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For all of our members who are out and on the other side of narcissistic abuse, Narcissists are notorious for trying to dig their fangs in for control when you are at your most vulnerable. Christmas time is certainly one of those times! So how about some tips for getting through the holiday period, so that you can overcome any emotional sucking attempts, detach from a narcissist's nasty and ridiculous antics, and don't allow them to sabotage your happiness at Christmas time. This works for your X and other NARC's.
This person that doesn't like to hang out much with their families. The fact that you don't see the narcissist very often doesn't make dealing with him or her any easier; in fact, as you probably already know, these narcissists can do a great deal of damage to whatever special occasion is under way.
The reason for this is that special occasions are just not their thing. Special occasions usually involve having others around, sometimes lots of others, to say nothing of the fact that the occasion itself, no matter what it is about, demands attention. Those details can seriously steal their thunder; they know that they will be part of a crowd, or perhaps lost in the crowd. They may be called upon to help out with preparations, cleaning, cooking, washing dishes - things they don't like doing unless they can get something out of it. If you think about it, you can see why any special occasion is an absolute minefield for them. They aren't the CENTER of attention. It's not all about them.
Since their families know them and have probably been exhausted by them, the narcissistic "show" is likely to fall flat and their projections will be ignored. They cannot manufacture a new "self". They are literally very stuck; nothing from their bag of tricks will work. For all of these reasons, they will hate to have to go to whatever event it is. They may get dragged there by another family member, the one who always wants to see everyone show up at these shindigs. They may have to go because otherwise it might not look right, and narcissists are all about appearance. They may go simply for the bragging rights: "I organized all the games!" or, "Without me there singing and playing the piano, the whole thing would have been completely dead." "My speech was killer!" and so on and so on. And that leads me to what I believe you have to do to avoid a narcissistic-induced "scene" at your next event.
You have to assign them some task or other that allows them to show off and get attention. Otherwise, you will have a mess on your hands. As I've already indicated, these narcissists may feel hemmed in by the fact that nothing from their bag of tricks is working. They may feel as if they are lost in the crowd.
They may feel deflated and sorry for themselves. - And this is dangerous, because then they will attempt to get attention in any way they can, no matter how negatively or inappropriately.
If you're dealing with a seasonal narcissist: first of all, as I've already mentioned, give them highly visible, "important" tasks that will generate lots of attention. He could give a speech or present the gifts or play the piano or do a skit. Play into your knowledge of the narcissist and what he thinks he's good at. Be sure to fuss over and flatter the narcissist. If you have to lie, lie.
Remember, you're only doing this for one evening or afternoon or whatever and in this case, lying is the better part of valour. You can go to confession or expiate your lies later. Compliment his hair, clothes, weight loss, and new job, whatever. Leave him with the impression that he's the most important, smartest, best looking person in the room. Assign someone to stay with the narcissist at all times and to keep him under control. This person should be completely aware of the mission and should be able to indulge in flattery, fussing and outright lying without throwing up.
This "shadow" person will also need to ensure that the narcissist does whatever task he has been assigned. Narcissists are usually very undependable. In the lead-up to the event and on the day, ask for his advice (be careful not to ask him to do what he might consider to be menial tasks) as to how things should be done, organized, carried out, and so on. Publicly acknowledge his help and how you couldn't have done it without him. Gag and puke later. Designate someone, particularly someone who has good diplomatic skills, whose job it will be to get him out of the room as quickly as possible if he starts haranguing, pontificating, ranting, shouting or in other ways seeking inappropriate attention. I can't guarantee these strategies will work; I'm only improving your odds.