“Taking Back the Holidays From the Grinch”
As we head into the heart of this holiday season, it can be hard to fathom how we are planning on surviving the holidays with a narcissist. Here is a warning for you: narcissists often grow more dangerous than ever. Narcissists hate the holidays because the focus isn’t on them, so they will do everything they can to wreck the celebrations for everyone else. Gaslighting and passive-aggressiveness intensify, and the narcissist will likely find something that causes a narcissistic injury. Then you are dealing with the Grinch who plays victim to steal all the holiday attention and cheer.
You can do some things to make the holidays more manageable as you navigate the disdain, criticism, and negativity narcissists bring to the occasion. It starts with you and your mindset. Here is a list of some skills to surviving the holidays with a narcissist emotionally:
1. Don’t personalize what the narcissist says or does.
It’s so easy to slip into the role of peacemaker. We want to make the holidays pleasant for everyone, including the narcissist. But remember, narcissists cannot be at peace with any person or thing because they aren’t at peace with themselves. No matter what you do or say, it won’t be good enough for the narcissist. Let the negative comments go. Tell yourself silently or quietly, “This isn’t about me.” Let the Grinch be miserable. The narcissist’s counterfeit despair is not your fault or your responsibility to fix.
2. Find some quiet time.
It’s often difficult to find silence when around a narcissist. But during the holidays, it’s more crucial than ever to get some solitude. When you find time to be still and remember what’s important to you, you can recalibrate for the next few hours or days. Being still and quiet can give you strength because you are away from the negativity the narcissist consistently pours out on everyone, especially you. Find your peace and hold onto it as tightly as you can.
3. Use affirmations.
When we have the voice of the narcissist playing on repeat in our heads, it’s easy to believe the words they said recently or long ago. You must stop those voices when they begin to grow louder. Turn them around by saying to yourself the opposite of what the narcissist has told you. For example, you can say to yourself, “I am enough.” Or, “I am a great mom and cook, and everyone loves my holiday celebrations.” Others include, “I am worthy,” and “My children are here, and they love me.”
Then, take your affirmations a step further and act on them. After reminding yourself that your kids love you, give them a big hug. Offer seconds of your homemade pie to the dessert takers in your house. My guess is that your kids will hug you back. I am almost sure that every person on a diet during the holidays will take a second piece of your fantastic pie.
It’s not easy, but changing your mindset can change your holiday season. When the narcissist can’t get into our heads, they can’t upset our lives. Be strong. Don’t let the Grinch steal Christmas. He will try, but your confidence and resolve will stop him in his tracks.
Next week we will look at some physical steps that you can do to continue surviving the holidays with the narcissist.
If you are interested in online counseling, Dr. Carter has a sponsor who can assist. As the need is there, please seek the help you deserve: https://betterhelp.com/survivingnarcissism
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