussion is more than once. In other words, there are a lot of times for which you might have to stop at Level five and say, You know what we've shared openly and honestly, we're about ready to deteriorate. Let's table all of this brainstorm options on our own and then come back and finish the discussion. So you might have to do that because sometimes that works out the best way. If you have a chance to brainstorm together, it really helps if you write down the options, because then you're allowed to actually see what the options are in front of you, and you'll be able to come up with more creative solutions going forward. So Number six is brainstorm solutions. Number seven collaborate and negotiate. So the idea when you're collaborating and negotiating is that you have to empathize with the other person, and it's important to let go of inconsequential things. You have to ask for forgiveness when needed. You have to emote without overreacting. And patience is probably the most important in this step. Again, like don't be afraid, like even after you've brainstormed options during the Collaborate and negotiate that if things get heated, agree to stop here and take a break. Give each other a time out, give each other some space to think about it, to try to come up with creative solutions. This is the most creative step in the process, and it doesn't always happen right away. Sometimes it requires overnight in order for this stage to actually work.

So Number seven is collaborate and negotiate. Number eight is agreed to an ending. Remember, there are three possible ends to an engagement. There's agree, disagree and agree to disagree. So when you find that you are disagreeing, then that's time to just stop it. And then maybe you don't engage for another 24 hours again. When you agree to disagree, then that means that the matter doesn't really need to be discussed any further. And when you agree, of course, you don't need to discuss it any longer. So the only issues were really addressing are those that we disagree on, and we're re addressing them back 24 hours later. And where you go back to as you go back to the brainstorming solutions, sometimes you might have to go back to step five, sharing openly and honestly again and working your way back through the process. The last step in all of this is number nine, which is to evaluate the process. So at the end of all of this, I want you to evaluate your steps and ask what worked? What didn't work? How can it be improved? Do we need a mediator? And if you do this each time, then you really have a good feel for how to fine tune. The process of the engagements can go a lot better if you need more help going through all of this. One of the suggestions I have for you is to look at better help. Better help is a great place where you can find a licensed professional therapist that can guide you through conflict resolution and other issues that you may be having in your relationship. You can connect in a safe in private online environment that's so...

...much more convenient than going into a therapist's office. Better yet, you can actually start it in only 48 hours. Now, this is not a crisis line. It's not self help. It is professional counseling that's done securely online. You can send your message to a counselor at any time, and you will get some timely and thoughtful responses. Plus, you can schedule your sessions easily over the phone or over the Internet. Better help. H E L P is committed to facilitating great therapeutic matches. So if you don't like the council you started off with, your you're able to change to better one. It's very affordable, and financial aid is even available for you. So I bring this up to you. They are a sponsor of this program, and I highly recommend looking at in getting a licensed professional counselor whenever you're trying to deal with a very difficult relationship. But there are other reasons to get a good counselor. Um, if you're suffering from depression, stress, anxiety, anger, family conflicts, sleep or trauma, those are great times to seek out help again, I highly recommend looking at better help. H e l p dot com slash u t. n. And if you want to get started as a listener, you'll actually get 10% off your very first month by visiting our sponsor. Over a million people have taken charge of their mental health, and again, that's better help. H e l p dot com slash u t n So going back and reviewing our nine different steps again for you let me remind you what they are. Please time your engagement set Reasonable boundaries. Listen with...

...your ears and eyes. Understand first, share honestly and openly brainstorm solutions. Collaborate and negotiate, agree to an ending and evaluate the process. So resolving conflicts will actually strengthen your relationship even if you're in a relationship with a narcissist and it will bind you closer together with the other person. Plus, it will eliminate some of the more difficult and frustrating conflicts that you probably have had over the years. I know that this sounds like a very time consuming process in the beginning, and it really is. But in the end it is well worth the investment. 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.

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