Has this ever happened to you? Your significant other says something, and the next thing you know, you are in an hours-long argument. Once you were fed up with that and decided to divorce, you figured (hoped) that things would get better. I’ll bet they didn’t. Your ex is still the same and will still be ridiculous in any conversation.
Things are different now, though. Divorced, you don’t have to submit and put up with whatever they want to dish out. You can choose to not even listen if they are in a rage and getting verbally abusive.
That said, you probably still need to communicate at times. Your ex may think they can still control you and manipulate you. Don’t let it happen. You have some power and you can talk to the different than you used to.
TOP THINGS YOU CAN SAY TO A NARCISSIST OR BORDERLINE PERSONALITY
1 – No – plain and simple. You don’t have to just bow down and agree to everything they say. You don’t have to do something just because they tell you to. Hearing no is probably the hardest thing for them to hear. They aren’t used to it because most people have learned to just give in to them. You don’t have to stand there and argue, just say no. If they want to continue harassing and yelling, walk away and talk with your lawyer. If it helps, keep track of your interactions with something like our Co-Parenting Journal.
2 – Don’t change the topic – people with personality disorders are notorious for deflecting and changing the topic. This is mostly in reaction to something they’ve done wrong and doesn’t want to admit or they just want to control the conversation and keep you off balance. If they start arguing about something that isn’t the current topic, stop them and get it back on topic. Or you can walk away and talk with your lawyer.
3 – I will believe it when I see it – This is a bit of a challenge to them. They won’t like it and it may cause more argument. Don’t engage further, let them blow off their steam. If they’ve said they will do something, great. Tell them to do it and you’ll believe it then. If you understand this situation, you already know that they are great at promising and never delivering. There will be some excuse that things didn’t go as they promised.
4 – Your problem is not knowing you’re the problem – be careful with this one. While it’s the truth, it is also argumentative and challenging. They will probably step up to that challenge, and it may be more than you want to handle. Don’t continue yelling and screaming. Say your peace in a calm manner and if they can’t do the same, walk away. It’s better than continuing a heated discussion.
The next time you are engaging with your narcissist or borderline or antisocial or histrionic personality disorder, try using the 4 sayings above. You may have never used them before but they can be useful.
These other articles may also be useful to you:
We also offer a book to help with a high conflict divorce: