Having a nice relationship with a narcissistic mother-in-law can be difficult. It makes life hard for both you and your partner. Do you have a Narcissistic Mother-in-law? If so then, how do you deal with her? Before we go about on how to deal with her, let us first understand what Narcissism is. Narcissism is also known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is a type of mental condition in which the person has a high sense of self-importance and a hunger for constant admiration and attention. They also have no empathy for others.
You will know that you have a Narcissistic mother-in-law if she has exhibited any of the following traits which include:
1. Being too involved in you and your partner’s life.
2. Always criticizing the both of you for no reason.
3. Taking frequent visits to your place without reason.
4. Always playing the role of the victim and acting innocent.
5. Always asserts and justifies her actions.
6. Is Manipulative, Controlling and Demanding.
7. Is difficult to adjust in almost any situations.
Finding out that you have a narcissistic mother-in-law, is not good news for either you or your partner. However, as hard and challenging it might seem to deal with a narcissistic mother in law, there are some ways in which you can effectively deal with them, and some of the ways are as follows:
1. Set the boundaries
The first, foremost and most important thing to do, after getting to knowing that you have a narcissistic mother-in-law is to set healthy boundaries. The boundaries should be both physical and mental. The boundaries or limits should include how much time you should spend with your in-laws, how often you should speak to each other on the phone, how much information you should share with your in-laws and how frequently. Marital life should be kept private and shared only with the spouse, as such see to it that you do not share every detail about your marriage and relationship with your narcissistic mother-in-law. Though she might appear caring, concerned and supportive, narcissistic people are often good actors, and as such, they cannot be trusted. This will effectively prevent her from meddling with your personal affairs. However, one thing to keep in mind while setting boundaries is to make sure that your significant other is also aware of the boundaries so that you can work it out together.
2. Be a Supportive and Caring Spouse
Dealing with a narcissistic mother-in-law is hard enough, to begin with, and this will likely be the same case with your partner. Having a parent who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, can be quite a struggle for the child, as such, you should see to it that your spouse gets all the support that you can provide and offer words of encouragement too. Likewise, you can also look to your partner for support, by opening up about your problems and struggles you are facing with your Narcissistic Mother-in-law. Sharing with each other will help both of you to understand each other better and help both of you to deal with your mother-in-law better effectively.
3. Deal with her in a calm and composed manner
No matter what it is that you do, your narcissistic mother-in-law will always criticize all your actions and everything that you do. She is bound to criticize the way you speak, you work, you raise your children, etc. However, keep in mind that a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is bound to these things. As such see to it that you don’t take everything to heart. When she starts throwing verbal abuses at you, maintain a calm and composed manner and desert yourself from such situations. Responding to her will only add fuel to the fire, and she will become more enraged. Furthermore, your narcissistic mother-in-law will utilize every opportunity she gets to remind you that you are not good enough for her family. She will also find multiple excuses to blame you for anything that you say, or you do. Therefore, it is essential that you deal with your Narcissistic Mother-in-law in calm, composed and peaceful manner at all times. When you don’t fall into her trap, she will feel ignored, and it might effectively discourage her from using her old ways.
4. Be in Control of your Emotions
Your Narcissistic mother in law will say and do a lot of things which might push you to the edge of your seat. However, letting go of your emotions and lashing out will do more harm than good, and this will give your narcissistic mother-in-law more reason to argue with you. As such it is essential that you are in total control of your emotions. There is no denying the fact that you will be filled with a bag of mixed emotions which will include anger, anxiety, frustration, sadness, etc. Therefore, it is necessary for you to let them out and you can release them through mental or physical activities. You can learn and utilize anger management skills, practice meditation, perform exercises, etc. If you have your emotions in check and under control, dealing with and understanding your mother-in-law will become that much easier.
5. Visit a Psychologist
Living and dealing with a Narcissistic mother-in-law on a daily basis will no doubt take its toll on your mind. A Narcissist without question will mess with your mind and your train of thoughts. This is technically known as crazy-making, and people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can alter the minds of people into thinking that they are on the wrong foot. As such, there are chances that your mind has also been altered with. As such it is necessary that you visit a psychologist or a psychotherapist who will be able to evaluate your mind and see to it that you are not screwed up. Opening up to a therapist will do wonders, and it can effectively save you from taking the wrong route. A psychologist will be able to handle your problems professionally and will even give you proper advice and tips on how to deal with a Narcissistic Mother-in-law. As such, dealing with yourself first to further deal with your mother-in-law is a good strategy.
Living with a Narcissistic person let alone a Narcissistic Mother-in-law is hard enough. As such dealing with them can become a scary proposition, however with the above tips you will be dealing with your Narcissistic Mother-in-law in a much effective and productive manner. Sometimes you should make her feel bad, so she understands how it feels to be treated the same way she treats others. For that, read this article about hurting narcissists. Don’t overdo it though or you’ll end up having a family conflict.