How to Deal with a Narcissist?

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Have you ever felt trapped in a relationship where it feels like everything revolves around the other person? Dealing with a narcissist—whether it’s a friend, a partner, or even a colleague—can be emotionally draining and challenging. 

Rabbi Manis Friedman and Chassidic wisdom provide profound insights into understanding and handling narcissism. Let’s see what a narcissist is and how to deal with one.

What is Narcissism?

Understanding the Narcissistic Mindset

Narcissism is often confused with selfishness, but they are fundamentally different. Selfishness is the pursuit of one’s own benefit, whereas narcissism is an extreme focus on oneself to the point where even self-benefit is neglected if it disturbs personal comfort.

Rabbi Friedman explains that narcissists are “crippled” in their ability to think beyond themselves. While selfishness prioritizes one’s own needs, narcissism goes further. It’s the inability to see beyond oneself. 

The Root Cause of Narcissism

Narcissism stems from a deep-seated belief that life is meant for oneself. In Jewish teachings, it is seen as a spiritual challenge. It arises from the belief that one’s existence revolves solely around oneself, lacking empathy or consideration for others. 

It can begin in childhood when a person is overly pampered and taught that life revolves around them.

How Do You Deal with a Narcissist in Your Life?

Avoid Becoming a Narcissist Yourself

One of the primary pieces of advice from Rabbi Friedman is not to react to narcissism with narcissism. Trying to outdo a narcissist in selfishness only traps you in the same destructive cycle.

The Only Way to Coexist

The only way to live with a narcissist is to cater to them, which is not a viable long-term solution. 

Narcissists thrive on attention and validation, and giving in to their demands, even temporarily, isn’t beneficial in the long run for either you or them, even when it feels like the only way to keep the peace.

Don’t try to Change a Narcissist

Attempts to change a narcissist are often futile. They are so focused on themselves that any effort to get through to them is likely to fail. The only sustainable approach is to focus on educating and re-educating, especially from a young age.

What is the Cure for Narcissism?

Embracing Humility

The real cure for narcissism is humility—a virtue that encourages us to recognize our place in the broader world and use our talents for the greater good.

Early Education

Prevention is key. Teaching children from a young age that life is about empathy, service, and humility can help prevent the development of narcissistic tendencies. 

Instilling values that emphasize consideration for others lays the groundwork for healthier relationships and a more harmonious society.

How to Deal with a Narcissist

Can You Get Along with a Narcissist?

The Challenges

Getting along with a narcissist is extremely difficult because of their obsession with themselves. There is no opening for a meaningful connection as their self-focus is impenetrable.

Preventive Measures

The best strategy is prevention. Avoid letting children grow into narcissists by not pampering them excessively. Teach them from an early age that life is about more than just personal gain.


If you find yourself dealing with a narcissist, re-education is necessary. This involves starting from scratch to teach narcissist humility and the importance of thinking beyond themselves. However, this is not an easy task and requires a lot of patience and effort.

Practical Tips for Dealing with Narcissism

Focus on Yourself

Ensure that you maintain your sense of self and do not get sucked into the narcissist’s world. Keep your boundaries firm and prioritize your well-being.

Seek Support

Dealing with a narcissist can be emotionally draining. Seek support from friends, family, your rabbi, or a professional therapist to help you cope with the challenges.

Educate and Lead by Example

Whenever possible, try to educate the narcissist on the importance of humility and selflessness. Lead by example, demonstrating the value of serving others and contributing to the greater good.


Narcissism is a complex spiritual challenge that can be difficult to deal with. By embracing humility, focusing on prevention, and maintaining firm boundaries, you can navigate relationships with narcissists while still prioritizing your well-being.

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