How to Let Go of Narcissistic Family Members?

Narcissistic families… Most of us have at least one, right?

You know them… They usually walk into any family event with an air of self-importance. The mood changes drastically within seconds of their arrival. They make light of your pain. They relish in your failures (if you’re innocent enough to make them known).

Narcissistic family members are related to us, whether we like it or not. Blood or marriage will always tie you to those extended in your family tree, but…

You have choices here. Choices that can save your sanity and keep your wellbeing floating above the water, and not leave you gasping for air!

How can you let go of narcissistic family members? 

I’ve got you covered – let’s go. 

Narcissists and the Family Dynamic

Narcissists are comfortable in any family dynamic. Imagine being at sea in a huge, dark, and moody storm yet noticing a boat in a small oasis of calm. It barely bobs in the water and sits happily while everything around it is crashing and thrashing in the wind and waves.

This is literally how a narcissist sits in their family dynamic.

Parties? Yep, they’re there smiling and enjoying it.

Dinners? There they are, watching people bicker while they smile to themselves knowing they caused the bickering. 

I don’t know about you, but it’s entirely frustrating to be in the presence of somebody so destructive yet so in denial that they are the cause. 

How One Person Can Literally Change Everything

The narcissistic family member will cut and paste their own family like they all belong in some kind of document. 

“Yes, I’ll move that there.”

“This HAS to go. Delete.”

“I don’t like that font – I’ll change that.”

“This writing is too big and bold, let’s make it smaller.”

The narcissist wants exactly that – for everybody to feel small. 

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The way the narcissist pulls the strings has everybody else suffering. Siblings can fall out. Aunts stop talking to their nieces. Even children can be affected by the confusing acts of insincerity and criticism the narcissist displays in the most covert ways. 

  • Not playing with them
  • Embarrassing them
  • Acting disinterested when they are around

The narcissist will make excuses to family members who they wrong, and eventually blame them for acting too sensitively.

What Do You Need?

First thing’s first, anybody dealing with narcissistic family members needs a great deal of strength. It takes a lot to start seeing through the thin, crumbing veil of anybody with no true or honest intentions. 

As their narcissistic mask slips, you can start to see that actually – they cause a lot of problems in the family dynamics.

What do you need to let go of narcissistic family members though truly? When their damage has been so constant and so destructive that you can’t imagine the current dynamics remaining?

Letting Go of Narcissistic Family Members

These 6 tips to let go of narcissistic family members will get you started. 

Decide How Far You Want To Go With This

Letting go has a few different meanings. The first is all out, just letting them go and not having anything to do with them anymore. You see them at events, but the day-to-day of life really has no hold on you both at all.

The second is to let them go emotionally. Let go of what you want them to be, and accept them for who they are. Narcissists don’t and will not ever change, and if you call them out on their behavior, they will act worse toward you. 

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You have to decide which part of ‘letting go’ you want to attach yourself to. 

Low vs. No Contact

There are always options to completely revert your relationship with the narcissistic family member to the very bare minimum, or nothing at all. If you have to see them, you can just about cope. 

The no-contact option is a lot more common than you might think. People recover well when the narcissist is fully out of their life, but this is obviously a huge decision that must be deliberated. 

Going no-contact will likely mean you also lose touch with other family members – those who side with the narcissist and fall for their ‘woe is me’ sympathy act. This will happen when you make that choice.

“I did everything I could!”

“I’m not a bad person, how could they do this?”

You can imagine…!

Don’t Take it Personally

A big part of letting go is the emotional aspect of freeing yourself from all the toxicity. The burden the narcissist leaves people with can make people feel like they’re to blame for the dynamics. This isn’t the case at all, and deep down you probably know that.

Letting go can come from knowing that you have played no part in causing your family dynamics to be so unhealthy. Start spending time in that truth, and give yourself the emotional distance you need in order to take the weight of blame off your shoulders. 

Create Your Escape Plan

If you are in a situation where you want out, you will need to think about how you’re going to do so. Escape plans can look like:

  • Having a bag packed if things turn from dysfunctional to violent. 
  • Knowing there are people you can turn to who you can trust. 
  • Trust yourself – know that if you are at this point, there’s no going back.
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Change Your Environment

If you can change your environment, do so!

People take vacations when life becomes too demanding at home. Others find jobs that involve a lot of traveling, so they’re never really at home for prolonged periods of time. Some even move to another town, city, state, or country!

If you are trying to let go of family members, sometimes you need an external factor to be what enables you to let go. 

Build Yourself

Narcissistic family members can make us feel like a fallen house of cards. They don’t see us as one person but rather as a catalog of broken pieces. Even though we are still whole, emotionally, it might not feel that way, especially if we have been chipped down over time.

Narcissists are good at that!

So now you get to let go of them and instead work on building yourself back up. Prioritize yourself and what you need and want from life. 

Narcissists can’t stand it when you start to claw back your identity. It drives them wild because they know that they no longer have that hold on you. 

The best revenge is success!

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