Summer is the season of travel, renewal and rest. If you're with a narcissist, it can also be a time for you to design a road map that enables you to exit the difficult journey you've been on.
If you discover you are in an intimate relationship with a narcissist, you may decide that exiting the relationship is the best course. Once you've made that decision then you need to do everything you can to prepare so that your exit happens smoothly.
Below are 10 tips to help you build a new road map to a more peaceful life:
1. Do not call your narcissist out. Keep your suspicions to yourself.
2. Learn the basics of the personality disorder. Research online and look for resources in books.
3. Reclaim your attention from the narcissist in your life. Turn your attention to yourself. Consider what you want rather than what you think someone wants of you. Consider how you want to be and feel as you go through this process. Set guiding principles for yourself.
4. Map your particular narcissist.How does s/he want to be seen by the world, what does s/he want to be known/appreciated for? How does she behave, what are the basic patterns?
5. Become familiar with what triggers you. How do you habitually react to the narcissist in your life? Are these responses working for you or keeping you in turmoil?
6. Start living on your own terms; terms that bring you peace and calm. Maybe refrain from sharing your emotional life with the narcissist in your life, or maybe stop trying to rely on the narcissist -- find other ways to take care of things.
7. Get support. Wise, informed support rather than gossipy, unreliable "friends." Depend on a friend outside your usual circle who is good at distracting you.
8. If divorce is part of the equation, do a lot of homework prior to raising the possibility. Consider the sort of legal options open to you, and find a lawyer who is a good fit for you. You will most likely will turn into the enemy as soon as you mention it, so be ready. Fear is best addressed by equipping yourself with information and resources. Get access to your financial information. Consider the main decisions that will have to be made in the quiet of your own mind prior to commencing with the process.
9. Take the high road, over and over and over, despite the road choices of the narcissist in your life. Spend time figuring out what the high road is in each situation that arises. It can be hard work to take the high road, but you will come out ahead emotionally, financially, and integrity wise if you do so.
10. Take care of your body and soul. This too will pass but for the transition, anxiety will be your companion so work with yourself to address it. Exercise, get massages, spend time outside, do something creative. Look toward your big picture goals for your near future. Reconnect when you are ready to trust yourself and others.
Follow Melissa Schenker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MelissaSchenkr