Communicating with a narcissist is never easy, though it may be unavoidable. Dealing with this type of person can elicit an array of emotions, including frustration, disgust, anger, and helplessness. Some narcissists are so toxic that they bring the worst out in those around them.
If you have no option but to interact with a narcissist, the way you communicate can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Speak with a Georgia attorney from our firm for more advice on effectively communicating with a narcissist during a family law case.
For some people, it isn’t possible to avoid a narcissist entirely, especially in the context of legal matters. By carefully selecting when and how to interact with a narcissist, you may be able to avoid their especially toxic moments during court proceedings. A toxic environment breeds tension and resentment. Take the necessary steps to exit a conversation or interaction when it has become overly toxic.
There is very little anyone can do to change a narcissist’s behavior. However, finding tactful ways to point out this behavior can help facilitate productive family law negotiations. Simply calling someone out is not the answer, as a narcissist will likely become defensive.
Instead, respond to narcissistic behavior with clarifying questions. This allows you to diplomatically point out unreasonable requests or demands. Asking a narcissist to explain in detail what they want or need from your case can highlight how unreasonable their request is. Examples of clarifying questions include:
Learning how to placate or persuade a narcissist during legal proceedings can be a useful skill. Assigning blame or arguing about fault is one of the fastest ways to generate conflict with a narcissist in any Georgia family law case. Instead, it can be helpful to focus on solutions. Discussing the best way to move forward does not require a narcissist to admit they were wrong.
Focusing on empathy can also be helpful. While this approach may be frustrating, using empathy to deal with a narcissist could help them develop their own empathy. At the very least, it could help resolve a conflict instead of escalating one.
Finally, approach problems and conflicts with a “we” mentality. Instead of pushing blame onto a narcissist, approach any necessary changes as something that both of you need to handle collectively. This shared experience is less likely to push a narcissist into defensive mode and could lead them to collaborate on a solution. Unfortunately, all these tactics require you to swallow your pride to some degree, but the result is that you avoid conflict, tension, and emotional stress during your case.
Unfortunately, some situations can become so toxic that direct communication with a narcissist only makes things worse. This is especially common in cases involving separating or divorcing couples. In these situations, it’s best to avoid any contact with a narcissistic former partner.
Instead, you should let an attorney advocate on your behalf and serve as a point of contact for any matters that must be discussed for your case. If you find yourself trying to communicate with a narcissist during a family law case, an experienced Georgia lawyer can help. Call our intake team today to learn more.