Living in the middle of a global pandemic means the need to isolate to save lives. However, what do you do if you’re self isolating with a narcissist?
Coronavirus has changed our lives. Hopefully, it won’t be for the long haul. In the meantime, there is the need to stay home and isolate to contribute towards the fight. For most, while annoying and frustrating, staying at home with family isn’t a huge deal. But what do you do if you’re self isolating with a narcissist, and you’re unable to get out for a break from the onslaught?
The world we’ve living in right now is certainly a strange place. A few months ago, no one could have predicted the reality we’re facing. The need to stay at home and avoid the things we normally do to save our own lives and those of the people around us.
A narcissist will twist everything, manipulate and cause you to question your own sanity in some cases. Even if you know that they’re narcissistic, it can be hard to get out of their grasp. With that in mind, what are you supposed to do if you’re stuck in the house with them and you can’t head out to see friends and experience a little normality?
It’s hard, but there are ways you can manage the situation.
How to hold yourself together while self isolating with a narcissist
Of course, the best course of action here would be to identify whether or not you see a future with this person and act accordingly, but is now the right time? And, what if it’s not a romantic partner and it’s a member of your family? It just got tougher.
#1 Make sure you get outdoor exercise. While staying at home, you are allowed to go outside for an exercise session. That means you should go out alone and into the fresh air. Do not go with your partner. This is your time and your space!
#2 Be the shopper. Again, you’re allowed to go out and do your household shopping, so make sure you’re the one who does it. Don’t give your partner the chance to volunteer as this is another opportunity for you to get out and have some breathing space away from them.
However, it’s also important to remember that they need their own outside time too. If they choose to do it, stay home and enjoy the space that way. Sit in the garden, drink a coffee. Do something you enjoy.
#3 Stay in touch with friends and family. At the moment, we’re forced to spend large amounts of time away from family and friends. When isolating with a narcissist, it can mean that this is the ideal opportunity for them to ensnare you into their grasps even more than usual.
You’re away from your social and support network, and it is a narcissist’s dream. Do your best to stay in touch as best you can and don’t allow the narcissist to pull you even further away from them. Video call as much as you can to stay connected. [Read: How to stop giving the narcissist the attention they crave]
#4 Find a hobby you enjoy. Spending large amounts of time at home might sound idyllic at first, but you must occupy your mind in order to stay sane! The need to stay busy is even more pronounced if you’re with a narcissist, so make sure you focus your time on a hobby that you enjoy and helps you to develop yourself. How about taking an online course or learning a new language through an app? Don’t let the narcissist dissuade you.
#5 Get some indoor exercise. Apart from going out for your run or walk, make sure that you do some exercise in the house. This will keep your spirits up and help you to stay strong mentally and emotionally. Check out workout videos online or head into the garden and do some laps.
#6 Make sure you eat a healthy diet. Staying at home can mean the temptation to start baking all sorts of goodies and calling for takeaways, but you must be fit and healthy to keep your mental strength up. Make sure that you eat a varied and balanced diet and choose the meals you want yourself.
Isolating with a narcissist gives them the ideal opportunity to control you more than normal, and that could even come down the foods you eat. Maintain these vital and basic decisions for yourself.
#7 Maintain your own routine. It’s easy to fall into a joint routine when you’re isolating at home with someone. When you’re isolating with a narcissist, try to keep your own routine personally. Again, this is even more important in this situation because of the control aspect.
Narcissists thrive on control and manipulation. When you isolate with a narcissist, you’re perfectly placed for this to occur on an even larger and deeper scale. You’re with your partner all the time during this type of situation. Seek out opportunities for your own space and time. Take them as they arise. [Read: Why narcissists don’t wish you on your birthday and use this as a power play]
Stay in contact with your support network and talk things through with a friend if you needed. Use WhatsApp or another messaging app, so your narcissistic partner won’t know what you’re talking about.
It might seem deceiving, but this outside link is desperately needed in this type of situation, especially when you’re isolating with a narcissist. What they are doing to you is far worse. Your support network is required to keep you grounded and focused and stop you spiraling and becoming even more distressed than you would be otherwise.
We’re all struggling with isolating and with the anxiety that the current situation brings, but for someone who is under the grip of a narcissist, this can be an even more difficult time. [Read: How to beat a narcissist at their own game]
Know how to make the situation easier. Understand you need time to deal with your own thoughts. This will help you come out the other side of the situation. Once this is over, think about whether this is a reality you want to live with or whether you really want to leave your partner behind.