It’s hard to speak up when you’re afraid.Annie – on divorcing a narcissist
I’ve heard people say, “Being married to a narcissist is bad, but divorcing one is a complete nightmare!” that would be funny if it weren’t so true!
Having worked with numerous clients in debilitating relationships with narcissistic men, here are my top five strategies for keeping your sanity and staying calm and confident.
When coaching clients who are divorcing narcissists, we look at two aspects: strategies to support communication, co-parenting, and navigating the divorce process. The second is healing the impact of emotional trauma from being in the relationship; obviously, the latter takes longer to master than the first.
1: The Narcissist Thrives Off Reaction:
The narc wants your energy and therefore is looking for ANY reaction from you. Your response feeds their ego and insecurities. The first step is learning to take control of your emotional reactions and to choose how you respond.
Think of it like this; you unconsciously give your power away when you’re in REACTION MODE.
Continuously regulate your emotions before you respond.– Maxine Clancy
TIP: Whenever you get an email, SMS or phone call from your narcissistic ex, stop, breathe down into your hips and legs and imagine you’re rooted in your power centre (this is your solar plexus and hips). Take a few deep breathes here, centre yourself and then respond.
2: Respond to the Facts, NOT the Trigger:
A narcissistic person often attacks or criticises the other person’s personality, using words and language to elicit a REACTION… remember, that’s what they want from you, don’t give them the satisfaction.
One strategy is to keep to the facts in your response.– Maxine Clancy
TIP: Ask this question: “Do I need to respond to this, and what facts am I responding to?”
3: Methods of Communication:
With a narcissistic ex, it’s always best to communicate via email or SMS or a co-parenting app, never face-to-face or telephone. There are occasions when you might have to have face to face contact, so here is my tip.
TIP: Make your energy bigger. Imagine extending your power outwards and creating a white force field around your body, giving you extra protection.
When you’re in their company, focus your attention on your children and have a minimal conversation with them based on facts. If they attempt to reel you in, imagine their words bouncing off your forcefield and falling to the ground like scrabble pieces, which you can sweep away (in your imagination).– Maxine Clancy
4: Master the art of saying no and holding your boundary:
Narcissistic people like to push boundaries and buttons. Often because it feels uncomfortable, we might change or adjust our boundaries to feel safer.
Use the following steps when communicating a boundary.
1: Get clear on what your boundary is. (It’s okay to take time to reflect).
2: Express your boundary clearly, sticking to the facts and keep it short and to the point.
3: Request the facts around what you want to happen.
4: Breath deeply, root yourself firmly in your body and hips and repeat the boundary and request.
5: Do not attack or criticise your Ex:
It’s so easy to get caught up in the crossfire, to go into reaction, especially if they criticise you or call you names. YOU ARE BIGGER AND BETTER THAN THIS.
It’s not personal, even though it feels like it is. Our Ego’s make us think it is.-Maxine Clancy
Attacking or criticising them, will only engage you in a tug of war energy exchange, and remember, a narcissistic person WANTS to reel you in and drain you of your energy.
The best thing to do is NOT RESPOND.
TIP: If it’s about an arrangement that is urgent to do with children, then breathe into your power centre, anchor yourself there. and then respond with theFACTS, and keep it short and precise.
You don’t have to do this divorce thing on your own. Working with a divorce coach will give you the opportunity to have the emotional support you need and to learn the tools to accept, let go and move on with you dignity in place.
Drop me a message via the Work With Me tab to see how I can best support you.
With love Maxine xxx