Narcissists are like a human vacuum, sucking up all the oxygen in a room.
They demand that all attention be on them and that people prioritize their experiences, emotions, thoughts and words.
Many individuals end up giving in to the egotistical person and rolling with it.
What’s the harm in humoring this narcissistic individual a bit and just going with it?
But the truth is there can be a lot of harm, especially since narcissists can be highly charming and magnetic. The next thing somebody knows they could end up in a relationship with one and find their life has become a living hell.
That’s why standing up to a narcissist is so crucial, and why taking a look at the qualities of those who are narcissist-proof is so helpful.
Let’s dive in.
1) Knowledgeable about narcissism
It’s hard to stand up to a narcissist without knowing much about them.
That’s why those who resist narcissists are knowledgeable on the subject.
They know what to look for in a narcissistic person and they know the dividing line between somebody with narcissistic tendencies and somebody with full-blown NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).
This knowledge gives them power in knowing what to watch out for and how to deal with it.
2) Good intentions
The next core trait of those who stand up to narcissists is being well-intentioned.
The person who stands up to the egotist is doing so in order to de-escalate and defuse the situation, not to feel tough or self-righteous.
They have good intentions:
They want the narcissist to see the error of their ways and to stop undervaluing and dismissing those around them.
Chutzpah is a word meaning audacious and bold. It comes from the Hebrew word ḥuṣpāh (חֻצְפָּה) and has become popular in non-Jewish culture as well.
Those who stand up to narcissists have a lot of chutzpah.
They aren’t scared off or easily distracted by the antics and dramatic words and behavior that narcissists often exhibit.
They don’t just back down and look at their shoes if somebody acts like a jerk, they tell that narcissistic person that they won’t stand for it and that it’s not going to work.
4) Inner calm
Narcissists thrive when other people are drawn into their orbit and give them attention. They can’t get enough.
But the kind of person who stands up to a narcissist is full of inner calm.
They don’t get their feathers ruffled easily, and the grandstanding and attention-seeking of the narcissist is not convincing to them at all.
They’re calm and they don’t have time for the antics of a self-obsessed poltroon.
5) Firm boundaries
Boundaries have no purpose if they can just be adjusted as needed.
The person who stands up to a narcissist has firm limits and they don’t move them.
They won’t be talked down to or gaslighted, and they won’t tolerate a narcissist playing mind games or emotionally manipulating them.
This brings me to the next point…
6) Gaslighting proof
Those with the courage to stand up to narcissists are gaslighting-proof.
When a narcissist tries to twist their perceptions or guilt them for something out of their control they don’t even feel a twinge of doubt.
They know it’s not their fault, and they look the narcissist in the eye and tell them that gaslighting won’t work.
7) Independent and resilient
Being an authentic person happens when you strip away all the layers of social conditioning and take off your mask.
Who are you underneath?
The person with bravery to stand up to a narcissist has looked in the mirror and faced their shadow.
They’re not putting on any airs, and that’s why it’s easy for them to spot – and call out – anybody who is.
The narcissist-resister is empathetic.
He or she understands that everyone has problems and is worthy of respect and understanding.
They see the narcissist spouting off like a child and feel empathy for the narcissist. They can see the narcissist has wounds from childhood that haven’t healed. They can see the narcissist needs help and needs to grow up.
But they don’t fall for it.
This brings me to the next point…
Those who stand up to narcissists are also highly self-aware.
They know their own weaknesses and blind spots, and they don’t think that they are immune to being narcissists themselves.
They know that these kinds of behavioral patterns can affect any of us, and that we all have some narcissistic tendencies, even on the subconscious level in some cases.
This self-awareness helps them see when somebody is being unreasonable and in not giving in to it.
10) Emotional intelligence
There needs to be a high level of emotional intelligence to stand up to a narcissist.
The types of mind games that narcissists play, coupled with their often charming and charismatic exterior makes them difficult to resist at times.
But the person who stands up to a narcissist doesn’t take the bait. When they see narcissistic patterns showing up they already know that this person is somebody who’s not on the level.
Those who resist narcissists are patient. They exit a situation when possible with a narcissist, but when that’s not always possible they are calm.
They are able to be around somebody who’s quite annoying, in other words, without immediately reacting.
They know that narcissists thrive off conflict and that they’d rather conflict than no attention at all.
So the strong individual who doesn’t fall for narcissism refuses to give that anger or attention the narcissist craves.
This relates directly to the next point:
12) Compassionate but firm
Narcissists would prefer confrontational attention to no attention. This is why they sometimes say shocking or cruel things: to get a reaction.
That’s why those who stand up to narcissists do so firmly but also with compassion.
They do not lash out or angrily tell off a narcissist. They firmly and steadily tell them to stop doing what they’re doing and let the narcissist know they’re not engaging.
They stand up to the narcissist in a way that indicates they are not taking it personally.
This ties into the next point…
13) Clear communication
Getting angry at a narcissist or telling them that they’re being stupid only backfires.
They feed off the conflict or spiral out into self-pity.
That’s why those who stand up to the narcissist use clear communication and don’t make it personal.
They simply draw a line and stand by it, letting the narcissist know that the interaction or situation isn’t going to go the way they might think.
14) Strong support system
The courageous individual is willing to stand up to narcissists. However, they also know that others have their back.
Narcissists are less effective when they know that those around them are unified and not easily drawn into their orbit.
The brave individual has a strong support network of people around them who back them up.
They are able to rely on an interrelated group of folks who also see the behavior of the narcissist and are also clear that it’s not acceptable.
15) Forgive but don’t forget
Standing up to a narcissist requires being “wise as a serpent and peaceful as a dove.”
The brave individual who stands up to a narcissist is forgiving, but they don’t forget.
They take note of the behavior and patterns of the narcissist and keep it in mind for the future.
That’s because they don’t take any of it personally or get drawn into the drama, but they do use their best strategy to avoid getting involved at all or giving any legitimacy to the narcissist.
Those who stand up to narcissists are authentic. They know themselves and they don’t betray their core values.
They are true to themselves and offer respect where they get respect.
The narcissist is welcome to interact with them and be their friend, but not if the narcissist continues to behave in toxic or manipulative ways.
The courageous individual is always authentic. They judge behaviors, not people.
17) Focused on self-development
The best defense is offense. It’s true.
Those who can truly stand up to a narcissist and win, do so in one principal way:
They ultimately bypass the narcissist.
By being focused on their own self-development and goals much more than on the narcissist, they ultimately run right past the self-obsessed individual and forget about them.
The resilient individual simply has no mental or emotional energy to waste. They’re focused on their own life, not the drama somebody else is stuck in.
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