Navigating the Holidays: Narcissist Edition
Holidays with a narcissist (or one high in tendencies) can be especially challenging. It can come with unpredictability, exhaustion, and pain. Check out these 6 strategies for navigating the holidays with a narcissist or, for those of you who have cut contact with them, your holiday “without” them:
1. PREP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Make sure to consider the impact of social media on your holiday and prioritize your mental health. Unfollow, unfriend, or block to avoid the family photos and potential contact via social media.
2. HERE COME THE FLYING MONKEYS
The holidays or any celebratory event is usually prime flying time for the flying monkeys. Be prepared. Know if you’re going to respond and, if so, how. Then practice letting it roll off your back. Don’t let them ruin your holiday.
3. TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR PHONE
It can be hard having flying monkeys contact you AND it can be equally hard to NOT have your narcissist or other family members contact you. Take time away from phone so you can’t be reached and focus on what you really care about.
4. FOCUS ON YOUR PEOPLE
It can be hard accepting that your narcissist and/or narcissistic family isn’t who you thought they were. Shift your focus to YOUR people. The people who love, accept, and show up for you no matter what. These are the people worthy of your time, energy, and attention, even if they aren’t family.
5. RECREATE/CREATE TRADITIONS
Sometimes traditions we were given don’t mean much to us, they have negative experiences wrapped up in them, or they are too painful to recreate because of the positive memories wrapped in them that we now see as fraudulent. Honor where you are at and what you need to make the holidays meaningful and peaceful for you. This may mean recreating traditions as they were, tweaking traditions to fit where you are now, or even letting old traditions go altogether. Any of these are okay.
6. EXPECT SURPRISES
Are you coparenting with a narcissist? Expect a hiccup. It’s their way to throw you off you balance and ensure you understand the holiday would have been better if you hadn’t gone against them. Don’t let them distract you from what matters and making the most of your holiday. Expect the unexpected and have a plan for how you’ll confront the conflict/situation. Keep in mind that it might be to not confront it at all.
Overall, enjoy your holiday. Nothing makes a narcissist or narcissistic family more upset then knowing you aren’t miserable without them.
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