Your roommate is an important part of your day-to-day life. You see them on a daily basis and share your home and personal spaces with them. Hence, a narcissist roommate can be a huge problem for you to deal with. If you are living with a narcissist roommate, it can seem very difficult to approach them. Read on to understand how to deal with this situation.
What is a narcissist?
First off, you must understand narcissistic personality disorder. (NPD) It is a legitimate mental health condition that requires diagnosis by a mental health professional. The term narcissist is widely used interchangeably with NPD and this is a misunderstanding. While there are certain hallmark characteristics of NPD, having them does not necessarily mean you have the condition. A person can exhibit some characteristics of NPD and not actually suffer from it. However, if their narcissism is a strong pattern of behavior, they may be diagnosed with NPD. The first analysis you need to make is if your roommate is suffering from NPD or if they show have narcissistic tendencies.
How do I identify a narcissist?
While having these characteristics does not essentially make one a narcissist, these are a few characteristics of one. Being a narcissist or having these tendencies is not the same as having NPD. Hence, it necessary for a medical professional to diagnose NPD. That said, here are some indication that you could be dealing with a narcissist roommate.
- They are preoccupied with fantasies about their own beauty, brilliance, and power.
- They have a lack of empathy for others.
- Unable to handle criticism and lash out if they feel slighted criticized.
- Need constant praise.
- They are willing to take advantage of others to get what they want.
- They expect to be treated as superior or leader.
- Have no remorse for hurting others.
- Blame others for their own bad behavior or mistakes.
Dealing with your narcissist roomate
If you feel that your roommate exhibits a lot of these characteristics, then you could be living with a narcissist roommate. While you can’t be sure if it is NPD, there are some actions you can take. Narcissists can be very demanding and draining to live with. Hence, it is important that you take steps to deal with their behavior. Here is how you can try to make living with a narcissist roommate a little easier.
Accept who they are
When they want to, those with narcissistic personalities are great at charming people. You might find yourself drawn to your narcissist roommate and their show of grandiose. These are also particularly popular in work settings or among their colleagues. When it comes to narcissists, they seem to draw all the attention towards themselves. Do not let all of this carry you away or make you react to them. Understand that these tendencies are just the way they are and, are common for people like them. Do not take their actions or words personally.
Do not try to change them
The first step in dealing with your narcissist roommate is simply accepting that you cannot change them. Do not expect them to change, or you will just end up disappointed and frustrated. No matter how rationally you try to explain things, they are unlikely to hear you. Arguing with a narcissist may escalate the situation and trigger their inability to handle criticism. You need to understand that there is nothing that you can do to change a narcissist.
Do not feed their behavior
Now that you have understood the tendencies of a narcissist, do not fall prey to them. They can make you feel pressured to push aside your own needs to keep them satisfied. They can be extremely demanding of your attention, praise, and obedience. However, it is essential you show them that they cannot bully you into submission. If you think there will be a break in their attention-seeking behavior, it doesn’t come. Do not humor a narcissist’s false reality and delusions. No matter how much you try to adjust your life to suit their needs, it is never enough.
Your narcissist roommate does not live in reality. Hence, their views of themselves and other people are wildly delusional. Remember this when a narcissist tries to manipulate, gaslight, or bully you. Don’t let their shame and blame strategy and manipulation undermine your self-esteem. The best defense against the insults and projections of the narcissist is your self-esteem. When you know yourself well, you are able to reject any unfair criticisms leveled against you.
Have ‘the talk’
Once you’ve gone over the situation and made your assessment, it is time for you to sit them down. Let them know honestly but in a sensitive and friendly way. Put your foot down and don’t budge if they are being unreasonable. Avoid confronting them in a public space or in front of a large group of people as this can trigger them. They may react aggressively and fight back to save face. Hence, be ready to back off if you feel the situation could escalate. All the best!
Let them go
Maybe you have tried your best to accept who they are and deal with them. However, they still make living absolutely unbearable. This doesn’t need to be the case. It may be time to cut off your narcissist roommate. There are many fish (potential roommates) in the sea (city.) If they don’t value you, it could be time to search for a new roommate. Lucky for you, you’re already in the right place!
Roomi can help you find roommates and find one who is the right living partner for you. Better luck this time. Choose well!
D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers deal with their narcissist roommate? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match!