Character in crown imagining themself as center of universe with planets

Jake needs continual admiration and expects superior treatment from others. He feels he's entitled to obedience from everyone. He has no empathy toward other people's feelings or needs.

From the inside, Jake feels worthless and insecure.

Do you know someone whose behavior is similar to Jake's?

If so, here are some suggestions that might help you to set boundaries with a narcissist.

How does a narcissist behave?

A narcissist:

  • is self-obsessed

  • has no empathy for others

  • feels superior to others

  • feels entitled to the best of everything

  • is attention-seeking

  • doesn't understand the effect of their behavior on others

A narcissist will choose an easy target. Prime targets would be an empath, an easy-going person, a highly sensitive person, or a co-dependent.

Narcissists may also be attracted to you if they perceive that you have qualities such as being rich, successful, or physically attractive.

If you think you might be an easy target for a narcissist, setting clear boundaries will help protect you from their behavior.

Don't feel the need to defend yourself.

Narcissists use scrutiny or intimidation to make others second-guess themselves. Doing so gives them a feeling of power and control.

Flaticon Icon

Jake works for an advertising firm. His team made several proposals for an advertising campaign to a client, but none of the proposals were accepted.

Jake blaming others

Jake blamed everyone on his team except himself. He even blamed his supervisor for not giving him enough support, even though the supervisor did everything she could to help the team.


How should the supervisor respond to Jake's narcissistic behavior? Select all that apply.

Don't allow yourself to be manipulated.

A narcissist will have little problem in manipulating peoples’ thoughts and emotions to suit their needs. They will also have no concern about manipulating people close to them. Spouses, siblings, parents, and even children can be manipulated for self-serving gains.

Jake guilt-tripping his wife about not wanting to pick up their kids.

Jake is supposed to pick up his children from school twice a week. However, on those two days, he always seems to have too much to do at his workplace.

He often uses guilt-tripping tactics with his wife, Tamara, to push her into picking up the kids on those days.

Tamara is clearly too busy to pick up the kids and is relying on Jake to do his fair share.

How should Tamara respond to Jake?

  1. "Fine, I'll pick up the kids."

  2. "I notice that you're trying to make me feel guilty about not being able to pick up the kids today, and I really wish you would stop."

  3. "I also have a lot to do, yet I make time to pick them up three times a week."

  4. "I'm flexible. You just let me know ahead of time when you're too busy and I can adjust my schedule."


How should Tamara respond to Jake?

Never show them how their behavior affects you.

Flaticon Icon Narcissists enjoy seeing that they can influence others emotionally. Don't let them see your reaction to these behaviors.

Tamara and Vanessa are cooking

Jake received his daughter Vanessa's report card from school. Vanessa got a B+ in all the subjects but he was expecting her to score an A+. Jake blamed Tamara for Vanessa's results.

Instead of fueling Jake's narcissistic behavior with her own reaction, Tamara decided to ignore his outburst. Instead, she and Vanessa made lunch and enjoyed their time together.


Jake continues to berate Vanessa for her marks after lunch, and gets angry at her for ignoring him. Tamara wants to respond. What should she say to Jake?

Take Action

Two people, saying

If a narcissist continues to belittle you, cut off your ties with them completely if it's safe to do so.

You have choices!

Effectively respond to intrusive and demeaning behavior by setting the following boundaries with a narcissist:


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