How to Not Care When a Narcissist is Upset with You
So the narcissist in your life is upset with you….again.
Maybe you didn’t respond in the way they expected you to.
Or perhaps you tried to share your heart and the conversation went sideways.
You may have even apologized and now you’re back to walking on eggshells.
You think to yourself, There’s nothing I can do to please this person, but I can’t seem to stop trying…
Narcissists are notorious for having to have everything their way. With their self-centered motives and self-righteous attitude, it doesn’t take much for them to show their displeasure in you.
As a caring, giving person who just wants peace and unity in your relationship, you may find yourself tied up in knots over your seemingly endless attempts to get back into their good graces.
Or maybe you’ve had enough of their nonsense and you think to yourself, I really don’t want to give two hoots what this person thinks of me….but how do I stop trying?
Well, what if I told you that you can actually train yourself to not care what others think about you?
Let’s talk today about four decisions you can make to stop caring when the narcissist thinks and get some joy back in your life.
1. Decide whom you’ll please.
Narcissists have an uncanny ability to get you to think that life revolves around them–everything you say or do should be pleasant, encouraging, fair (to them), or otherwise glorifying to their greatness. If not, there’ll be a problem.
As a giving person, you likely don’t think twice about being selfless. And that’s a good quality UNLESS your goodness allows others to continue in their wickedness.
Before you go ditching your pleasing tendencies, consider the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:10:
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Paul was coming against the largest population of narcissists in that time—the Pharisees. With their self-righteous attitudes, Paul could have remained one of them instead of becoming a servant of Christ.
In Galatians 1:10 Paul affirmed his purpose to please God, NOT men. In other words, stay a pleaser, just aim to change who you’ll please.
2. Decide whom you want the world to see.
If you look closely enough, you can see what’s pulling the strings in a person’s life. Whether it’s greed, pain past, or love, there’s always something behind the scenes pulling the strings. And any discerning eye can see it.
The question is, what do you want the world to see in you?
Narcissists have an amazing ability to bring out the worst in you. But the truth is, they can’t pull out of you what’s not already in you.
So what’s operating behind the scenes in your life? You can tell by your reactions to the narcissist.
What comes out of you when you get sucked into their toxic vortex? Is it godly character, or toxic reactions?
Yes, there will be times when it ‘feels’ like the narcissist is getting away with murder, but as one who wants the light of Jesus to shine through, you will need to make the choice not to care.
So who’s the world going to see—Satan, your pain, or Jesus?
The Apostle Paul was no stranger to being harassed by self-serving, self-righteous narcissists….but he held his position and said it best in Galatians 2:20:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
3. Decide whom you’ll fear.
I believe one of the greatest issues when it comes to getting caught up in a narcissist’s drama, is fear of their reactions.
I hear it all the time–things like, Oh, I can’t say that he’ll ignore me for a week. Or, I can’t bring that up, he’ll flip out.
And so they allow fear of the narcissist’s reactions to dictate their behavior.
Is that you, too?
Do this enough and it becomes a default pattern in many of your relationships. And the worst part is, that you live your life way below the potential of what God has for you.
Here’s what Matthew had to say in Matthew 10:28:
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
4. Decide whom you’ll trust.
I also love Proverbs 29:25:
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”
Trust is a decision.
When you care too much about what the narcissist thinks, feels, or says, you are basically saying that you trust them to help you to feel better, and you trust yourself to create the right environment to make that happen.
Trusting the narcissist more than you trust God is like trying to find refuge under a tree in a lightning storm. You’re likely going to get hit—and hard.
Trusting in God isn’t easy if you don’t understand that He is unlike any human on this earth.
He will never leave you without support (Joshua 1:5).
He will not forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8).
He will never lie to you (Numbers 23:19).
Will you trust Him?
Will you choose today to believe God’s truth over the narcissist’s lies?